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Few people dream of spending their entire professional lives selling cheeseburgers. If you want a top-tier career, you have to invest in the right college degree. Take a look at our list of some of the top degrees that can prepare you to rake in the bucks. We also list the median salaries enjoyed by professionals in these fields, according to 2013 numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Subject
RankField of StudyMedian SalaryDescription
1 Family and General Practitioners $176,530
All those years in medical school pay off: doctors and surgeons make one of the highest incomes in any industry. Nurses and healthcare administrators don't do too poorly either.
2 Dentistry $146,340
Plenty of baby-boomer dentists should retire within the next decade, freeing up hiring opportunities for newly minted dentists. Dental Assistants can also make very high salaries with minimal training required.
3

Pharmacy

$119,280

In addition to working at retail drugstores, many pharmacists find jobs with mental health centers, nursing homes, and family clinics. You can start out as a pharmacy tech.
4

Lawyers

$114,300

In addition to working at retail drugstores, many pharmacists find jobs with mental health centers, nursinIn addition to formal coursework, your law school may give you practice in supervised mock trials.
5 Marketing and Sales Management $113,590
If you're a salesperson looking for career advancement, consider studying sales management. Your employer may even offer free on-site management training.
6 Physician Assistant $92,970
With a bachelor's degree, you can gain enough career training in just two years to potentially become a physician's assistant.
7 Software Development $92,660
(Applications Software)

$101,410
(Systems Software)
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an enormous 38 percent job increase in software engineering within the next decade.
8

Education Administration (Elementary and Secondary School)

$88,380

Educational administrators ensure both students' academic success and teachers' job satisfaction. Remember, many administration jobs require advanced degrees.

9

Veterinary Science

$86,640

The BLS reports that job opportunities for veterinarians should be especially strong in feline medicine.

10 Construction Management $84,410
Plenty of colleges offer bachelor's degrees in construction-related fields, and roughly 60 schools have graduate programs in construction management.
11

Art Direction

$83,000

Who says that artists have to starve? Not only do art directors make respectable incomes, they can expect fast job growth in the next decade.

12

Computer Systems Analysis

$81,190

Computer systems analysts can quickly solve companies' computer problems, from networking glitches to viruses.

13

Civil Engineering

$80,770

Due to common ground in engineering disciplines, certified civil engineers may also choose to explore mechanical engineering or electrical engineering.

14

Industrial Engineering

$80,300

From hospitals to factories, industrial engineers help streamline diverse businesses. During industrial engineering school, you can take courses in statistics, engineering writing, and business analysis.

15 Master's in Business Administration $63,000 to $80,000
According to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AAACB), more than 74 percent of MBA graduates work as managers.
16 Finance

$75,320 (Personal Advisers)

$78,380 (Analysts)

You can boost your hiring potential in this competitive field through career training in finance, statistics or mathematics.
17 Computer Programming $76,140
Brush up on Java and C++ by earning a certificate, bachelor's degree, or master's degree in computer programming.

 

Now that you've got a feel for some of the median salaries out there currently, be sure to browse some of the school listings below. Alternatively, you can use the search box on the right to get matched to an online school.

 

Sources

"Occupational employment," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 30, 2014, 

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2007/fall/art02.pdf

"Occupational Outlook Handbook," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 31, 2014, 

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/

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