Majors that Pay Off Big Time!

If you are still undeclared, or have declared a major but are second guessing yourself, or are currently studying a concentration that is leaving you dispassionate, you might consider selecting a new major that will guarantee to make you big bucks after graduation. The major at the top of the list is biomedical engineering, which essentially means applying engineering principles to medicine and biology for the purposes of diagnostic or therapeutic healthcare. Starting salaries average more than $50,000, and the career has the potential to grow over 60% in the coming years. Biochemistry, computer engineering, software engineering, environmental engineering, and civil engineering appear next on the list. Seeing a pattern? Apparently the world needs a lot of engineers! Geology is the 7th most valuable major, with a mid-career average pay of over $80,000. Geology is essentially the “study of the earth,” and careers in this major might include being an economic geologist (a job that involves locating and managing the earth’s natural resources), a mining geologist (where you help extract minerals from the earth’s surface), or a geophysicist (a job in which you study natural hazards to help develop building codes and warning systems). Management information systems, petroleum engineering, applied mathematics, mathematics, construction management, finance, physics, and statistics finish out the list. Petroleum engineering has the highest mid-career average salary of any of these majors, weighing in at $155,000. Can you say, “I’ve paid off my student loans”? Management information systems majors help provide companies with information that help them manage their organizations and employees more effectively. Even if your school doesn’t have a major this specific, you can custom-create your own by taking business, marketing, and finance classes. As you can tell, most of the majors on this list have to do with science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. STEM is an acronym often used within educational spheres to refer to these types of classes – classes that are in high demand throughout the professional world. If you’re interested (and/or good at) any of these subject areas, don’t hesitate! Switch your major immediately and prepare to make some serious money. Jobs within these majors are all experiencing between 14% and 61% job growth, and offer anywhere from 58% (petroleum engineering) and 103% (physics and biochemistry) expected growth in pay throughout your career. Not too shabby! And if you’re already satisfied with your major or can’t imagine yourself majoring in something like math or science, you can still take advantage of this information. Bite the bullet and exchange that pottery class elective for an elective in a class like economics or statistics to round out your knowledge base and make you seem more appealing to employers. They may not see your courses on a resume, but you can definitely figure out a way to work “This really interesting microeconomics class I took…” into conversation during interviews!

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