Our 2019 Ranking Methodology
For each of the 102 college majors, compensation research firm PayScale provided median annual salaries for entry-level workers and mid-career employees . PayScale also provided high job meaning scores, which indicate the percentage of workers with each college major who say their work makes the world a better place. Workforce research firm Burning Glass Technologies supplied the number of online job postings listed between the third quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018 that were seeking applicants with each of the 102 college majors. Projected 10-year growth rates from 2017 to 2027 for related occupations came from Emsi, a labor-market research firm owned by Strada Education. Emsi collects data from dozens of federal, state and private sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In finalizing our rankings, we combined some similar majors to avoid redundancy.
Median Earnings For Each Broad Academic Area
The Georgetown University report found that among 15 broad categories of college graduates with bachelor’s degrees, those who pursued architecture and engineering majors earned the most, while education majors earned the least. Here are the median annual wages for college grads between the ages of 25 and 59 in each academic area:
- Architecture and engineering: $83,000
- Computers, statistics, and mathematics: $76,000
- Business: $65,000
- Agriculture and natural resources: $56,000
- Biology and life sciences: $56,000
- Communications and journalism: $54,000
- Law and public policy: $54,000
- Humanities and liberal arts: $52,000
- Industrial arts, consumer services, and recreation: $52,000
- Arts: $49,000
- Psychology and social work: $47,000
- Education: $45,000
Keep in mind that salaries can vary considerably, even within the same category. For instance, the top 25 percent of education majors earned more than the bottom 25 percent of architecture and engineering grads. The lowest 25 percent of earners in architecture and engineering also made less than the average health or business grad. So just be sure to put the numbers into proper perspective.
The 10 Best College Majors For The Future
People often say that the best college major should suit the persons interests. However, mere fondness for a particular field of study may not sustain the individual in the future. There are college majors that provide a more stable guarantee for the students future careers. These best 10 college majors for the future hold promising career paths for students of today.
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Chemical Engineering/materials Science And Engineering
The engineering industry is currently experiencing a high demand for engineers knowledgeable in chemical engineering and materials science. As a result, more schools are offering undergraduate majors that combine these two fields of study. Students enrolled in this highest paying bachelor degree program will explore high-level engineering topics such as chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, materials production, and reaction engineering, for example, as one of the best college majors for the future, chemical engineering/materials science and engineering degree plans prepare students for fast-growing careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for chemists and material scientists are currently growing faster than average.
Mid-Career Salary: $137,800
Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering
How can factories and manufacturing facilities streamline their production processes to reduce inefficiency and waste? That’s the kind of question that industrial and manufacturing engineering programs equip you to tackle. You learn how to devise the most effective ways to use materials, machines, and workers to produce products or deliver services.
- Median salary: $81,452
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The 10 Best College Degrees To Get A Job
What happens when you combine a list of the hottest careers with a list of the highest-paying jobs? Theoretically, you discover the best majors to seek in college.
With college costs skyrocketing, you need some assurances youll graduate into a career thats hiring and one that will pay you enough to handle the $32,731 in student loans.
We cross-referenced two sets of data to figure out how much youll earn if you get a job through one of the top 10 degrees for job-seekers. Sources include research from jobs site CareerCast, which calculated college degrees with the best job prospects, and degree-specific earnings data from compensation research site PayScale.
Bachelors Or Masters In Operations Research
Operations research is a math-heavy degree program, so its best students for students with strong analytical and mathematics skills. Core courses such as calculus, statistics and linear algebra are essential to success in the field of operations research. Students should also take enough computer science coursework to thoroughly understand the software used to run statistical analyses and model data. Its also a good idea for operations research majors to take classes in subjects that need quantitative analysis, such as economics, political science and engineering.
Should you go for a bachelors degree in operations research, or a masters degree? That depends on what you want to do with the degree. An undergraduate degree in operations research or a similar program is sufficient to attain some entry-level roles in the field, according to the BLS. However, there are some jobs you wont be able to get unless you have a masters degree or a Ph.D. Having an advanced degree can improve your job prospects considerably.
Job Titles: Operations Research Analyst
Median Salaries: $84,810
Occupation Group: Other Business-Related Occupation
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A Guide To Top Jobs And Career Paths For Business Majors
Business majors have a unique opportunity to study and understand business principles before joining the professional sector. With a background in business, you will be prepared to work in a variety of settings in business, government, nonprofit organizations and more. Whether you’re eyeing tech or manufacturing, fashion or agriculture, a major in one of the following areas will give you the knowledge and skills to work in a setting that is right for you. This makes business majors strategic, flexible and employable job seekers.
According to Glassdoor data, a Business Major is a top 20 highest paying college major, and specific focuses like Accounting, Finance, and Marketing are also high earning.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees. According to the BLS, “Employment of business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 773,800 new jobs. Globalization, a growing economy, and a complex tax and regulatory environment are expected to continue to lead to strong demand for accountants and auditors. In addition, increasing usage of data and market research in order to understand customers and product demand, and to evaluate marketing strategies, will lead to a growing demand for market research analysts.”
If youre asking yourself: what can I do with a business major? Read on to learn the details about these exciting careers.
Masters In Industrial Organizational Psychology
You might associate the field of psychology more with counseling or clinical treatment than with business. However, industrial-organizational psychology is a specialized discipline of psychology that focuses on how humans behave in the workplace and other organizations, according to the American Psychological Association. You can pursue a masters degree in industrial-organizational psychology even if you didnt major in psychology as an undergraduate student. However, you will need to complete certain prerequisites, such as introductory and experimental psychology coursework. At the graduate level, coursework in industrial-organizational psychology includes:
- training in organizations, work motivation and attitudes
- leadership and strategic change
- performance measurement
Some form of field work may also be required. A typical masters degree program in industrial-organizational psychology can be completed in one a half to three years, The Princeton Review reported.
Job Titles: Industrial Organizational Psychologist
Median Salaries: $80,370
Occupation Group: Other Business-Related Occupation
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How This List Was Compiled
To create this list, we tried to stick to two simple factors: potential earnings and expected job growth. The majority of our information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics , a division of the United States Department of Labor. We looked at the expected job growth of careers that graduates with these majors can reasonably expect to hold, and compared these to national averages. The BLS says that the national average income across all occupations is $37,040. Their average job growth is 7%, which is the estimated growth between 2014 and 2024.
Where To Begin After Getting A Business Degree
One of the best things about earning a business degree is the options you have career-wise That also happens to be one of the main caveats. Many business graduates find themselves asking, Now what?
Internships are a great way to kickstart your career. The value in completing internships includes both the opportunity to gain real-world experience as well as networking. You will work with managers, coordinators, analysts, you name it, who have industry connections. These people will be able to write your recommendations for post-grad jobs and connect you with those need-to-know people in the business.
Before asking for their advice, however, reflect on your experiences in and outside of the classroom. What did you like? More importantly, what didnt you like? Where do you want to work geographically? What kind of work environment inspires you? Let these questions guide your job search and use them when asking for recommendations from industry professionals.
In his book 101 Lessons they Never Taught you in College, Rutgers professor Mark Beal advises, analyze the market and find a way to turn yourself into a category expert that will easily differentiate yourself from all other candidates seeking a position in your chosen category.
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Aeronautics And Aviation Technology
Aeronautics and aviation technology is another area that poses major difficulties for many students when it comes to academics. However, graduates in this field of study earn a good salary. There are also excellent growth opportunities for people who work in this area.
Many universities around the country offer degrees in aeronautics and aviation technology. Some degree programs prepare students to become pilots while others focus more on the engineering side. Different degree programs deal with aerodynamics and mechanics.
- Employment Opportunities
People who work for airlines and airplane manufacturers make a median salary of $60,000 and above. Their unemployment rate is only 4 percent with an expected growth of 5 percent by 2020.
Business And Information Technology
Average Salary: $56,900 to $99,100
The highest-paying careers out of college in the field of business and information technology run the gamut from computer support specialists, who provide tech assistance to company employees or customers, to computer systems analysts, who work to support an organizations overall operations through study and optimization of its computer systems, and everything in between. Individuals in business and information technology jobs work in office environments, typically with little travel required. Learning a combination of business and IT skills provides for a well-rounded and advanced knowledge base that can lead to high pay and high job satisfaction in a number of careers with faster-than-average growth projections.
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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 should prepare you for a number of career choices with pay at or above average reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics .
What Is Sociology Example
Sociology is defined as the study of human values, relationships, beliefs and society. An example of sociology is what someone is studying when they attend a religious service of a religion that isnt their own. The scientific study of human social behavior and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions.
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What Jobs Can You Get With A Bachelor’s Degree
Diverse fields like business, technology, and engineering rank among the highest-paying for graduates with a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree meets the minimum education requirement for lucrative roles such as marketing manager, aerospace engineer, and computer network architect. Bachelor’s degree graduates can also work as actuaries, software developers, or physical scientists, earning over $100,000 per year, on average.
The following list ranks the 50 highest-paid jobs for graduates with a bachelor’s degree. We pulled job titles and salary information from the 2018 median annual salary information published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Chief executives set the overall goals and direction for companies in a variety of industries. They manage company operations, create and implement policies, and track the organization’s goals. Chief executives often work with other executives to manage a company. Many chief executives hold a bachelor’s degree and significant work experience in their industry, though some hold an MBA.
Alternate Job Titles
Information And Computer Science
Widely known as one of the best college degrees for employment, an information and computer science major can prepare you for one of many lucrative high-tech careers. Some of these jobs include database administrator, computer programmer, information security analyst, computer network architect, and software developer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , these positions are not only some of the highest-paid bachelor degree jobs, but theyre also some of the fastest-growing. The Bureaus projections show an 11% increase in employment opportunities for computer and information science professionals between 2019 and 2029.
Mid-Career Salary: $127,600
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Top Choice #1 Petroleum Engineering
- Starting Median Salary: $84,000
- Mid-Career: $126,000
- Future Growth: 3%
Petroleum Engineering is first on our list of rankings for the best college majors. It can be one of the most fruitful majors for young students. While the market is insanely competitive, the financial rewards for majors in this field can be incredibly high.
A student who selects this major can expect a high-intensity program featuring a diverse collection of classes, including engineering, economics, and environmental studies.
Because of the high competition levels for future jobs in this major, students should consider taking a masters or even a PhD in this field for furthering their chances of success once they enter the job market in the future.
If you have a good background in math and the sciences, this may be the best college major for you. Although some core courses for this major may be completed online, petroleum engineering bachelor degrees are not offered entirely online.
Master Of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration degree is the traditional pathway for business professionals who want to advance into high-level roles. The MBA is a graduate degree that includes core courses in a broad range of business subjects, according to U.S. News & World Report, such as:
- information systems
The traditional MBA program takes two years of full-time graduate study to complete. Many schools now offer both part-time and accelerated study options in their online and on-campus programs. The MBA program gives you a flexible degree. It will appeal to a range of employers in the world of business and finance. Students may choose a specialization or concentration in a subject of interest. Among the most popular MBA specializations are:
- sustainability, according
There are plenty of roles you can hold with your MBA. It helps to choose a well-respected school and a sought-after specialization. Chief executives like CEOs typically need an MBA. Many of the more lucrative business career paths are open to students who earn an MBA with a relevant concentration. Chief executives have the highest-earning role in the business world. The median salary is almost five times the median wage for all occupations, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported. These top managers hold titles such as president, executive director and managing director. They oversee the big-picture direction of the company or organization, according to the BLS.
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Business Management And Business Administration
There’s a lot of overlap between business management and business administration. Fundamentally, both fields are about understanding and optimizing a company’s functions. Both feature courses in marketing, ethics, and accounting. But management tends to look at big-picture issues such as expansions and mergers. At the same time, administration focuses more on the daily operation of a business. Either degree will stand you in good stead.
- Median salary: $62,000
Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences And Pharmaceutical Administration
Learning to develop and test drugs and other medicines involves training in a range of sciences, including biology, chemistry, and toxicology. These programs can prepare you for a career in pharmaceutical sales, research, marketing, or manufacturing. They can also provide a good foundation for graduate work leading to a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
- Median salary: $112,519
Marketing And Public Relations Manager
To get a job in this field, you can have many educational options: journalism, communications, marketing, public relationsor some combination of those fieldsstudied at either college or university.
If you go the journalism route, Ryerson boasts one of the top programs in the country, granting both undergrad and masters degrees in the heart of downtown Toronto. University of Kings College, Carleton, Western and UBC are other leading degree-granting journalism schools in Canada. Many of these schools require top marks and a portfolio. So its a good idea to get involved with a school newspaper or another writing or media club before applying.
If you want to skip the journalism training and go right into public relations, consider studying at a polytechnic, or another school that offers an applied degree. Hands-on training offered through polytechnic programs, such as the one at Humbers school of media studies, means students graduate with the skills needed to produce promotional videos, manage social media accounts and come up with a crisis communications plan. Polytechnics are another good option if you already have a more general arts degree and want to specialize. For example, Seneca offers an eight-month graduate certificate in public relations that is recognized by the Canadian Public Relations Society and the International Association of Business Communicators.