13 of the Best Paying Majors

Choosing a major is a big deal and a hard choice. Most students don’t have the ease of going into college knowing exactly what they want to be doing the next forty years of their lives–those that do are rock stars of decision making, though!

If you don’t know exactly what you want to study in college, it may be helpful to think about majors that lead to lucrative careers. The Daily Beast recently published an article about the most useful college majors based on research from Georgetown University that charted two years of census data to determine the likelihood of positive financial returns in relation to college majors in conjunction with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about employment projections.

Still, choosing a major based on future monetary prospects isn’t the only factor that should go into your decision. Being able to head to class excited about what you’re learning is worth its weight in gold. So, hopefully financial success and passion with what your studying wind up going hand in hand. But in a rough economy, knowing you’ll have job stability might just be worth it for you.

Here are thirteen of the most useful college majors:

1. Nursing

Unemployment, recent grad: 4.0%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 1.9%
Earnings, recent grad: $48,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $64,000

2. Mechanical Engineer

Unemployment, recent grad: 8.6%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 3.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $58,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $86,000

3. Electrical Engineering

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.3%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.2%
Earnings, recent grad: $57,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $90,000

4. Civil Engineering

Unemployment, recent grad: 8.1%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.5%
Earnings, recent grad: $50,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $81,000

5. Computer Science

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.8%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.6%
Earnings, recent grad: $50,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $81,000

6. Finance

Unemployment, recent grad: 6.6%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.2%
Earnings, recent grad: $44,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $72,000

7. Marketing & Research

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.3%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 6.0%
Earnings, recent grad: $37,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $65,000

8. Mathematics

Unemployment, recent grad: 6.1%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.1%
Earnings, recent grad: $40,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $71,000

9. Accounting

Unemployment, recent grad: 6.8%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $43,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $65,000

10. French, German, Latin, and other Common Foreign Languages 

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.9%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $32,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $50,000

 11. Business

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.0%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 4.8%
Earnings, recent grad: $37,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $60,000

12. Elementary Education

Unemployment, recent grad: 4.8%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 3.4%
Earnings, recent grad: $33,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $40,000

13. Economics

Unemployment, recent grad: 9.4%
Unemployment, experienced grad: 5.7%
Earnings, recent grad: $48,000
Earnings, experienced grad: $76,000

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