Does an engineering degree really give one a leg up when it comes to earning potential? Count on it.

In a recent article at CNNMoney, Julianne Pepitone reported on a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges & Employers. The point was to see which degrees are translating to the best compensation out in the working world.

I was fairly surprised to see that out of the top fifteen entries, a full dozen contained the word, "engineering." Mechanical engineering turned in an impressive performance at #7, with an average salary of $58,766. The top spot went to petroleum engineers ($83,121), who were head and shoulders above the next competition from chemical and mining engineers (both over $64,000).

As you might expect in today's society, computer engineering and computer science took slots #4-5.

Mechanical engineering wasn't the only degree within this industry to make the cut. Coming in at #15 was none other than construction management, which I have to think wasn't even offered much at all a decade ago. That's a good sign, wouldn't you say? Healthy salaries in these areas imply a growing respect for the work involved, and that in turn should lead to better talent and better end results.

So along the lines of that "free engineering school tuition" article I linked to a while back, feel free to e-mail this to your children, nieces, and/or nephews who may be pondering what to do with their lives. (Assuming, just for a minute, that model, American Idol finalist, and/or lottery winner may not pan out.)