Selecting a major or concentration in college has a tremendous impact on your future. In addition to picking a field or industry that relates to your interests, you must also consider what potential job opportunities could open up based on your chosen coursework and training. And of course there is the question of salary. Between paying off student debt and meeting your cost-of-living expenses, you are likely hoping to land a job that will be well compensated. According to a salary report created by PayScale, the four fields of study that have the highest earning potential are engineering, mathematics, business, and computer science.
By earning an engineering degree, you are opening up a wide range of career options that are constantly in-demand. These jobs include software engineer, electrical engineer, aerospace engineer, environmental engineer, architectural engineer, and mechanical engineer (and the list goes on). Depending on your specialized path, you could end up in some of the highest paid positions for recent college graduates. The 2018 NACE report concluded that students with an engineering degree will receive an average starting salary of $66,521.
In addition to a comfortable salary, engineering jobs allow you to be innovative and influential. According to Matt McLendon, Director of Communications at Georgia Tech, “Engineers are some of the most sought-after professionals in our society today because they imagine the future and make it happen”.
Graduates with mathematics degrees have always been highly desirable job candidates due to their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Like engineering, mathematics majors have opportunities in multiple industries. These graduates can pursue careers in finance, banking, analytics, actuarial science, and research, among others. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the job market for mathematics will grow by 23% between the years of 2012 and 2022, with a predicted median salary of $110,000. So if you have a knack for working with numbers, the opportunities for you are endless!
Business is a very broad field that can lead to numerous career paths. The good news is that no matter what business concentration you pursue, you will learn valuable skills and approaches that can be applied to most business operations. You might also have an easier time finding work, as a survey conducted by CareerBuilder determined that business degrees are the most sought after majors for employers looking to hire new grads.
In addition to being a highly desirable major among employers, business graduates can expect to earn a starting salary of $56,720 – this according the 2018 NACE Salary Survey.
In this age of technology, pursuing a computer science degree is likely a decision you will not regret. Considered part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) field, computer science is a highly desired and well compensated industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for computer-related occupations will increase at a higher rate compared to other occupations within the next couple of years. The 2018 NACE Salary Survey also concluded that graduates with computer science degrees are expected to earn a starting salary of $66,005.
While your interests should always be a key factor in your career choices, it is wise to consider recent hiring trends and salary potential. And keep in mind that it is never too late to pursue your educational and professional goals. If it has been a while since you earned your degree(s), consider how you can continue to learn and expand your skill sets through career training and development programs. Check out our course offerings to choose a program that will help you meet your career goals.