Salary doesn't tell the whole story, to be sure. "I love my job," says Philadelphia preschool and Head Start teacher Theresa Mettee, who earned her degree in 2007 and makes $36,500. The work makes her feel valued, she says. With the support of her employer, Mettee is working on the credits required to become state certified, which will get her almost to a master's degree—and boost her pay by $10,000.
Here are the undergradate majors that offer the highest and lowerst median pay, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
Highest median pay:
Petroleum engineering: $120,000
Pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences and administration: $105,000
Math and computer sciences: $98,000
Aerospace engineering: $87,000
Chemical engineering: $86,000
Lowest median pay:
Counseling psychology*: $29,000
Early childhood education: $36,000
Theology and religious vocations: $38,000
Human services and community organizations: $38,000
Social work: $39,000
*Overwhelmingly a graduate degree.