In case you’re not sure what you’d like to major in, or if you’d like to bend your program of study towards hot job markets, exploring hiring trends is a good idea. While the United States is currently in an economic upswing, there’s no guarantee how long it will last. While it might be tempting to indulge your interest in Puppet Arts for four years, what are your job prospects for after graduation? Some students follow the mantra “major in the practical, minor in the passion,” and find ways to balance both.
Planning ahead for a sustainable career with a stable and rising pay rate is smart preparation for your post-graduation life. Here are four college majors with great job prospects.
A business degree, whether obtained as a B.S. or a B.A., is incredibly flexible and hire-friendly. Completing your business degree as a Bachelor’s of Science means that you will spend more time in math and science based courses such as probability, statistics, and finance. If you choose to earn a Bachelor’s of Arts in business, your concentration will be in marketing, public speaking, and business communications. Many employers treat the B.S. and the B.A. equally on resumes.
Unless you’re truly focused on a specialized career, a general business degree is offers many options. It can be highly applicable in the wide realm of business. A graduate with a business degree can apply to law school, roll right into studying for an MBA, or enter the job market in any number of niches.
In addition, most business majors concentrate on hands-on applications and group studies in their courses, all of which translate well to a non-academic environment. Many business programs offer or even require students to spend time in a work-study program or internship. Not only is this an enriching addition to the usual college curriculum, it enables the student to leave college with a burnished resume and contacts in the working world.
Currently, eight of the top ten most sought-after majors are some form of a business degree, according to the National Associations of Colleges and Employers. Finance, logistics, accounting, and human resources are all good bets as majors.
Job growth, median salary, and economic outlook are all usually good for business majors, as the skills in such areas as sales and development are usually transferrable across niches. Constant professional development is typically easy to come by in this field, and benefits are frequently strong.
2) Information Technology
It should come as no surprise that studying some branch of information technology – computer science, any form of data studies, or digital technology – is a wise investment of your tuition. Not only is information technology reaching far into our daily lives, it’s a constantly evolving field with plenty of room for career growth, niche development, and specialization. Working in information technology can mean a career in such exciting fields as cyber security, game design, political modelling, or robotics.
A degree in information technology, like business, is wonderfully adaptable. With most of us leashed to our smartphones, any skills learned while studying this field are well-matched to a surging job market. Displaying a knack for coding, data mining, or app creation opens doors into all manner of well-paying careers.
Concentrating on information technology is also a good option for students who learn structure well, but would also like to express themselves creatively. The ability to create strong graphics for marketing, design interfaces for education aids, and sketch out exoskeletons for robotics systems are all possibilities with a major in information technology.
Nursing has long been a safe job prospect. It offers many opportunities for growth and the reward of helping and comforting others. And with the first wave of baby boomers now beginning to need senior care, the generations behind them can always find work caring for them.
The most exciting part of a nursing career is the specialization which is now available. Nurses are not only general assistants in hospitals and doctors’ offices. Obtaining a nursing degree means that graduates can specialize in such areas as obstetrics, administration, critical care, policy, psychiatry, and pain management.
The health care field itself is sprawling, and nurses are the driving aspect of its labor force. Nurses can become qualified as an AND with an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s of science in nursing. To become licensed, aspiring nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Those who become nurses with a degree can also choose to become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), and further specialize in their area of medical interest. Education to become an APRN can involve courses at the Master’s level, but these nurses, especially those in management or administration, bring home the highest salaries—sometimes as much as $90,000.
4) Petroleum Engineering
This entry may come as a surprise to some, since the use of oil as an energy source is considered by some as environmentally irresponsible. Others disagree, however, and the extraction of oil is become more and more science-driven so as to leave a small or virtually non-existent environmental footprint. These advances, in addition to a political push for the United States to become energy-independent, mean that jobs in all parts of oil production are good prospects as a career choice.
Petroleum engineers design machinery for the extraction of oil and gas. Some petroleum engineers re-work older wells as they find new ways to extract the gas and oil within. They also oversee these processes, so life as a petroleum engineer can mean field work away from a desk.
Because of the specialized nature of this position, petroleum engineers can make as much as $94,000 at the beginning of their careers, and almost double that by the time they are established in the field. In 2017, the median salary for a petroleum engineer was over $130,000. The growth outlook is explosive, thought to be 15 percent over the next several years, a rate which is far faster than average for other jobs.