30 Best College Majors for the Future [2020 Guide]

We’ve ranked the 30 Best College Majors for the Future for 2020. Explore the best future majors, top salaries, and the best majors for future job market.

best college majors for the future

In search of the best college majors for the future? Our in-depth rankings guide will explore the best college majors with the highest paying salaries after graduation, projected job growth rate, and employer demand!

The job market is poised for growth, and bachelor degree holders are in demand for a variety of lucrative jobs.

30 Best College Majors for the Future Rankings

Here is a list of the 30 Best College Majors for the Future rankings based on salary, expected job growth, and the availability of programs from reputable, top accredited universities.

  1. Petroleum Engineering
  2. Cybersecurity
  3. Nuclear Engineering
  4. Software Engineering
  5. Physics
  6. Computer Science
  7. Chemistry
  8. Economics
  9. Electronics Engineering
  10. Information Technology
  11. Health Informatics
  12. Management Information Systems
  13. Game Design
  14. Mechanical Engineering
  15. Public Administration
  16. Liberal Arts
  17. Biomedical Engineering
  18. Civil Engineering
  19. Industrial Engineering
  20. Construction Management
  21. Communications
  22. Marketing
  23. Accounting
  24. Business Administration
  25. Finance
  26. Management
  27. Nursing
  28. Political Science
  29. Education
  30. English

The best majors for the future should prepare you for a number of career choices with pay that is at or above average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and PayScale data.

#1 Petroleum Engineering

male engineer working in an oil plant

  • Starting Median Salary: $84,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $126,000
  • Future Job Growth: 3%

Petroleum Engineering can be one of the most fruitful engineering majors for young students. While the job market is insanely competitive, the financial rewards for engineers in this field can be incredibly high.

A student who selects the petroleum engineering major can expect a high-intensity program that features a diverse collection of classes that includes engineering, economics, and environmental studies.

Due to the high competition levels for future petroleum engineer jobs, students should consider taking a master’s or even a PhD in this field to further their chances of success once they enter the job market in the future.

A good background in math and the sciences is key to succeeding in this field. Although some core courses may be completed online, petroleum engineering bachelor degrees are not offered entirely online.

#2 Cybersecurity

cybersecurity workers

  • Starting Median Salary: $75,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $116,000
  • Future Job Growth: 28%

In an ever-changing world that is increasingly reliant on the use of technology, a bachelors degree in cybersecurity can be a huge advantage when it comes to looking to start a career. A technology degree like cybersecurity will get you up to date with all of the latest developments in the field, as well as also teaching you other information technology related skills like coding and software development.

A person who has studied cybersecurity is most likely, unsurprisingly, going to end up working in cybersecurity for a business or government entity, but that isn’t the only potential career path for graduates with this college major.

Software and application development, as well as several other information technology and technology-related jobs, are also very popular options for someone who completes this top college major.

You can earn your bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity entirely online.

#3 Nuclear Engineering

nuclear engineers working in a plant

  • Starting Median Salary: $68,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $109,000
  • Future Job Growth Rate: 1%

Nuclear Engineering is an incredibly specialized major, and as such, the financial rewards can be excellent in the long run for those who earn a bachelors degree in this field.

Nuclear Engineering may be a more niche field to enter into, but finding work as a nuclear engineer can be incredibly beneficial from a financial standpoint. As the planet moves toward more renewable energy sources, jobs as a nuclear engineer are becoming more in demand, and future opportunities are becoming a little easier to come by.

If you major in Nuclear Engineering, expect a bit of hard work and brush up on your math skills. Learning nuclear physics and how nuclear energy works, as well as all of the necessary safety procedures, are also going to be key parts of a nuclear engineering major.

While the employment opportunities for this college major can be lucrative, it is also important to note that a lot of employers may even expect their engineers to have either a Master’s or a PhD in the subject to secure the best future jobs.

Although some core curriculum may be completed online, nuclear engineering bachelor degrees aren’t available entirely online.

#4 Software Engineering

software engineers working on a project

  • Starting Median Salary: $74,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $102,000
  • Future Job Growth: 21%

Software Engineering is another computer-related college major that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Its increase in popularity should come as little surprise though, with the job markets constantly expanding in this technology field.

A bachelor degree in software engineering is likely to feature classes in application programming, core computer concepts, cloud management, and database systems development. It will also teach future engineers some skills that are going to be transferable to other technology related jobs.

Software engineers tend to find themselves working in a number of different job positions, with software and application program and development being among one of the most common future career paths chosen.

You can earn your bachelor’s degree in software engineering entirely online if you prefer that format over attending classes on a college campus.

#5 Physics

physics majors working in a laboratory

  • Starting Median Salary: $74,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $102,000
  • Future Job Growth: 9%

Physics is an incredibly popular choice of college major for students. Bachelor degree programs in physics can open up a lot of doors for graduates and can also lead to someone continuing their education and working in research facilities.

Physics graduates can expect to find work as engineers in various sectors as well as potential roles working in academia and research further down the line. Research roles in physics can prove to be particularly lucrative and are worth pursuing for those who are passionate about the subject.

Needless to say, a college major in physics requires potential students to have a mind for calculation and science as the course of study will incorporate these disciplines regularly. It is common for bachelor’s degree holders to pursue a doctorate in engineering for advancement and more lucrative salaries.

#6 Computer Science

computer science college major

  • Starting Median Salary: $62,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $102,000
  • Future Job Growth: 16%

Computer Science is one of the most popular college majors in the technology field for 2020, and it’s easy to see why. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for those with expertise in this field is constantly growing and there are future job opportunities opening up continually from corporations to nonprofits and everywhere in between.

Computer science majors are quickly becoming an essential part of any corporation, with projects ranging from driverless cars, data mining, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence, not to mention software developers.

Students in this major are likely to study a range of different modules, including cloud management, program design, and software development. Computer science majors are also likely to spend a considerable amount of time sharpening up their coding and programming skills.

The range of jobs that become available to someone who has studied computer science includes positions like, software developer, systems analyst, computer hardware engineer, application developer and many more. It is also possible to continue on to a master’s degree and eventually work in research in the field.

Since computer science is one of the top college majors, a number of colleges offer 100% online computer science degrees.

#7 Chemistry Major

male chemistry majors working in a laboratory

  • Starting Median Salary: $66,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $99,000
  • Future Job Growth Rate: 6%

Chemistry is one of the most popular types of science for students to major in. Chemistry courses tend to include organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry.

A college major in Chemistry can open up a range of career options. One of the most common jobs for a chemistry major is a chemist, though working in chemical research or in a laboratory of some kind is another incredibly popular career route for graduates.

One of the most common options for someone who majors in chemistry is to continue their studies once they have finished their bachelor’s degree. Completing master’s programs in chemistry is a very popular step, and a lot of students will then continue into research or doctorate programs.

#8 Economics Major

economics majors working together

  • Starting Salary: $58,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $98,000
  • Future Job Growth: 8%

Selecting a college major in Economics is an excellent way to take advantage of the current demand for data experts.

A bachelor’s degree in economics will not only provide you with more knowledge about the economy and finance in general, but will also sharpen your data analysis skills and provide you with a useful transferable skillset.

A college degree in Economics can open up a wide range of possibilities for potential students. Many economist jobs are government-based and offer very competitive salaries, but there is also the option of becoming a data analyst elsewhere or finding other work in the finance sector.

The economics major is perfect for someone who enjoys math and business and has strong analytical skills. You’ll also study the history of economies to put the modern markets in perspective.

#9 Electronics Engineering

top college majors

  • Starting Salary: $64,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $95,000
  • Future Job Growth: 2%

Electronics Engineering is an area that is seeing a constant growth, and it’s easy to see why. The demand for engineers who are able to design and create electronic devices is increasing by the day and the job market is constantly growing as well. Although the line between electrical engineering and electronics engineering are often blurred, they are two distinct engineering fields.

A college degree in Electronics Engineering will get you up to speed with all of the latest developments in the industry and also incorporate several practical elements to the bachelor degree as well. Project management and product design will be major components of the major.

The electronics engineering major can open up a range of career prospects for graduates. A job in electronics engineering would be the obvious choice, but other areas, such as product design, could also be an option.

This college major is best suited to someone who enjoys math or design and has an eye for detail.

#10 Information Technology

technology best college major

  • Starting Salary: $60,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $93,000
  • Future Job Growth: 5%

As the world becomes more dependent on technology, selecting a college major in Information Technology can prove to be hugely advantageous.

A major in Information Technology can open up doors for many potential jobs. A person who has studied information technology can work in programming, cyber-security, software development, application development, and many other computer or technology-focused fields.

Subjects in an IT bachelor degree include basic computer operations, system analysis and design, networking foundations, and database management. Students may also have plenty of opportunities to improve their coding and programming skills, both of which are incredibly valuable when it comes to finding future work post-graduation.

Graduates with an IT degree may find jobs as Developers, Database Administrators, Network Architects, or Computer and Information Research Scientists. This major is fitting for individuals with a passion for business and technology.

Although this degree has a major focus on technology and computers, it is not the same as a Computer Science degree. An Information Technology program sets its sights on the business and communication aspect of computing, while the Computer Science program focuses on the scientific aspect of computing.

You can earn your bachelor’s degree in Information Technology online from the comfort of your own home. IT degrees are one of the most popular majors being offered by universities at a distance.

#11 Health Informatics

health informatics college major

  • Starting Salary: $60,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $93,000
  • Future Job Growth: 11%

Health informatics is the use of technology and analytics to analyze medical records and to improve medical systems. It is a useful college major that combines several different skills and opens up a variety of future career paths for graduates.

Bachelors programs in health informatics combine the study of healthcare with information technology and graduates can expect to get jobs working as a network system administrator or an information analyst. It is also a very popular college major for those who are looking to climb further up the academic ladder and enter into research a little bit further down the line.

The requirements for a bachelor’s in health informatics can vary but typically, someone who has an interest in any of the sciences or any technology related subject is likely to succeed.

#12 Management Information Systems

IT programmer and manager checking the network systems

  • Starting Salary: $58,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $91,000
  • Future Job Growth: 11%

Management Information Systems is arguably one of the best all-rounder modern majors you can study. The major combines the latest technology advancements and several aspects of business as well, effectively teaching you how to implement new technology into an organization.

On top of the computer-based and business-focused aspects of the bachelor degree, you will also study sociology, psychology, internet ethics, and project management.

A Management Information Systems major can open lots of different computer-related career paths, but the most common is working as an information systems manager. There are also plenty of entry-level positions as a computer systems analyst, with a lot of room for future career progression in this particular field.

Online bachelor programs in MIS are offered by a number of accredited universities.

#13 Game Design Major

team of developers working on a game application

  • Starting Salary: $51,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $90,000
  • Future Job Growth: 21%

Game Design is a newer type of college major that is becoming increasingly popular as demands in the industry continue to rise. A bachelor degree in Game Design will teach students the basics of creating a video game or application as well as helping them brush up their coding and general software development skills.

While the most obvious career path for someone who majors in game design is to work for a video game studio, there are also several other IT and technology related jobs that are viable options for graduates in this college major. Working as a software or app developer or as a computer systems analyst are also potential career options.

The game design major is best suited to someone who is creative but detail-oriented, passionate about games, and who has a love for coding.

Online bachelor programs in Game Design are being offered by a select number of universities.

#14 Mechanical Engineering

female mechanical engineer designs 3D engine on her computers

  • Starting Salary: $62,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $89,000
  • Future Job Growth: 4%

Mechanical Engineering is one of the broadest engineering majors a student can select, and it often covers a wide variety of subjects to ensure that graduates are well prepared for future real-world application.

A mechanical engineering major should expect to study not only the basics of mechanics but also more complex topics, like fluid mechanics, materials science, circuit dynamics, and thermodynamics.

The demand for mechanical engineering majors is high, and a lot of graduates can expect to find jobs within the field. There are other options though, with some moving into product design and project management as an alternative route.

Mechanical engineering programs can often be quite long, and many courses will offer students the option of spending a year of their degree getting real, hands-on experience.

#15 Public Administration Major

local government workers walking across a court

  • Starting Salary: $54,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $87,000
  • Future Job Growth: 17%

The Public Administration major is one of the fastest-growing in all of America. As more and more young people become engaged with their communities, the need for public administration roles continues to grow.

A large portion of a Public Administration major involves teaching students how to manage big government projects, something that you are more than capable of doing upon completion of the course.

A bachelor degree in Public Administration typically sets students up for a career in government planning or working for a non-profit organization. The skills that are developed are perfect for these kinds of roles. A lot of graduates also find that there are a lot of job opportunities working in social care or in local government.

The public administration major is perfect for the kind of student who feels like they want to make a difference or to give a little back to his or her community.

Although a Master’s in Public Administration is more commonly sought online, a few universities are offering a bachelor’s degree in public administration online.

#16 Liberal Arts Major

female colleagues talking on the hallway

  • Starting Salary: $55,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $86,000
  • Future Job Growth: 10%

The liberal arts major, or humanities, as it is also known, can have a wide range of uses for a potential student. Liberal Arts is a broad field that covers a wide variety of majors such as history, literature, writing, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and creative arts. The versatility of a Liberal Arts bachelor degree allows for the continuation of a more specific career program.

The aim of this major is to set you up for general employment opportunities by equipping you with broad skills, like the ability to think for yourself and how to communicate effectively.

A major in Liberal Arts is diverse and broad, allowing you to select courses from a variety of disciplines. Generally, you’ll take a number of introductory courses, giving you a broad knowledge of different subjects, while also helping you decide a specific area for further study.

A graduate with a bachelor degree in liberal arts can expect to find a job in a great number of fields. Journalism, teaching, research, and even business are all common routes for a liberal arts majors to go down. Politics and public service are also very popular career routes.

A liberal arts major is ideal for a person who enjoys academic subjects on the whole. It can also be perfect for someone who is hoping to continue their academic journey once they have completed their college degree, as a lot of research opportunities are available in liberal arts subjects.

You can earn your bachelor’s degree in liberal arts online from a number of accredited universities.

#17 Biomedical Engineering

female biomedical engineer working in a laboratory

  • Starting Salary: $61,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $85,000
  • Future Job Growth: 4%

Biomedical engineering brings together some of the most competitive and rewarding job markets available today. A Biomedical Engineering major will combine both the technology world and the medical world.

Those who select the Biomedical Engineering major will learn about the impact that technology is having on modern medicine and healthcare, as well as be educated on all of the latest biomedical equipment and advances.

The most common route for bachelor program graduates with this college major is to become a biomedical engineer, though a lot of workplaces may expect their employers to have earned a master’s or some other type of further qualification in this field.

A background in math and science is going to be ideal for this major, and it can also be an excellent course for someone who has been working in the tech or medical industry and is looking for a change in career.

#18 Civil Engineering

civil engineers working in a construction

  • Starting Salary: $56,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $85,000
  • Future Job Growth: 6%

Civil Engineering may be the most in-demand of all of the engineering fields a potential student can enter. Graduates with a Civil engineering major work on the construction of highways, airports, sewers, and various other public buildings and structures.

Of all of the engineering fields, civil engineering tends to be one of the easiest ones to find work in, and while the pay is not as high as something like nuclear engineering or petroleum engineering, there is a lot of room for progression. There are also job opportunities in areas like town planning and project management available.

To succeed as a Civil Engineering major, you’ll need a mind for math and architecture.

#19 Industrial Engineering Major

industrial engineers working in a factory

  • Starting Salary: $60,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $82,000
  • Future Job Growth: 8%

The engineering industry has always been a strong one for graduates to enter into, and that still rings true today. A college major in Industrial Engineering will teach students how to develop systems that will help make products and supply services in a variety of ways. It will also allow students to move into many different sectors.

Students who study industrial engineering tend to work as engineers, though this major can also open up opportunities for graduates to work in project management and industry-focused areas.

Most students can expect to study a lot of math and science, while more focused topics like inventory management are also likely to be a big part of the industrial engineering major.

#20 Construction Management Major

engineers working in a construction site

  • Starting Salary: $56,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $82,000
  • Future Job Growth: 10%

One of the best college majors for the future that is back on the rise is construction management. With an ever-growing need for more homes, schools, business building, and hospitals nationwide, the construction business is seeing a solid rise in demand.

A college major in construction management may be one of the best ways to get yourself a position working as a construction manager, a job that is becoming increasingly in-demand as the housing market and the economy continue to move in the right direction.

An interest in construction, business, and management is what you’ll need to be successful in this college major.

A growing number of universities are now offering bachelor degrees in construction management online.

#21 Communications Major

advertising team doing a photo shoot

  • Starting Salary: $46,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $77,000
  • Future Job Growth: 2%

Communications is an increasingly popular college major that will often include subjects like language in the media, public relations, reporting, and many others.

A bachelor degree in communications will prepare students for an array of different potential careers. Graduates are likely to end up working in the media, with jobs in journalism and public relations often being the most popular path.

That being said, communication studies is a very diverse major, and as such, you could use this bachelor degree for almost job, from writing business memos to the next bestselling eBook.

You can now earn an online bachelor’s degree in communications in a number of concentrations such as new media, technical communication, and journalism.

#22 Marketing Major

marketing team having a meeting

  • Starting Salary: $47,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $75,000
  • Future Job Growth: 1%

As a Marketing major, you’ll take a range of courses to learn how to analyze and research business markets with the intent to promote, sell, and distribute products and services to potential consumers.

Marketing is one of the most popular modern majors for undergraduates to study, and one of the biggest reasons for that is the diverse range of career paths it opens up. The art of marketing and promoting goods to customers is in constant demand, and it is a versatile skill to have under your belt.

You’ll study psychology, advertising, communications, sales, and financial principles to help you understand the return on investment your marketing efforts bring.

The list of potential careers for someone who majors in Marketing is fairly extensive. Administration, events planning, PR, digital marketing, content writing, graphic design – these are just some of the potential careers that could become available to someone who has majored in marketing.

In your bachelor level courses, you’ll study psychology to understand why people make the purchasing decisions that they do, a range of communication methods, and foundational business principles.

Marketing degrees are now available online at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels.

#23 Accounting Major

accountant working in the office

  • Starting Salary: $53,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $73,000
  • Future Job Growth: 6%

Accounting is a profession that is constantly in high demand. A college major in accounting may open up many different diverse career options, all of which will probably be quite lucrative, making it a very sensible investment to make.

A bachelor degree in Accounting will, of course, open up the possibility of working in accountancy, but it will also open up various other fields, including being a financial analyst, a personal financial advisor, or a cost estimator. Some of the most common career paths for accounting majors are Public Accountant or Auditor, Corporate Accountant, Internal Auditor, Tax Examiner, Collector, or Revenue Agent.

Many people who have studied accounting have also gone on to work for major banks and other corporations. An accounting degree or an accounting-related degree can get you employment in various workplaces and industries, as all industries and establishments tend to have an accounting department, although some employers prefer to hire accountants with master’s degrees.

Proficiency in finance, statistics, and math is going to be hugely beneficial for those who select accounting as their college major.

Accounting degrees are available online at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels.

#24 Business Administration Major

professionals having a meeting

  • Starting Salary: $50,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $72,000
  • Future Job Growth: 7%

A Business major is one of the most in-demand majors for both students as well as employers. Courses in this major are comprised of accounting, finance, business law, management, and marketing to give students a strong foundation for employment in a variety of industries.

The business major is one of the most diverse available and opens a wide range of doors for graduates. The bachelor degree will allow students to embrace their own entrepreneurial spirit while also learning about the ins and outs of the business world.

This course of study is best for someone who wants a broad overview of the business world. Maybe you want to start your own business, become the manager of a small business, or enter the workforce as the manager of a specific department. This is also an ideal starting place for someone who plans to earn an MBA or take a master’s in a specific business area.

The Business Administration major opens up a number of career possibilities and candidates have traditionally gone on to becomes accountants, sales supervisors, financial managers, project managers, and many other business-related job roles.

Studying for this college major also presents graduates with the opportunity to quickly move into management positions in their chosen profession.

A mind for business or math is often beneficial if you want to major in business administration, and the course can also be ideal for someone who has previous work experience in a field related to business who is looking to take a step up the career ladder.

You can earn an online bachelor’s degree in business administration in a number of concentrations. Should you choose to pursue your master’s degree online, a number of universities also offer online MBA programs.

#25 Finance Major

male accountant checking some documents

  • Starting Salary: $54,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $71,000
  • Future Job Growth: 16%

When it comes to finding a reliable career path, there are few college majors that can be as attractive as finance. With ever-changing regulations and a fast-paced and competitive job market, a finance major can open up many doors for potential students and help them make solid, successful careers for themselves.

A Finance bachelor degree program rarely focuses on a specific area of finance; rather, it focuses on finance-related topics such as economics, accounting, risk management, financial analysis, taxation, and statistics.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in finance will qualify for a broad range of positions in public, private, and non-profit establishments. Finance majors can become bankers, financial advisors, financial analysts, and many other lucrative positions.

Selecting this college major will also present students with the opportunity to create an invaluable network of contacts within the financial sector, which is something that will help them considerably once they graduate.

The ideal candidate for studying finance would be someone who enjoys statistics, math, or business.

A bachelor degree that focuses on the aspects of finance will pave the way for a career in various areas like Investment Banking, Financial Planning, Commercial Banking, Insurance, and Real Estate. You could also specialize in International Finance, Risk Management, Investment, and Corporate Finance.

Finance majors can now pursue bachelor programs online, as well as MBA programs with a specialized focus in Finance.

#26 Management Major

team of professionals having a meeting

  • Starting Salary: $50,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $71,000
  • Future Job Growth: 1%

Management is the art of supervising people and operations in a business environment.

The Management major is ideal for students looking to enter into a management role in their future careers. Studying management will give students exposure to a wide range of topics, including finance, marketing, and human resources. It will help you learn how to manage groups of people and projects.

A person who majors in Management can go into various professions in finance, retail, hospitality, or even government contracting.

A management major is perfect for a person who enjoys business or organizational leadership. Someone who already has work experience in various sectors may also find that a college degree in Management can help them make a step forward in their career.

You can earn your bachelor’s degree in management online from a number of accredited universities. Online masters programs in management are also widely available from top schools.

#27 Nursing Major

female nurse taking care of elderly patient

  • Starting Salary: $54,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $69,000
  • Future Job Growth: 12%

One of the best college majors for the future and also one of the most rewarding a student can select is Nursing. The demand for nursing is always incredibly high, and while there is no pretending that the job isn’t hard work, it is an incredibly rewarding career path.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurses is expected to increase by 12% in the next 10 years, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The most common jobs for nurses to get after graduation are as a registered nurse (RN) or as a nurse practitioner (NP). There are, however, various other routes a graduate can go down in the care-sector if they wish.

As a nursing major, you’ll study anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, and nutrition, as well as medical ethics and caregiving.

Once you have completed your nursing degree, you must then pass your national council licensor examination to get your license to become a registered nurse. If you want to go down the path of becoming a nurse practitioner, then you will have to go back to college for further studies after your degree.

A nursing major is for someone who is compassionate and can help people through difficult situations but also analytical with strong attention to detail. As a nurse, you’ll be the primary caregiver for individuals in a hospital, doctor’s office, or nursing home. You could also work as a home health aide, helping elderly people to stay in their homes longer.

Many nurses work long hours but enjoy a lifetime of rewarding experiences as they help patients recover from illnesses and injuries, or ease their discomfort during the last moments of life.

At this time, there are no 100% online bachelor programs in nursing available since there is a large clinical component in the programs. However, once you’ve become a Registered Nurse (RN), there are quite a few universities offering the fastest way to get a bachelor’s degree online in Nursing with an RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs around.

#28 Political Science Major

female assistant talking on the phone

  • Starting Salary: $49,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $69,000
  • Future Job Growth: 5%

The Political Science major covers a broad range of topics, but is mostly focused on how laws are made and the impact that those laws have on societies. The major course of study will also focus on current affairs and the impact that they are having on smaller communities.

Studying for a college degree in Political Science opens up a plethora of career options for graduates. Jobs such as town planner, lobbyist, political scientist, teacher, political consultant, lawyer, and many others are all perfectly viable options for those who major in political science.

Someone who wants to study political science should be interested in current affairs and who has an active interest in politics.

Although political science bachelor programs are not widely available online, there are a few accredited universities offering this major online.

#29 Education

male college professor discussing in class

  • Starting Salary: $40,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $54,000
  • Future Job Growth: 4%

Do you enjoy teaching others? Do you think you can command the attention of a classroom?

The field of Education is most convenient for someone who welcomes challenges and can effortlessly pass information on in the simplest of ways, making for easy understanding. The job of an educator never ends; you can never truly know when your influence on others begins or ends. It is an unending process of continually trying to develop others intellectually and socially.

Education is a popular college major that can open up a myriad of career paths for graduates. In Education, a student will learn about the theories behind education as well as putting some of those into practice in real-life classroom and school environments.

While teaching may be the main career that people who get a bachelor degree in education are looking for, there are also plenty of other options that become available. A career in teaching methodology, publishing, or childcare are also very good options.

If you do want to become a classroom teacher, you can choose your specialization – whether that be by age range or subject. For example, you could opt to specialize in early childhood development, higher education, or a similar teaching field.

There is a misconception that graduates with a major in education can only end up as a teacher in a way or the other. But times have changed, and a graduate with an education degree can occupy other positions involving Special Education, Administration, Curriculum Design, Counseling, Library Science, and many more.

If you were to further your career and teach at the university-level, you could be looking at a future mid-career salary of $87,000.

A large number of accredited colleges and universities offer online bachelor programs and degrees in Education and Teaching.

#30 English

female vlogger documenting her trip

  • Starting Salary: $41,000
  • Mid-Career Salary: $51,000
  • Future Job Growth: 2%

An English major can be incredibly fruitful for graduates and present them with a variety of career options. Through an English degree, you are going to learn a wide variety of skills, all of which are going to be transferable into other specialties.

Media, publishing, marketing, and education are all possible sectors for an English major to go into. Becoming an English teacher, a journalist, or even a publisher are all very popular options for someone who has studied this college major.

As an English major, you could become a writer, editor, ESL teacher tutoring students domestically or abroad, or a Language Arts or English teacher for a middle or high school.

Students of English need to be creative but also have the ability to think analytically about how we use language and its mechanics.

Bachelors programs in English are available online or on campus.

Best Majors for Future Job Market

a graph showing upward growth

Wondering what the good college majors are for the future?

According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 80% of students in undergraduate studies chose their major based on the potential job prospects. For those of you who are among the 20% that just want to get your degree as quickly as possible, you may also find our article Quick Degrees that Pay Well helpful.

There is nothing worse than investing in a college major, only to find out that the job market for that major is rapidly diminishing! Save yourself the trouble by choosing a major in a field that is geared for high growth for a good return on your investment.

Below are the best majors for future growth rankings according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Business Majors

Business majors are one of the most popular degrees and programs for a reason. They are in high demand across the board!

Some of the jobs experiencing the highest projected growth in business industries include:

  • Operations research analyst: 27%
  • Marketing analysts and specialists: 23%
  • Management analysts: 14%
  • Cost estimators: 11%

There are plenty of other in-demand business programs to choose from as well.

Healthcare Majors

Healthcare is a booming industry with some of the highest growing jobs. The demand for individuals with healthcare training far surpasses almost any of the other industries with job growth expected in nearly every level of healthcare.

An example of this projected growth can be seen in the job growth expected in these roles over the next 10 years.

  • Personal Care Aides: 39%
  • Medical Assistants: 29%
  • Registered Nurses: 15%
  • Licensed Practical Nurses: 12%
  • Nursing Assistants: 11%

The healthcare industry will continue to see growth as the population both ages and increases.

Software & Information Technology Majors

There isn’t a business sector that is not heavily reliant on the support of software and IT. Be part of the surge with jobs like these that are experiencing exceptional job growth.

  • Information security analysts: 28%
  • Software developers: 24%
  • All computer occupations: 13%
  • Computer user support specialists: 11%
  • Computer systems analyst: 9%

If you enjoy technology, there will always be room for advancement and starting salaries are impressive.

25 Best Salaries by College Major

As you consider the college major that is the right fit for you, having an understanding of the top majors that produce the highest earning jobs is essential.

The following list highlights the 25 best paying majors with a bachelor’s degree in both entry-level and mid-career salaries.

College Major Median Pay
(0-5 years)
Median Pay
(10+ years)
Petroleum Engineering $94,600 $175,500
Actuarial Science $61,200 $130,800
Nuclear Engineering $69,000 $127,500
Chemical Engineering $70,300 $124,500
Marine Engineering $73,900 $123,200
Economics and Mathematics $60,000 $122,900
Electrical Power Engineering $68,600 $119,100
Electrical and Computer Engineering $69,000 $118,800
Aeronautical Engineering $65,300 $118,800
Computer Systems Engineering $72,000 $118,000
Computer Science and Engineering $70,900 $116,800
Bioengineering $61,600 $116,800
Computer Engineering $70,300 $116,000
Electrical Engineering $67,800 $114,800
Industrial and Systems Engineering $65,700 $114,400
Computer Science and Mathematics $62,800 $114,400
Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering $68,200 $113,800
Aerospace Engineering $66,300 $113,300
Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering $62,900 $113,200
Engineering Physics $60,400 $112,600
Engineering $63,100 $111,600
Computer Science $65,900 $110,100
Mining Engineering $71,300 $108,500
Physician Assistant Studies $87,800 $107,600
Electrical and Electronics Engineering $66,200 $107,400
Industrial Engineering $64,400 $107,100
Mechanical Engineering $64,000 $106,800
Metallurgical Engineering $75,300 $105,100
Structural Engineering $60,800 $105,100
Accounting and Computer Systems $60,400 $104,900
Statistics $60,000 $104,600
Operations Management and Information Systems $60,100 $104,500
Software Engineering $66,300 $104,300
Electronics Engineering $63,300 $104,300
Materials Science and Engineering $66,300 $104,100
Construction Engineering Management $60,500 $103,700
Biomedical Engineering $62,900 $103,500
Construction Science $60,700 $102,600
Packaging Science $61,400 $102,300
Mechanical $62,800 $101,600
Engineering Management $61,500 $101,600
Plastics Engineering $64,100 $97,100
Manufacturing Engineering $61,900 $96,400
Informatics $60,500 $95,300
Plastics Engineering Technology $61,600 $95,100
Architectural Engineering $61,200 $95,100
Construction Engineering $61,100 $93,700
Electrical Engineering Technology $60,400 $93,400
Information Security $60,400 $90,900
Radiation Therapy $61,800 $84,200

Source: Payscale

As you can see from this list of lucrative careers, majoring in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields can be highly advantageous as many of the best paying majors and top majors for the future falling into one of these categories.

Accreditation

a person looking up a college on the database

Selecting one of the best majors isn’t the only consideration. You also need to make sure your degree programs are worth the time and money you spend investing in them.

What you’re looking for is regional accreditation. When a college is accredited, it has willingly opened itself up to third-party, independent inspectors to verify the quality of its programs and the education it offers.

When comparing top majors, be sure to search for your target schools in the U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation database.

Financial Aid

students walking across campus

And even the best majors in college should see you earning high returns after you graduate, there’s no reason to pay more for your education than you need to.

Look for fastest funding opportunities to take advantage of:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Work-Study
  • Employee Tuition Assistance
  • Deferred Loans

Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common questions prospective students comparing college majors and programs ask.

What Majors Are Most In Demand?

The most in demand majors right now are Business, Healthcare, and IT-related programs and will be for the foreseeable future. But don’t let that be your only deciding factor.

The job market is growing at one of the fastest rates in recent history, which means nearly every college major will be valuable for students entering or re-entering the workforce after graduation.

What College Majors Are Worth It?

Every college major is worth it, even if you don’t end up working in the field you studied. There are liberal arts majors who enjoy lucrative careers as lawyers and physicians.

Remember, part of earning your degree is showing employers and graduate school admission committees that you can learn and that you can accomplish your goals.

Colleges have lots of rules, requirements, and red tape. Navigating this landscape demonstrates to employers that you are a go-getter, problem-solver, and finisher.

If you do work in your degree field, all the better. Your education will help you bypass the entry-level positions and start earning a professional salary.

What are the Best College Majors to Get a Job?

The best college majors to get a job are those with a high rate of projected job growth and lucrative salaries such as business administration, healthcare, and technology.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of job growth and salary data for a wide-range of professions. When looking for the best major, this data is very useful and can help you make a more informed decision.

What are the Most Common College Majors?

The most common college majors are business, health professions, social sciences, history, psychology, biological sciences, biomedical sciences, and engineering.

Together, these top college majors make up 56% of all bachelor’s degrees conferred.

What is the Best Major to Study?

a group of students talking on campus

Choosing the best college majors for the future may seem like a balancing act as you contemplate the job market, your personal interests, and abilities. But as you could see with the up-to-date salary data and projected industry growth rates, there are quite a few great options for bachelor’s degree holders!

Which college major is the best major? The choice really is up to you.

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Stephen Wilson
Stephen Wilson
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Joy Mays
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Isaac Collins
Isaac Collins
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