Choosing a College Major – Part II
We have compiled a list of the most popular college majors, which can help as a starting point in your college major research.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the most popular college majors are:
1. Business – Common focuses include accounting, management, finance, marketing, and human resources.
2. Education – There are currently shortages of teachers for math, science, and foreign languages. Other areas to consider in education are guidance counseling, administration, and curriculum development.
3. Psychology – The study of human behavior can be a fascinating subject. One drawback is that a master’s degree or PhD may be necessary to ensure future employment.
4. Nursing – Available jobs are increasing rapidly with our large aging population. Nurses work 24 hours a day so there are three daily shifts that need to be staffed.
5. Political Science – A broad major that requires an area of concentration. Focuses include political campaigns, public policy, statistics, and lobbying.
6. English – English majors often enter the fields of journalism, reporting, advertising, public relations, teaching, or law.
7. Computer Science –The numbers of available jobs increases every year. Students can end up in a diverse range of fields including robotics, medicine, and videogames.
8. Communications – A broad field with paths leading to advertising, government, and media.
9. Biology –Some popular concentrations include biotechnology, genetics, and medical research, but many students also move on to become environmental scientists, optometrists, or veterinarians.
10. Elementary Education – A very popular major with more job opportunities if you study an education subject with a specific focus such as special education or speech therapy.
Students are also always interested in the highest-paying college majors. Here is a list of the top ten highest-paying college majors accompanied with starting salaries:
- Petroleum Engineering ($86,000)
- Chemical Engineering ($65,000)
- Mining and Mineral Engineering ($64,000)
- Computer Science ($61,000)
- Computer Engineering ($61,000)
- Electrical Engineering ($60,000)
- Mechanical Engineering ($58,000)
- Industrial Engineering ($57,000)
- Aerospace Engineering ($56,000)
- Information Systems ($54,000)
*salary estimates by the National Association of Colleges and Employers
As shown, the high-paying degrees are highly technical and are math and science focused. These majors, however lucrative, may not be a good fit if your passion is in another subject. Any field can be lucrative if you become successful in your specialty. It is advisable not to choose a major based solely on your paycheck. Be pragmatic and consider not only salary, but other factors such as work environment, amount of social interaction, and opportunity for development.