Making Money – Choosing the right field of study

Choosing the right college major can make a big difference in students’ career prospects, in terms of employment and pay. Here’s a look at how various college majors fare in the job market, based on 2010 Census data. Some popular majors, such as nursing and finance, do particularly well, with unemployment under 5% and high salaries during the course of their careers.

Major Field Unemployment Percent 25th % Earnings Median % Earnings 75th % Earnings Popularity
ACCOUNTING 5.40% $41,000 $61,000 $94,000 3
ACTUARIAL SCIENCE 0.00% $52,000 $81,000 $116,000 150
ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS 6.10% $36,000 $50,000 $74,000 41
AEROSPACE ENGINEERING 3.60% $60,000 $84,000 $111,000 105
AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS 1.30% $30,000 $57,000 $99,000 122
AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT 3.00% $32,000 $48,000 $71,000 75
ANIMAL SCIENCES 5.70% $26,000 $40,000 $60,000 67
ANTHROPOLOGY AND ARCHEOLOGY 6.90% $30,000 $40,000 $60,000 55
APPLIED MATHEMATICS 4.10% $52,000 $71,000 $100,000 131
ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING 5.80% $50,000 $71,000 $96,000 140
ARCHITECTURE 10.60% $37,000 $60,000 $85,000 33
AREA ETHNIC AND CIVILIZATION STUDIES 5.70% $34,000 $48,000 $76,000 66
ART AND MUSIC EDUCATION 4.20% $32,000 $41,000 $51,000 48
ART HISTORY AND CRITICISM 6.90% $33,000 $45,000 $71,000 81
ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS 0.00% $56,000 $62,000 $101,000 170
ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND METEOROLOGY 1.60% $40,000 $68,000 $101,000 146
BIOCHEMICAL SCIENCES 7.10% $30,000 $48,000 $80,000 87
BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING 6.80% $39,000 $60,000 $94,000 126
BIOLOGY 5.60% $35,000 $51,000 $76,000 14
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING 5.90% $45,000 $68,000 $101,000 137
BOTANY 6.90% $26,000 $40,000 $55,000 147
BUSINESS ECONOMICS 5.00% $44,000 $71,000 $101,000 80
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION 6.00% $38,000 $56,000 $85,000 1
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING 3.80% $60,000 $86,000 $117,000 49
CHEMISTRY 5.10% $39,000 $59,000 $85,000 36
CIVIL ENGINEERING 4.90% $55,000 $76,000 $101,000 32
CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY 19.50% $25,000 $40,000 $61,000 168
COGNITIVE SCIENCE AND BIOPSYCHOLOGY 4.50% $36,000 $43,000 $91,000 167
COMMERCIAL ART AND GRAPHIC DESIGN 8.10% $31,000 $45,000 $69,000 21
COMMUNICATION DISORDERS SCIENCES AND SERVICES 3.30% $32,000 $41,000 $50,000 98
COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES 6.70% $33,000 $50,000 $73,000 89
COMMUNICATIONS 6.30% $35,000 $50,000 $81,000 7
COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH 4.10% $31,000 $46,000 $70,000 110
COMPOSITION AND SPEECH 7.70% $30,000 $40,000 $61,000 99
COMPUTER ADMINISTRATION MANAGEMENT AND SECURITY 9.50% $39,000 $52,000 $75,000 114
COMPUTER AND
INFORMATION SYSTEMS
5.60% $44,000 $62,000 $86,000 31
COMPUTER ENGINEERING 7.00% $58,000 $81,000 $102,000 47
COMPUTER NETWORKING AND
TELECOMMUNICATIONS
5.20% $35,000 $53,000 $76,000 97
HUMANITIES 8.40% $30,000 $45,000 $62,000 118
INDUSTRIAL AND MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING 5.60% $50,000 $75,000 $100,000 59
INDUSTRIAL AND
ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
10.40% $45,000 $62,000 $81,000 135
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGIES 3.10% $46,000 $67,000 $91,000 82
INFORMATION SCIENCES 5.90% $48,000 $71,000 $95,000 69
INTERCULTURAL AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 6.60% $32,000 $50,000 $71,000 100
INTERDISCIPLINARY SOCIAL SCIENCES 6.30% $31,000 $40,000 $50,000 96
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS 8.50% $38,000 $52,000 $87,000 72
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 5.80% $40,000 $57,000 $93,000 79
JOURNALISM 7.00% $34,000 $50,000 $79,000 25
LANGUAGE AND DRAMA EDUCATION 5.00% $32,000 $41,000 $50,000 58
LIBERAL ARTS 7.60% $32,000 $48,000 $71,000 20
LIBRARY SCIENCE 15.00% $23,000 $36,000 $49,000 159
LINGUISTICS AND COMPARATIVE LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 10.20% $30,000 $44,000 $70,000 90
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION
SYSTEMS AND STATISTICS
4.20% $47,000 $71,000 $96,000 44
MARKETING AND MARKETING
RESEARCH
5.90% $40,000 $59,000 $90,000 6
MASS MEDIA 6.90% $32,000 $46,000 $69,000 35
MATERIALS ENGINEERING AND MATERIALS SCIENCE 7.70% $57,000 $84,000 $105,000 136
MATERIALS SCIENCE 4.70% $65,000 $81,000 $106,000 161
MATHEMATICS 5.00% $42,000 $63,000 $95,000 28
MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTER SCIENCE 3.50% $55,000 $91,000 $151,000 158
MATHEMATICS TEACHER EDUCATION 3.40% $34,000 $42,000 $56,000 108
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 3.80% $60,000 $81,000 $106,000
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
RELATED TECHNOLOGIES
6.60% $38,000 $65,000 $87,000 123
MEDICAL ASSISTING SERVICES 2.90% $34,000 $51,000 $71,000 95
MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES TECHNICIANS 1.40% $44,000 $58,000 $74,000 51
METALLURGICAL ENGINEERING 3.90% $50,000 $86,000 $110,000 152
MICROBIOLOGY 5.20% $40,000 $60,000 $86,000 94
MILITARY TECHNOLOGIES 10.90% $81,000 $86,000 $126,000 173
MINING AND MINERAL ENGINEERING 4.30% $71,000 $101,000 $121,000 162
MISCELLANEOUS AGRICULTURE 3.70% $31,000 $46,000 $67,000 160
MISCELLANEOUS BIOLOGY 5.30% $31,000 $50,000 $69,000 125
MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS
& MEDICAL ADMINISTRATION
5.30% $35,000 $52,000 $81,000 64
MISCELLANEOUS EDUCATION 3.70% $33,000 $46,000 $65,000 61
MISCELLANEOUS ENGINEERING 7.40% $42,000 $71,000 $91,000 106
MISCELLANEOUS ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIES 6.00% $45,000 $65,000 $91,000 88
MISCELLANEOUS FINE ARTS 16.20% $26,000 $40,000 $49,000 164
MISCELLANEOUS HEALTH MEDICAL PROFESSIONS 3.30% $35,000 $45,000 $62,000 93
MISCELLANEOUS PSYCHOLOGY 10.30% $30,000 $45,000 $71,000 120
MISCELLANEOUS SOCIAL SCIENCES 3.80% $38,000 $52,000 $85,000 143
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY 5.30% $32,000 $50,000 $76,000 124
MULTI-DISCIPLINARY OR GENERAL SCIENCE 4.60% $36,000 $55,000 $81,000 26
MULTI/INTERDISCIPLINARY
STUDIES
5.50% $34,000 $42,000 $50,000 107
MUSIC 5.20% $30,000 $45,000 $67,000 37
NATURAL RESOURCES
MANAGEMENT
6.90% $36,000 $50,000 $71,000 78
NAVAL ARCHITECTURE AND MARINE ENGINEERING 1.70% $60,000 $96,000 $117,000 145
NEUROSCIENCE 7.20% $34,000 $52,000 $76,000 154
NUCLEAR ENGINEERING 4.10% $65,000 $96,000 $138,000 149
NUCLEAR INDUSTRIAL RADIOLOGY AND BIOLOGICAL TECHNOLOGIES 2.20% $47,000 $64,000 $81,000 142
NURSING 2.20% $48,000 $60,000 $80,000 4
NUTRITION SCIENCES 6.40% $35,000 $51,000 $71,000 101
OCEANOGRAPHY 3.30% $40,000 $50,000 $79,000 148
OPERATIONS LOGISTICS AND E-COMMERCE 4.70% $45,000 $65,000 $97,000 102
OTHER FOREIGN LANGUAGES 6.40% $32,000 $45,000 $76,000 111
PETROLEUM ENGINEERING 4.40% $83,000 $127,000 $178,000 138
PHARMACOLOGY 0.00% $48,000 $60,000 $101,000 169
PHARMACY PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES AND ADMINISTRATION 3.20% $78,000 $105,000 $121,000 53
PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES 7.20% $30,000 $42,000 $65,000 42
PHYSICAL AND HEALTH EDUCATION TEACHING 4.50% $34,000 $46,000 $59,000 39
PHYSICAL FITNESS PARKS RECREATION AND LEISURE 4.80% $33,000 $45,000 $61,000 27
PHYSICAL SCIENCES 2.50% $36,000 $51,000 $68,000 157
PHYSICS 4.50% $39,000 $68,000 $101,000 70
PHYSIOLOGY 4.60% $30,000 $48,000 $68,000 113
PLANT SCIENCE AND AGRONOMY 2.70% $28,000 $42,000 $71,000 85
POLITICAL SCIENCE AND
GOVERNMENT
6.00% $38,000 $57,000 $91,000 15
PRE-LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES 7.90% $32,000 $45,000 $69,000 91
PSYCHOLOGY 6.10% $30,000 $43,000 $65,000 5
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 6.90% $36,000 $50,000 $78,000 112
PUBLIC POLICY 2.20% $47,000 $65,000 $101,000 141
SCHOOL STUDENT COUNSELING 0.00% $18,000 $20,000 $42,000 172
SCIENCE AND COMPUTER
TEACHER EDUCATION
5.00% $36,000 $47,000 $58,000 116
SECONDARY TEACHER EDUCATION 3.80% $35,000 $43,000 $59,000 57
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 8.80% $32,000 $45,000 $60,000 155
SOCIAL SCIENCE OR HISTORY TEACHER EDUCATION 3.00% $35,000 $45,000 $58,000 83
SOCIAL WORK 6.80% $30,000 $39,000 $51,000 30
SOCIOLOGY 7.00% $33,000 $45,000 $67,000 19
SOIL SCIENCE 4.90% $43,000 $64,000 $81,000 165
SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION 3.60% $34,000 $42,000 $50,000 52
STATISTICS AND DECISION SCIENCE 6.90% $50,000 $76,000 $108,000 128
STUDIO ARTS 8.00% $25,000 $37,000 $57,000 84
TEACHER EDUCATION: MULTIPLE LEVELS 1.10% $30,000 $38,000 $48,000 86
THEOLOGY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS 4.10% $25,000 $38,000 $54,000 46
TRANSPORTATION SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES 4.40% $42,000 $68,000 $98,000 56
TREATMENT THERAPY PROFESSIONS 2.60% $40,000 $62,000 $81,000 34
UNITED STATES HISTORY 15.10% $30,000 $50,000 $96,000 139
VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS 9.20% $20,000 $36,000 $52,000 103
ZOOLOGY 6.70% $33,000 $55,000 $81,000 119

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

Data Mining is a new career field that will be very lucrative – SjC

3 Responses to “Making Money – Choosing the right field of study”

  1. Erica Jones January 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm Permalink

    I am finishing up nursing school and I also work in ICU dept as a Nurse. Let me tell you guys who is reading this, Nursing is a tough work. I call this white collar manual labor force. We are constantly on our feet looking after patients and do most of the Doctor’s work. We have to learn new stuff every few months to keep up and sometimes ICU gets crazy. Also, emotions gets involved when your patients die on you and at times I am dull to certain emotions. I work 4 days or 3 days all depending 40 hour accumulation so you figure I have it made right? Wrong! I am constantly exhausted and sometimes I wonder why I chose this field. Is it the money? My salary is $42,000 and after taxes, I am not getting rich or afford to buy a new home. I live with my parents right now. I am thinking of going back to grad school, but more schooling means more DEBT and am I going to make more money to pay off my DEBT? One positive note is that, I know job layoff is low and I am secure with my job. The question is am I going to have a normal life after being so exhausted from my work? So think hard before you commit to Nursing as your field because it is hard to do and the job takes a toll on you if you work night shifts where most of new Nurses must start from. Good Luck!

  2. Kyle Vega April 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm Permalink

    50k Is Enough Bank For Me! Lets Go Team Networking 🙂

  3. Nathan Clough May 15, 2013 at 11:20 am Permalink

    I Have to agree with Vega, Networking and most anything in the IT field is the way to go. This field is a bit less stress and once you get a solid skill set you can go very far in your career. Never settle to be at one level, always look to go to the next.

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