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Blog > Workforce Matters

Which College Degrees Have the Best Job Prospects?

CareerCast has identified some of the best college undergraduate majors for undecided students and those looking to make a career change.

The best college degrees range from Accounting and Chemistry to Computer Science and Nursing. Rounding out the list of the majors with the most promising futures are Business Management, Finance, Information Systems, Marketing, Mathematics, and Mechanical Engineering.

CareerCast evaluated statistics from the BLS, trends from the Georgetown University Center of Education and the Workforce, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers; referenced against the 2018 Jobs Rated report, to determine the most promising fields.

"Selecting the right educational path is more important than ever," says Kyle Kensing, Online Content Editor, CareerCast. "More prospective employees with greater educational training are competing for fewer jobs and the cost of college is rising, sparking debate over the value of postsecondary education."

Last decade's recession negatively impacted the landscape for job seekers. Meanwhile, the reduction in openings coincided with still-ongoing growth in the amount of college-educated job seekers on the market. The National Center for Education Statistics reported ahead of the 2017-18 academic calendar year that college enrollment jumped by more than 5 million since 2000.

Employers plan to hire 1.3 percent fewer graduates from the Class of 2018 than they did from the Class of 2017, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. That marks the first hiring decrease since the Class of 2010, at the end of the recession, when employers planned to cut hiring by 7 percent.

Despite the hard toll the Great Recession took on the job market for college graduates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2017 end-of-year report found those with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $1,193 per week, compared to $761for those whose highest level of education was a high school diploma.

Statistics show that college graduates have higher employment rates, bigger salaries, and more work benefits than high school graduates. However, crippling student loan debt often forces college graduates to live with their parents and delay marriage, financial independence, and other adult milestones.

Learning a trade profession may be a better option than college for many young adults. The high number of young adults choosing college over learning a trade has created a 'skills gap' in the US and there is now a shortage of trade workers such as machinists, electricians, plumbers, and construction workers. Those who choose not to attain a college degree can build a rewarding and profitable career by gaining the skills and training for these in-demand occupations.

College Degrees with the Best Job Prospects

ACCOUNTING  

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT  

CHEMISTRY  

COMPUTER SCIENCE 

FINANCE  

INFORMATION SYSTEMS  

MARKETING AND MARKET RESEARCH  

MATHEMATICS 

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING  

NURSING 

To read the full report, visit CareerCast