When you are proudly standing in line at your graduation ceremony in your cap and gown you all look like students who are destined for successful careers, but the reality is that there are sometimes startling differences in the job prospects for each graduate which are often determined by the course that you have taken. So which are the best degrees to study for if you want to land a top job and have a greater chance of a successful career?
If ever there was such a thing as a recession proof degree then health care would probably qualify as the winner of that category. The combination of a good starting salary and reasonable career prospects mean that you can study with an element of confidence that you will get offered an opening provided you get the right qualifications. Nursing offers the highest chances of immediate work and if you do not want a nursing degree then you could consider Physical Therapy, Pharmacy or train to be a Medical Technician. The average starting pay in nursing is heading north of $50,000 and the average starting salary in health and related sciences is normally over $35,000, so you can set to work on that student loan sooner rather than later when you land a job.
A degree in business is probably the most popular choice for many students and job prospects are about second in line after heath care. A degree in business, business administration or support will set you up on a career path that should have plenty of opportunities along the way. The average starting pay in business administration is around $44,000 and as there is such a variety of careers to consider in this sector, your degree should open enough doors to justify the time, effort and money you have put into getting qualified.
Whilst this may not be a subject that appeals to everyone there are certainly rewards available for those that choose this particular sector as their career choice. Computer Science, Technology Support and Information Technology and Systems are all basically considered future proof vocations and with starting salaries in the range of between $45,000 and $60,000 the rewards are good too.
Accounting and Finance
This is an area that has taken a hit in terms of recruitment numbers due to the global financial crisis but there are recent signs that the number of job opportunities are showing a steady improvement in recent months. A career in Economics, Finance and Accounting has a reasonable element of longevity about it and whilst this is a an area of work that will certainly not be what a number of graduates will want to do, the average starting salary in this sector of close to $50,000 at least will mean that once you are on the employment ladder, you should enjoy a rewarding career, at least from a remuneration point of view.
Whilst some might consider this area to be a sector that represents the past rather than the future, that perception would be a mistake. There are numerous sectors that come under the heading of an engineering degree and you can study in Biomedical, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, so there is a large amount of diversity when it comes to the work that you could be doing. An engineering degree is still very highly respected and this is reflected in the average starting salaries available which vary from between $60,000 and $90,000 depending on the specialist area that you gain your qualifications in, but the common theme is that you will be well rewarded for your efforts in graduating.
Despite the downturn in the employment market and the economy in general, there is still a reasonable level of demand for people with a marketing degree and with an average starting salary in the region of $40,000, you will not exactly be harming your career prospects if you get a degree in this popular subject.
We all have to make certain choices throughout our life and one of the most important early decisions we make will be what career path we are looking to pursue, as choosing the right degree shapes our future prospects and earning potential.
Guest post contributed by Sarah Rawson. She is currently tutoring online MPH programs and writing as a freelancer. Sarah’s articles mainly appear on higher education blog
This is a Guest post. If you would like to submit a guest post to CareerAlley, please follow these guest post guidelines.
Good luck in your search.