The 5 Best College Majors For Growth and Income


Choosing the right college major with growth opportunities and good income potential can benefit her/his career for a lifetime.

General Business and Finance majors have considerable job growth and good pay. In healthcare, health care administration and nursing pay well and future job growth is strong. The one other field with growth and good starting salary is computer software development.

Though there are other occupations and majors that provide excellent salaries, it is important to differentiate between jobs that have a good salary and those that not only have a nice salary but also sufficient job opportunities and future growth.

What are the top 5 degrees?

Here are the top 5 undergraduate college majors that pay well and have growing, in-demand job opportunities :

  • Business degree with concentration in Finance

  • Computer Information Systems with emphasis in Software Development

  • Business degree with concentration in General Business

  • Nursing

  • Healthcare Administration

Here are some occupations that are closely related to the above 5 undergraduate college majors:

  • Financial Managers: They are responsible for overseeing the finances of large and smaller companies

  • Software Developers & QA Testers: They are involved in the programming, development and testing of various components of large applications

  • Nurse Practitioners: They are advanced, registered nurses who diagnose patient diseases via laboratory tests and are able to create treatment plans

  • General and Operations Managers: They are responsible for directing the company operations and in overseeing the budget and use of all resources, including human resources

  • Medical and Health Services Managers: They plan, direct and coordinate the medical and health services for an entire hospital, or clinic, or a department in a hospital, or for a practice involving a group of physicians

  • Management Analysts: They recommend ways to increase the company’s efficiency and profitability by finding ways to reduce costs and to increase revenue

  • Project Managers: They work in a company’s project management or program management office and ensure projects stay on track and on budget, and that the staff work efficiently in completing project schedules and milestones

  • Registered Nurses: They are graduates of nursing programs who administer medications, create care plans, record patient medical progress, and assist with a variety of medical procedures

  • Accountants and Auditors: Accountants do the financial bookeeping, create financial statements, and file the taxes. Auditors oversee the financial records and investigate

  • Marketing Research analysts and specialists: They gather market data such as sales trends, competitor data, consumer preferences and then measure the effectiveness of marketing programs.

Other business majors, computer science majors, healthcare majors, engineering and STEM majors also offer excellent salaries. But the projected growth of job opportunities now and in the future is certainly highest in the above 5 college majors. Moreover, engineering and STEM majors are among some of the harder college majors.

What major is most useful?

For the easiest college majors with the maximum number of job opportunities, a general business degree with carefully chosen electives is most useful. This will prepare you for a variety of occupations in general business, finance, marketing and other management roles.

By going with a general business degree rather than a speciality such as accounting or finance, you will be able to fit a variety of general business occupations, along with specialties as well.

Also, an undergraduate degree is sufficient and you need not complete any higher masters degree for most entry to mid-level business occupations.

Which degree is best in future?

These are typically degrees which not only have good pay but are also highly likely to stay and grow for many years in the future. The best such occupations are typically those that enable the upcoming business & technological needs of the most popular trends.

Here are the best college degrees for the future:

  • Cybersecurity: In an increasing digitally-connected world that we live in, creating and managing the security infrastructure of computer servers and data centers is becoming very critical.

    Along with this, there is also a shortage of cybersecurity engineers. All of this makes cybersecurity the perfect job for the future with salary starting at about $110,000 and going up to about $190,000.

  • Artificial Intelligence: An AI engineer works on machine learning techniques such as neural networks that self-learn and natural language processing. The average salary for an AI engineer is $150,000 but can also go over about $300,000.

  • Big Data: Big data engineers are involved in the real-time processing and storage of terabytes of data in large databases. With the ever-increasing information needs of the modern world, their role is crucial for developing business intelligence. They make anywhere in the range of $110,000 to about $180,000.

  • Chemical engineering: Chemical engineers use various materials and chemicals to turn raw materials into useful products such as medicines and plastics. The salary of chemical engineers is in the range of $110,000 to about $170,000.

  • Nursing: Registered nurses are always in demand and the need for nursing graduates continues to rise. They provide medical care, monitor patient progress and administer medications. Registered nurses make anwwhere between $60,000 to $100,000.

  • Visual and Media studies: Undergraduates in visual media studies are involved in popular media such as advertising, film, television and photography. They might also be involved in developing media publications for hospitals, classrooms and other businesses. Their salaries range between $40,000 to about $95,000.

  • Biomedical engineering: These engineers combine engineering with medicine and biology to design and create artificial body parts and other medical equipment for diagnosing medical problems. They earn in the range of $40,000 to $130,000.

  • Organic and sustainable agriculture: Organic farmers and agricultural managers can earn between $30,000 to $120,000 depending on the education and experience required and depending on the size and scale of the agricultural farm. Undergraduates majoring in organic and sustainable agriculture focus on growing agricultural farms through natural ways without the use of any artificial chemicals or fertilizers.

  • Civil engineering and Construction management: Civil engineers focus on managing and supervising various construction activities and in procuring the required construction materials as per a prescribed budget. The demand for civil engineers is expected to grow by about 10% till 2026. Their salary ranges from about $70,000 to about $150,000.

What are the highest paying medical jobs?

Medical physicians and surgeons receive some of the highest pay in the United States and in other parts of the western world. These professions require a postgraduate medical degree after 4 years of an undergraduate degree, followed by several years of a residency program.

  • Medical doctors and surgeons: These are pediatricians, general physicians, gynecologists, psychiatrists and other specialty physicians and surgeons. Physicians and surgeons make between $200,000 to over $300,000 per year.
  • Dentists: They treat the patients gum and teeth using various dental equipment and medications, and diagnose the oral infections using x-rays and by physical examination. They also administer anesthesia before the dental procedures. Dentists make about $160,000 per year.
  • Pharmacists: They have in-depth knowledge of when and how much medications to administer. S/he will ensure that the patient is given exactly the medications which the physician prescribes.

Pharmacists also discuss the side effects with patients and ensure that the patients know how to take the medicines.

  • Podiatrists: They are responsible for the foot and ankle care and earn about $130,000 a year. They diagnose problems by taking x-rays and laboratory tests. If required, podiatrists may also perform surgeries to correct any serious issues. Since the feet show signs of various other diseases, they refer the patient to other specialists for diabetes or any other disease the patient may have.
  • Optometrists: They are involved in the patient’s eye vision corrections and prescribe appropriate contact lens and glasses. They earn an average of $110,000 per year.
  • Nurse Practitioners: These are advanced, registered nurses who not only monitor patients and provide medications but they are also able to examine patients when the doctor is unavailable. When needed, they consult with the medical doctor for further assistance. They make a salary of about $115,000.
  • Physician Assistants: They work closely with doctors and surgeons and review patient’s medical histories and are able to interpret laboratory test results. They make about $108,000 per year.

What are the best STEM majors for job growth?

  1. Petroleum engineering has a projected job growth of 10% and engineers receive a medium salary of $130,000 annually. Involved in the design and development of equipment for the extraction of oil and gas, which are major sources of energy, these professionals are in high demand.

  1. Mathematics is a hot STEM topic and has applicability in a wide areas such as in determining probabilities, future projections and so much more. The field itself is growing at the rate of 21% and pays over $110,000 per year.

  1. Software development is another high growth field with job growth of about 17% and has a median salary of $100,000.

  1. Statisticians use large amounts of complex data to analyze trends, answer key questions and to solve business problems. They earn a median pay of about $80,000. The field is growing at a rate of 34% which is very high compared to many other STEM fields.

What are the most useless degrees?

Some fields have either very limited job growth or the pay is so meager that it does not provide for a stable financial life.

The following undergraduate degrees are therefore considered useless:

1) Archeology or Anthropology: This is the field of excavating ancient artifacts to understand more about various older civilizations, cultures and precious objects. In addition to there being less demand, it is impossible in this field to get a good job without a doctorate or PhD.

2) Education: This is a field in which higher or advanced degrees are required but the payout in terms of salary are extremely poor. So an education degree is certainly not worth it!

3) Fashion Design: With most fashion apparel becoming commoditized, there is less demand for a fashion design degree. In addition to this, there is a lot of competition in this field which makes this degree financially not viable.

4) Psychology: Since this is an easy degree to complete, many students complete a psychology undergraduate degree. Due to large number of graduates, the competition is very high and jobs in this field are hard to come by without a doctorate.

5) Travel, Tourism and Hospitality: This field is very seasonal and is generally very low on wages. In addition to this, with the pandemic having put a long term curb on travel, the future prospects for this degree are very bleak.

6) In fields such as Music, Film/ Video/ Photography or Fine Arts, freelancing and creating an online presence offer better income than applying for a salaried job. So these are some areas where some level of independent thinking can provide for better career options.

What are easy majors that pay well?

The easiest majors that also pay well are specifically in business management. Among all business degrees, a general business degree is the easiest to complete once you choose the more general electives. This will also open up a wide avenue of job choices in operations management, project management, marketing and so on.

What jobs pay 200k a year?

In terms of highest pay, the most useful college major is in the field of medicine, namely anesthesia. However, this degree is undertaken after completion of a 4 year undergraduate degree. The next 4 years would be the medical degree in anesthesia.

To practice as an anesthesiologist, another 3 or 4 years of residency after the medical degree is also required.

Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia before most surgeries. The next high paying job is of Nurse anesthetists who assist anesthesiologists and monitor patient recovery after the anesthesia.

What majors make the most money?

Healthcare, technology and engineering fields tend to make the most money. Within healthcare, nursing and healthcare administration are popular fields in which just an undergraduate degree and a nursing license in the case of nursing, is sufficient to get a well paying job.

Though business degrees are easy to major in, they certainly offer good salaries, but they are definitely not as high paying occupations as healthcare, science or technology fields.

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