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Higher education, even in a tougher hiring market, may lower one’s risk of unemployment and increase one’s chances of earning a higher salary. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2013) shows that individuals 25 and older with an associate degree had an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent in 2012, compared with the 8.3 percent unemployment rate of people with only a high school diploma. In addition, individuals who earned a bachelor’s degree had a significantly lower unemployment rate of 4.5 percent that year.  

Income was also impacted by education level, as bachelor’s degree holders working full time earned a weekly median wage of $1,066 in 2012, while associate degree holders earned $785 and those with only a high school diploma earned $652 (bls.gov, 2013). As these findings indicate, investing in an education that aligns with one’s interests may afford one greater employment security and salary prospects. 

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Infographics
Which Degrees Come with the Highest Starting Salaries?
Which Degrees Come with the Highest Starting Salaries?

Deciding on a college major can be challenging - even before considering student loans. Here are five majors which can offer the highest starting salaries for new grads.

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