30 Best College Majors for the Future [2021 Guide]

We’ve ranked the 30 Best College Majors for the Future for 2021. 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 most popular college majors with the highest paying salaries after graduation, projected job growth rate, and employer demand!

The market is poised for growth, and college graduates are in demand for a variety of lucrative jobs.

30 Best College Majors for the Future Rankings

Here’s the list of the 30 Best Majors for the Future rankings based on salary, expected 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 college majors for the future should prepare you for a number of career choices with pay at or above average reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Top Choice #1 Petroleum Engineering

male engineer working in an oil plant

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

Petroleum Engineering is first on our list of rankings for the best college majors. It can be one of the most fruitful majors for young students. While the market is insanely competitive, the financial rewards for majors in this field can be incredibly high.

A student who selects this major can expect a high-intensity program featuring a diverse collection of classes, including engineering, economics, and environmental studies.

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

If you have a good background in math and the sciences, this may be the best college major for you. Although some core courses for this major may be completed online, petroleum engineering bachelor degrees are not offered entirely online.

#2 Cybersecurity

cybersecurity workers

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

Next on the list of top college majors?

In an ever-changing world increasingly reliant on the use of technology, a bachelor’s in cybersecurity can be a huge advantage when looking to start a career. This major will ensure you’re knowledgable about all of the latest developments in the field and will teach you other information technology related skills like coding and software development.

A person who has studied cybersecurity will most likely 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, along with several other information technology and technology-related jobs, are very popular options for someone who completes this top college major.

Cybersecurity is one of the best degrees to get and you can earn your bachelor’s in this major entirely online.

#3 Nuclear Engineering

nuclear engineers working in a plant

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

Nuclear Engineering sits 3rd in our rankings for best college majors. It is an incredibly specialized major, and the financial rewards can be excellent in the long run for those who earn a bachelors in this field.

This may be a more niche field, but finding work can be incredibly beneficial from a financial standpoint. As the planet moves toward more renewable energy sources, jobs in this major are becoming more in demand, and future opportunities are becoming a little easier to come by.

If you major in this field, expect a bit of hard work and brush up on your math skills. Learning nuclear physics and how nuclear energy works, along with the necessary safety procedures, will be key parts of a nuclear engineering major.

While the employment opportunities for this college major can be lucrative, it’s 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, bachelor degrees in this major aren’t available entirely online.

#4 Software Engineering

software engineers working on a project

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

Software Engineering is 4th for top college majors. It is another computer-related college major that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The increase in popularity of this best college major should come as little surprise though, with the job markets constantly expanding in this technology field.

A major in this specialty will likely feature classes in application programming, core computer concepts, cloud technology, and database systems development. It will teach future engineers some skills that will be transferable to other technology related jobs.

Software engineering majors generally find themselves working in a number of different job positions, with software and application programming and development being among the most common future career paths chosen.

You can earn your bachelor’s in this top major entirely online if you prefer.

#5 Physics

physics majors working in a laboratory

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

Physics takes 5th place for best majors. It is a top choice of college major for students because bachelor programs in physics can open up a lot of doors for graduates and can lead to someone continuing their education and working in research facilities.

Physics graduates can usually find work as engineers in various sectors or in potential roles working in academia and research. This is a top college major because research roles in physics can be particularly lucrative.

A college major in physics requires potential students to have a mind for calculation and science because the course of study will incorporate these disciplines regularly. It’s common for bachelor’s 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: $102,000
  • Future Growth: 16%

Computer Science is 6th for top college majors. It is one of the most popular college majors in the technology field for 2021. 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.

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

The range of jobs for someone who has graduated with this major includes positions like, software developer, systems analyst, computer hardware engineer, application developer and many more. It’s possible to continue on to a master’s and eventually work in research in the field.

Since computer science is a top college major, 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: $99,000
  • Future Growth: 6%

Though difficult for many students, chemistry gets 6th for best majors. Chemistry is one of the most popular types of science for students to major in. Chemistry courses generally 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. Completing a master’s program 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: $98,000
  • Future Growth: 8%

A business degree finally lands in 8th place for top college majors. Selecting a college major in Economics is an excellent way to take advantage of the current demand for data experts.

Studies in this top major 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 this major can open up a wide range of possibilities for potential students. Many economist jobs are government-based and offer very competitive salaries, but there’s the option of becoming a data analyst elsewhere or finding other work in the finance sector.

This is the best college major for someone who enjoys math and business and has strong analytical skills. You’ll study the history of economies for the purpose of putting modern markets into perspective.

#9 Electronics Engineering

top college majors

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

Electronics Engineering ranks 9th among best majors. This is an area of constant growth. The demand for engineers who can design and create electronic devices is increasing by the day, and the job market is constantly growing with it. Although the line between electrical engineering and electronics engineering are often blurred, they are two distinct fields.

A college degree in this top major will inform you of all the latest developments in the industry and also incorporate several practical elements to the bachelor’s. Project management and product design will be major components of the major.

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

This college major is best for 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: $93,000
  • Future Growth: 5%

This top college major combines business and technology. As the world becomes more dependent on technology, selecting a college major in Information Technology can prove 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’s degree include basic computer operations, system analysis and design, networking foundations, and database administration. Students may have plenty of opportunities for improving their coding and programming skills, both of which are incredibly valuable for finding future work post-graduation.

Graduates with this IT major may find jobs as Developers, Database Administrators, Network Architects, or Computer and Information Research Scientists. This could be the best college major for individuals with a passion for business and technology.

Although this program has a major focus on technology and computers, it’s 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 in this top major online from the comfort of your own home. IT degrees are one of the most popular majors being offered by online universities.

#11 Health Informatics

health informatics college major

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

The 11th place in our rankings for top college majors is another tech degree. Health informatics is the use of technology and analytics for analyzing medical records and improving medical systems. It’s a useful college major combining several different skills and opens up a variety of future career paths for graduates.

Majors 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’s 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 will likely consider this a top major.

#12 Management Information Systems

IT programmer and manager checking the network systems

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

MIS comes in at 12th for best majors. Arguably one of the best all-rounder modern majors you can study, this major combines the latest technology advancements and several aspects of business, effectively teaching you how to implement new technology into an organization.

On top of the computer-based and business-focused aspects of the bachelor’s, you will 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 available after graduating with this major, including a computer systems analyst, with a lot of room for future career progression in this particular field.

Online bachelor programs in this top major 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: $90,000
  • Future Growth: 21%

The next choice for top college majors comes as good news for gamers.

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

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

This could be the best college major for someone who is creative but detail-oriented, passionate about games, and who has a love for coding. Online bachelor programs in this major 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: $89,000
  • Future Growth: 4%

In 14th place for best majors is another STEM degree. This is one of the broadest engineering majors a student can select, and it often covers a wide variety of subjects to ensure graduates are well-prepared for future real-world applications.

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

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

Programs for this major 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: $87,000
  • Future Growth: 17%

Finally something for non-business, non-science students among the best majors. 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 you will be more than capable of doing upon completion of the course.

A bachelor’s in Public Administration typically sets students up for a career in government planning or working for a non-profit organization. The skills you’ll develop make this the best college major for these kinds of roles. Many graduates find there are a lot of job opportunities working in social care or in local government.

This could be the best college major for the kind of student who feels like making a difference or giving 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 an online bachelor’s in this top major.

#16 Liberal Arts Major

female colleagues talking on the hallway

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

Here’s another non-STEM, non-business option among the top college majors.

The liberal arts major, or humanities, as it’s also known, can have a wide range of uses for a potential student. Liberal Arts is a broad field covering a wide variety of subjects, including history, literature, writing, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and creative arts. The versatility of a Liberal Arts bachelor degree makes it a top college major among students with diverse interests.

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 helping you decide a specific area for further study.

A graduate with a bachelor’s in this major will likely find a job in a great number of fields. Journalism, teaching, research, and even business are all common routes for liberal arts majors. Politics and public service are other very popular career routes.

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

You can earn your bachelor’s in this top major online from a number of accredited universities.

#17 Biomedical Engineering

female biomedical engineer working in a laboratory

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

Biomedical Engineering lands in 17th place in the rankings for best college majors. This top major brings together some of the most competitive and rewarding job markets available today. This major will combine both the technology world and the medical world.

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

The most common route for bachelor program graduates with this college major is becoming 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.

This could be the best college major for someone with a background in math and science, and it can also be an excellent major 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: $85,000
  • Future Growth: 6%

Another engineering degree lands in 18th place for top college majors. This may be the most in-demand of all of the engineering fields a potential student can enter. Graduates with this major work on the construction of highways, airports, sewers, and various other public buildings and structures.

Of all of the engineering fields, this is generally one of the easiest ones to find work in, and while the pay is not as high as some of the other specialties, there’s a lot of room for progression. There are other job opportunities in areas like town planning and project management following this top major.

This could be the best college major for you if you have a mind for math and architecture.

#19 Industrial Engineering Major

industrial engineers working in a factory

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

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

Graduates in this major generally work as engineers, though it can open up opportunities to work in project management and industry-focused areas.

Most students will likely study a lot of math and science, while more focused topics like inventory control are also likely to be a big part of this top major.

#20 Construction Management Major

engineers working in a construction site

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

One of the best majors for the future that’s back on the rise is construction management. It’s similar to the last couple of top college majors but more geared for hands-on builders.With an ever-growing need for more homes, schools, business building, and hospitals nationwide, this major 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 becoming increasingly in-demand as the housing market and the economy continue moving in the right direction.

This could be the best college major for you if you have an interest in construction, business, and supervising others.

A growing number of universities are now offering bachelor’s in this top major online.

#21 Communications Major

advertising team doing a photo shoot

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

The broad field of Communications comes in at #21 for best majors. It is an increasingly popular college major that will often include subjects like language in the media, public relations, reporting, and many others.

A bachelor’s in this top college major will prepare students for an array of different potential careers. Graduates will likely end up working in the media, with jobs in journalism and public relations often being the most popular path.

Because communication studies is a very diverse major, you could use this bachelor’s for almost any job, from writing business memos to the next bestselling eBook.

You can now earn an online bachelor’s in this major in a number of concentrations, including new media, technical communication, and journalism.

#22 Marketing Major

marketing team having a meeting

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

A traditional but perhaps the most creative business degree ranks #22 for top college majors. As a Marketing major, you’ll take a range of courses analyzing and researching business markets with the intent to promote, sell, and distribute products and services to potential consumers.

This is a top college major for undergraduates, and one of the biggest reasons is the diverse range of career paths it opens up. The art of marketing and promoting goods is in constant demand, and it’s 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 available with a Marketing major.

In your courses for this major, you’ll study psychology so that you can understand why people make the purchasing decisions 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: $73,000
  • Future Growth: 6%

Business gets another spot among the best majors with a numbers-intensive specialty. Accounting is a profession that’s constantly in high demand. A degree in this top college major may open up many different diverse career options, all of which will probably be quite lucrative, making it a very sensible investment.

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 graduate with this major work for large banks and other corporations. An accounting degree or an accounting-related degree can get you employment in various workplaces and industries because all industries and establishments usually have an accounting department, although some employers only hire accountants with master’s degrees.

This could be the best college major for you if you have proficiency in finance, statistics, and math.

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: $72,000
  • Future Growth: 7%

Business is on a roll, landing another specialty among the top college majors.

A Business Administration major is one of the most in-demand majors for both students and employers. Courses in this top college 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 administration 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 learning about the ins and outs of the business world.

This could be the best college major for you if you want 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 graduates have traditionally become accountants, sales supervisors, financial managers, project managers, and many other business-related job roles.

Studying for this college major 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 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 in this major in a number of concentrations. If you pursue your master’s online, a number of universities offer online MBA programs.

#25 Finance Major

male accountant checking some documents

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

Besides accounting, Finance is the second numbers-intensive option you’ll see among the best majors.

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

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

Graduates with a bachelor’s in this major 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 present students an opportunity for creating an invaluable network of contacts within the financial sector, which is something that will help them considerably once they graduate.

This could be the best college major for you if you enjoy statistics, math, and business.

A bachelor degree focused 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, or MBA programs with a specialized focus in Finance.

#26 Management Major

team of professionals having a meeting

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

Management is among the top college majors for those who want to be hands-on in business, not behind a desk crunching numbers.

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

This top college 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.

This could be the best college major for a person who enjoys business or organizational leadership. Someone who already has work experience in various sectors may find that a college major in this field can help them make a step forward in their career.

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

#27 Nursing Major

female nurse taking care of elderly patient

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

One of the best 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’s no pretending the job isn’t hard work, it’s an incredibly rewarding career path.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for this top major will increase by 12% in the next 10 years, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The most common jobs for nurses 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, along with medical ethics and caregiving.

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

This could be the best college major 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 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 for this top major since there’s 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: $69,000
  • Future Growth: 5%

History buffs and the politically-minded will be happy to see Poly-Sci among the best college majors.

The Political Science major covers a broad range of topics but is mostly focused on how laws are made and the impact those laws have on societies. The major course of study for this top college major will include current affairs and the impact they are having on smaller communities.

Studying for a college major 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.

This could be the best college major for someone who is 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 top college major online.

#29 Education

male college professor discussing in class

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

Do you enjoy teaching others? Do you think you can command the attention of a classroom? Then this could be the best college major for you! It’s still a very rewarding career path, even if it is near the bottom of the list for top college majors.

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’s an unending process of continually developing 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 and put some of those into practice in real-life classroom and school environments.

While teaching may be the main career graduates with this college major, there are plenty of other options that become available. A career in teaching methodology, publishing, or childcare are other very good options.

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

There’s a misconception that graduates with a major in education can only end up being 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 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 for this top college major.

Top Choice #30 English

female vlogger documenting her trip

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

Although it may be last in our rankings among the best majors, English is still a great option. An English major can be incredibly fruitful for graduates and present them with a variety of career options. Your studies in this top college major will provide you a wide variety of skills, all of which will be transferable into other specialties.

Media, publishing, marketing, and education are all possible sectors for an English major. 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 foreign students domestically or abroad, or a Language Arts or English teacher for a middle or high school.

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

Bachelors programs for English majors are widely available online or on campus.

Best College Majors for Future Job Market

a graph showing upward growth

Wondering what the best 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 college major based on the potential job prospects. For those of you who are among the 20% wanting your degree as quickly as possible, you may find our article Quick Degrees that Pay Well helpful.

There’s nothing worse than investing in a college major and then finding out the job market for that major is rapidly diminishing! Save yourself the trouble by choosing a major in a field 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 majors you can choose.

Healthcare Majors

Healthcare majors are 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 growing as the population both ages and increases.

Software & Information Technology Majors

Software majors and information technology majors are also in high demand as the world continues in technological advances. There isn’t a business sector 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%

The impressive starting salaries and constant room for advancement help advertise why this field is in the top rankings.

50 Best Salaries by College Major

As you consider the best 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 50 best college majors by median pay with a bachelor’s in both entry-level and mid-career salaries.

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

Source: Payscale

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

Accreditation

a person looking up a college on the database

Selecting one of the best college majors isn’t the only consideration. You should also 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 for third-party, independent inspectors to verify the quality of its programs and the education it offers.

When comparing top majors, 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 college majors 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 these fastest funding opportunities:

  • 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 these rankings be your only deciding factor for what the top college major is.

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 accomplish your goals. Colleges have certain rules, requirements, and red tape that define how to succeed. Navigating this landscape helps advertise your characteristics of being a go-getter, problem-solver, and finisher.

If you do work in your degree field, all the better. Your education will help you bypass certain 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 in the higher rankings 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, knowing which majors have the highest rankings in median salary and projected growth rate can be very useful in helping 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 majors make up 56% of all bachelor’s degrees conferred, and are offered at nearly every private or public college.

How Do I Know Which College Major To Pursue?

There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a college major that you believe is the best major for you.  Some of the obvious factors include program cost, salary potential, and job demand. If you choose a major that is in the top rankings for one or more of these factors, then you are off to a great start.

One of the biggest factors not mentioned yet is job satisfaction. When finding the best major, you need to look into the future and ask yourself: Will I enjoy the field of work with this college major?

Ultimately, you want to find a certain major that matches closely to your interests, values, and abilities. By doing so, you will have a better chance at achieving happiness with the career path you choose.

How Many Years Does it Take to Study a Common College Major?

Students have the choice of either studying for two years, and receiving an associate’s degree, or four years, and receiving a bachelor’s degree.

For those who want to further their studies even more, there are graduate programs that advertise a more in-depth study and take about two more years to earn after completing a bachelor’s program.

What Is the Best College 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 is yours.

Related College & Degree Guides:

Isaac Collins
WRITTEN BY
Isaac Collins