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Five College Degrees That Could Pay You Back

Higher Education Articles November 23, 2012

There are several degrees you can earn that will set you on a fulfilling career path and increase your average yearly earnings, so before deciding on what major to pursue, take a look at the earnings potential to make sure it is worth your investment and time. In this article, we will look at five college degrees that can give you high return on investment in the form of average annual salary earned.

Bachelor in Accounting

As long as death and taxes are the only certainties in life, as the saying goes, accountants will always be in demand. A career in accountancy can be facilitated with a bachelor degree in accounting (source: US Department of Labor). Business success depends on a great understanding of balance sheets. Apart from keeping up with the needs of a fast-changing world, computer and online technologies are included in the coursework of an accounting degree program, in addition to accounting information systems. Accounting graduates enjoyed a relatively low unemployment rate of 6.8 percent. A bachelor in accounting will give you a potential career path as an accountant earning an annual average salary of $62,850. The median annual salary for accounting workers in the 10th percentile is $39,640 while those in the 90th percentile earns $109,870.

Bachelor in Computer Science

If you have a lifelong passion for computers, you should aim to earn a bachelor degree in computer science. Coursework focuses on subjects such as artificial intelligence, data structures and algorithms, digital system design, and mathematics for computer science.  Computer science graduates have an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent. A bachelor in computer science will give you a potential career path as a computer programmer earning an annual average salary of $72,630. The median annual salary for computer science workers in the 10th percentile is $41,710 while those in the 90th percentile earns $115,610.

Bachelor in Health and Medical Administrative Services

If you are concerned about the proper management of health care in the future, you should aim for a bachelor degree in health and medical administrative services. Coursework focuses on a wide range of subjects such as epidemiology, human resources, health care ethics, accounting, statistics, and health care law. Health care graduates have an unemployment rate of 2.9 percent. A bachelor degree in health care will give you a potential career path as a health services manager.  The demand for these professionals has a growth rate of twenty-two percent forecast from 2010 to 2020 (source: US Department of Labor) with average annual earning of $86,400. The median annual salary for health care workers in the 10th percentile is $52,730 while those in the 90th percentile earns $147,890.

Bachelor in Marketing and Marketing Research

If you watch commercials on TV or view advertisements on magazines and think you can do a better advertising job; you should consider a bachelor degree in marketing. Coursework focuses on subjects such as advertising and promotion, international marketing, marketing research and consumer behavior. Marketing graduates have an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. A bachelor in marketing will give you a potential career path as a copywriter earning an annual average salary of $55,870. The median annual salary for computer science workers in the 10th percentile is $28,180 while those in the 90th percentile earns $115,740.

Bachelor in Nursing

If you consider yourself a born healer and want to help others, you should aim for a bachelor degree in nursing. Nursing is one of the occupations with the highest job growth rate with 711,900 jobs projected to rise between 2010 and 2020. Coursework focuses on subjects such as pharmacology, health assessment, adult nursing, physiology and anatomy. Nursing graduates can expect an unemployment rate of four percent. A bachelor degree in nursing will give you a potential career path as a registered nurse earning an annual average salary of $65,870. The median annual salary for nurses in the 10th percentile is $44,970 while those in the 90th percentile earns $96,630.

(Source of data relating to unemployment rate: Georgetown University Center).

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