What are the Most Popular College Majors? You know what your interests are, but what career paths will you follow, and what majors do you need to get there? Here is a list of five popular college majors that may give you an idea.


The shortage in medical personnel, including nurses, is expected to continue. Nursing graduates anticipate a low unemployment rate of 4.8 percent. The best overall position in nursing is Registered nurse, according to Kiplinger.com. The projected job growth rate for the nursing profession is 26 percent. The starting salary for an RN is an average $54,100. You can become an RN with an associate's degree or you can get a nursing school diploma, but if you obtain your bachelor degree you will earn $5500 a year more. Nurse practitioners with master's degrees earn as much as $116,000.

Information Systems Management

These professionals work with technology to keep corporations and organizations connected to the business world. The starting salary is $51,600, but at mid-career they can expect to earn $88,600. Most employers prefer information systems managers with MBA degrees. In fact, this degree is offered through many business schools. It can be paired with a degree in human resource management for a brighter career outlook. The projected job growth rate for information systems managers is 18.1 percent.

Civil Engineering

The projected job growth rate for engineers in general is 10 percent, which is lower than average. The rate for civil engineers, however, is 19.4 percent. These professionals work on large construction projects like airports and infrastructure. The starting salary for civil engineers is $52,000. Mid-career earnings average $88,800. The unemployment rate for this career is a low 4.0 percent.

Computer Sciences

People with this major can work in a variety of arenas from government to private corporations and research facilities. They specialize in robotics, hardware and software, and may even work with artificial intelligence. According to Newsdice.com, this is a diverse field and the most successful graduates choose their career paths early and get marketable skills. Entry salaries are $58,400, but by mid-career computer scientists could be earning $100,000. The median salary is $102,190. The projected job growth rate is 18.7 percent.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Entry level jobs for this major usually require a bachelor's or master's degree. If you don't want to be a pharmacist, options include going into research (designing and developing new drugs) or working in pharmaceutical sales. Pharmacists must have a doctoral degree in most states. The average starting salary for someone in this major is $42,100, but at mid-career professionals in pharmaceutical sciences can earn $120,000. Those in pharmaceutical sales earn a median salary of $81,646. The projected job growth rate for professions in this major is 36.4 percent.

There are more factors to consider than potential salary when choosing majors. Job satisfaction is one. It is vital to pursue careers that fit your interests because even high salaries will not prevent career burnout. Another factor in choosing a major is the amount of education required to achieve your desired career. It is imperative to "do your homework" and study the most popular college majors in combination with your interests and future career goals.

Related: Best Value Schools - What are General Education Courses?

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