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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Best majors for the future includes var­i­ous majors like Com­put­er Sci­ence and Bio­med­ical Engi­neer­ing, not­ing their poten­tial for high future earnings.
  • These degrees are cho­sen for their promis­ing job oppor­tu­ni­ties and expect­ed demand in future job mar­kets.
  • Empha­sis is placed on degrees that lead to careers with high mid-career salaries.
  • Stu­dents are encour­aged to con­sid­er how their cho­sen major will affect their salary and job prospects in the long term.

Which bach­e­lor’s degrees will equip stu­dents to step into the high­est-pay­ing jobs? Choose from the best degrees and you can make bank right out of col­lege — and well into the future — with one of these lucra­tive careers!

This arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in July 2023 and was last updat­ed in March 2024.

There are many fac­tors that a prospec­tive under­grad­u­ate stu­dent takes into con­sid­er­a­tion when con­tem­plat­ing which bachelor’s degree to pur­sue. Arguably one of the most impor­tant should be the way in which their major will improve their salary and job prospects in the future. 

For­tu­nate­ly, there are var­i­ous dif­fer­ent col­lege pro­grams avail­able that are not only enlight­en­ing and reward­ing but will help set bud­ding learn­ers up for excep­tion­al careers in lat­er life.

This list arti­cle show­cas­es the 30 types of bachelor’s degree cours­es that will most ben­e­fit stu­dents after grad­u­a­tion on the job mar­ket. Specif­i­cal­ly, the best col­lege majors for the future should equip learn­ers to go into roles with often excel­lent annu­al salaries. 

At the same time, enables them to enter fields where their knowl­edge ensures excep­tion­al job prospects in the years to come.

Relat­ed Rankings:

Methodology: Highest Paying Bachelor’s Degrees for the Future

To devel­op this list arti­cle, we first stud­ied oth­er lists from respect­ed pub­li­ca­tions. These arti­cles iden­ti­fied, in the first instance, the bachelor’s degrees with the best future salary poten­tial. In the sec­ond, the pro­ject­ed best jobs for the future.

In order to sin­gle out our entries, we first iden­ti­fied the bachelor’s degrees with the best future salary poten­tial by using the rank­ings from PayScale, Glass­door, and George­town Uni­ver­si­ty. These three lists were then col­lat­ed into one by award­ing each degree cit­ed a weight­ed score. This scor­ing took into account both the total num­ber of entries on each list and where each degree ranks on those lists. These weight­ed scores were sub­se­quent­ly com­bined to give the Degree Rank­ing for each degree.

In the same way, we then iden­ti­fied the best jobs for the future. Using data from World Eco­nom­ic Forum, Busi­ness Insid­er, Kiplinger and Mic, we col­lat­ed the four lists into one to gen­er­ate an indi­vid­ual Future Job Score for each job. 

Again, the scores were weight­ed to take into account the total num­ber of entries on each list and where each job ranked on those lists. These weight­ed scores for each job were then matched with the degrees that qual­i­fy indi­vid­u­als to per­form these roles. This gave us an over­all Future Job Score for each degree.

Final­ly, we cal­cu­lat­ed the Over­all Score for col­lege degrees by adding the rel­e­vant Degree Rank­ing to its cor­re­spond­ing over­all Future Job Score.

Here’s an example:

For exam­ple, Com­put­er Sci­ence ranked third in the Degree Rank­ing, earn­ing it 97 points. To that fig­ure, the Future Job Scores for the jobs app devel­op­er (41), com­put­er sys­tems ana­lyst (37), com­put­er and infor­ma­tion sys­tems man­ag­er (26) and soft­ware sys­tems devel­op­er (21) were added – so 97 + 41 + 37 + 26 + 21 = 222. The Over­all Score for a Com­put­er Sci­ence degree was, then, 222.

It was on these Over­all Scores that the degrees were ulti­mate­ly ranked the best col­lege majors for the future.

30. Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering

Prac­ti­cal­ly any­one who’s spent time liv­ing or work­ing in a big city has ben­e­fit­ed from the exper­tise of civ­il engi­neers. Indeed, while their pro­fes­sion­al respon­si­bil­i­ties are numer­ous, the duties of civ­il engi­neers can be boiled down to one sen­tence: they keep life moving. 

Not only do they map out, cre­ate and main­tain the roads, rail­way lines and sub­ways that keep peo­ple in tran­sit, but they also man­age unseen links, like the sewage net­works that run under a metrop­o­lis’ streets. 

The breadth of sys­tems in which civ­il engi­neers have their hands – from trans­porta­tion to water man­age­ment and even emerg­ing fields such as envi­ron­men­tal engi­neer­ing degrees – means that stu­dents pur­su­ing bachelor’s degrees in this sub­ject are more than like­ly to find career paths that best fit their unique skills. 

Once they’re in the mid­dle of their careers as pro­fes­sion­al civ­il engi­neers, more­over, they can each typ­i­cal­ly expect an impres­sive annu­al salary of $89,940, accord­ing to the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tic­s’s 2022 Col­lege Salary Report.

29. Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering

Where­as many engi­neers work with mechan­i­cal devices and com­po­nents, bio­med­ical engi­neers deal with per­haps the most com­pli­cat­ed machine of all: the human body. Accord­ing­ly, those in bio­med­ical engi­neer­ing under­grad­u­ate degree pro­grams ought to be involved in find­ing answers to med­ical prob­lems by cre­at­ing tech­no­log­i­cal devices and sys­tems that work successfully. 

In the past, cer­tain­ly, prac­ti­tion­ers in the field have made their mark. They have con­tributed to advance­ments in pros­thet­ics, pace­mak­ers, and replace­ment organs. Their work on the likes of X‑rays and robot­ic surgery may have indi­rect­ly saved a num­ber of lives. Yet the sat­is­fac­tion of help­ing peo­ple get back on their feet isn’t the only reward on offer for bio­med­ical engineers. 

To wit, the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tic­s’s 2022 Col­lege Salary Report cal­cu­lat­ed that those with bachelor’s degrees in bio­med­ical engi­neer­ing can typ­i­cal­ly each expect a mid-career salary of $99,550. Mean­while, they also state that the num­ber of bio­med­ical engi­neer­ing roles is set to rise by 5 per­cent from 2022 to 2032.

28. Actuarial Science

Actuarial science

Antic­i­pat­ing future finan­cial trends always comes with a sig­nif­i­cant amount of risk. Even skilled econ­o­mists and busi­ness majors can’t pre­dict every change in world­wide mar­kets. For­tu­nate­ly, though, indi­vid­u­als with knowl­edge of actu­ar­i­al sci­ence can help assess prob­a­ble sce­nar­ios and so hope­ful­ly min­i­mize poten­tial losses. 

Actu­ar­i­al sci­ence typ­i­cal­ly uti­lizes math­e­mat­i­cal and sta­tis­ti­cal data to ascer­tain the prob­a­bil­i­ties of such events occur­ring. In the process, it helps cre­ate an under­stand­ing of how com­pa­nies can safe­ly adapt to unfore­seen cir­cum­stances. This dis­ci­pline is wide­ly used in the insur­ance sec­tor. Know­ing the like­li­hood of cat­a­stro­phes both nat­ur­al and man-made can help firms set their pre­mi­ums at man­age­able levels.

By bring­ing such knowl­edge to bear, the job prospects avail­able to actu­ar­i­al sci­ence grad­u­ates are impres­sive. Actu­ar­ies earn medi­an salaries of $113,900 and there is a “very good” chance of growth in the field in the future.

27. Industrial Distribution

Industrial distribution

Indus­tri­al dis­tri­b­u­tion might not imme­di­ate­ly spring to mind when choos­ing a major is on the cards. A degree in the dis­ci­pline could be a good bet for col­lege majors in the future. 

A recent sur­vey of the sec­tor by Indus­tri­al Dis­tri­b­u­tion mag­a­zine found that 39 per­cent of employ­ers find locat­ing appro­pri­ate appli­cants dif­fi­cult. As a result, grad­u­ates with decent knowl­edge of indus­tri­al dis­tri­b­u­tion may find them­selves in good stead when it comes to land­ing jobs. 

What’s more, the need for such indi­vid­u­als is ris­ing. Indus­tri­al Careers Path­way is pro­ject­ing that over the next decade 4.7 mil­lion new jobs in the field will be cre­at­ed in North Amer­i­ca alone. So, what does indus­tri­al dis­tri­b­u­tion entail? 

In essence, it deals with the sale and sup­ply of items to cor­po­ra­tions, man­u­fac­tur­ers, and dis­trib­u­tors. Stu­dents of indus­tri­al dis­tri­b­u­tion are like­ly to also dip their toes into aspects of math, sci­ence, data man­age­ment, and qual­i­ty con­trol along the way. 

In terms of finan­cial remu­ner­a­tion, mean­while, indi­vid­u­als with bachelor’s degrees in this sub­ject can each typ­i­cal­ly look for­ward to an attrac­tive mid-career salary of $189,400.

26. Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering

Though indus­tri­al engi­neer­ing degrees might con­jure up images of fac­to­ries and mech­a­niza­tion, stu­dents of the dis­ci­pline needn’t find them­selves pre­sid­ing over noisy, com­pli­cat­ed appa­ra­tus in the future. Indeed, indus­tri­al engi­neer­ing majors may be equal­ly well equipped for careers in bank­ing, the media or even in government. 

That’s because the sci­en­tif­ic and math­e­mat­i­cal approach­es they learn at the under­grad­u­ate degree lev­el ought to enable them to devel­op sys­tems and process­es for a diverse array of orga­ni­za­tions. What’s more, the inter­per­son­al and prob­lem-solv­ing skills that indus­tri­al engi­neers may well use on the job ought to serve them well in oth­er careers, too. 

That said, accord­ing to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics, there will be an increas­ing num­ber of oppor­tu­ni­ties for those who wish to stick with indus­tri­al engi­neer­ing. A nice total of 38,400 new roles are pro­ject­ed in the field every year from 2022 to 2032. The Bureau fur­ther­more records that in 2022 indus­tri­al engi­neers took home medi­an salaries of $96,350.

25. Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Electrical and electronics engineering

While they may sound like sim­i­lar dis­ci­plines, elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing, and elec­tron­ics engi­neer­ing diverge on many key lev­els. Elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing, for instance, gen­er­al­ly focus­es on the gen­er­a­tion and sup­ply of elec­tric­i­ty and the meth­ods by which we obtain power. 

Elec­tron­ic engi­neer­ing, on the oth­er hand, is com­mon­ly con­cerned with cre­at­ing devices and hard­ware that use such pow­er – any­thing from robots to com­put­er cir­cuit boards. If a prospec­tive stu­dent choos­es to study for a col­lege major in elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ics engi­neer­ing, then their increas­ing famil­iar­i­ty with both fields ought to boost the range of roles that they can con­ceiv­ably go for after graduation. 

Nat­u­ral­ly, these may include more gen­er­al posi­tions as an elec­tri­cal engi­neer or an elec­tron­ics engi­neer. How­ev­er, there’s also the poten­tial for careers in the aero­space and nuclear ener­gy arenas. 

Plus, there’s good news on the pay front: accord­ing to 2022 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics, elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ics engi­neers earn medi­an annu­al salaries of $104,610.

24. Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineering

For prospec­tive stu­dents with a love of geol­o­gy and a tal­ent for build­ing things, an under­grad­u­ate degree in petro­le­um engi­neer­ing might be the way to go. With the knowl­edge acquired from a col­lege major in the sub­ject under their belt, a petro­le­um engi­neer­ing grad­u­ate should be able to turn their hand to find­ing hid­den deposits of gas and crude oil, extract­ing these fos­sil fuels, and refin­ing them into usable products. 

There’s also scope for those who wish to hone in on par­tic­u­lar aspects of the process by becom­ing spe­cial­ist reser­voir or pro­duc­tion engi­neers, for instance. At the same time, petro­le­um engi­neer­ing majors can look for­ward to very healthy pay­checks if they use their learn­ing to enter the field. 

BLS.org esti­mates, for exam­ple, that bachelor’s in petro­le­um engi­neer­ing hold­ers typ­i­cal­ly earn a remark­able $76,960 per year towards the begin­nings of their careers, while for mid-career salaries that fig­ure is an excep­tion­al $131,800.

23. Applied Mathematics

Applied mathematics

Like sta­tis­tics, applied math­e­mat­ics is a spe­cial­ized dis­ci­pline that often over­laps with oth­er spheres of study. For any­one who’d like more in-depth instruc­tion in the field, though, an applied math­e­mat­ics col­lege major pro­gram could be just the ticket. 

Applied math­e­mat­ics itself has been defined by North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty as “the appli­ca­tion of math­e­mat­ics to real-world prob­lems.” Its meth­ods are uti­lized by a vari­ety of busi­ness­es for prac­ti­cal reasons. 

For exam­ple, an auto­mo­tive com­pa­ny may want to find a way to reduce pro­duc­tion costs while still man­u­fac­tur­ing vehi­cles that meet safe­ty and envi­ron­men­tal stan­dards. A phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal cor­po­ra­tion could use applied math­e­mat­ics to cre­ate bal­anced and accu­rate clin­i­cal trials. 

Study­ing for a degree in the sub­ject should, then, afford learn­ers math­e­mat­i­cal insight that can prove ben­e­fi­cial to these indus­tries and more. The rewards are cer­tain­ly numer­ous in the pro­fes­sion­al world. Forbes ranked applied math­e­mat­ics as one of the top ten most valu­able col­lege majors avail­able when it comes to future earn­ing potential. 

More recent­ly, mean­while, BLS cal­cu­lat­ed that grad­u­ates with bachelor’s degrees in the dis­ci­pline should typ­i­cal­ly each go on to earn a siz­able mid-career salary of $99,960.

22. Physics and Mathematics

Physics and mathematics

Inter­est­ing­ly, physics and math­e­mat­ics over­lap in sev­er­al often impor­tant ways. Indeed, sev­er­al prin­ci­ples of physics – such as ther­mo­dy­nam­ics – have been devel­oped using meth­ods derived from math­e­mat­ics. Math con­tin­ues to play an impor­tant part in the­o­ret­i­cal physics to this day. 

Per­haps as a result of this sym­bio­sis, the two dis­ci­plines are some­times com­bined into dual bachelor’s pro­grams that are ide­al for stu­dents with an inter­est in both sub­jects or who are still not quite sure about their future career prospects. When it comes to even­tu­al­ly enter­ing the world of work, how­ev­er, physics and math­e­mat­ics majors may find their skills a per­fect fit in many indus­tries, includ­ing finance, soft­ware devel­op­ment, design, and economics. 

They could even trans­late to a career as an aero­space engi­neer, a role for which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics report­ed a medi­an salary of $126,880 in 2022.

21. Statistics


Although sta­tis­tics is close­ly aligned with math­e­mat­ics – and, indeed, the sub­ject is typ­i­cal­ly fea­tured in col­lege math cours­es – it’s also com­mon­ly offered as a stand-alone col­lege major choice at U.S. uni­ver­si­ties. It’s one of the great col­lege majors for the future, and the focus is clear. 

Under­grad­u­ate stu­dents in sta­tis­tics pro­grams should learn how to engage with data. Specif­i­cal­ly, col­lat­ing it, scru­ti­niz­ing it, and under­stand­ing what the infor­ma­tion it pro­vides means in wider con­texts. Such skills are, more­over, emi­nent­ly trans­fer­able, as indus­tries from adver­tis­ing to phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals all require indi­vid­u­als to inter­pret the stats that they produce. 

Plus, sta­tis­ti­cians’ future job prospects may be rosy, accord­ing to Google chief econ­o­mist Hal Var­i­an. In a 2008 inter­view with McK­in­sey & Company’s James Manyi­ka, Var­i­an described sta­tis­tics as “the sexy job” of the future, since “the abil­i­ty to take data… [will] be a huge­ly impor­tant skill in the next decades.”

Whether or not Varian’s words come to pass, though, those with bachelor’s degrees in sta­tis­tics can at least expect to be well paid while they wait to find out. 

PayScale’s 2022–2032 Col­lege Salary Report states that they will typ­i­cal­ly each earn $60,000 a year dur­ing the first stages of their careers, ris­ing to salaries of $86,832 at the mid­points of their work­ing lives.

20. Nursing


Any­one con­sid­er­ing a career as a reg­is­tered nurse may want to thank their lucky stars, for the role has the high­est pro­ject­ed growth of any occu­pa­tion in the U.S., accord­ing to a Busi­ness Insid­er. Indeed, the site states that there will be an esti­mat­ed 193,100 new posts for reg­is­tered nurs­es from 2022 to 2032. 

It’s not all good news, though. Once nurs­ing grad­u­ates take their first ten­ta­tive steps into the pro­fes­sion­al world, they may be greet­ed with gru­el­ing and unso­cia­ble work­ing hours and phys­i­cal­ly labo­ri­ous tasks to ful­fill. Still, for those who per­se­vere past the end of their stud­ies and through the demands of the job, there are sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial rewards to be had. 

Mid-career, grad­u­ates with bachelor’s degrees in nurs­ing can typ­i­cal­ly each com­mand a medi­an salary of $81,220.

19. Business


For any­one still chas­ing the Amer­i­can Dream, set­ting up and run­ning a suc­cess­ful com­pa­ny may be the way to real­ize it. Bud­ding entre­pre­neurs can cer­tain­ly learn a lot from a col­lege major in busi­ness – typ­i­cal­ly, every­thing from mar­ket­ing to account­ing and the art of negotiation. 

If stu­dents with­in the dis­ci­pline don’t have the desire to start their own firms, though, then they can still have suc­cess­ful careers in sales, finan­cial ser­vices, or mar­ket­ing, to name just a few fields. More­over, after com­plet­ing their col­lege degrees, such indi­vid­u­als are like­ly to do well financially. 

Busi­ness grad­u­ates have some of the largest aver­age start­ing salaries around, at $60,695 apiece. Mean­while, a recent study by ThinkAd­vi­sor has report­ed that chief invest­ment offi­cers – rep­re­sent­ing one of the roles that ought to even­tu­al­ly be up for grabs for those who have majored in busi­ness – earned high­ly impres­sive medi­an mid-career salaries of $186,000.

18. Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering

Described by Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty as “per­haps the broad­est and most diverse of engi­neer­ing dis­ci­plines,” mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing deals with the con­cep­tion and con­struc­tion of indi­vid­ual parts for the likes of machin­ery, vehi­cles, and elec­tron­ic devices. 

Key to the field, more­over, is a detailed knowl­edge and appli­ca­tion of physics. After all, ther­mo­dy­nam­ics and heat trans­fer both need to be tak­en into con­sid­er­a­tion when it comes to mak­ing suc­cess­ful air­plane parts, for example. 

Cer­tain­ly, such knowl­edge will be put to the test if grad­u­ates land jobs with NASA, The Boe­ing Com­pa­ny, or Lock­heed Mar­tin – all among the top five employ­ers of mechan­i­cal engi­neers in the U.S., accord­ing to a 2013 study by The Engi­neer­ing Career Coach. For those of more of a techie bent, how­ev­er, roles with Google, Apple and Microsoft are emi­nent­ly achiev­able, too. 

In any case, bachelor’s in mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing grad­u­ates mid­way through their careers should be com­fort­ably off, as PayScale’s 2022–2032 Col­lege Salary Report reveals that they earn medi­an salaries of $86,678.

17. Finance and Economics

Finance and Economica

While it’s per­fect­ly pos­si­ble to major in either finance or eco­nom­ics, there are def­i­nite advan­tages to study­ing for a col­lege major that com­bines both sub­jects. After all, such a pro­gram may not only give under­grad­u­ates a the­o­ret­i­cal overview of the world­wide trade of mon­ey and the many eco­nom­ic mod­els in exis­tence but also pre­pare them for the work­ing world by teach­ing trans­fer­able mar­ket­ing and man­age­ment skills. 

As a result, finance and eco­nom­ics grad­u­ates should be good fits for future roles in bank­ing and insur­ance. And the out­look is bright for those who choose to be finan­cial ana­lysts after col­lege, too. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics has esti­mat­ed that there is set to be an 8‑percent increase in the num­ber of posi­tions avail­able to them in the ten years lead­ing up to 2032. 

More­over, in 2022 finan­cial ana­lysts brought in envi­able medi­an salaries of $96,220, accord­ing to the bureau.

16. Electronics and Communication Engineering

Electronics and communication engineering

In an increas­ing­ly dig­i­tal­ly con­nect­ed world, those with elec­tron­ics and com­mu­ni­ca­tion engi­neer­ing degrees are well-placed to find employ­ment. After all, the com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nolo­gies that under­pin life for many need to be devel­oped and sus­tained. Elec­tron­ics and com­mu­ni­ca­tion engi­neer­ing majors should even­tu­al­ly learn how to make exact­ly that happen. 

Fur­ther­more, while this nat­u­ral­ly makes grad­u­ates in the field good can­di­dates to become future elec­tri­cal engi­neers – par­tic­u­lar­ly when it comes to the cre­ation and main­te­nance of spe­cif­ic devices – they may be more than capa­ble of tak­ing up roles in com­put­ing, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions or even the aero­space indus­try.

For those who just want to take home decent pay­checks, though, a col­lege major in elec­tron­ics and com­mu­ni­ca­tion engi­neer­ing should nev­er­the­less help. 

Accord­ing to The Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics, grad­u­ates in this field typ­i­cal­ly each earn a $105,113 a year medi­an salary.

15. Mathematics


Most busi­ness­es need employ­ees with great heads for num­bers and data – and, by and large, math grad­u­ates fit that bill. Cer­tain­ly, they’re well suit­ed to becom­ing mar­ket research ana­lysts, a role for which Busi­ness Insid­er has pro­ject­ed 94,600 new open­ings in the U.S. from 2022 to 2032. 

But the future work prospects of math majors needn’t be lim­it­ed to just the finan­cial indus­tries. Those with a love of tech and its intri­ca­cies may find them­selves at home as com­put­er pro­gram­mers or soft­ware devel­op­ers, for exam­ple. While it may not seem an obvi­ous fit on the sur­face, neu­ro­science, too, could ben­e­fit from the exper­tise of math­e­mat­ics graduates. 

Pro­fes­sion­als with bachelor’s degrees in math­e­mat­ics can each typ­i­cal­ly expect to earn an impres­sive $110,575 per year at the mid­points of their careers.

14. Physics


For those wish­ing to learn more about life, the uni­verse, and every­thing in it, there are few bet­ter degree options than physics. Learn­ers may find them­selves inspired to fol­low in the foot­steps of renowned physi­cists like Albert Ein­stein, who famous­ly advanced the now-piv­otal gen­er­al the­o­ry of rel­a­tiv­i­ty, and Stephen Hawk­ing, who trans­formed con­sen­sus in the field on the behav­ior of black holes. 

They might even find them­selves at NASA, which offers intern­ships at its Applied Physics Lab­o­ra­to­ry. Nat­u­ral­ly, bright minds in pos­ses­sion of a bachelor’s degree in physics can devel­op their own the­ses through the con­tin­u­a­tion of their stud­ies. But if they choose to go into the world of work instead, they’ll find their knowl­edge a boon in spheres as diverse as med­i­cine, edu­ca­tion and even the law. 

Those with bachelor’s degrees in the dis­ci­pline each typ­i­cal­ly com­mand mid-career earn­ings of $139,220 a year.

13. Systems Engineering

Systems engineering

Unlike some areas of engi­neer­ing – which often con­cern them­selves with devel­op­ing spe­cif­ic com­po­nents of pieces of hard­ware or soft­ware devel­op­ment – sys­tems engi­neer­ing deals with the out­come and sta­bil­i­ty of a project as a whole. 

In the field, sys­tems engi­neers must not only ensure that every part of a par­tic­u­lar net­work is run­ning smooth­ly; they must also con­sid­er bud­gets, dead­lines, and the reli­a­bil­i­ty of ele­ments involved in a sys­tem over a pro­longed peri­od of time. 

As a con­se­quence, sys­tems engi­neer­ing cours­es should teach learn­ers more than just tech know-how. For exam­ple, busi­ness man­age­ment and how to com­mu­ni­cate most effec­tive­ly could both be cov­ered in degree pro­grams, as skills in these areas may be invalu­able when stu­dents enter employ­ment. Indeed, through the acqui­si­tion of such skills, earn­ing a sys­tems engi­neer­ing bachelor’s degree should cer­tain­ly reap finan­cial rewards. 

Whether grad­u­ates go into petro­le­um, elec­tron­ic or envi­ron­men­tal sys­tems engi­neer­ing, accord­ing to the BLS, they can each typ­i­cal­ly antic­i­pate a medi­an salary of $139,220.

12. Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering

Chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing is a more diverse dis­ci­pline than its name per­haps sug­gests. After all, at its core, it involves the cre­ation and pro­duc­tion of man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es that trans­form organ­ic mate­ri­als into prod­ucts like gas and arti­fi­cial fibers. This often neces­si­tates keen knowl­edge of biol­o­gy, math­e­mat­ics and physics as well as chemistry. 

In turn, grad­u­ates with a bachelor’s degree in chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing will also see the job mar­ket open up to them, as the nan­otech­nol­o­gy, alter­na­tive ener­gy and cloth­ing indus­tries, among oth­ers, all ben­e­fit from their valu­able skills and abil­i­ties. And employ­ers may pay well for the knowl­edge that chem­i­cal engi­neers possess. 

PayScale’s 2022–2032 Col­lege Salary Report cal­cu­lates that the typ­i­cal mid-career medi­an salary for indi­vid­u­als with under­grad­u­ate degrees in chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing is a thor­ough­ly sat­is­fac­to­ry $106,220. Mean­while, the num­ber of U.S. jobs avail­able to grad­u­ates in the field is, accord­ing to the BLS, set to increase by 8 per­cent in the ten years lead­ing up to 2032.

11. Accounting


For those prospec­tive stu­dents with a knack for num­bers and a keen eye for detail, a bachelor’s degree in account­ing could be the ide­al choice. And study­ing the dis­ci­pline should give them an excel­lent overview of the every­day, work­ing world respon­si­bil­i­ties of accoun­tants – among them, check­ing sales, allo­cat­ing employ­ee salaries and keep­ing tabs on the finan­cial incom­ings and out­go­ings of a busi­ness or an individual. 

Fur­ther­more, accoun­tan­cy majors ought to have excel­lent prospects for the future once they enter employ­ment. The BLS has esti­mat­ed, for instance, that the num­ber of new account­ing and audit­ing jobs in the U.S. will rise by 126,500 from 2022 to 2032. 

Plus, if any of those posi­tions don’t suit account­ing grad­u­ates, they’ll be hap­py to know that their degrees may equip them for careers in the likes of risk assess­ment and bud­get analysis. 

Accoun­tants will typ­i­cal­ly find high­ly sat­is­fac­to­ry num­bers in their bank accounts, too: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics states that the medi­an salary in the field is $78,000.

10. Finance


When flip­ping through col­lege brochures, prospec­tive stu­dents may come across the word “FAME.” This isn’t, how­ev­er, a major in how to become a celebri­ty; rather, it’s an acronym for the inter­twined sub­jects “Finance, Account­ing, Man­age­ment and Economics.” 

Still, while those study­ing for a bachelor’s degree in finance may not even­tu­al­ly become house­hold names, they can still com­mand envi­able salaries once they go into the world of work. Accord­ing to the BLS, finance grad­u­ates can each typ­i­cal­ly expect to secure mid-career year­ly earn­ings of $139,790.

That impres­sive fig­ure per­haps speaks to the val­ue of what stu­dents of finance typ­i­cal­ly learn on their degree cours­es, espe­cial­ly as expert knowl­edge of pri­vate equi­ty and ven­ture cap­i­tal schemes can help earn big bucks for com­pa­nies and clients alike. 

Fur­ther­more, the demand for finan­cial man­agers is grow­ing, with Busi­ness Insid­er esti­mat­ing that by 2032 there will be 69,600 more roles of that kind up for grabs in the U.S. than there were in 2014.

9. Electrical and Computer Engineering

Electrical and computer engineering

Tech­no­log­i­cal progress has trans­formed our world with­in the past few decades, and that progress is not like­ly to slow down. For this rea­son, the career prospects of those with degrees in elec­tri­cal and com­put­er engi­neer­ing (ECE) look bright, since the skills they ought to have acquired dur­ing their time in edu­ca­tion should make them excep­tion­al­ly capa­ble of devel­op­ing the tech of the future. 

Their expe­ri­ence and know-how are valu­able in many dif­fer­ent are­nas, too. In the health­care sec­tor, for exam­ple, ECE grad­u­ates can con­tribute to advances in med­ical equip­ment, while in the field of renew­able ener­gy, they may devel­op envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly pow­er sys­tems that help save the planet. 

Fur­ther­more, there’s good news for ECE majors when it comes to finan­cial rewards, as PayScale’s 2022–2032 Col­lege Salary Report cal­cu­lates that those with bachelor’s degrees in the dis­ci­pline can typ­i­cal­ly each antic­i­pate sub­stan­tial mid-career earn­ings of $75,097 a year.

8. Management Information Systems

Management information systems

Accord­ing to The Uni­ver­si­ty of Ari­zona, all stu­dents need for its man­age­ment infor­ma­tion sys­tems (MIS) pro­gram is “an inter­est in tech­nol­o­gy and the desire to use tech­nol­o­gy to improve people’s lives.” And as that state­ment sug­gests, MIS is a con­sid­er­ably more inter­per­son­al dis­ci­pline than either IT or com­put­er science. 

As a result, stu­dents major­ing in that area will like­ly look at infor­ma­tion net­works and data­bas­es with an eye to how they most use­ful­ly serve busi­ness­es and their cus­tomers and real­ize how tech­no­log­i­cal progress can ben­e­fit peo­ple as well as the industry. 

Plus, prospects for MIS grad­u­ates look great. As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics has pro­ject­ed, the num­ber of roles for those in IT and com­put­er-relat­ed fields is esti­mat­ed to increase by 5 per­cent by 2032. 

Mean­while, busi­ness ana­lyst roles – for which MIS grads are well equipped – offer sig­nif­i­cant salaries: on aver­age, $84,502 annu­al­ly, accord­ing to employ­ment web­site Indeed.

7. Computer Engineering

Computer engineering

Pri­mar­i­ly, com­put­er engi­neers are involved in devel­op­ing the tech­nol­o­gy nec­es­sary to make elec­tron­ic sys­tems work. As such, com­put­er engi­neer­ing majors will typ­i­cal­ly be taught how to cre­ate and imple­ment the likes of proces­sors, cir­cuit boards, and any oth­er mechan­i­cal parts inte­gral to com­put­ers’ func­tions. In addi­tion, they may be required to be able to design and suc­cess­ful­ly uti­lize com­put­er programs. 

But whether com­put­er engi­neer­ing bachelor’s grad­u­ates choose to lat­er search for roles in hard­ware or soft­ware devel­op­ment, their knowl­edge could well offer them a cer­tain amount of career secu­ri­ty in the future. Undoubt­ed­ly, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics has pro­ject­ed that demand for hard­ware engi­neers will grow by 5 percent. 

Mean­while, both hard­ware and soft­ware engi­neers are well remu­ner­at­ed: PayScale states that the medi­an annu­al salary in the U.S. for posi­tions in the field is $100,530.

6. Economics


Eco­nom­ics, in short, ana­lyzes the finan­cial work­ings of busi­ness­es and gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions – in par­tic­u­lar, through the appor­tion­ing of the ser­vices and prod­ucts they pro­vide. Accord­ing­ly, study­ing for a bachelor’s degree in eco­nom­ics should give learn­ers cru­cial insights into how mon­ey is man­aged domes­ti­cal­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly, whether that’s through inves­ti­gat­ing how fam­i­lies deal with their earn­ings or the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the col­lapse of a whole nation’s economy. 

When it comes to future employ­ment, mean­while, grad­u­ates in the field are obvi­ous­ly well suit­ed to careers in areas like finan­cial con­sul­tan­cy and risk analy­sis that demand expert knowl­edge of eco­nom­ic mod­els and plans. And the roles that for­mer stu­dents go on to take up are often very lucra­tive themselves. 

For exam­ple, PayScale states that those with bachelor’s degrees in eco­nom­ics can typ­i­cal­ly expect a medi­an salary of $50,000.

5. Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering

It prob­a­bly isn’t an over­state­ment to say that with­out elec­tric­i­ty, life as we know it would grind to a halt. The mas­sive pow­er grids that deliv­er that elec­tric­i­ty to our homes, busi­ness­es, and insti­tu­tions are typ­i­cal­ly main­tained by those with elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing expertise. 

Indeed, with an elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing degree under their belt, a grad­u­ate may be ful­ly equipped to assem­ble and man­age pow­er gen­er­a­tors and come up with the most effec­tive ways to trans­port the elec­tric­i­ty these cre­ate to where it’s needed. 

For­mer stu­dents in the field aren’t, how­ev­er, lim­it­ed to work­ing on projects such as these, since their degree is like­ly to equip them with the tech­ni­cal abil­i­ty to improve our telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems, domes­tic appli­ances and com­put­er hard­ware, too. 

Bring­ing such exper­tise to the fore, then, elec­tri­cal engi­neers are gen­er­al­ly paid well dur­ing the mid­points of their careers: accord­ing to PayScale’s 2022–2032 Col­lege Salary Report, dur­ing that time those with bachelor’s degrees in the sub­ject each typ­i­cal­ly achieve earn­ings of a con­sid­er­able $91,844 per year.

4. Computer Science and Mathematics

Computer science and mathematics

As its name implies, a com­put­er sci­ence and math­e­mat­ics under­grad­u­ate degree caters to those who have inter­ests in com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy and the math­e­mat­i­cal equa­tions on which that tech­nol­o­gy is often based. In gen­er­al, a com­put­er sci­ence and math­e­mat­ics major exam­ines the ways in which both spheres inter­sect – through the math involved in cre­at­ing a suc­cess­ful algo­rithm, say. 

Con­se­quent­ly, while work­ing towards such a bachelor’s degree, stu­dents can learn valu­able and trans­fer­able skills such as prob­lem-solv­ing and crit­i­cal think­ing – skills that should boost their employ­a­bil­i­ty in a num­ber of roles both now and in the future. 

That said, what stu­dents have gleaned dur­ing their time in col­lege nat­u­ral­ly makes them par­tic­u­lar­ly suit­able for occu­pa­tions with a tech or math focus, whether that’s through pro­gram­ming or work­ing as a sta­tis­ti­cian. At any rate, com­put­er sci­ence and math­e­mat­ics grad­u­ates are gen­er­al­ly very hand­some­ly paid after they’ve entered employment. 

For instance, PayScale’s 2022–2032 Col­lege Salary Report has cal­cu­lat­ed that grads who majored in those fields will typ­i­cal­ly each earn a $189,400 a year medi­an salary.

3. Information Technology

Information technology

While com­put­er sci­ence and infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy – or IT for short – may seem like sim­i­lar fields, there are actu­al­ly marked dif­fer­ences between the two. For exam­ple, where­as com­put­er science’s focus is often pro­gram­ming, those in IT typ­i­cal­ly focus more on the man­age­ment and instal­la­tion of com­put­er sys­tems or the devel­op­ment of tech­no­log­i­cal networks. 

Under­grad­u­ates major­ing in IT will, then, usu­al­ly be sharp­en­ing their skills in the design, imple­men­ta­tion, and main­te­nance of such sys­tems as well as per­haps learn­ing about cru­cial relat­ed areas like infor­ma­tion security. 

As a result of this knowl­edge, more­over, grad­u­ates may be able to find work as net­work archi­tects, sup­port spe­cial­ists, or even research sci­en­tists – and accord­ing to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics, those in the for­mer occu­pa­tion earned a medi­an salary of $126,900 in 2022. 

In addi­tion, the bureau has stat­ed that the num­ber of com­put­er-relat­ed and IT posi­tions in the U.S. is set to rise by 4 per­cent in the years from 2022 to 2032.

2. Computer Science and Engineering

Computer science and engineering

While com­put­er sci­ence degree cours­es may pro­vide a valu­able overview of the field, oth­er relat­ed pro­grams offer more spe­cial­ized insight and teach­ing for those look­ing to devel­op their skills in cer­tain areas of tech. 

In par­tic­u­lar, a com­put­er sci­ence and engi­neer­ing bachelor’s could be the ide­al choice for any­one who wish­es to learn both the basics of how com­put­ers work and how to devel­op and build their own hard­ware or soft­ware – handy skills in an age where we rely so heav­i­ly on technology. 

That knowl­edge, more­over, allows grad­u­ates to earn posi­tions vir­tu­al­ly any­where where sys­tems- and pro­gram-build­ing are need­ed – from devel­op­ing the vital traf­fic-con­trol tech­no­log­i­cal infra­struc­ture to craft­ing the soft­ware required for the smart homes of the future. 

And though earn­ings poten­tial nat­u­ral­ly depends on how much an employ­er is will­ing to give, PayScale’s 2022–2032 Col­lege Salary Report states that com­put­er sci­ence and engi­neer­ing bachelor’s grad­u­ates can each typ­i­cal­ly expect a medi­an salary amount­ing to $75,097 a year.

1. Computer Science

Computer science

These days, vir­tu­al­ly every com­pa­ny on the plan­et relies heav­i­ly on com­put­ers to keep their orga­ni­za­tions run­ning, and this is some­thing that’s unlike­ly to change any time soon. Hence, firms of all sizes – from small region­al busi­ness­es to house­hold-name brands – invari­ably need com­put­er spe­cial­ists who can swoop in to fix any tech prob­lems or swift­ly build user-friend­ly web­sites to clients’ specifications. 

It’s no won­der, then, that com­put­er sci­ence cours­es are some of the most pop­u­lar of their kind in U.S. col­leges today. Typ­i­cal­ly, com­put­er sci­ence majors not only learn how com­put­er hard­ware works but also how to find their way around cod­ing lan­guage pro­grams like Java and C++ – as well as more com­pli­cat­ed lan­guages such as Pro­log and Scheme. 

The skills learned from a com­put­er stud­ies bachelor’s degree open up the job mar­ket con­sid­er­ably to grad­u­ates in the field, with roles from com­put­er sys­tems ana­lyst to web devel­op­er all with­in reach for those with the required know-how. 

Such posi­tions are usu­al­ly well paid, too: accord­ing to 2022 sta­tis­tics from the BLS, the typ­i­cal soft­ware devel­op­er earns an impres­sive medi­an salary of $124,200. Per­haps even more promis­ing­ly, the BLS has esti­mat­ed that the need for peo­ple in these roles will only increase in the U.S. in the com­ing years.

What Makes a Major a Good Choice for the Future?

A “future-proof” major is one that cen­ters around a skill that is always need­ed by soci­ety at large. 

So, how do you iden­ti­fy a degree that sup­ports you in a suc­cess­ful career through­out your work­ing years? You could enter into one of the STEM fields as the demand for peo­ple with a STEM edu­ca­tion will always be strong. 

But what if you don’t have the apti­tude for these fields? 

How do you iden­ti­fy col­lege majors that won’t leave you strug­gling to earn a living?

The good news is, that STEM fields are not the only types of well-pay­ing col­lege majors out there. The world needs vet­eri­nar­i­ans, social work­ers, psy­chother­a­pists, and con­struc­tion man­agers. These are careers that require a bach­e­lor’s degree at a min­i­mum and have skills that can be par­layed into oth­er career paths. 

As you con­sid­er the col­lege majors that work best for you, also look at ones that have flex­i­bil­i­ty in terms of switch­ing careers. For exam­ple, you want to become a teacher, but you may find that it’s not a career for you, and you want to switch to some­thing else. One aspect of teach­ing is peo­ple man­age­ment, and you can eas­i­ly switch to a human resources career with a pro­fes­sion­al cer­tifi­cate in HR.

Con­sid­er your skills and apti­tudes as you con­sid­er the best col­lege majors for the future. You’re going to be spend­ing the next 40 or so years of your life work­ing, and you want your edu­ca­tion to be in align­ment with your per­son­al strengths. 

Don’t go into a degree pro­gram sim­ply because it seems like it’s one of the best degrees for the future. Instead, put your­self first and look at career paths that fall with­in your skillsets, then look into col­lege majors that offer the best match.

Why Does Tech Get So Much Love?

Tech is some­thing that affects our dai­ly lives and needs peo­ple who can build, repair, main­tain, and code to make tech work for var­i­ous needs and uses. Col­lege majors for the future have to include a field that accom­mo­dates a wide range of peo­ple with dif­fer­ent apti­tudes and tal­ents for tech. 

Some­one who has math­e­mat­i­cal tal­ents and an ana­lyt­i­cal mind will do well as a pro­gram­mer, while some­one who can blend art with tech­nol­o­gy can find work in user expe­ri­ence (UX) design. 

Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence experts are expect­ed to be in high demand for years to come (BLS). Data sci­ence isn’t going any­where, so the job oppor­tu­ni­ties for a data ana­lyst are incredible. 

The tech field also accom­mo­dates those who can under­stand and write code, but don’t want to pro­gram. Work­ing as an IT admin­is­tra­tor or in a cloud com­put­ing facil­i­ty is an excel­lent career path and is one that pays well. 

Adding the com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills of the lib­er­al arts will expand your employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties even more. Spe­cial­iza­tions are great, but make sure you have course­work that enhances the most in-demand soft skills.

Are Medical Majors Always Good for the Future?

Yes, med­ical majors are good degrees for the future. Peo­ple are always going to need med­ical care through­out their lives, and med­ical pro­fes­sion­als are always going to be in demand. If you enjoy help­ing oth­ers in times of need, the med­ical field is a good choice for col­lege majors in the future.

The field of med­i­cine offers mul­ti­ple degree path­ways that get you start­ed work­ing in the field at all lev­els. You can begin by earn­ing a CNA cer­tifi­cate and get­ting a feel for the type of work a health­care work­er per­forms on a dai­ly basis. 

If you enjoy the work, you can return to col­lege and get an asso­ci­ate’s degree in nurs­ing, then sit for the NCLEX to get your reg­is­tered nurs­ing license. After you earn your RN, you can go on to get a bach­e­lor of sci­ence in nurs­ing and expand your career options even further.