Materials Science And Engineering
- Base Salary: $69,400
- Median Salary : $92,390
- Job Outlook : 2%
Although the job outlook for materials engineers isn’t that high, this major and career should still give you a good shot at making a decent amount of money in the long run.
A materials engineering program integrates the fields of math and science, allowing students to study an array of materials, from glass and plastic to metals and ceramics. A materials science major is extremely similar but normally has a bigger emphasis on improving the function and composition of materials. Some colleges combine the two majors into a single materials science and engineering program.
Classes typically include calculus, physics, chemistry, engineering design, properties of materials, thermodynamics, kinetics of materials, smart materials, and sustainable energy technologies.
- Median Salary : $93,280
- Job Outlook : 11%
Biochemistry is a useful science major to consider if you’re passionate about biological processes and lab work. Biochemists currently have high job growth and a median salary of $93,000.
Although you’ll need a graduate degree to become a biochemist, you can use your bachelor’s in biochemistry in positions such as biological technician or pharmacy technician, which are presently experiencing faster-than-average employment growth .
- Median Salary : $88,190
- Job Outlook : 33%
Accounting And Computer Systems
– Early career pay: $63,000- Mid-career pay: $117,300- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 37%
This degree is an appropriate fit for people with passion for business and technology. With an accounting and computer systems degree, alumni often pursue certification as a certified public accountant. Graduates also have the additional skill set of deeply understanding software and databases frequently used in business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 12% expected job growth in the industry by 2028.
– Early career pay: $75,500- Mid-career pay: $117,400- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: data not available%
A degree in engineering mechanics offers a variety of important postsecondary career opportunities. Combining both basic sciences and engineering sciences like thermodynamics, mechanics, electrical engineering, and engineering mechanics is essential in fields such as aerospace and engineering. Graduates most often find work as architectural and engineering managers, engineers, or engineering professors.
– Mid-career pay: $117,400- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 44%
What Are The Best College Majors To Get A Job
The best college majors to get a job are those in the higher rankings of projected job growth and lucrative salaries such as business administration, healthcare, and technology.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of job growth and salary data for a wide range of professions. When looking for the best major, knowing which majors have the highest rankings in median salary and projected growth rate can be very useful in helping you make a more informed decision.
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Your Personal Interests Strengths And Experiences
This combination of factors is probably most important in finding the right major for you. What are your passions? Where do you thrive? What have you achieved in both your academic and extracurricular life? While you can certainly change course in college and try something new, your background can play a pivotal role in shaping your path forward.
Language And People Homebase
Programs that prepare students to work in fields such as Anthropology, Art, Art History, ASL-English Interpreter Preparation, Deaf Culture and ASL, Early Childhood Education, Education/Teaching, English, English as a Second Language, Foreign Languages, History, Humanities, International Studies, Journalism, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Social Justice Studies, Social Science, Sociology, and Speech.
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Factors To Consider When Picking A Major
If youre not sure what youd like to study, college counselors are great at helping match people with majors that interest them. You should also check out what our Career Wizard can find for you.
Once you have an idea about what you want to study, try talking to students in that major, as well as people who work in the industries youre thinking of entering. These are the people most likely to have the insight youll need to figure out whether or not that major is a fit for you.
Computer And Information Science
– Early career pay: $63,600- Mid-career pay: $119,500- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 55%
Treating the computer as a tool to find innovative solutions to complex problems falls to the computer and information science grads. Students will leave with a firm grasp of network security, computer programming, and software design. The job market for those completing a four-year degree is strong, with careers in software development expected to grow 21% over the next 10 years.
– Mid-career pay: $119,600- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 43%
A specialized field of economics, quantitative economics incorporates statistics along with math to predict future economic conditions. The demand for economists is expected to grow slightly faster than average over the next decade, but the highly competitive nature of the field means grads should consider pursuing a masters degree. Learning additional statistical analysis software can help those obtaining a bachelors degree enhance their job prospects.
– Mid-career pay: $119,700- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 48%
– Mid-career pay: $120,000- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 43%
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Optical Science And Engineering
– Early career pay: $71,000- Mid-career pay: $125,400- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: data not available%
A major in optical science and engineering goes on to a career in optical design, fabrication, instrumentation, and communications. Optical engineers must have strong skills in math, physics, manual dexterity, and problem-solving. They should also be versed in optical design/analysis tools, such as Zemax, Code V, or Trace Pro, and be able to use a variety of scientific and laboratory equipment.
Best College Majors For The Future Rankings
Heres the list of the 30 Best Majors for the Future rankings based on salary, expected growth, and the availability of programs from reputable, top accredited universities.
The best college majors for the future will prepare you for a number of career choices. Salaries are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .
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Guide To Choosing College Majors
We know that choosing a college major can be overwhelming.
But have no fear! Your choice of major will not lock you into a specific career for the rest of your life. That said, you WILL spend a lot of time whatever subject you choose. Heres what you need to know about college majors before you commit.
Job Prospects And Roi
ROI is an important consideration when choosing your engineering specialty. This indicates payoff how well your investment in your education has paid off in terms of your career earnings. Most engineering jobs have a high earning potential, but some have higher ones than others. Petroleum engineering, for example, had a median annual salary of $137,330 in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , one of the highest-paying engineering specialties.
Projected growth, indicating the anticipated need for professionals in the industry in the future, is an important consideration, too. The BLS offers statistics about the growth of particular professions over a ten-year period.
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What Determines Which Majors Are Better Than Others
Is there really such a thing as a best college major?
If you’re defining “best” by how good a major is for you specifically, then which college majors are better will vary depending on your academic interests and passions, your skills and abilities, and your future career goals.
In other words, the best college majors for you will be those that match your personal criteria .
But many students want to know what the best college majors are on a more objective level. To figure this out, most websites take into account all or some of the following three factors:
- How employable the major is
- The median salary of jobs related to the major
- The median base/starting salary of jobs related to the major
What does all of this mean exactly?
Essentially, the higher the employment growth rate and median salaries of a certain major or field are, the better that major is considered to be.
This is the main criteria we used to come up with our list of the 17 best college majors. Read on to see what these majors are!
Instrumentation And Control Engineering
– Early career pay: $73,100- Mid-career pay: $126,400- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: data not available%
Instrumentation and control engineering majors will learn how to measure and control variables like temperature, pressure, and flow in a system. Knowledge of mathematics and physics, as well as engineering, are critical for success in the field. While the job outlook for engineers is declining, instrumentation engineers are critical to setting up and maintaining automated systems, which are always in demand.
– Mid-career pay: $126,600- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 56%
Using heat and pressure to fuse two pieces of metal into one as a welding engineer requires skills in computer design, math, and chemistry, among others. After graduating, four years of work experience is required before taking a state licensure exam to become a professional engineer. Joining professional organizationssuch as the American Welding Society or the Edison Welding Institutecan enhance job prospects for entry-level candidates, who can find work in shipyards, oil rigs, or research laboratories.
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Ready To Start Your Journey
- Knowing what you’re interested in and what you’re good at can help you choose a major.
- Talking with your academic advisor could help you learn about new degree options.
- Many colleges let you create your own major so you can focus on a specific topic.
Choosing a major can be tricky, especially if you have multiple interests or don’t know what kind of career you want to pursue. According to a 2020 BestColleges study, 3 in 5 college graduates would change their majors if they could go back.
There are many factors you should consider before committing to a major, including the program cost, salary expectations, and employment rates in that field. In addition, you should think about your personality, personal and professional goals, and interests.
Including these variables in your decision process can help ensure you choose a major that resonates with your personal mission, values, and passions.
Information And Computer Science
– Early career pay: $58,600- Mid-career pay: $140,900- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 62%
Using both concrete and abstract principles, information and computer science majors learn to solve problems and explore new areas using computers. Graduates will leave school with the ability to create algorithms, understand different programming languages, and utilize artificial intelligence, data mining, and security skills. The need for these professionals is expected to grow at a rate well above the national average, although obtaining a masters degree is a wise choice to further enhance job prospects.
– Mid-career pay: $142,600- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 68%
Designing, manufacturing, and maintaining electrical equipment are the fields of expertise for graduates with electrical power engineering degrees. A downturn in manufacturing and telecommunications will have an adverse effect on job prospects in the next decade, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting only 3% growth. Students can get ahead by completing internships, and will have to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam to become an engineer-in-training, while further work experience is needed before becoming a professional engineer.
– Mid-career pay: $143,400- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 51%
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Business And Information Technology
– Early career pay: $60,100- Mid-career pay: $116,900- Share of alumni who say their work makes the world a better place: 44%
While a computer forensic analyst averages more early career pay, a network architect makes even more than the mid-career pay for graduates of the major. The business end of the major teaches students finance, marketing, operating systems, and web administration. Students who attain a graduate business and information technology degree, and earn more annual pay, learn disaster recovery, managerial accounting, and systems project management.
What Happens If I Have Multiple Majors Of Interest
Minors are a good place to explore one of your passions without having to fully commit to an area of study. If you loved playing an instrument, you could minor in music studies without turning it into a career. These types of hobby minors show character and can help you stand out when applying for jobs.
You can also take a minor to enhance your degree. For example, a math major with a minor in physics or biology could find themselves in an engineering position and a standout among others in their field.
The downside to adding a minor is that they require you complete about half as many courses as a major. You may wind up spending more on tuition, and possibly even delaying your timeline for graduation.
If choosing a major is hard because youre interested in two things, you might find yourself considering a second major. On one hand, having taking two majors in complementary subjects can make you a much stronger job candidate. A business major who also studied communications would stand out to employers from both industries.
On the other hand, finishing a major usually requires you take around 15 classes. That means more than a full year at school, and all the tuition that comes with it. Youll also have fewer chances to take more experimental classes outside of your field because of all the extra required courses on your plate. Having a second major can pay off, but you have to work almost twice as hard.
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Counseling/substance Abuse Counseling/mental Health Counseling
A job as a substance abuse or mental health counselor is one for an individual who feels a strong passion for helping individuals in difficult situations involving addictions, alcoholism, or other mental and behavioral health problems.
- Median Salary: According to the BLS, the average salary is $49,660.
- Job Outlook : This occupation carries a high job outlook of 23%
- Degree Programs: The standard degree to become a mental health or substance abuse counselor is a Masters degree, so you will need to prepare for a longer educational pathway as well as higher potential student loans vs. your earning potential for this career.
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With so many majors and programs available, how do you know which one is the best pick for you? It can be hard to decide when youre still in high school, honing your interests and figuring out your career goals.
But, knowing what major youre interested in can play a role in determining the right college for you so its an important factor to consider. Thats why weve compiled a list of 200 college majors.
NB: Few schools offer all the majors on this list. Use our school-search tool to find colleges with the program that interests you.
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What Are The Highest
When considering which major to pursue, determine how important salary and salary potential weigh into your decision-making process. If you’re motivated by high earnings, pursuing a degree in a STEM-related field may appeal to you.
That said, some students care more about the importance of their work than the salary offered they don’t want a job just for the money. Non-STEM degrees that students are often passionate about relate to human services, education, and visual/performing arts.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a regularly updated list of positions offering the highest wages. Psychiatrists rank high on this list, as do oral and maxillofacial surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists, and general internal medicine physicians.
If you want a job outside of medicine and healthcare, other positions with high salaries include chief executive, airline pilot, computer and information systems manager, architectural and engineering manager, and marketing manager.
How Rigorous Will The Coursework Be
Some majors may feel harder than others based on factors like typical homework load, course expectations, and frequency of exams. Your core classes will make up a significant portion of your college course load. So, before you declare a major, make sure you understand how rigorous your weekly workload will be.
Indiana University Bloomington’s National Survey of Student Engagement, carried out in 2016, determined the most difficult majors based on the average time students spent per week preparing for classes. The hardest majors included architecture, chemical engineering, and aeronautical engineering.
Easier majors, which typically required less prep time, included fields like criminal justice, communication, and public relations.
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