25 of the Most Useful College Majors To Pursue Today

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 23, 2022 | Published March 30, 2020

Updated June 23, 2022

Published March 30, 2020

Most people want to major in a field that is both interesting to them and that will allow them to earn a living once they graduate. Several majors are considered useful, with some of the most valuable majors being in engineering and medicine.

In this article, we explore 25 of the most useful college majors you can pursue to increase your chances of landing a high-paying job after graduation.

What is a useful major?

A useful major is one that you can use to gain a paying job after college. While the major you choose to pursue shouldn't necessarily be based on how much money you can make, it should come with some promise of stability to ensure you can support yourself and your family after graduation. Majors with low unemployment rates, high income and no requirement for future education are considered the most beneficial for college graduates.

25 of the most valuable majors for college students

Here is a list of the most useful college majors based on post-graduate employment and median annual wage as noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Biomedical engineering

A degree in biomedical engineering prepares individuals for work in various fields, including manufacturing, medical device development, and research and development. The goal of biomedical engineers is to design and develop technology to solve problems in the medical world. This occupation is expected to grow by 4% through 2028 and has a median annual wage of $88,550.

Computer science

Computer science and information technology is an increasingly popular major and career choice. This field is projected to grow by 12% between 2018 and 2028 in terms of employment, which is significantly faster than other occupations. The median annual wage for computer science and information technology majors is $83,320. People who major in computer science learn how to use various computational processes to program computer operating systems, build websites and other complex computer-related tasks.

Read more: 15 Computer Science Jobs That Pay Well

Marine engineering

A Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering prepares students with knowledge on various marine operating systems including offshore structures, boats and submarines. Core courses to study include physics, mechanical engineering and differential equations. This career field is projected to grow by 9% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than most other occupations. The median income after graduation is $92,560.

Pharmaceutical sciences

A major in pharmaceutical sciences prepares students to apply biology, chemistry and other sciences to the study and development of medicines. Common jobs for pharmaceutical science majors include pharmaceutical scientists and clinical researchers. This career is projected to grow by 8% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than other careers. The median annual wage for pharmaceutical sciences professionals is $84,810.

Computer engineering

A computer engineering major learns how to assess, create and implement various computer software and hardware through the use of physics, mathematics and computer science. This career path is projected to grow by 6% through 2028 and has a median annual income of $114,600.

Related: Learn About Being a Computer Engineer

Electrical engineering

Electrical engineering majors learn how to assess, design and develop various types of electrical equipment. These professionals can work with a variety of electronics including computers, robotics and power systems. This career path is anticipated to grow by 2% between 2018 and 2028, and the average annual wage for electrical engineers is $96,640.

Finance

A bachelor's degree in finance provides various career opportunities for graduates including occupations as an accountant, financial analyst and financial advisor. This particular field is expected to grow by 7% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than most other careers. The median annual wage for individuals in finance is $68,350.

Related: Your Guide to Careers in Finance

Software engineering

Software engineering majors typically go on to be software developers, which is a career path that is high in demand. In fact, this occupation is expected to grow by 21% between 2018 and 2028 which is much faster than nearly all other career fields. The average income of a software engineering graduate is $103,620.

Civil engineering

Civil engineering majors learn how to develop, build and oversee the creation of infrastructure systems such as those found in construction projects. Civil engineers also oversee projects that build and repair airports, bridges and other types of structures within the community. Civil engineer employment is expected to grow by 6% between 2018 and 2028, and the average annual income for these professionals is $86,640.

Applied mathematics

An applied mathematics degree prepares individuals for careers in engineering, science and computer science. Jobs that someone with an applied mathematics bachelor's degree can pursue include actuary, computer programmer and logistician. This career field is in high demand and is expected to grow by 30% by 2028, which is significantly faster than all other occupations. The average income of someone with an applied mathematics degree is $101,900 per year.

Statistics

A degree in statistics prepares individuals for careers as statisticians, finance professionals and other related fields. This career field is in high demand and is expected to grow by 30% through 2028, which is much higher than other occupations. The average annual income for statisticians and similar careers is $87,780.

Read more: 10 Jobs for Statistics Majors

Medical and health preparatory programs

Medical and health preparatory programs prepare individuals for medical school or other health-related programs and careers. Common areas of study for medical and health preparatory students include dentistry, nursing and pharmacy. Healthcare occupations such as those pursued by medical and health preparatory majors are anticipated to grow by 14% through 2028 and bring in an annual average income of $66,440.

Economics

Economics majors learn how economic systems work and how they impact society. Common occupations for economics majors include financial analysts, actuaries and market research analysts. This career field is expected to grow by 8% through 2028 with a median annual income of $104,340.

Genetics

A genetics major provides individuals with in-depth knowledge of how genetics affects modern society. This is an in-demand field that is projected to grow by 27% between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than other occupations. The annual salary of genetics majors is $80,370 per year.

Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering degrees provide students with in-depth knowledge of how to analyze and develop various machines. Common courses taught in this field include dynamics, principles of design and chemistry. This career path is projected to grow by 4% through 2028, and mechanical engineers make an average of $87,370 per year.

Management information systems

A management information systems major provides students with knowledge of information systems and how they are used in the business world. Common careers for management information systems majors include systems analysts and database administrators. Projected growth for this field is 11% through 2028, and the average salary for management information systems professionals is $142,530 a year.

Mathematics

A degree in mathematics prepares students for a career in several positions including as a math professor, investment banker and researcher. Most professions pursued by math majors are in high demand and provide an excellent return on investment. The projected growth for jobs in the field is 30% between 2018 and 2028, and mathematics professionals make an average of $101,900 a year.

Physics

People who major in physics have a broad range of career paths to choose from including those in application engineering, data analysis and design engineering. Physics majors learn various forms of science and mathematics and how to apply these principles in the real world. The employment rate of physics majors is projected to grow by 5% through 2028, and the average annual income for these professionals is $120,950.

Political science

Political science majors are prepared for careers in politics and study the creation and evolution of political systems. The average income for political scientists is $117,570, and this career path is anticipated to grow by 5% through 2028.

Business administration

People with a business administration degree can pursue a variety of career paths including those in accounting, management and forensic and finance. Business and financial occupations are expected to grow faster than the average of other occupations at 7% through 2028. The median income for business majors is around $68,350 per year.

Nursing

A degree in nursing will provide individuals with the education and training needed to pursue a career as a registered nurse or another type of nurse. Nursing careers are in high demand with an anticipated growth rate of 12% through 2028. Registered nurses make an average annual income of $71,730 per year.

Read more: What Can You Do With A Nursing Degree?

Meteorology

Individuals with a degree in meteorology study climate and weather and often work as meteorologists or atmospheric scientists. This career path is anticipated to grow by 8% through 2028 and has a median annual income of $94,110.

General engineering

A degree in general engineering prepares people for a career in various branches of engineering include chemical, architectural and computer engineering. These careers are in high demand and are projected to grow by 4% through 2028. The average income of general engineers is $80,170 annually.

Materials science

Materials science degrees equip students with the skills needed to study, analyze and manipulate various materials found in the environment. This career is an important part of various aspects of society including energy, computer science and transportation. The job outlook for material science majors is projected to grow by 4% through 2028, and the median income for these professionals is $99,800 a year.

Chemical engineering

Chemical engineering is a major that teaches people the principles of chemistry, physics and biology and how to apply them to solve various problems in society. The median annual wage for chemical engineers is $104,910, and this career path is expected to grow by 6% from 2018 through 2028.

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