Selecting a college major can be a difficult decision, sometimes determining what path you'll take for the rest of your life. But how can you be sure you're choosing a college major that will not only pay well, but give you a good chance of actually getting hired? Take a look at the following list of the top five best college majors, taking both aspects into consideration.
1. Engineering. Specifically Petroleum Engineering, according to the Shreve Port Times. Any engineering degree will offer you a great starting salary with a good chance of employment, but Petroleum Engineering pays best of all with the average starting pay of $89,000 a mid-career salary of $159,900. This may be a highly specialized discipline, but other engineering majors will offer similar rewards. Business Insider released a chart of the best college majors to choose if you want to get employed, taking data from a survey issued by a U.S. Staffing company called Express Employment Professionals. They ranked a general engineering degree second on the list of most employable college majors--that, added with the high starting salary, makes engineering the best choice for college major.
2. Computer Science. Computer Science majors start with an average salary of $53,800. This college major focuses on the communication between computers and the humans who use them, which ranges from software publishing to research work to computer system development. And Express Employment Professionals ranked this college major fifth on the list of most employable degrees.
3. Nursing. The field of nursing is always in demand and starting salaries average at $53,300. While a college major in Accounting could find you a job even easier, nursing majors are ranked higher in pay. Nursing majors can find jobs all over the country in a variety of fields, such as neonatal, surgery, and geriatric care. College majors related to health professionals and related clinical sciences also ranked high on the employability list.
4. Mathematics. This college major may come as a surprise, but it did appear on both lists. The pay is decent and the demand for mathematicians or graduates with a major in statistics is very high. The field involves analyzing numbers, detecting problems, predicting trends, and finding solutions. Easy work for anyone who excelled at a major in math. Starting salaries average at $48,900.
5. Science. Especially physics. The world is always in need of new scientific minds, and the field of physics could get you a starting salary of $50,800. A college major in science could get a job for NASA, the Department of Defense, or even a private science firm.
There were some places where the college majors diverged in terms of pay and chance of employment. For example, a major in business is in extremely high demand, but it appeared nowhere on the list of best-paying college majors. Inversely, a college major in Information Systems could make you a lot of money, but it might be hard to find a job.
What college major do you think sounds best?