College Majors that Lead to High Paying Jobs
My brother-in-law sent me this link of the Worst and Best College Majors according to Kiplingers. It’s based on data from Payscale.com and Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Kiplingers looked for majors whose graduates—both recent grads (within the past five years) and those well into their careers—face a brutal combination of low compensation and high unemployment.
I’ve been in the staffing industry for years and have hired lots of college graduates in a variety of entry level positions. So here’s my take on this survey:
- A College Degree is the new High School Diploma. And it’s caveat …
- A Master’s Degree is the new College Degree.
- A degree in one these Top 10 Worst Degrees from a Top 10 Best College will mean a job for most graduates.
- How well you do in college counts.
- An Internship experience will pave the way for a real job. It’s worth it to work for free.
- You are your own product. How you market yourself counts for a lot.
- A poor Social Media footprint can cost you a job offer as can bad credit.
10 Worst College Majors for a Lucrative Career Right Out of College
Or how to take a college major with a statistically low level of compensation and a high degree of competition to get a great job. Yes, you can do it!
Great written communication skills are always an asset. Write for the school paper, publish your work and make sure your job correspondence is free of grammatical errors to showcase your skills. What jobs require written communications skills? Oh, there are lots of them:
- Marketing communications
- Public Relations
- Human Resources (all that internal communications!)
Try to parlay your written communications skills into an area of specialty to turn this skill into a lucrative career. If this area of speciality is also your passion, you are all set and you will never feel like you work a day in your life!
Sociology is the study of human behavior so I am thinking marketing: mystery shopper, market research, user experience for website design, consumer market research (aka telephone surveys). If you’ve acquired statistics skills, these are also marketable.
8. Drama and Theatre Arts
Sales! You are used to rejection and you know how to be “on.” You’d be a natural to convince someone!
7. Liberal Arts
An internship or several would be good. Liberal Arts is just too general.
6. Studio Arts
You have to be savvy at marketing yourself. Take classes on setting up your own website/blog/Etsy store. Learn to build a social media following in order to sell your own creations. You are a creative spirit so you can do this too! Creating a brand of YOU will also give you geographic flexibility.
5. Graphic Design
This is my professional background so my pet peeve is a student portfolio of just class projects. Please get some real world experience by doing freelance or volunteer graphic design projects to put into your portfolio. This will also give you need experience to master the software you are using to do the work. An internship should be particularly easy for these majors. Do a few in a variety of industries: design studios, ad agencies, in-house marketing departments. You can also do paid internships as your first job out of college or art school.
4. Philosophy and Religious Studies
I think you need to couple this with foreign language skills to make this a marketable career. Expertise in Islam with language fluency in Farsi, Arabic and French will open doors for you for example. Will anyone pay you to ponder the nature of the world? Perhaps not. Or maybe a greeting card company would.
3. Film and Photography
If you have skills with complex equipment and/or software that is being used commercially, you are marketable. For photography, that is Photoshop. Make sure you get practical technical skills to parlay into your first job. Your creative skills can be developed there as well.
2. Fine Arts
Best College Majors for a Lucrative Career
I would never pick a college major for the highest paying job right out of college. Do you remember that landmark Stanford study of what kids could delay gratification and how that predicted future success? Who knew that refusing a marshmallow in hand for two in twenty minutes would be so telling!
Some of these professions pay well as new grads but cap out without further high education so just beware of that!
10. Medical Assisting Services
9. Management Information Services
8. Construction Services
7. Medical Technologies
6. Electrical Engineering
5. Chemical Engineering
4. Treatment Therapy Professions
3. Transportation Sciences and Technology
1. Pharmacy and Pharmacology