Highest paying courses in the World
Updated on Nov 16, 2015 - 11:50 a.m. IST by Bedasree Das
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Highest paying courses in the World
- While international education offers a plethora of experiences like exposure to different culture and methods of learning, students are increasingly opting to study overseas notably for the demand an international degree generates in the job sector. Given the high cost of pursuing one’s study dreams abroad, students are viewing international education as an investment, both in terms of experience as well as monetary advantages.

The average cost of getting a degree abroad can run upwards $70,000 annually and in such a case it becomes imperative that the return on the investment equally compensates the high study cost.

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Here, we bring you some of the top courses in the world with the highest salary brackets. As expected, an MBA degree, which is also one of the most popular programmes among international students, fetches the highest salaries in the job market followed by engineering where petroleum engineers rake in the highest packages.

Read below to find the highest paying courses in the world:



A Masters in Business Administration is definitely one of the highest paying courses in the world. According to a Financial Times report, the salary of management alumni (aged 24 when they started the course) increased by nearly $69,000, up 145% over their pre-MBA pay in 2014-15.

With 14% growth globally and an average $123, 400 compensation for graduates, MBA is the most sought after course among graduates across the world. A survey by QS suggests that FAME -Finance, Accounting, Business Management and Economics-- subjects capture almost 43% of the internationally bound students annually. Interestingly, India and USA are the two biggest markets in the world for MBA graduates

The USA being the central point for corporates from all over the world, it is not surprising the business schools with the highest packages are from the country itself.

Here are the top 5 business schools with the highest post-MBA salaries:




Tuition fee

Salary *

Harvard Business School





Stanford Graduate School of Business





University of Pennsylvania: Wharton





Columbia Business School





University of Chicago: Booth





*Salary- Average alumni salary after three years of graduation


One of the most popular courses among the international student’s community, an engineering degree offers the best return on your investment. According to American body, National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the average salary for engineering graduates is just over $63, 000- among the highest in the world. In fact Civil, Petroleum and IT engineers are some of the highest paid employees in the world with petroleum engineers known to extract an average starting salary of $80,000.

The reason behind engineering being one of the highest paying courses in the world is, of course, the high demand for engineering graduates. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics in its occupational outlook handbook for 2014-15 cites biomedical, civil, environmental and petroleum as the hot engineering specialties for the next decade.

Here are the top engineering specialisations with highest salaries:


Average Salary

Petroleum Engineering


Mining Engineering


Chemical Engineering


Computer Engineering


Nuclear engineering


*Average salay: early pay career of the engineer as reflected by Payscale survey.


Good news for Math geeks. Besides being one of the most popular courses for students across the globe, Mathematics is also one of the highest paying programmes in the world. Interestingly, a degree in mathematics has been traditionally considered a good investment mainly because of its cross functional utility across various domains. With the ever increasing demand for statisticians and mathematicians alike, the programme promises a wide scope with compensation that can go upwards $94,000.

According to Payscale, professions like data scientists and quantitative analysts can even fetch with median salaries over $100,000.

Here are some of the top professions for Mathematics graduates:


Maths degree holders

Median salary




Senior Actuarial analyst


$86, 600




Data modeler


$91, 200

Quantitative analyst



Computer science:

Unarguably one of the most popular MS programmes for international students, a degree in computer science does not just open a range of opportunities in an increasingly digitized world but offers a very lucrative professional life as well with mid-career packages going upwards $1,76,000. In fact, even the starting salaries of computer science graduates can be as high $75,000 making it one of the highest paying courses in the world. High demand for computer science graduates is one of the major factors behind the towering salaries of the programme. Computer science grads can land jobs as developers, systems administrators or IT consultants.

Here are some of the top universities with the highest computer science salaries:



Starting salary

Columbia University



University of California - Berkeley



Stanford University



Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)



University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA)



Accounting and finance:

The only social sciences degree in the group, accounting programmes are gaining increasing popularity among students due to the lucrative professional opportunities that the programme offers. According to NACE, accounting graduates can expect a starting salary of minimum $52,900 which is very impressive given that the tuition fee for the course lingers within $45,000 annually. One of the highest paying courses in the world, the top paid jobs in accounting are Credit Analysis management, treasury analysis, Auditing and tax accountancy. According to Payscale, the starting salary of accounting managers can be between $45,000 to $90,000.

Here are some of the top accounting professions with their median salaries:

Accounting profession

Median salary

Product control/pricing

$1,75,000- 30,0000

Investment banking

$ 1,27,000- 2,30,000

Financial services


Financial and regulatory reporting

$1,20,000- 2,20,000

Tax specialist


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Arden University, Berlin
Arden University, Berlin
PTE- Pearson Test of English
PTE- Pearson Test of English
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