SAN FRANCISCO (4/8/14)--If you're looking for a college major, it pays to get a degree in science, technology, engineering or math.
A recent study by Payscale, a website that tracks earning data, ranked colleges according to how much their students made after graduation as well as by the highest-paying majors (CNNMoney March 26.)
A graduate majoring in petroleum engineering can expect to earn $103,000 upon graduation, whereas an elementary education major typically earns $32,200 starting out, according to Payscale.
Overall, the more technical, left-brain majors tend to offer the best return on investment with actuarial mathematics, nuclear engineering, chemical engineering and aerospace engineering rounding out the top five degrees with the highest earning potential.
Of course, you don't have to major in a science or tech field to make a living, especially if you have neither the passion nor aptitude for those fields.
When picking a major and school, keep in mind:
For related information, read "Make the Most of Campus Visits: A Guide for Parents and College-Bound Students" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.