College Degrees With The Best Return On Investment

Old-school advice was to tell you to choose any major and you would be set for life. That advice does not apply today. If you are spending that much money on a degree, you want to select from college degrees with the best return on investment. Selecting a major is no casual event. Higher education not only supports progression and the growth of individuals – personally, academically, and professionally, but it also prepares them to earn more.

The question no longer is, “What should I major in?” but also, “Which college degrees with the best return on investment match my individual interests and talents?”

According to College Data:

The cost for one year of tuition and fees varies widely among colleges. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2013–2014 school year was $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,203 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.


Crunching the Numbers: College Degrees With The Best ROI

I took a look at's article, 8 College Degrees That Will Earn Your Money Back and put together some tables to show you what jobs in what industries will get you the best ROI. took their own numbers for salaries to punch into this equation.

For 30 year gains, they factored in 4.3% for inflation.

For ROI, they subtracted the cost of the degree (separate costs for public and private schools) and divided by cost.


College Degrees With The Best Return On Investment For Math Majors

As old as written history, human beings have used math to quantify and make sense of our natural world. Today, people still use math to quantify, organize and study the enormous amounts of data available to us.

  • Accountants – Use math to create a blueprint of a company's financial health.
  • Marketers – Use math to predict, measure and track the success or failure of campaigns.
  • Scientists – Use math to predict, to measure objects, their motion and their relation to other objects.
  • Engineers – Use math to create sound structures that are both safe and beautiful.

Math is a science that comes in handy every day. It is precise science that is used to measure life as we know it. It is also at the top of our list of college degrees with the best return on investment.

From science to marketing, math is extremely useful. These titles are some of the top-paying jobs for those with math degrees.

According to Online Math Degrees, here is a list of some of the jobs that you can have with a math degree:

  • Statisticians
  • Teacher or professor
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Economist
  • Financial analyst
  • Engineer
  • Market and survey researcher

Here are three careers in math that have some of the highest return on investment.

Profession Avg. Salary 30-Year Gains ROI (Public School) ROI (Private School)
Actuary II $ 70,029 $ 4,130,308 110% 33%
Operations Research Analysis Manager $146,456 $8,637,969 230% 70%
Accounts Payable/Receivable Manager $76,241 $4,496,691 119% 36%



College Degrees With The Best Return On Investment For Information Technology

Information technology majors are in high demand. From understanding how to build a computer to stretching software applications to the brink of technology, computer majors are more important than ever.

If you need your information stored, transmitted or retrieved, then IT can do it for you. IT includes hardware, software, internet and ecommerce.

Some companies have one IT person; others have an entire department. Others outsource. What does that mean for the IT major? It means lots of opportunities to find good-paying work.

These exceptionally specialized positions also are an excellent return on investment, with some of the greatest incomes in the nation in all career areas. Here is information on great paying jobs for Information Technology majors:

From Bizplod.


Profession Avg. Salary 30-Year Gains ROI (Public School) ROI (Private School)
WEB APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER $80,584 $4,752,841 126% 38%
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SPECIALIST $109,604 $6,464,440 172% 52%
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SUPERVISOR $107,578 $6,344,946 169% 51%


Human Resources

Human resources  create a liaison between the company supervisors and the employees, educate and enforce company policies, and manage all the things that come with keeping employees as part of the organization. They are a very valuable part of a larger corporations.
Human resources management also make sure that employees which are considered an asset to any company are happy and satisfied and taken care of.


Profession Avg. Salary 30-Year Gains ROI (Public School) ROI (Private School)
COMPENSATION & BENEFITS SUPERVISOR $94,978 $5,601,799 149% 45%
RECRUITING SUPERVISOR $88,916 $5,244,262 139% 70%
HUMAN RESOURCES SUPERVISOR $87,184 $5,142,109 137% 41%




Economics majors can expect to learn about systems of money. Basically the economy is buying and selling. However, economists study the very complicated and dynamic factors that affect the economy such as taxes, inflation, emotions, stock market trends, and political climates. Economics majors can expect to use a lot of math statistics and other ways of measuring data.

Generally, majors and have to deal with business or money are expected to be paid more than others majors. Economics majors are no different. Here are some of the jobs that you can get with economics:

  • Banker
  • Insurance agent
  • Stockbroker
  • Investment advisor
  • Accountant
  • Financial advisor

Now let's look at the return on investment on three of some of the highest paying jobs for economics majors.



From the Youth Mentoring and Career Programme



Profession Avg. Salary 30-Year Gains ROI (Public School) ROI (Private School)
ECONOMIST (CORPORATE) $115,671 $6,822,271 182% 55%
FISCAL ASSOCIATE II $108,732 $6,413,009 171% 52%
INVESTMENT OPERATIONS MANAGER $ 142,921 $8,429,475 225% 68%



Here is an opportunity for you. If you can bridge the skill gap in your industry, then you have a better shot of getting employed – and higher pay.

College degree with the best return on investment




When you think biology might be thinking if I can degree in biology am I going to be spending the rest of my career in a lab somewhere? If that's what you want and you can have it and more's. It turns out that biology house lot demands by the job market particularly the medical field.

Some of things you can do with a biology major include:

  • Doctor
  • Veteranarian
  • Physical therapist
  • Dietitian
  • Nanotechnology
  • Genetic counseling
  • Zookeeper
  • Forensics
  • Landscaping
  • Science teacher
  • City health official

Let's look at three jobs that you've your high return on your college degree in biology.

Profession Avg. Salary 30-Year Gains ROI (Public School) ROI (Private School)
LAB SUPERVISOR $85,292 $5,030,519 134% 40%
CLINICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE II $71,758 $4,232,284 114% 34%
HEALTH & SECURITY MANAGER $76,241 $4,496,691 114% 34%




Everyone knows that engineers make great money. Did you know that there're many types of engineers that you could become? Choosing what kind of engineer you want to become to attend on things like your test scores your aptitude for math and science and your personal interest.

Let's look at some of the Jobs you can get in the pay as an engineer.

Profession Avg. Salary 30-Year Gains ROI (Public School) ROI (Private School)
CHEMICAL ENGINEER II $75,225 $4,436,768 118% 35%
MECHANICAL ENGINEER II $71,715 $4,229,748 112% 34%
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING MANAGER II $91,997 $5,425,980 144% 44%




I'm not going to lie. Finding work in advertising is becoming more and more competitive. You must really hone in your job-hunting skills if you want to find some choice work in the advertising industry, and even then, you may spend some time working hard for low pay before you get better paying jobs.

If you look for internships and can speak like an advertising executive, then you will have a head start on the other candidates with whom you are in fierce competition. On the flip side, EXCELLENT advertising individuals are sorely needed, because while the competition for jobs is fierce, your future employer's competition is much more intense.

Here are some jobs you can perform with a degree in advertising:

  • Advertising executive
  • Internet reputation manager
  • Marketing strategist
  • Copywriter
  • Promotions coordinator
  • Book publicist
  • Account manager
  • Publicist
  • Lobbyist
Profession Avg. Salary 30-Year Gains ROI (Public School) ROI (Private School)
MARKETING MANAGER $86,591 $5,107,134 136% 41%
MERCHANDISE/BRAND SUPERVISOR $92,216 $5,438,896 145% 44%
PUBLIC RELATIONS SUPERVISOR $86,127 $5,079,767 135% 41%




Last but not least, we reach the English majors. In the information age, there has never been stronger need for proper grammar, spelling, and most importantly the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively. Work available for English majors is never ending infinite and in high demand especially for good writers. Articles blog posts papers reports with content e-books E-mails, Social media posts I'll require A professional level of English.

Here are some of the jobs that you can do as an English major:

  • Content marketing
  • Copyrighter
  • Ghostwriter
  • Technical writer
  • Corporate blogger
  • Sales
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media manager
  • Editor
  • Grant writer

Let's look at three majors that have one at the highest return on investment for your college degree.

Profession Avg. Salary 30-Year Gains ROI (Public School) ROI (Private School)
SPEECH WRITER $78,011 $4,601,086 122% 37%
COMMUNICATIONS SUPERVISOR $88,498 $5,219,609 139% 42%
CONTENT MANAGER – WEB $79,674 $4,699,170 125% 38%



Bring in More Money Regardless of What Your Major Is

Now that you know college degrees with the best return on investment, you can stick about applying the skills for yourself using the Internet.

How can you do that?

There're two major ways that you can leverage college degrees of any kind. One way is to go to outsourcing website like elands or Otis. Especially if you haven't wanted to managers listed above, you can go into this website and search for word without leaving your home. You can work for one contractor as part of the team or you can work for several contractors as a freelancer.

The other way to leverage your college degree is to start your own business as a free or consultant. Of course you can use the website that I mentioned above to help you get clients, you can also have your own website or blog that represents your business. You can write articles and posts that educate the public about your skills without selling them anything. The more value give the more likelihood of traffic coming to website. Once you attract people to your site or blog, you can start to earn business and make sales.

Peak their interest in using the internet as an investment resource and cite successful startups, and entrepreneurs (don't talk about me.. i'll add that later)

Let's look at some entrepreneurs who have started their own business doing very well having their business online.


Neil Patel

Major: Marketing

Patel is at the top of our list and like other entrepreneurs on this list, he started taking action towards his success at a young age. He is co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. He started a company that he wanted to market, but couldn't find any good marketing businesses out there, so he created his own. He has created millions of dollars as a successful marketer online.


Seth Godin

Major: Computer Science and Philosophy, MBA

After leaving a software company in the 80s, Seth Godin used his savings to build a book packaging business. He met Mark Hurst and founded Yoyodyne, his first direct marketing company. The rest as they say is history. He wrote 17 bestsellers and is one of the top marketers of our time.


Chris Brogan

Major: Some college

Being a college dropout didn't stop Chris Brogan. He credits watching Les Brown on a PBS funds drive for getting him motivated to become an entrepreneur. Brogan is a speaker, serial entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author.


Lawrence Tam

Major: Mechanical Engineering, BS (University of Texas at Austin 2000)

Affiliate marketers, and home business consultant who stumbled into the industry due to be laid off in 2002 and again in 2012. Understanding that his career as an Engineer working in the oil and gas services designing down hole tools wasn't how he was going to change the world.. let alone give him the time necessary to be a good father and raise his kids (2 weeks of vacation is horrible). Fast forward to 2013, generating his first 7 figures online as an affiliate and now speaks in front of thousands teaching internet marketing strategies around traffic, SEO, and conversions.


Believe In Your College Degrees But Never Stop Improving

College degrees are valuable to have. Aside from the education, you learn academic discipline, meet friends, network, and have job barriers removed based on whatever degree you get.

You also learn how to study.

So what?

Here's the “so what.” You have a degree, but you have to keep studying. The learning doesn't stop after you graduate. Shutting down your education after leaving college is the mistake a lot of your unemployed peers are making.

College degrees are not a sure thing to jobs anymore. Why?
Too many graduates
Not enough jobs
Jobs going overseas

Do the math. Even with a completed degree, paying that off while trying to get married, buy a home and start a family is going to be difficult. The three that I mentioned above have one thing in common – they are entrepreneurs. Self-made, they went for it and scored big returns. That is not to say that you will be guaranteed success if you start a business, but that is to say is that fighting over the low-wage bones corporations throw at you is not an option anymore. Not if you want to pay your bills and have enough left over to live an unrestricted life.

Keep looking for college degrees with the best return on investment, but keep in mind that these degrees can also pay dividends for you as an entrepreneur. Give it a shot. The only thing you have to lose is living paycheck to paycheck (which last I heard – sucked)

Continue Learning – Continue Earning

Lawrence Tam

Helping people since 2007 get online and make some money. Living a happy and healthy lifestyle by playing online and Generating his first million in 2013 with 3 kids and doing most of it part time while working as a Mechanical Engineer. Go through his 10 videos on Marketing by clicking here.

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6 thoughts on “College Degrees With The Best Return On Investment

  1. When I was seventeen I started with Rolls Royce, my first assignment was back to college. Four the next five years it was 6 months hands on training, six months at college. The lessons I learned then still serve me today. The philosophy I learned was to never stop learning, in practice this becomes an incremental ongoing process. At this point in my life my desire is never to stop, never retire, always to be of help and service. These are the fruits of learning and continued education. PW

  2. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that make the largest changes. Many thanks for sharing!

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