Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.
The cost of obtaining a degree continues to soar in the U.S., and many people graduate with tens of thousands in student loan bills tacked to their backs and credit history.
Some continue to struggle with their debt into their golden years, while others pay off what they owe by their 30th birthday.
What is the difference?
While choosing the right degree isn’t a surefire way to increase future earning potential, some career tracks do pay more than others.
In today’s world, many of those who choose to go into business or STEM fields out-earn their liberal arts cousins.
Here’s a look at the options offering the highest return on investment for those considering which major to choose.
Various engineers earn six figures or close to it with a bachelor’s degree. Types of engineers include electrical, petroleum, computer and aerospace.
Many who graduate with such degrees earn well over $50,000 their first year on the job, and since the field is expected to continue growing, those wanting the most bang for their college buck should look into this type of degree.
2. Computer Science
Those who enjoy working with numbers and predictions cannot go wrong with a career as a business continuity analyst.
Such professionals use computer projections to help organizational leaders ensure the continuity of their company.
Other jobs in the computer science field include programmers, app developers, UX designers, network engineers, and software developers.
3. Health Care Administration
The health care industry is in a state of flux, and opportunities abound for graduates who prefer to work in a helping field.
Administrators analyze ways to cut costs, improve patient outcomes and streamline processes for handling the paperwork. Entry-level salaries can rise as high as $90,000-plus per year.
Science-minded types who embark on a physics degree can expect nearly a 900 percent return on investment over their careers.
Some students prefer to study traditional physics as part of a track to an engineering-style job. Others prefer to branch into fields like astrophysics and cosmology in the hopes of becoming the next Stephen Hawking or even one day traveling to the stars.
Given the recent renewed interest in space travel in the U.S., budding young astrophysicists can look forward to promising careers.
Economics majors have a wide range of career choices to choose from. Some go on to become credit analysts who help loan companies determine which prospective clients will pay their debt.
Others go into financial planning and help people build their personal wealth quickly. Those with bachelor’s degrees in economics can even go on to work at the United Nations or the federal government to help shape the future of the nation or world.
Pursuing a career in chemistry can lead to a rewarding and financially successful life while helping others. With a changing health care industry, those with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry can go on to help develop cures for various diseases. They also can find more efficient formulations of current medications.
Those with scientific mindsets can also use a chemistry degree as a launchpad for becoming a licensed pharmacist or toxicologist.
Ever dream of being a forensic examiner testifying as an expert witness? With a degree in this science, testifying in court is possible.
Those who love persuading others into buying particular products and services should pursue a marketing degree. It can lead to a career in advertising, but that’s far from the only specialty grads with this major flock to.
More introverted sorts can work in market research and analyze digital marketing trends, and those with a bright smile and warm handshake can make major bank as sales representatives in any number of industries.
8. Green Technology
If humankind hopes to extend its continued existence, taking measures to switch to more sustainable practices now isn’t just necessary — it’s a big business. Tree-hugging types passionate about saving the Earth benefit from a degree in green technology.
Those with such a degree can help develop improved solar panels and windmills. They can help environmentally conscious businesses elevate their manufacturing processes to bolster eco-friendliness.
They also can develop new product packaging to biodegrade completely, freeing landfill space and cutting ocean plastics. They can even find new ways to clean up the mess we have already.
Choosing the Major with the Most
In the end, no degree ensures success unless the individual earning it feels passionate about their future career prospects.
When people know more about what degrees can bring home the bacon most effectively, the only limit to their earning potential is the sky.