Money. Job security. Personal fulfillment. No matter the reason, you want to choose a college major that will be worth all the time, effort, and money you put into acquiring it. Are you still wondering, What should I major in? If so, check out the following 10 college majors with promising job demand and salary expectations.
Electrical engineers stand to make almost $70,000 right after graduation. Mid-career salaries fall into the lower $100,000s. With currently over 1.1 million online job postings related to electrical engineering, it stands to reason that this is a college major worth studying. Just what do electrical engineers do? Quite a bit! They are responsible for creating our most coveted electronic devices. From iPhones to tablets to the Internet of things, there's an electrical engineer behind it all. Demand for electrical engineers is expected to increase by almost 11% over the next ten years. Who knows what you'll be designing if you choose this career path. It could be robots, semiconductors, electrical components or the next artificial intelligence tool to help disabled persons. One thing's for sure with this college major: the world is your playground.
A degree in finance will prop you up to earn a median salary of over $83k a year as a financial analyst. In this role, you'd be responsible for making investment decisions for individuals and/or companies so their money can work for them. In return, your own pockets will be lined, too. Of course, working with a degree in finance comes with a great many responsibilities as well. Your code of ethics will serve as the foundation for all of your investment decisions. Your value would derive from being able to predict market changes, being discreet, and respecting the privileges that you're granted as a trusted financial adviser. It's not an easy job by any means, but your expertise would be highly rewarded monetarily.
As a physics graduate, you can expect to earn as much as $60k right out of the gate. Mid-career salaries go as high as $110,000. Physics majors don't get a lot of time in the spotlight, despite what the fame of Neil deGrasse Tyson might lead you to believe. Your work will be behind the scenes, supporting some theories and busting holes in others. You might find yourself teaching physics as a professor, working in a university lab or working for a private company or foundation in the space industry. The job field is literally wide open for physics majors. Job growth is a healthy 16.1%, so it's unlikely you'll be looking for work for too long. Even with a simple 4-year bachelor's degree, you'd be eligible for many government jobs and several private sector jobs.
Food science doesn't have a lot to do with actual eating. So, if you just consider yourself a "foodie," this college major might not necessarily be a good fit. Food science has to do with food chemistry, agricultural economics, food distribution, and food manufacturing. In your work, you might be expected to come up with chemical food flavorings that mimic the real thing, develop new foods that are immune to certain bacteria, or discover ways to prevent food deterioration over long periods of transport. Jobs in the food science industry have burgeoned over 53.2% and the median salary at mid-career is over $64k. This isn't an industry that is slowing down at all, so job security is high with this college major.
As a materials science major, you'll learn about leading-edge technologies that make materials more functional to use. For instance, you might help develop water-resistant materials, materials that block out UV rays, materials that help keep people warm or cool, or even something that automatically filters light according to how much sun it's exposed to. For all this work, you'd be paid a handsome salary of over $99k. For reference, this is over twice the median salary of $43k/year in the United States. Job prospects are a little less promising at the moment, with a job growth of just 7.4%. However, as technology grows exponentially, there will surely be more markets for your expertise as a materials scientist.
A business degree will enable you to work in many capacities for private and public companies of all sizes. You could be a vice president, CEO, or supervisor for any number of businesses. The business degree is a general one, but you could command a salary of $60,000 or more right after graduation. Your mid-career salary at a private company could land you $75,000 or more. If you leverage your degree into a public company, you could be looking at a six-figure salary. The best course of action if you're interested in a business degree? Zero in on a subset of business you'd like to specialize in. That way, you'll have a job that interests you and feeds into your passions.
As a psychiatrist, you'd be helping people with their emotional issues. Psychiatrists are one of the few professionals that can prescribe medication, so you know this is a serious line of work. In this capacity, you'd be earning over $60k right after graduation, with a mid-career salary of at least $100k. You could go into practice on your own or work in a psychiatric hospital helping patients get their lives back in order. Some psychiatrists go on to write books that put them in the spotlight or allow them to get tenure at their university. Your path would be your own! As a psychiatry major, you would never be worried about finances.
Getting your nursing degree is a sure path to a job for as long as you want it. Currently, the world is experiencing a nursing shortage. You could work as a nurse at an elderly assisted living home, at a hospital, or even oversees. Nurses work directly under doctors, administering charts, giving medications, and effectively ensuring that doctor's orders are followed to the letter. Your responsibilities would be great, but you'd be well compensated. Nurses' salaries start out in the $50,000s and can go all the way into the mid $80,000s for a career nurse. If you like to travel, you could become a traveling nurse! Traveling nurses stay for about six months in one place, then move on to where they're needed next. As a traveling nurse, you would also receive a housing and food stipend in addition to your salary.
With a marketing degree under your belt, you'll never be short of a job. The need for digital marketing expertise has grown exponentially since the rise of the Internet. And a big benefit is that you no longer have to commute to Madison Avenue in order to earn a lucrative salary in this industry. The downside is, there's a lot of competition in this field. However, with a little salesmanship, you could turn your marketing degree into a profitable business that could earn you in the mid-$100k salary range.
As a human resources major, your job would be to recruit, hire, and train new employees for the company you work at. The expected growth in this industry is about 9%, since businesses are relying more and more on human resources experts to fill the ever-widening hole of employee gaps. Ancillary coursework to human resources could include IT, statistics, or even psychology. The median annual pay for a human resources manager? Over $100,000!