The decision to choose a career is weighed by a number of factors, not the least of which is job potential. Close behind is the salary options associated with such a degree. Luckily, these two tend to go hand-in-hand, so the search won’t be too difficult once you know the right industries. While the investment for your education is high, the returns on these degrees more than make up for the difference.
Job searching resources like eApplicants are great for finding out about top businesses in the industry and how to get started with them. Before you reach this stage in your job search though, you need to find out which majors are going to give you the credentials to maximize your career. Let’s find out which ones are looking good for 2015.
The Best College Majors in 2015
Below are some of the top majors to pursue in 2015. These represent popular industries with low unemployment rates and high salary options.
1. Engineering Degrees
The first thing you’ll take notice of when it comes to engineering jobs is the impressive salary options. Starting pay is displayed below:
- Starting salary: $51,700 – $97,000
- Experienced salary: $88,600 – $155,000
The top degrees within this field are as follows. All of these fall into the top degrees to earn in 2015:
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering
It’s no secret that engineering is a complicated practice that requires a lot of training, but the need for more of these talented individuals is more prevalent than ever. Many of the top companies in the fields are constantly looking for new people with this kind of knowledge.
Another way to increase your potential salary is to become a licensed engineering by passing a national exam when you’ve graduated. Many companies don’t require their employees to be certified in this way, but it does separate you from the rest, and it offers an average of $10,000 more on your yearly salary.
2. Computer Science Degrees
A degree in this field, combined with good grades and some working experience can easily land you a job with a major company like Google, Apple, Microsoft, or many more. This kind of knowledge also allows you to work independently to create apps or online programs that prove to be more impressive to employers than a simple internship.
These are the average salaries for people in this field:
- Starting salary – $56,000
- Experienced salary – $97,900
Remember to spend more effort and time in practice rather than flaunting a degree. Someone with a degree in this field stands out when they have proven experience. That being said, here are some top majors to focus on in this field:
- Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree (third highest among the top degrees)
- Computer Science Master’s Degree (second highest)
A great example comes from Gayle Laakmann McDowell, author of “The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company.” In the book she states:
“If you build a really interesting Google Maps competitor and a ton of people download it and it’s really well-known, that’s going to count more than an internship at a company that nobody knows.”
3. Finance Degrees
Not surprising is the fact that finance degree holders are in high demand going into 2015. These types of credentials can land you a job quickly out of college. One important thing to note is having some kind of experience in the field before you graduate.
Salary options for this field:
- Starting salary: $46,500
- Experienced salary: $87,300
Many employers will look for some sort of financial internship from these types of candidates. Even if your school doesn’t require it, it’s important to have this kind of experience going into the job hunt. In terms of 2015, finance degrees of the following levels are in top demand:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Finance
- Master’s Degree in Finance
4. Actionable Steps to Ensure a Job at Graduation
Knowing and pursuing one of the top majors in 2015 is only the first step. While you’re in school, you need to be taking steps that help you increase your chances of being hired when graduation rolls around. Simply holding a degree isn’t enough to guarantee a job these days.
In order to help you prepare, here are six actionable steps that will give you an edge over the competition and place you in the front of the pack when you graduate. These tips come to us courtesy of Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.
Step One: “Make a LinkedIn Profile” – LinkedIn is a gold mine of networking opportunities and Schawbel advises that people have one as early as their senior year of high school. Think of this website like a virtual resume that you can connect with countless other people in your industry.
Step Two: “Find Internships” – This is another step that is best done early for maximum results. Seek out companies that are widely recognized and intern as much as possible to have plenty of experience on your resume when you graduate.
Step Three: “Create a Blog” – Creating a blog isn’t hard at all, especially if you use WordPress. A personal blog with a hosting isn’t very expensive, but it does provide you a very tangible presence on the internet, which is important for just about any career field. You can blog about your career’s topics, or even just personal interests.
Step Four: “Take Advantage of Your School’s Career Services”
While it may seem like the obvious thing to do, many students don’t know about, or don’t take advantage of job placement services at their respective universities and colleges. Resources they provide cover everything from resumes, to alumni databases filled with people you can network with.
Your degree should be something you’re passionate about, but it’s important to know what job options you have available to you when you graduate. Preparing while you’re still in school will go a long way towards ensuring options when you depart into the job seeking world.
Don’t forget to tell me about your favorite degrees and your job hunting tips in the comments below! Thanks for reading.