The 23 Top College Majors in Demand (With Career Outlooks)

Updated March 10, 2023

The college major you select can help you find a fulfilling and prosperous career. Your major is often starting point for many careers, as it showcases your skills, training and ability to successfully perform a role. If you're planning your college career, learning about the most in-demand majors can help you make an informed decision that prepares you for career success.

In this article, we list 23 majors in-demand and include information about career paths and job outlooks for each to help you find a major that works for you. 

23 majors in demand

Some of the most in-demand majors include:

1. Nursing

Nurses care for ill or injured patients and guide them through the recovery process. Nursing students learn skills in cultural awareness, critical thinking, time management and communication. Nursing majors work in the health care industry in hospitals, physicians' offices and nursing care facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for registered nurses may grow 6% from 2021 through 2031. The primary reason for this is the increasing demand for health care services for older populations.

Some careers for nursing majors include:

  • Legal nurse consultant

  • ER nurse

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

  • Neonatal nurse

2. Culinary arts

Culinary artists are food and beverage employees who have training in cooking and baking. In school, they learn valuable skills such as decision-making, management and organization in addition to food preparation skills. Culinary professionals work in the food industry and often in the kitchens of restaurants, bars, hotels and fast-food chains. According to the BLS, jobs for culinary arts employees like chefs and head cooks may grow by 15% between 2021 and 2031, which is much faster than average. 

Related job titles include:

  • Restaurant manager

  • Executive chef

  • Prep cook

  • Line cook

  • Sous chef

3. Computer science

Computer scientists are computer experts who specialize in the transmission of and interaction with data. They work in the technology industry in a wide variety of areas such as offices, government agencies and research facilities. According to the BLS, jobs for computer and information research scientists may grow 21% from 2021 through 2031, which is much faster than average. The reasons for this growth include a large increase in demand for computer software, new applications for smartphones and tablets and increased demand to streamline health and medical insurance procedures.

Related job titles include:

  • Software developer

  • Database administrator

  • Computer engineer

  • Web developer

  • Information security analyst

4. Business administration

Business administrators hold managerial positions in business facilities that manage all levels of the organization. They primarily work in office spaces. According to the BLS, the job outlook for management occupations indicates 8% growth from 2021 through 2031. The reasons for this growth vary by industry, as all sectors require some form of management. This wide availability of management opportunities may help you find a role that you enjoy after you complete your education.

Related job titles include:

  • Administrative manager

  • Business analyst

  • Operations manager

  • Financial manager

5. Accounting

Accountants measure, record and disclose information regarding an organization's finances. Most accountants either work in offices or in their client's workplaces. Others work remotely from their home. Jobs for accountants and auditors have a projected 6% growth rate from 2021 to 2031. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the primary reason for this growth is globalization and growing economies.

Related job titles include:

  • Chief financial officer

  • Controller

  • Accounts payable specialist

  • Accountant

6. Physical therapy

Physical therapists teach patients how to manage their health conditions for long-term benefits. They often work in private offices, hospitals and nursing homes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapy jobs are growing at a rate of 17% due to the increased demand of a large aging population.

Related job titles include:

  • Physical therapist

  • Physical therapist assistant

7. Medical assisting

Medical assistants support physicians and other healthcare professionals in a clinical setting by administering medications, speaking with patients and aiding in other supplementary tasks. They most often work in private practices, but they also have positions in hospitals and other care facilities. Between 2021 and 2031, the growth rate for jobs in this area may increase by 16%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is primarily due to a large, aging population that needs these services.

Related job titles include:

  • Medical assistant

  • Medical biller

8. Mathematics and statistics

Mathematicians and statisticians analyze data and interpret solutions to problems. They work in a variety of industries, from astronomy to academia, and they work in research laboratories and universities. Between 2021 and 2031, jobs for mathematicians and statisticians may grow by 31%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this growth is due to the widespread use of statistical analysis to make informed business and financial decisions. No matter which role you choose, a mathematics major can help you begin a successful career path. 

Related job titles include:

  • Actuary

  • Astrophysicist

  • Statistician

9. Information science

Information scientists manage the supply and distribution of information within an organization. Most information scientists work for government agencies, while others work in research laboratories, universities and software companies. Information security jobs, which often use the skills you can gain from this major, may grow by 35% between 2021 and 2031. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this growth is due to the increased need for innovative technologies in almost every sector.

Related job titles include:

  • Cybersecurity analyst

  • Data scientist 

10. Finance

Finance majors work in corporate finance, bond brokering, investment banking and more. Jobs in finance and business are most often found in offices and have a projected growth of 7% between 2021 and 2031. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in this sector is due to an increase in global economic activity, such as in growing businesses and industries.

Related job titles include:

  • Financial planner

  • Financial analyst

11. Psychology

Psychologists work with clients or patients to understand their thoughts, emotions and behaviors and provide them with coping mechanisms and treatment plans. They often work in private practices or in hospitals and other mental health facilities. Others psychology majors teach at colleges and universities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2021 and 2031, psychology jobs may grow by 6%. Growth varies by occupation, but it primarily relates to a growing demand for psychological resources in schools and businesses.

Related job titles include:

  • Psychologist

  • Neuropsychologist

12. Marketing

Marketers develop and execute strategies to promote products and services and maximize profits. They most often work in offices and small agencies. Jobs for marketing majors who use their training to become advertising, promotions, and marketing managers may grow at a rate of 10% between 2021 and 2031. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this growth is primarily due to the increased use of data and market research throughout most industries as well as in emerging areas such as digital marketing.

Related job titles include:

  • Marketing assistant

  • Digital marketing manager

  • Marketing coordinator

  • Brand manager

13. Civil engineering

Civil engineers design, maintain and adapt modern infrastructure in cities across the country. They primarily work in offices but also visit outdoor construction sites as necessary. Jobs in this area may grow by 7% between 2021 and 2031. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this growth is due to an increased need for road repair and construction.

Related job titles include:

  • Construction engineer

  • Civil engineer

  • Construction manager

Read more: 5 Types of Civil Engineering (With 14 Jobs To Explore)

14. Instructional design

Instructional designers design and redesign classes and create training materials related to coursework. These designers find employment in a variety of industries and work in educational institutions, government agencies and military services. Between 2021 and 2031, jobs for training and development managers may grow by 7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Growth in many industries is on the rise due to an increased need for training in new media and technology in the workplace.

Related job titles include:

  • Training coordinator

  • Business development manager

15. Systems engineering

Systems engineers monitor the performance of systems through all stages of operations for solving technical problems. They primarily work in offices and manufacturing plants. After completing this major, students may gain the logistical skills necessary to become a logistician, which may see a 28% job growth from 2021 through 2031. Growth is due in part to the need for the transportation of goods on a global scale and how manufacturers structure their organizations to meet demand.

Related job titles include:

  • Systems engineer

  • Supply chain manager

  • Director of operations

16. Economics

Economists conduct research, analyze data and monitor economic trends. They work in office settings for research firms and other organizations. These types of jobs may grow at a rate of 6% between 2021 and 2031 due to the wide range of businesses that use economic analysis and quantitative methodology to make the best financial decisions.

Related job titles include:

  • Credit analyst

  • Lawyer

17. Public relations

Individuals who work in public relations protect and improve corporate reputations in the media. They work in office spaces in multiple industries, developing methods for building consumer trust. Jobs for public relations specialists may grow by 8% between 2021 and 2031. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth is due to the increased need for reputation management and better business-to-consumer communications.

Related job titles include:

  • Public relations account manager

  • Brand ambassador

  • Copywriter

18. Education

Educators teach students, prepare lesson plans and grade coursework. They work within educational institutions from elementary school to college. Jobs for postsecondary teachers may grow by 12% between 2021 and 2031, due to the increased number of students enrolling in postsecondary institutions. Roles for high school teachers, which can require similar teaching skills and methods, may grow by 5%. 

Related job titles include:

  • Teacher

  • Teaching assistant

19. Criminal justice

Depending on their area of expertise, criminal justice majors do their part in both fighting and preventing crime. They primarily work for police departments and government organizations. Between 2021 and 2031, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for private detectives and investigators may grow by 6%.

Related job titles include:

  • Police officer

  • Detective

  • Border patrol agent

  • Security guard

Read more: 10 Criminal Justice Majors (Plus 16 Jobs You Can Pursue)

20. Sports science

Sports scientists assist athletes in achieving their best physical performance levels by applying methodologies from medicine and biomechanics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that jobs for exercise physiologists may grow by 9% between 2021 and 2031, stemming from the increased need for health and wellness initiatives in businesses.

Related job titles include:

  • Personal trainer

  • Athletic trainer

  • Nutritionist

21. Biology

Biologists study life and often specialize in specific organisms and their relationship to the environment. They often work in educational settings but also work for government agencies and laboratories. Jobs for biochemists and biophysicists, who combine their biology education with other scientific fields, can expect job growth of 15% from 2021 through 2031, while microbiologists may see 9% growth. This growth is due to the wide range of industries that need experts in this field, such as biotechnology and synthetic biology.

Related job titles include:

  • Health administrator

  • Pharmacist

  • Lab technician

22. Chemistry

Chemists study how chemicals affect each other and their surrounding environments. They often work in educational settings and in laboratories and offices. Jobs for chemists and materials scientists may grow at a rate of 6% between 2021 and 2031, due to an increased need for pharmaceutical manufacturing and nanotechnology.

Related job titles include:

  • Biostatistician

  • Chemical engineer

  • Pharmacologist

23. Agricultural science

Agricultural scientists research new methods of improving animal or soil health, thereby improving food quality. They work in laboratories for food production companies as well as on farms. Jobs for agricultural and food scientists may grow at an 8% rate between 2021 and 2031 due to an increased need for agriculture production and agricultural research.

Related job titles include:

  • Zookeeper

  • Landscape architect

  • Ecologist


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