As thousands of high school seniors prepare to leave home and head to college, many are interested in their best prospects for landing a career that will help them meet their personal financial goals. And, by the way, many of their parents are thinking about the same thing! In its annual salary report for 2016–17, Payscale.com lists ten of the highest-paying jobs for college business graduates, reflecting median pay for someone with a bachelor’s degree and ten or more years of experience. If you—or a young scholar-to-be in your home—is about to embark on a higher education opportunity, notice these positions and the areas of study recommended for them.
1. Chief Investment Officer (CIO). The CIO is responsible for the company’s investment portfolio, which encompasses management of pension funds. CIO candidates typically have strong finance backgrounds. Median salary: $187,000.
2. Chief Accounting Officer (CAO). The CAO, as the title implies, oversees all accounting functions for efficiency and effectiveness. Naturally, CIOs typically major in accounting. Median salary: $176,000.
3. Accounting firm partner. As in law partnerships, there are usually two levels of partnership in accounting firms: equity and salaried. Equity partners have their own money invested in the firm; salaried partners do not. Both exercise leadership in the firm, but equity partners, as owners, carry more responsibility and receive a greater share of firm profits. Median salary: $168,000.
4. Tax Director. Corporate tax directors, who usually have a strong accounting background, are responsible for tax planning, compliance, and accounting related to income and other taxes paid by the firm. Median salary: $159,000.
5. Vice President of Finance. VPs of finance oversee all accounting operations for their companies. Successful candidates typically have strong accounting backgrounds. Median salary: $147,000.
6. Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. Executives in this position manage and oversee statistical and other studies that aid the company with its financial planning and forecasting. An accounting major is the usual preparation for this job. Median salary: $141,000.
7. Internal Audit Director. In this position, you review and manage all financial functions of the company for maximum efficiency and accountability. The typical course of study for this job is accounting. Median salary: $140,000.
8. Chief Financial Officer (CFO). As senior-level executives, CFOs manage and oversee all of a corporation’s financial systems. Most study accounting in college. Median salary: $136,000.
9. Chief Credit Officer. Typically employed by banks or other lending institutions, these executives manage and review the company’s loan portfolio in order to prevent losses and to insure that all documentation complies with standards and regulations. Typically chief credit officers will major in finance. Median salary: $131,000.
10. Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting. These individuals oversee a company’s general accounting and financial operations. They typically major in accounting. Median salary: $122,000.
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