It’s no secret that college graduates have an easier time finding a job than those without a degree. But with hundreds of majors to choose from, it can be difficult to select the right one. If you want to increase your chances of getting hired and scoring a decent starting salary right after your college graduation, then consider one of these top five in-demand degrees according to a recent CareerBuilder survey. A couple of these may even surprise you.
A degree in business tops the list of most in-demand college majors with thirty-eight percent of employers looking to hire graduates in this field. Depending on the position and location, graduates can expect to earn an average of $44,000 during their first year on the job. Professionals with a business degree can be found in just about every industry, which is one reason why this major is so popular among college students. You’ll learn the foundational skills – finance, marketing and management – that will enable you to grow into management positions and, most importantly, that employers are seeking in a new employee.
Computer and Information Sciences
Twenty-seven percent of employers surveyed are seeking graduates with a degree in computer and information sciences. Like business, this is a broad field with a variety of career options including: computer programmer, computer support specialist and database administrator. Median salaries for these positions start as low as $48,000 and go as high as $77,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From writing in code to helping a co-worker solve a technical glitch to designing computer programs, there is a lot of opportunity in this field. If you have a technical eye and a love of computers, this may be the right major for you.
Engineering is the third most in-demand degree. Eighteen percent of employers surveyed are actively seeking college graduates with this major. Not only are engineers sought after, they are well paid. The median salary in this industry ranges from $74,000 for agricultural engineers to $103,000 for aerospace engineers. Majors within engineering include software engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer engineering. According to Hollis Bischoff, College Admissions Advisor for Strategies 4 Admission, LLC, “Engineering programs are competitive to get into and competitive to stay in. Engineering prospects must be thick skinned during the college admissions process.” To be successful in this major, you need to possess strong STEM skills – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. If engineering is part of your DNA and you find the school that’s right for you, the opportunities are endless.
Math and Statistics
This may not be the college major that comes to mind when you think about the most in-demand degrees, but fourteen percent of employers want to hire graduates with this background. Occupations in this field consist of actuaries, mathematicians, operations research analysts and statisticians. Depending on the job, the median pay starts at $72,000 for an operations research analyst with a bachelor’s degree and goes up to $101,000 for a mathematician with an advanced degree. If you decide to major in this area, you’ll become adept at formulating and solving problems, thinking abstractly, analyzing data and arguing logically. If you excelled in high school algebra, geometry and calculus, you may want to give this major some serious thought.
Healthcare finishes at number five on CareerBuilder’s list of most in-demand college degrees with fourteen percent of employers seeking graduates in this field. But this isn’t breaking news. Healthcare has been a popular degree among college students for many, many years because the demand for skilled, educated workers has been growing for decades. Whether you meet with your doctor about an illness, pick-up a prescription from your local pharmacy, or take a sick day, almost everyone gets involved in the health care system at some point in their lives. The list of occupations in this field are endless – nurses, physical therapists, doctors, physicians assistants, pharmacy technicians, occupational therapists, nursing assistants and medical transcriptionists, just to name a few. You can expect to earn a median salary of $42,000 with a bachelor’s degree and up to $187,000 with a doctoral or professional degree.
While this article touched on a few characteristics for each of these in-demand degrees, there is much more you can learn about the career options within each one. Do your own thorough research and select the path that’s right for you. Remember, career success is about more than just being desirable to employers, it’s about finding a job you can be passionate about every day.
Career Builder Survey: http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=4%2f23%2f2015&siteid=cbpr&sc_cmp1=cb_pr889_&id=pr889&ed=12%2f31%2f2015
Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook:http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Hollis Bischoff Blog:http://www.collegeview.com/articles/article/engineering-majors