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Top Eight College Degrees for Job Seekers

Higher Education Articles November 9, 2012

If you are considering going back to school and don’t know what to major in then this article is for you. A survey conducted in 2012 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) showed that graduate degree in business, health science and accounting are expected to increase your earning potential by $10,000-$15,000 compared to a degree in liberal arts such as psychology, history or English. I have listed the top eight degrees you should consider pursuing for a lucrative and rewarding career.

Degree in Accounting

Accounting are among the majors on the “wanted” list of recruiters with job offers being made to bachelor graduates by accounting firms in 2012. Jobs for accounting graduates are projected to grow at a faster than normal rate through 2018. Armed with a degree in accounting, you can expect an average starting salary of $48,691.

Degree in Health Sciences

Human resource professionals have named health care graduates as the degree holders most likely to find jobs in 2012 (source: survey by consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas). Around 3.2 million new jobs in health care are expected to generate between 2008 and 2018. Armed with a degree in health services, you can expect an average starting salary of $38,300.

Degree in Business Administration

Business administration majors have transferable skills that can help them work in virtually any industry. Next only to health care majors, business administration majors are most likely to get jobs that is revealed by the research conducted by Challenger’s study in 2012. Armed with a degree in business administration, you can expect an average starting salary of $43,879.

Degree in Information Sciences

As compared to other majors that fell 1.3% in average wage, information sciences graduates enjoyed year over year increase of 5.7% in average annual earnings during 2012.  Job opportunities for information sciences graduates are projected to increase. Armed with a degree in information services, you can expect an average starting salary of $55,084.

Degree in Finance Degree

As compared to other majors, finance majors enjoyed an increase in earnings average during 2012, recording a one percent increase. Majoring in finance, you can pursue a career path in business as well as consulting and personal wealth management. Armed with a degree in finance, you can expect an average starting salary of $50,356.

Degree in Engineering Degree

Engineering graduates have a high earning potential with graduates in petroleum engineering enjoying an average starting salary of $93,000 in 2012, followed by chemical engineering majors with a starting salary of $64,800, and in turn, nuclear engineering graduates at $63,900. Job opportunities for engineering graduates are projected to increase thanks to high earning potential even in a recession. Armed with a degree in engineering, you can expect an average starting salary of $58,970.

Degree in Computer Science

There is a great demand for computer science graduates as evidenced by increased spending of $7 million by Carnegie Mellon University in an effort to get more students to enroll into the computer sciences program. Thanks to a boom in computer technology and software, job opportunities for computer science graduates are projected to increase twenty-four percent by 2018. Armed with a degree in computer science, you can expect an average starting salary of $61,112.

Degree in Marketing

Marketing graduates are thrice as likely to get jobs as a journalist and communication specialist. Job opportunities for marketing graduates are projected to increase twenty-eight percent by 2018.  Armed with a degree in marketing, you can expect an average starting salary of $38,600.

(Sources of salary data: NACE’s summer 2012 Salary Survey; Payscale’s 2010-2011 College Salary Report; Job projection source: Department of Labor)

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