With rising college education price tags costing students and their families an arm, leg, pinkie, and gallbladder these days, undergrads should be more concerned than ever with selecting a major that will pay out as much as they put in. Of course everyone knows that college is about more than football games and theme parties, but oftentimes it can be easy to forget that the primary function of postsecondary education is to prime oneself for the workforce. Never has it been more critical to scrutinize your major choice; certain majors are simply more transferrable and applicable in the workplace, and can render more job opportunities and more money in the long run.
If you’re interested in English, study Marketing.
English isn’t the only area of study that makes use of reading and writing. Marketing, for example, also explores how words can sway, influence, and move us. When it comes to selling products and ideas to the masses, word choice is a key part of the marketing process.
Why not put yourself into a position to get paid well to do what you love?
Average Salaries:Marketing degree: $77,300
English degree: $67,500
Market Research Analysts: $61,070
Marketing Managers: $97,260
If you’re interested in History, study Economics.
Try as we might, we can’t escape our past, which is one reason why people are drawn to studying history. But by studying economics, history buffs can get their fix by studying the economic theories and thinkers that have influenced past and present. A career in business and finance can follow.
The average pay for econ majors doesn’t hurt either.
Economics degree: $97,800
History degree: $73,000
Financial Analyst: $73,150
Financial Managers: $99,330
If you’re interested in Art, study Graphic Design.
Graphic design degree programs are more career-focused than art programs. When studying graphic design, you’ll get to draw upon your real love for art by turning it into a valuable, transferable skill.
Advertisers and computer design firms are two big reasons why graphic designers are in demand.
Graphic Design degree: $56,800
Art degree: $54,800
Graphic Design Careers:
Graphic Designers: $42,400
Advertising Managers: $80,220
If you’re interested in Sociology, study Paralegal Studies.
Sociology, a social science, is the study of society and can lead to a rewarding career in journalism, social work, or education, among others. But if money and job security are primary concerns, you may be better served by studying a more specific area like paralegal studies, where you will study the law’s effect upon society and prepare for a specific career track.
While job opportunities for reporters are expected to decline through 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor sees a 28 percent jump in paralegal job openings from 2008-2018.
Average Salaries:Paralegal degree: $51,300
Court Reporters: $49,710
If you’re interested in Philosophy, study Criminal Justice.
Like other liberal arts degrees, the study of philosophy is intellectually rigorous and stimulating. One downside though is that it doesn’t prepare you for a specific job in a specific industry.
Debating questions of right and wrong are a large part of philosophy’s appeal. Did you know that similarly intellectually-stimulating principles are at the heart of criminal justice degree programs?
Much faster than average job growth is expected for private detectives through 2018, according to the Department of Labor, which cites the study of criminal justice as a common way to start your career.
Average Salaries:Criminal Justice degree: $58,000
Criminal Justice Careers:
Police Officers: $51,410
Police Supervisors: $75,490
If you’re interested in Theater, study Communications.
Actors and directors are all-too-familiar with the hard work, long hours, and low pay their careers often require. When compared to a niche major like theater, it’s easy to see how a communications degree has a broader application and a much higher earning potential. No matter your career, the ability to communicate is paramount. The earning potential of communications grads reflects that.
Average Salaries:Communications degree: $72,200
Theater degree: $59,600
PR Specialists: $51,280
PR Managers: $89,430