Straight Talk Bob McDonnell

Top-paying degrees

Whether you are in college or a prospective student, not all majors earn you the same salary. Of course, you should never choose a major just for the money. If you don’t enjoy the work, then all that money will never equal the dissatisfaction you have for your job.

Luckily, there are many majors in numerous fields of studies to choose from that will pay high starting salaries to recent graduates. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), here are the 10 top paying degrees and their starting salaries:

1. Chemical engineering ($59,218)

2. Electrical engineering ($55,333)

3. Mechanical engineering ($54,057)

4. Computer science ($53,051)

5. Civil engineering ($48,998)

6. Economics ($47,782)

7. Management information systems ($47,407)

8. Finance ($46,442)

9. Accounting ($46,292)

10. Business administration/Management ($43,256)

College distance from home

How far do students typically travel to enroll in college? The annual American College Freshman Study has found that student distance from their permanent home varies as follows:

Distance from home    % of college freshmen

0 to 50 miles    35.4 percent

51 to 100 miles    17.9 percent

101 to 500 miles    33.3 percent

500-plus miles    13.4 percent

• Bob McDonnell is executive director of Arizona College Planners, L.L.C., a member of the College Planning Network, the National Association of College Funding Advisors and the National Association of College Acceptance Counselors. For questions, email

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.