Millions of high school graduates are preoccupied trying to answer the same question from their peers, parents and family members: “What are you going to major in college?” Two factors of interest are ultimately the freshman’s deciding factor: the most popular degrees and the pay.
This summary of eleven most popular degrees is presented in alphabetical order. The salary data is approximate. The listing can be used for comparison among possible career choices; but should not be depended on for long term projections. This information should not be construed to indicate industry interest in particular degrees or likelihood of employment. The data includes information from both campus based and online degrees.
Biology majors are employed in the areas of genetics, medical research and ecology. It is a burgeoning field that is often used as a step toward medical school.
Business administration and management $57,000
Business administration is one of the more lucrative majors in terms of starting salary. Initial assignments may include leading a business unit.
Graduates with this major may find jobs such in public relations, reporting and advertising, speech writing or public speaking.
Computer science $47,000
Computer science majors find employment in fields ranging from developing software and analyzing systems to working with language recognition and artificial intelligence programs.
Criminal justice $38,000
Graduates with a degree in criminal justice can find employment as a police officer, legal assistant, and court administrator; or with the FBI, CIA or Homeland Security.
Elementary education $29,000
Despite its importance in a child’s life, the beginning salary for a new teacher is the lowest of the 12 majors presented here.
Engineering $50,000 – $80,000+
Engineering is a growing field that is always in need of skilled workers. There are dozens of specialized engineering career paths available.
Marketing graduates are involved in the creative side of product distribution using visual art and writing skills.
Nursing is one of the few career paths that is actively hiring today. Graduates find jobs in home health care, as well as hospitals and in positions as educators and patient advocates.
Psychology is the second most popular choice of major. Graduates work in entry-level jobs as school counselors or substance abuse counselors.
Political science $36,000
Workers with this degree are employed by government agencies. Common career paths include lobbyist, journalist and diplomat.