Everyone knows that certain degrees offer the potential for a high salary. Students who graduate with degrees in medicine, law, or other notable fields should have no trouble earning six-figure salaries – it’s a good thing, too, considering how much student loan debt they take on.
But what if you’re not interested in becoming a doctor or a lawyer, though? The job market is constantly changing, as are the most desirable college majors. If you want to enter a field that has the best chance of providing you with lucrative job opportunities after graduation, you need to know which professions are forecast to see growth in the coming years. Here are a few college majors for 2016 that will lead to some of the highest-paying jobs in the near future.
It doesn’t take much research to see that engineering jobs of every stripe are in high demand, and most require only a bachelor’s degree to get started (unlike law and medicine, just for example). Jobs for petroleum engineers could start at just a skosh over $100,000, while nuclear, chemical, computer, and mining engineers can expect a starting salary around the $70,000 mark. Then there are jobs in electrical, aerospace, and material science engineering that kick off in the mid-60s. The point is that engineering is a hot-ticket major at the moment. Students need only consider which field appeals to them most.
- Business IT Systems
Information technology has become a crucial part of conducting business. Companies that want to compete need knowledgeable professionals to build and maintain IT infrastructure, as well as see to both internal and external safety concerns. Those who major in business IT systems could start their careers at a median salary of close to $60,000, while industry veterans that excel in this field could expect to earn nearly six figures. With the importance of online operations and the threat of data breaches ever prevalent, business IT systems is also a growth industry.
- Computer Science
Understanding how computers work, learning their languages, and using that knowledge to help users meet end-goals is all part of the computer science field. Whether you end up maintaining corporate systems or writing code for new software, you could earn between $60,000 and $100,000 annually in the course of your career.
There’s been a lot of hubbub about the anticipated brain drain in the medical industry as veteran doctors retire and fewer students care to tackle medical degrees. Enter the field of nursing, which is growing in leaps and bounds. With more nursing students getting bachelor’s (and higher) degrees, doctors conferring more duties to nursing staff, and clinics springing up in response to Obamacare’s mandate for affordable care (not to mention after care), nurses will play an important role in the future of medicine. With salaries starting around $55,000 and going up to about $75,000 on average, nurses can expect to earn a decent living.
- Applied Mathematics
Whether you attend the University of San Francisco or MIT, you’ll find that math is a mandatory part of any major. However, those who have a head for numbers might want to consider a degree in applied mathematics. There’s more to it than just crunching numbers and you could seek employment in a wide variety of fields, including aerospace, CIS, communications, energy, engineering, finance, medicine, transportation, and more. The list goes on and on – so many industries need the expertise of mathematicians to solve everyday dilemmas. As a result, you can expect to earn a starting salary around $55,000 per year, with salaries for experienced mathematicians averaging out to about $95,000 per year.