A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers determined the top 15 highest-earning college degrees in the current job market.
All 15 require math skills, 12 are specialties in types of engineering, and two of the degrees can be obtained at East Tennessee State University.
Computer science and engineering technology, both offered within the ETSU College of Business and Technology, appeared on the “top-earning” list. Computer science employment ranked fifth, with a starting salary of $61,407, while engineering technology came in at number 10 and averaged a $56,447 annual paycheck for a new graduate.
The ETSU Department of Computer and Information Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. Established over 30 years ago, the department updates its curriculum continually, presenting a mixture of contemporary skills and traditional theory.
“Employment in computer science has not taken the same hit in the recent economy as many other professions,” says Dr. Terry Countermine, chair of the department. “Surveys like this one and several others indicate that opportunities in computer science are available and quite lucrative. Software engineering, database administration, system administration and information systems-related jobs are being advertised by many companies.”
The Department of Engineering Technology, Surveying and Digital Media also provides degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level in many technical concentration areas. The department is one of the few Tennessee four-year engineering technology institutions accredited by the prestigious Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
“I think the inclusion in the top 15 is a reflection of the multidisciplinary nature of engineering technology degrees,” says Dr. Paul Sims, a professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, Surveying and Digital Media. “This program offers students both technical and administrative learning experiences that provide employers skill sets with value in the workplace. Our graduates are working all over the country in many diversified areas such as manufacturing, research and development, communications and utilities — name a technical area and you will probably find engineering technology graduates involved.”
Dr. Keith Johnson, chair of the department encompassing engineering technology, adds, “It is no surprise to me that disciplines within my department are in the top 15 highest-earning degrees. Engineering technology not only teaches theory but application and implementation as well in a ratio of about 50 percent hands-on experience and 50 percent theory. Before any technological difficulty can be solved, knowledge needs to be formulated into a workable process and then implemented into a solvable problem. That is what makes engineering technology so valuable and in great demand. The field cuts across all disciplines. I would be hard pressed to find an occupation that did not involve some form of engineering technology.”
For more information about engineering technology, contact Sims at (423) 439-7819 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and for inquiries about computer science, contact Countermine at (423) 439-8416 or email@example.com.