Admission Process
10 min

Highest-Paying Degrees: Time to Prepare for Admission

If you want a well-paid job, you have to aim for the best universities and really give yourself enough time to prepare all the documents and pass all the tests.

Most universities that offer in-demand, highest paying degrees are not easy to access. The average acceptance rate is 5% which means that competition is severe. Candidates are usually required to prepare a long list of documents, in many cases with official translation enclosed, as well as TOEFL or IELTS results (to get a high grade for these exams is not as easy as one may think), GRE or SAT. However, these transcripts and test results contribute to only 20% of the final evaluation. 

In order to increase your chances of admission to the maximum, you may need to demonstrate your volunteer or work experience, knowledge of a local language or participation in conferences. All of these things require time. Usually successful candidates spend 2 years on profile enhancement to ensure minimum competitiveness.

Let’s have a look at some of the highest-paying degrees in the USA, Canada, UK, and Germany, and figure out how long it may take to prepare for admission.


The United States is one of the global leaders in the extractive industries sector. That is why the top spot for highest-paying degree in the USA is held by Petroleum Engineering. The med-career pay in the Petroleum Engineering field of work is estimated to be as high as $182,000 per year – and this is for Bachelor’s degree holders! - while early career pay, for recent graduates, is $92,300. Employment of petroleum engineers is expected to grow by 3 percent from 2019 to 2029: as long as energy is required, Petroleum Engineering graduates will always be in high demand!

What do petroleum engineers do? They discover and extract oil and gas. Before commencing research and development of drilling equipment, plans, and other activities, these trained experts collaborate with scientists to better understand reservoir formations. Typical jobs in Petroleum Engineering are petroleum geologists, drilling engineers, reservoir engineers, and production engineers.

Where to study?

According to QS World Ranking, the best program in Petroleum Engineering in the US is offered by the University of Texas, Austin. However, many other universities in this country also boast excellent programs in Petroleum engineering.

How long does it take to prepare for the studies?

Bachelor’s degree: minimum 1 year, 2 years on average

In the University of Texas, international students should submit the online application by December 1. Before this deadline, theу have to prepare an essay, short answers prompts, high school transcripts – including official final examinations taken at the end of the secondary school program, and matriculation exams – all translated into English by official translators, IELTs or TOEFL results, and optional materials to increase the chance of admission (SAT, letters of recommendations, ext.).

Master’s degree: minimum 1 year, 2 years on average

By December 15, the candidates need to submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, results from the general GRE test (subject tests not required), a pdf copy of current transcripts, and TOEFL results. 


Canada is the world's second-largest country, but its population is just too low to supply the labor force with enough trained employees. This is the reason for high demand in medical practitioners. Theу continue to be among the highest-paid in Canada due to the nature of their work. According to Canadian immigration website, medical practitioners make an average of CAD $150,000 a year.

Among them, surgeons’ (CAD $340,000 annually), psychiatrists’, and dentist’s salaries are estimated to be the highest. Even though becoming one seems like a mountain to climb, once the education is completed and the practice period is over, you will become one of the highest paid professionals in the country. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Where to study?

Both national ranking as well as QS World Ranking for Medicine place University of Toronto on the first spot among Canadian universities. This university’s MD program is highly valued in the country and abroad.

How long does it take to prepare for the studies?

MD program: minimum 1 year, 2 years on average

To be admitted to a MD program at the U of T, a candidate has to submit all the documents by October 21, among them a completed non-medical bachelor's or master’s degree that is considered equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree in Canada (transcripts from studies undertaken at universities outside of Canada must be submitted to World Education Services (WES) for assessment). In addition to academic requirements, brief personal essays, autobiographical sketches, and references are used in assessing a candidate’s non-academic qualifications. 


The aviation sector is critical to any economy's success since it serves a wide range of industries, including tourism, transportation, and the military. As a result, jobs in aviation often make it to the top of the best paying ones in the UK. One of the highest-paying (and desirable for many) careers available is that of a pilot. However, graduates of Aviation Engineering and Aerospace Engineering programs without pilot training are also going to find themselves in high demand on the job market. Median salary depends on an employer, but is estimated to be around £92,330 per year.

We all know what pilots do, but what about aerospace engineers? They work in the fields such as aircraft and components design and manufacture, maintenance and testing, flight simulation, aviation, avionics, and patent engineering. In short, there is no flying without them.

Where to study?

The report of Air Charter Service UK names several universities that offer the best training in this field. On the first place the report places Brunel University London that offers three aviation and aeronautics courses: Aviation Engineering – for students seeking senior operational engineering roles without flying; Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies – that enables students to obtain their private pilot license (PPL); and Aerospace Engineering, which teaches technical, analytical, and professional skills. Because of the University’s near proximity to Heathrow and other London airports, students can undertake site visits and get graduate internships.

How long does it take to prepare for the studies?

Undergraduate (BEng, MEng): minimum 1 year, 2 years on average

January 15 is a deadline for the applicants. By this date, they need to prepare a number of documents, including the English language test.

Postgraduate (MSc): minimum 1 year, 2 years on average

January 15 is a deadline for the applicants. By this date, they need to prepare a 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognized qualification, in an engineering (Mechanical, Aeronautical, Aerospace) or technology subject. Other relevant subjects will be examined and assessed on an individual basis. Non-EEA nationals offered a place on this program are required to acquire an ATAS certificate. English language test is also required. 


Doctors and dentists are highly valued all around the world, and Germany is no exception: medical degrees are among the highest paid in this country. The average salary of a doctor or a dentist is €79,538 per year. To become a dentist in Germany, that is, to obtain a license and practice dentistry, the degree in Dentistry and the state test are required. Dentists typically work in their own offices or for a company.

Occupations in Dentistry include restorative dentistry, dental prostheses, orthodontics, and oral, jaw, and maxillofacial surgery diagnosis and treatment. 

Where to study?

Founded in the 14th century, Heidelberg University is one of the best places to study medicine in Germany. It offers an excellent Dentistry Master’s course. This program places emphasis on intense practice-oriented instruction and opportunity to treat complicated real-life situations under the supervision of experienced assistants and senior physicians.

How long does it take to prepare for the studies?

Master’s degree: minimum 1 year, 2 years on average, depending on the level of German

The application period for international students with non-German previous degrees is between 01.05. and 15.06. Heidelberg University uses the Central Office for Foreign Education's evaluation system when evaluating non-German qualifications. If your foreign academic qualification is found to be only partially similar to German university entry criteria during the recognition procedure, you may be requested to take an assessment exam as part of a preparation course. Proof of the required German language skills must be submitted prior to enrolling.