The decision to pursue higher education isn’t only about choosing the right college or university. This is certainly important, but to get the most out of your college education, you will need to select a major– and rather fast, or else you could end up with a lot of student loan debt.
But if you’re like some incoming college students, you may not have a major in mind. You may be somewhat interested in a couple of areas, but can you see yourself doing these as a career?
I know, tough decisions. And while it’s always a good idea to follow your passions, you may feel that it’s more practical to lean towards majors that pay.
Need helping narrowing down your choices? Here is a list of five college majors that pay well.
1. Engineering major
There are different types of engineering jobs – petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and the list goes on. If you enjoy a good challenge and have sharp problem solving skills, a career in engineering will not only keep you on your toes, but you’ll be able to command an average starting salary of $62,535, says the Society of Human Resource Management. Stick with this career and you can earn over $80,000 or $90,000 by mid-career.
2. Math major
I envy people who can handle complex mathematical equations with ease. If this sounds like you, a math degree might be the best choice. But don’t think a math degree is only useful if you’re pursuing a career as a math teacher. A degree in this field can be the stepping stone to a variety of fast growing – and lucrative – jobs. Career options include a statistician, an economist, a financial or budget analyst, an accountant, or a professional mathematician, which can bring in a median salary of $99,000, according to the BLS.
3. Science major
With a degree in science, you have your choice of career paths, depending on your concentration. A biology emphasis can pave the way for medical school, and if you’re interested in scientific work, maybe you’ll make a good astronomer, geologist or physicist.
4. Computer science major
Just about every mid-size and large company has an IT department, and if you’re skilled in computer programming, software development, database administration and other computer-related areas, you’re no doubt an asset. Not only will these companies depend on you to keep their computer system and programs running smoothly, the fact that you’re in-demand might earn a median starting salary of $60,000.
5. Business administration major
If you simply can’t decide on a major, business administration might be your fall-back plan. But don’t think of business as your just-in-case-major. Sure, with a business degree you may qualify for just about any business-related entry-level position, such as a court clerk, a general office assistant or a bookkeeper. However, the career options include so much more. A business degree opens the door to better paying opportunities, many with starting salaries of at least $60,000. These include an agency underwriter, a chief financial officer, a compliance specialist and an e-commerce manager.