Degrees for the future: 8 tech degrees that really pay


Tech degree-holders earn dramatically more in entry-level jobs than their non-tech peers. Find out which degrees really pay.

Technology is the future, and the future is now. That means to make the most of your education, you should focus on degree programs that teach you as much as possible about tech. Already, tech degree-holders earn dramatically more in entry-level jobs than their non-tech peers; tech specialists can expect an early-career salary of over $60,000, while most careers promise under $50,000 for a first post-graduation position.

Even if you have already started a career in a different field, the right tech education can get you into a highly coveted tech position. Here are the top eight tech degrees that will definitely deliver high wages.

Electrical Engineering

Without electricity, there is no such thing as tech. Electrical engineers - or double-E’s, as they are known in engineering - know everything about electricity, from how it is generated to how it is utilized within a device. In the tech industry, double-E’s typically work alongside other types of engineers to help design devices’ power supplies. Electrical engineers can find work in almost any industry, giving them more opportunities than other tech-specific degrees. Overall, electrical engineers, boast mid-career salaries of over $90,000.

Software Engineering    

Often confused with software designers and developers, software engineers are tasked with designing and developing software. However, software engineering provides more in-depth training, so engineers can produce stronger, higher-quality software than other professionals. You can earn software engineering degrees online while working as a designer or developer to double-up on your experience and education. Then, once you reach the middle of your career, you can expect nearly $90,000 in salary.

Communications Engineering

Communications engineers design and build the equipment and systems that allows people to connect and communicate. Typically, this involves monitoring existing communications technology, researching possible improvements, and cooperating with clients to understand their needs. If you graduate with a degree in communications engineering, you can expect to earn over $115,000 by the middle of your career. If you migrate to areas where communications engineering is in high-demand, like Silicon Valley, you can earn even more.

Computer Science

To many people outside tech, “computer science” seems like an untenably vague degree. In fact, computer science is focused on teaching students the theories behind common technologies. For example, in your courses, you will likely gain skills in problem-solving and critical thinking while you learn advanced mathematics. As a result, computer science degrees are excellent foundations for many careers in tech, including tech entrepreneurship. Your salary largely depends on the position you seek, but computer science degree-holders earn an average mid-career salary of about $93,000.

Computers are composed of hundreds of different parts, and computer engineers ensure those parts work together to create a functional machine. Sometimes called hardware engineering to highlight its focus compared to other computer-focused engineering fields, computer engineering typically applies the theories of computer science to build devices of all types, from consumer laptops to digital medical equipment. Because computer engineers are highly skilled, they earn a median mid-career salary of about $114,000.

Systems Engineering

Unlike other fields of engineering which focus on the creation of single devices, systems engineering is concerned with the entire lifecycle of entire systems of devices. This means that systems engineers are trained with holistic views of tech, so they can ensure continuous, high-quality operation for a sustained period. For this expertise, systems engineers earn a salary of about $114,000 toward the middle of their careers.

Engineering Management

As you can tell, tech is filled with engineers. Thus, tech enterprises need professionals skilled at wrangling so many engineers. Enter: engineer managers. Engineer management is typically a masters-level degree designed to catapult engineers into upper levels of authority. As an engineer manager, you will be responsible for developing budgets, organizing schedules, coordinating teams, and completing projects. For these efforts, you can expect a healthy mid-career salary of around $96,000 — or more than double that in Silicon Valley.

Database Administration

Businesses have become proficient at collecting all sorts of data, but often they don’t know what to do with Big Data once they have it. Database administrators assist organizations in the collection, analysis, and storage of their data to ensure that their data is working optimally. Since data is such big business, anyone skilled with data is well-positioned to increase their earning potential in coming years. The median mid-career salary for a database administrator is about $77,000, but experts believe data fields will receive greater pay boosts in the future.

Tiffany Rowe is a writer for Seek Visibility, contributing regularly to Careers24’s career advice section, with a focus on the finance sector. She is passionate about developing content and relationships across multiple platforms and audiences.