Couragion’s app data shows that salary is not the most important career evaluation factor for Generation Z. In fact, when asked about acceptable starting salary levels, our youth surprisingly do not select the highest option but rather opt for a middle level that provides for financial stability.

For those interested in STEM, especially the E (engineering) and T (technology), the good news is that such paths exceed Generation Z’s desire for financial stability by offering the highest starting salaries available to college graduates.

Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI) recently published its annual starting salary survey data.  The data is gathered from over 4,730 employers across the United States. Using this data, Forbes built a gallery of the 20 highest-paying degrees. Eighty percent of the degrees have a heavy STEM emphasis and the top 9 spots are dominated by engineering and technology degrees. Here’s a look at the top 5:

1.     Chemical Engineering - $63,389

2.     Computer Engineering - $63,313

3.     Electrical Engineering - $61,173

4.     Software Design - $60,104

5.     Mechanical Engineering - $59,681

You can check out Forbes’ website for the complete list. Data like this is useful as you help your students or children make informed decisions about their post secondary options. While Generation Z doesn’t cite a need for the highest salary levels, understanding potential earning levels is an important factor to consider as youth select their career path!