Engineering majors dominate the list of top paying bachelor's degrees, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
NACE's Winter 2009 Salary Survey shows that engineering disciplines account for eight of the 10 most highly paid degrees.
The only non-engineering related degrees in the top 10 were computer science and information sciences and systems.
Petroleum engineering earned the highest starting salary reported at the bachelor's degree level: $86,220. This is almost 80 percent higher than the $48,351 average starting salary reported for bachelor's degree graduates as a whole.
"While a variety of factors play a role in determining salaries, new graduates with degrees in the technical fields tend to benefit from their relatively low supply. There is more competition for their skills, driving up their salary offers," said Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.
For example, petroleum engineering degrees account for less than 1 percent of all bachelor's degrees conferred.
"Not every case is that extreme, but, in general, candidates with technical degrees have an advantage in the job market," said Mackes.
NACE will provide a second look at salaries for the class of 2010 in April with the release of the Spring 2010 Salary Survey.