Marine engineer officer in engine control room ECR. Seamen's work. He works at the computer

I’m seeing pictures all over my socials of graduations in Estero, Naples, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, and all across Southwest Florida. For most of you, it’s off to your next adventure. College. College can be challenging, fun, and a tremendous life changing experience. It can also saddle you with a LOT of student loan debt. So today we’ll be looking at the Highest Paying College Majors – Bachelor Degree Programs.

About that. You really need to treat the Student Loan Forgiveness idea like it’s never going to happen. There’s challenges to it in congress, and there’s even two cases in front of the Supreme Court. If it happens, it’ll likely only be forgiveness on part of the borrowed debt. So if it does happen, see it as a gift. My thoughts? If you’re going to run up college debt, pick a career that’ll foot the bill.

The HEA Group released a study last week on “Which College Majors Pay the Most?” Looking at these College Majors, I’m seeing that many are very relevant to students in Florida. And since many of you grew up on our near the water, you may already have a bit of a head start in one of these fields. This data is for bachelor’s degree programs.  The data reflect a national average four years after students have completed their postsecondary studies.

The Highest Paying College Majors of 2023

  • 1. Operations research: $112,097

    Operation research analysts are top-level problem-solvers who use data mining, mathematical modeling, optimization, statistical analysis, and other advanced techniques to develop solutions that help businesses and organizations operate more cost-effectively and efficiently. If you love puzzles, math, and dominate tests – this may be for you.

  • 2. Naval architecture: $109,121

    Naval architecture, or naval engineering, is an engineering discipline incorporating elements of mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety engineering as applied to the engineering design process, shipbuilding, maintenance, and operation of marine vessels and structures. Do you know enough about boats that you could design one? 

  • 3. Computer science: $104,799

    Computer Science is the study of computers and computational systems. Unlike electrical and computer engineers, computer scientists deal mostly with software and software systems; this includes their theory, design, development, and application. My concern here would be AI advancing to the point of making this job less in demand before you graduate.

  • 4. Marine transportation: $103,626

    major in Marine Transportation will give you the technical knowledge and skill to work directly with ocean vessels. 

  • 5. Computer engineering: $99,063

    A bachelor’s in computer engineering qualifies graduates for careers in consumer electronics, bioengineering, and gaming hardware development. So maybe in 4 years you can join in on the development of GTA VI since it probably still won’t be done. Or maybe stay local?

  • 6. Veterinary medicine: $97,533

    Look into the program at UF if this interests you.

  • 7. Petroleum engineering: $96,957

    A petroleum engineering degree is a program that prepares students for careers relating to the exploration, extraction and production of oil and natural gas

  • 8. Systems engineering: $95,224

    The multidisciplinary field of systems engineering applies engineering techniques and mathematical methods to improve the planning and decision making in organizational systems composed of people, machines, materials, and procedures

  • 9. Pharmaceutical sciences: $94,136

    Pharmaceutical sciences majors apply chemistry, biology, and related sciences to the study of drugs. Like on that show “Breaking Bad”, but with legal stuff.


  • 10. Electrical engineering: $91,693

    A bachelor’s electrical engineering degree equips students to design and build various electrical systems and devices. Lots and lots of math. 


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