Best degrees to study if you want a big salary

If you are looking to earn a high salary, an engineering degree coupled with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) may be the way to go.

A 2014 survey of South African telecommunication heads showed that 11 out of 17 CEOs studied engineering, while 9 held an MBA or MBL.

Another sure way to earn a great salary is to become a Chartered Accountant, with an average skilled salary of over R40,000 per month.

To see which professionals take home the most money, MyBroadband looked at the latest CareerJunction Salary Review.

The CareerJunction Salary Review uses real-world salary offerings from its jobs website – showing the basic monthly salary per profession.

We matched the professions to relevant degrees to see what you should study to earn these salaries.

The salaries listed below are for skilled-level employees, and do not include salaries of managers or senior employees in the field.

Mining Engineer – R60,651 per month

Skilled mining engineers typically earn between R53,177 and R68,125 per month. To become a mining engineer, a BEng or BSc in Mining Engineering is recommended.

Mining engineer

Mechanical Engineer – R44,816 per month

Mechanical engineers with some experience can expect to earn between R38,026 and R51,606 per month. A BEng or BSc in Mechanical Engineering will help you to land a job as a mechanical engineer.

Mechanical engineer

Project Engineer – R43,586 per month

Skilled project engineers earn between R37,281 and R49,890 per month. To become a project engineer, an engineering degree (BEng or BSc in Engineering) and a project management qualification are a good place to start.

Project engineer

Chartered Accounting – R41,535 per month

Skilled Chartered Accountants (CA) earn monthly salaries of between R36,667 and R46,403. To become a chartered accountant, you need to complete a BCom accounting degree, and do a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) or equivalent qualification.

After your university qualifications, you are required to pass two qualifying examinations administered by SAICA – the Initial Test of Competence (ITC) and the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).


IT Management – R40,806 per month

Skilled IT management professionals earn between R37,043 and R44,567 per month. To become an IT management professional, a BCom in IT Management or a BSc in IT or Computer Science is advised.

IT management

Logistics Management – R40,518 per month

Logistics management professionals earn between R38,083 and R42,952 per month. For this field, a BCom in Logistics Management or related degree is preferred.

Logistics management

Electrical Engineer – R39,839

A skilled electrical engineer can expect to earn between R33,981 and R45,697 per month. For this career, a BEng or BSc in Electrical Engineering is a must.

Electrical engineer

Technical and Business Architecture (IT) – R39,744

A Technical and Business Architecture professional will typically earn between R35,558 and R43,929 per month. For this profession, a BSc in IT or Computer Science is advised.

Business architect

IT jobs, salaries, and degrees

Here are some of the best-paying IT jobs, with salaries quoted for skilled-level employees (excluding senior and management levels).

Business Analyst (IT) – R36,209

A skilled IT business analyst can earn between R31,912 and R40,505 per month. A relevant BCom degree or related Business Analysis qualification is advised.

Business analyst

Systems Analyst (IT) – R36,103

A skilled system analyst typically earns between R32,580 and R39,625 per month. To build a career in this field, a BSc in Information Technology or Information Systems degree will be an advantage.

Systems analyst

IT Project Administration and Management – R35,715

A professional in IT project administration and management can expect a monthly salary of between R31,560 and R39,869. A BSc in Information Technology, or other IT qualification, and a project management qualification is advised.

Project manager

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Best degrees to study if you want a big salary