college

5 Best College Majors for Your Career

What you study can have a big impact on pay and employment prospects.

A typical worker with a bachelor's degree earns two-thirds more than someone with just a high school diploma. But not all college degrees are created equal. What you study matters, too.

We analyzed data for 126 popular college majors to determine which majors typically come with the best hiring prospects and pay, both now and in the future. Here are the top 5 majors for a lucrative career.

1. Nursing

Starting salary: $58,200 (median for all majors: $43,250)

Mid-career salary: $76,300 (median for all majors: $74,700)

Annual online job postings: 1.9 million

Related job: Registered Nurse

Projected 10-year job growth: 17.2% (all occupations: 8.6%)

2. Biomedical Engineering

Starting salary: $62,900

Mid-career salary: $103,500

Annual online job postings: 51,070

Related job: Biomedical Engineer

Projected 10-year job growth: 23.2%

3. Civil Engineering

Starting salary: $57,700

Mid-career salary: $98,500

Annual online job postings: 201,886

Related job: Civil Engineer

Projected 10-year job growth: 10.5%

4. Mechanical Engineering

Starting salary: $64,000

Mid-career salary: $106,800

Annual online job postings: 241,345

Related job: Mechanical Engineer

Projected 10-year job growth: 9.4%

5. Computer Science

Starting salary: $65,900

Mid-career salary: $110,100

Annual online job postings: 2.0 million

Related job: Software Developer

Projected 10-year job growth: 21.6%

See more of the best college majors for your career.

Most Popular

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your second stimulus check.
January 18, 2021
The Recovery Rebate Credit: Get Your Full Stimulus Check Payment With This Tax Credit
Tax Breaks

The Recovery Rebate Credit: Get Your Full Stimulus Check Payment With This Tax Credit

If you didn't get a stimulus check, or you didn't get the full amount, you may be able to claim the recovery rebate credit on your 2020 tax return.
January 18, 2021
When Could We Get a Third Stimulus Check?
Coronavirus and Your Money

When Could We Get a Third Stimulus Check?

President-elect Joe Biden and others in Congress are pushing for a third-round of stimulus checks, but it might be a while before we get them.
January 18, 2021

Recommended

Biden Proposes $15 Minimum Wage
Politics

Biden Proposes $15 Minimum Wage

As part of his $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package, President-elect Biden proposed an increase in the federal minimum wage.
January 15, 2021
12 Ways the Biden Stimulus Package Could Put (or Keep) Money in Your Pocket
Coronavirus and Your Money

12 Ways the Biden Stimulus Package Could Put (or Keep) Money in Your Pocket

President-elect Biden's "American Rescue Plan" includes several proposals to assist people financially harmed by the pandemic.
January 15, 2021
Starting Your Own Law Practice? Here’s How to Fail
careers

Starting Your Own Law Practice? Here’s How to Fail

Take it from Elizabeth Miller, co-author of “From Lawyer to Law Firm, How to Manage a Successful Law Business,” this is what you should NOT do when se…
December 31, 2020
Can Your Boss Force You to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Coronavirus and Your Money

Can Your Boss Force You to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

Two employment attorneys weigh in with their legal viewpoints for employers and their workers. As a bonus, we touch base with a professor of psycholog…
December 29, 2020