Computer engineering majors are some of the highest paid workers in the country, according to new data analyzed by the Brookings Institution.

Students who graduate with engineering degrees across a variety of fields are rewarded with high-paying jobs and have strong earning potential throughout their career, according to the recently released report. The top engineering degrees are chemical, aerospace and energy while computer engineering lands as the fourth-highest earning degree.

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There’s a slight difference between computer engineering and computer science, according to Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering. Computer engineering studies the practical elements of designing and building computing systems whereas computer science deals more with the “theoretical underpinnings” of computing.

What’s interesting about this data, compiled by The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, is the level of detail related to how much money graduates make just out of college, throughout different points of their career and over their lifetime.

Chemical engineering majors reported the highest total earnings throughout their entire career, topping out at more than $2.1 million on average. Computer engineering majors ranked fourth, earning an average of $2.02 million throughout their career. Computer science majors ranked 10th among all majors analyzed, ending their careers earning $1.67 million total on average, the study found.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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