Top 10 College Majors

 

Studying at a reputed college has a significant impact on one’s career. However, one’s specialization or major becomes even more critical in terms of job prospect as it has a direct impact on the earning potential. While picking a major along with your interest in the subject or field, you should also be aware of the future job prospects and industry demands to decide on the right specialization for yourself. This way you will able to create a balance between following your own interest and studying for a subject that has good earning potential for you in the future.

Based on our research from top recruiting companies and Government data we have listed Top 10 college majors that are high in-demand:

 

Finance

Finance

Finance majors work in the finance and banking sector in the field of corporate finance, accounting, real estate, brokering, investment banking, economics, and more. They are responsible for helping corporates take care of their money in terms of investments, achieving short and long term financial goals, and financial governance.

Primarily finance students study accounting, statistics for financial analysis, financial markets and institutions, investments, analysis of financial statements, financial management, and international finance. All major finance jobs generally require a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration. Depending on the complexity of the job and requirement of analytical skills employers may prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree in the same fields. The top skills required for excelling in the field are: being detail oriented, possess good analytical and mathematical knowledge, organizational and communication skills.

According to Indeed.com jobs in finance have a projected growth of 6% between 2018 and 2028. The growth in this sector is attributed to an increase in global economic activity, such as in growing businesses and industries.

 

Financial Managers

Financial Managers

They are in demand in many industries, including banks, investment firms, and insurance companies. At a job growth rate of 15% between 2019-29 several functions of financial managers, including cash management and risk management, are expected to be in high demand over the decade. The median annual wage for financial managers is $129,890.

The largest employers of financial managers are:

  • Finance and insurance 30%
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services-14%
  • Management of companies and enterprises-11%
  • Government-7%
  • Manufacturing-6%

Other finance related jobs are of financial analysts, budget analysts, personal financial advisors, financial planner, financial analyst, and accountants & auditors

 

Computer Science

Computer Science

Computer Science is the study of computers and computational systems. Computation is any type of calculation or use of computing technology based on well-defined models like algorithms and protocols used for information processing to transform data in computers. Computer science majors study subjects like Artificial Intelligence, Biocomputation, Computer Engineering, Graphics, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Systems, and more based on their interest.

With a major in computer science, one can work as a data scientist, data analyst, software developer, software tester, systems analyst, product manager, network architect, software engineer, full-stack developer, and more. Big corporates, mid-size companies to start ups all have jobs for computer science majors and the opportunities are seeing a growing trend. The employment of software developers alone is projected to grow 22 % from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The following jobs, in particular, are seeing a rising trend:

  • Software developers
  • Software quality assurance analysts and testers

Software developers create applications or systems that run on a computer or another related device. They usually have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science along with strong programming skills. Corporates that deal with computer systems and software designing and related services have a high demand for these professionals. The median annual wage for software developers in the US is $107,510.

Software testers are required to run quality checks on software developed for clients. They need to ensure that the software developed for clients meets all the standard guidelines before they are marketed to customers for mass consumption. They are supposed to identify issues and run debugging programs, generate reports and upgrade databases as required

Skills required to excel in this field are knowledge of computer programming languages, test management, and tracking tools, analytical, communication, and organizational skills.

Other computer science related jobs are that of a software architect, software engineer, senior database administrator, information security analysts, database administrators, computer systems analysts, computer and information research scientists, web developers.

 

Medicine

Medicine

A study in this discipline involves foundational scientific study of the human body, molecular and cellular basis of disease, proper usage of medicine, and other health sciences. Graduates in the major use their specialization for the development of new and improved clinical & diagnostic tools and medications.

As the study of medicine is multidisciplinary the requirement of a particular course will depend on the specialization. Students can choose to specialize in various fields related to the subject such as cell biology, molecular biology, physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, genetics, pathology, molecular immunology, research and quantitative methods, drug mechanisms, human behaviour, nuclear engineering, data science, and biomedical research computing.

Students with a graduate degree in medicine get professional opportunities in a wide variety of fields like health services, medicine manufacturing & laboratories and work as research analysts, clinical forensic medical examiner, medical/ pharmaceutical researcher, sports and exercise medicine, medical legal advisor, occupational physician, radiology/diagnostic imaging director, psychiatrist, pulmonologist and more

After graduation students can choose to study further and pursue their Doctorate in the subject and later land high paying jobs. However, there are a few medicine majors and related jobs that the relatively higher in demand namely:

  • Pharmacology- The demand for Pharma professionals is on the rise. A major in this discipline leads to jobs like pharmacologist, toxicologist, pharmacology scientist, clinical pharmacology Lead, medical writer, pharmacology manager, clinical pharmacology modelling and simulation manager, pharmacology professor. The median salary in this profession is $105,000 depending on the degree level and experience.

 

  • Nursing – Nurse practitioners (NP), also known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), are registered nurses with additional education. There are various levels of courses available to pursue this career with an associate’s, bachelor’s master’s, and post-master’s level study. According to PayScale.com the median annual salary in the profession is $85,522.

 

  • Medical and Health services providers – Jobs in the field include medical and health services managers who help plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers such as hospitals and nursing homes and other health care facilities. At an employment growth rate of 32 % from 2019 to 2029 the median annual wage for medical and health services managers is $100,980.

Other than domain knowledge technical, interpersonal, and communication skills are considered important to succeed in this field.

 

Healthcare

 

Healthcare

Healthcare is a multidisciplinary study with a vast scope in the field of health administration, nursing, counselling, social work, and public health. Worldwide the overall population is aging and with technological advancement, the healthcare systems have become complex. This has led to a huge demand for healthcare services and related professionals. A degree in healthcare prepares students for jobs related to handling a healthcare facility, healthcare quality control and safety, healthcare economics, operations, public health, health equity, global health, and more.

Almost all top universities provide healthcare courses in different formats to suit the needs of the students, with specializations in subjects such as health development, international health management, healthcare analytics and intelligence, healthcare management, healthcare policy & research, healthcare leadership, public health, and health promotion. As per Franklin. edu “the median salaries for healthcare workers start at $82,000 and the top 10% of earners can earn over $144,000 per year.

Understanding current healthcare policies &regulations, compliance, analytical and communication skills are some of the important skills required to succeed in the field.

Director of clinical quality and patient safety, senior patient safety specialist, clinical risk manager, manager of global patient safety, quality and compliance, chief quality officer are some of the jobs one can have with a degree in healthcare.

 

Engineering

Engineering

Engineering is among one of the few fields that have been steady in its growth. It was and still remains one of the most sought-after degrees. Technological advancement has been the reason behind our advancement as a society and it is engineering that helps with the innovation and improvisation of these technologies. Engineering teaches students how scientific principles are integrated with research to develop new systems and technologies.

It is a vast field with several specializations. However, there are a few foundational subjects for every student to excel in if s/he wants to pursue an engineering major. Subjects like –math, algebra, statistics, physics, and chemistry are considered fundamental to study in this field. One may according to her/his comfort and interest choose to specialize in a discipline of choice. At the undergraduate level, students learn subjects such as dynamics, analysis of structures, mechanics of materials, and fluid mechanics. Depending on the specialization one will study additional tracks focusing on gaining expertise in the subject.

A typical undergraduate engineering degree lasts four years. However, the program and duration vary depending on the specialization. There are 100+ engineering majors for students to study. Most in-demand ones are –petroleum, electrical, industrial, communication, materials, nuclear, civil, chemical, mechanical, biomedical, and computer engineering.

Median starting salaries of in-demand engineering professionals are:

  • Computer engineering- $69,300
  • Petroleum engineering- $67,150
  • Electrical, electronics and communications engineering-$67,000
  • Industrial engineering-$65,250
  • Chemical engineering- $64,750

Apart from strong subject knowledge and technical skills, problem solving, creativity, interpersonal and communication skills are highly desirable to succeed as an engineer.

Aeronautics and Aviation Technology

A degree in aeronautics and aviation prepares students for careers in aerospace, airlines, and general aviation. Studies in the field combine theory and lots of hands-on practice and research. Subjects cover physics and dynamics, structural analysis, electronic signals and systems, aerodynamics, avionics integration, mechanical behavior of composites, thermodynamics, jet propulsion, and capstone projects on topics like rotorcraft, fixed-wing, and spacecraft.

With this degree, students get to apply for a wide range of jobs like of aerospace engineers, air traffic controllers, airline pilots, aircraft technicians, and aircraft equipment mechanics.

Most in-demand jobs in the field are of:

  • Aerospace Engineers- Aerospace engineers design, manufacture, and test aircraft, spacecraft, including aerospace products like satellites, missiles, and launch vehicles. They evaluate designs to ensure they meet safety and environmental regulations. The average salary for an aerospace engineer exceeds $115,000.

 

  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians

Working closely with aerospace engineers, aerospace engineering and operations technicians maintain the equipment used by aerospace engineers to develop, test, and create new aircraft and spacecraft. They also operate equipment used during the testing and producing process. The average salary for aerospace engineering and operations technicians exceeds $67,000 a year.

 

  • Airline and Commercial Pilots

The primary job of airline and commercial pilots is to operate aircraft, including commercial airplanes, military helicopters, and private planes. During the flight, they need to monitor the engines and aircraft systems and navigate using cockpit instruments and visual references. On average, they earn over $115,000 a year.

 

  • Aircraft Technicians

Aircraft technicians are responsible for carrying out maintenance tasks for aircraft carrying with work of line maintenance, base maintenance, and structures. The annual median salary ranges from $35,000 to $110,000 depending on the experience.

Apart from domain knowledge employees require creativity, interpersonal, problem solving, analytical, communication, time management skills to name a few to make their mark in this industry.

 

Psychology

Psychology

Psychology majors focus on features of the human mind such as learning, cognition, intelligence, motivation, emotion, perception, personality, mental disorders, and the ways in which individual preferences are inherited from parents or shaped by the environment. Within the field, psychologists seek to educate, communicate, and resolve many problems related to human behavior.

In the job market, this degree can set you up to be a therapist, counsellor, teacher, child development specialist, lawyer, or consultant, depending on the experiences and study level. Of the many careers following are the ones seeing a surge in demand:

  • Substance Abuse Counsellors
  • Behavioral Disorder Counsellors
  • Mental Health Counsellors

All these professionals deal with counselling and guiding people with matters related to mental health, drug abuse & addiction, eating disorders, and other human behaviour related issues. Their primary job is to evaluate their client’s mental and physical health to then plan and develop a treatment that involves modifying their problematic behavior. Such professionals are also generally active in outreach programs meant for creating awareness on community health and services. With increasing dependency on technology and decreasing social interactions, mental health issues are on the rise world over, and hence the demand for qualified professionals is on the rise.

These professionals work in an individual capacity as well as get hired by corporates for employee wellness purposes. Skills required to excel in phycology related professions are empathy, communication, stress management, and interpersonal. The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counsellors is $46,240.

 

Business Management

Business Managament

Even after being around for so many years a Business management degree still holds good value in terms of its job prospects. Management and leadership are skills that are always going to be in demand for both public and private sectors. In the age of entrepreneurship more and more start-ups have only added to the demand for management professionals. As a business management student one learns about various aspects of corporate management such as operations, accounts, finance, project management, supply chain to human resource, and logistics. There are plenty of majors to choose from while pursuing a degree in business management. It is one the most popular courses globally and thousands of students apply every year to make it to high ranking colleges through competitive qualifying exams such as GMAT & GRE.

A degree in business management opens a plethora of employment opportunities for students across a wide range of industries such as retail, manufacturing, media, IT, education, healthcare, supply chain, shipping, finance, banking, insurance, consulting to name a few. Typically they work as

  • Management analysts
  • General and operations managers
  • Project management specialists
  • Business operations specialists

Management jobs involve improving the overall efficacy of a corporate function through gathering relevant information and data points, analyzing and forecasting, implementing strategies, improving processes, developing solutions, recommend changes to improve an organization in terms of its operations and profitability.  The median annual wage for a management analyst is $85,260. Apart from one’s specialization communication, problem solving, time management, teamwork are some of the skills required to do well in business management-related career.

 

Marketing

Marketing

Marketing has been around ever since we learned to do business as a society. It is one of the basic requirements and is here to stay as it involves communicating the value of a product or service with potential buyers or customers. Marketing professionals are required to have a working knowledge of product/service, customer, and sales requirements to come with effective marketing strategies for their company or client.  In the past few years, the nature of the job has undergone a massive change due to advancements in digital technologies.

Marketing professionals are required to have a minimum of bachelor’s degree to land a good job in the field. At an undergraduate level marketing degree are available for both Arts and Science streams. Marketing in Bachelors of Arts focuses more on the humanities side of the stream whereas in Bachelors of Science students learn more about the scientific and mathematical aspects of the subject. Depending on the stream students get absorbed in industries like – e-commerce, life science, biotechnology, education, telecommunication, IT, and more. Key skills required to succeed as a marketing professional are –creativity, communication, advanced planning, and research skills. The following jobs are in high demand from the field of marketing:

  • Market research analysts
  • Marketing specialists
  • Digital Marketers
  • Project Managers

The median annual wage for market research analysts is $63,790.

 

Construction Management

Construction Management

A bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering is required to pursue a career in construction management. The study includes courses in project control and management, design, construction methods and materials, cost estimation, building codes and standards, and contract administration. Courses in mathematics and statistics are also relevant for the subject. Programs are offered at various levels with some universities offering courses at the master’s level too.

The following sectors have a high demand for construction management professionals.

  • Specialty trade contractors-17%
  • Non-residential building construction-16%
  • Residential building construction-10%
  • Heavy and civil engineering construction-8%

Construction managers often act as project managers, coordinate and supervise a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of public, residential, commercial, and industrial structures, as well as roads, memorials, and bridges. They work closely with other building specialists, such as architects, civil engineers, and a variety of trade workers. The median annual wage for construction managers is $95,260 and the projected growth between 2019-2029 is 8%. Alongside domain knowledge team management, delegation, leadership, communication, and risk prioritization are some of the skills required to work as a successful construction manager.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics

Q&A

Q&A

What are some of the popular college majors?

  • Finance
  • Computer Science
  • Medicine
  • Healthcare
  • Engineering
  • Aeronautics and Aviation Technology
  • Psychology
  • Business Management
  • Marketing
  • Construction Management

How long does it take to finish a major?

The typical bachelor’s degree consists of 120 credits to complete. The general education requirements make up about 40 credits while a major will require about 40-50 credits

Is it worth doing a double major?

If you have a clear understanding of why you want to do it and the value it will add to knowledge and earning potential, yes it can be worth doing.

 

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