Top 5 Occupations Requiring a Bachelor's Degree

by Staff - Original publish date: January 16, 2012

As a high school graduates decide what field of study to pursue, they may wonder what the job outlook will be after obtaining their degree. According to a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, new graduates looking for a high paying job in a growing field should set their sights on Information Services and Finance. It is anticipated that these jobs in these fields will have the largest growth – actual increase in number of jobs – over the next several years. The top 5 jobs on the list that require a Bachelor's degree and their anticipated percentage in growth are:

% change from 2006-2016
Network Planning Analyst and Network Administrator
Computer Software Engineers
Computer Systems Analysts
Management Analysts
Accountants and Auditors

While it is reassuring to know there will be many new positions in these fields, you may be curious to know what these jobs entail and how much you can expect to earn in each of the occupations. research offers information on both.

Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts analyze, design, test, and evaluate network systems, such as local area networks, wide area networks, internet, intranet, and other data communications systems. This is a broad category of job which includes titles such as Network Planning Analyst and Network Administrator. Starting base salaries for these jobs run from $48,000 – 52,000, while an experienced analyst can earn from $72,000 to $76,000.

Computer Software Engineering is another occupation that will experience tremendous growth in next few years. These engineers design, modify, develop, write, and implement software programming applications. Software Engineers who are new to the field can expect starting salaries to be approximately $55,000. Experienced Software Engineers can earn closer to $83,000 with some more senior Engineers earning over $110,000.

Computer Systems Analysts review, analyze and modify programming systems including encoding, testing, debugging and installing to support an organization's application systems. They often consult with users to identify current procedures and clarify program objectives. Applications Systems Analysts new to this job can generally earn $50,000 to start. Systems analysts with more experience can earn near $78,000.
Management Analysts conduct analysis on work procedures and recommend changes to improve the effectiveness of an organization's management. Management Analysts provide management with studies on ways to increase efficiency. Analysts new to this occupation can earn approximately $67,500.

In reviewing compensation for the Accountant and Auditor category, we looked at salaries for each job title separately since there are slight differences in the jobs and their compensation levels. Accountant prepare balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and other financial reports. Auditors, audit the accounting and financial data of various departments within an organization to ensure accuracy and compliance with government guidelines and laws. Accountants new to the field can earn approximately $41,000 and near $60,000 with more experience. Auditors generally earn slightly more to start, at approximately $47,000. An experienced auditor can earn closer to $85,000.

All of the salary information provided is based on national data for the positions listed across all sizes and types of industry. Many of these jobs may be eligible to earn additional incentive pay which can increase total earnings by several thousands of dollars, depending upon the plan in place at each given organization. Using the Salary Wizard you can search for salary information on these and other jobs that require a degree. There is also the option to purchase a full Personal Salary Report that provides greater detail and personalizes the salary report to match where you live, the size of your company and your experience to make sure you have the greatest bargaining power.