Choosing a college major can be a life-altering decision – your future career depends on it. But deciding what industry best suits your skills and aspirations can be a difficult task. There are so many college majors to consider, making the decision daunting if you have multiple career interests. However, it helps to know which specific jobs are available in each field.
We put together a guide to different career options based on the top popular college degrees listed in USA Today, Forbes and The Princeton Review.
Many career paths and professions may require additional degrees, certifications and training beyond an undergraduate degree.
A major in biology is a steppingstone to medical school for many students. Still, biology majors can pursue several different – and even surprising – career paths.
According to the American Institute of Biological Sciences, biologists can work in many different fields, including research, education, healthcare and environmental conservation. Here are some suggested career choices:
Biology majors don’t have to be confined to a medical facility or cubicle. They can also work on public health campaigns, as educators for the public – at science museums, zoos, aquariums and nature centers – or for charitable organizations such as the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders.
Studying business can be the first step in becoming an entrepreneur, but starting a company isn’t the only career path for this major. According to the University of Denver Career Services Department, a major in general business can expose you to a wide range of opportunities, including these options:
According to the New Jersey Communication Association, a degree in communications can be highly versatile in the job market. With this major, you could apply to positions in the fields of journalism, business, advertising and marketing, education, media broadcasting, public relations, performing arts, politics, technology, healthcare, international relations, law, social and human services, labor relations, and research.
Here are some specific career paths to pursue:
You can find a more exhaustive list of communications careers broken down by industry type on the NJCA website.
Technology is constantly growing, advancing, and evolving, and that means careers for computer science majors are also on the rise. According to the Cawley Career Education Center at Georgetown University, a computer science degree gives students many skills outside of technical knowledge – like critical thinking and communication skills – that are helpful in various occupations.
Essentially, computer science majors can complete various tasks, such as fixing computers, developing websites and working for the government. Here are the key careers computer science majors can pursue that the Cawley Center recommends:
The most common career aspirations for students in this field are law enforcement and prosecution. However, there are various paths you can take with a degree in criminal justice. Rasmussen University lists these popular job options for criminal justice majors:
Many economics majors go into their field of study intending to work in banking, business or finance, but that doesn’t mean every aspiring economist will – or even wants to – wind up on Wall Street. There are all sorts of career choices for economics majors, according to the University of Wisconsin Department of Economics. You could pursue these positions:
Economists can also find careers in the healthcare industry. They make outstanding entrepreneurs too, as their skills and education provide a solid foundation for starting a business.
So many career choices fall under the broad engineering umbrella that it’s almost impossible not to find something that fits the skills and interests associated with this major. According to Southern New Hampshire University, there are four main engineering categories: electrical, chemical, civil and mechanical.
Engineering degree holders often work in aeronautics, electrical industries, mining, government agencies, higher education and transportation. These are some of the top engineering careers:
You can also check out this list of the highest-paying engineering jobs.
English and literature may not be topics of study that guarantee a job, but a degree in English can be valuable. English majors have extensive career options; it’s just a matter of finding the right path.
According to the Stanford University Department of English, these are some of the career opportunities English majors can pursue:
Additionally, English majors may consider becoming publishers, literary agents or bloggers.
The fintech industry combines financial and technological solutions. Fintech is exploding in career opportunities because of startups, mobile pay systems like Venmo and Apple Pay, and cryptocurrencies.
According to Blumberg Capital, the fintech market is projected to increase 25% annually with over $300 billion in revenue by 2022. Both schools that offer a bachelor’s degree in the United States are located in New Jersey. You can major in fintech at Seton Hall University, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology offers a Bachelor of Science in fintech. You can explore these positions upon receiving the degree:
Students interested in the fintech industry may branch off into wealthtech (digital solutions for wealth management), regtech (regulatory technology) and insurtech (insurance technology).
While teaching and research are great jobs for history buffs, history students’ skills can be useful in many fields. The American Historical Association notes that students with undergraduate degrees in history can work in communications and information management. Here are other history career ideas from the AHA:
The AHA states that history majors may research for cultural and historical organizations and think tanks, work as historians for big corporations (as an expert on the company’s history) or nonprofit associations, or do advocacy work for nonprofits.
Some students think they’ll never use algebra or calculus in real life, but math majors know this just isn’t true. Mathematics majors have some of the most lucrative careers out there, so don’t underestimate the importance of solving for X.
Temple University suggests that math majors find governmental jobs or civil service positions as a mathematician, oceanographer, operations research analyst, physicist or statistician. These are some other career choices for math majors:
A relatively new career path for math majors is cryptography. This field, which combines math and computer science, is the practice and study of hiding information, such as computer passwords and ATM card data.
There are many career options for political science majors other than being an actual politician. According to the American Political Science Association, poli-sci majors “gain the writing, communication, analytical and data skills that are valued in a wide spectrum of potential careers.”
The APSA noted that political science graduates could work for federal, state, and local governments or international and nonprofit associations. They can also work in law, business, campaign management, polling, journalism, education, electoral politics and research. These are some political science career paths to explore:
You could earn your doctorate and become a licensed psychologist or therapist – but many psych majors apply their skills to other careers where understanding people is essential to success, such as customer service and criminal investigation.
According to the University of Northern Iowa, these are some career options for psychology majors:
See the University of Northern Iowa’s complete list of psychology career options.
Sociology is the study of society and human relationships, so it’s no surprise that sociology majors have a wealth of careers to pursue. According to the University of Notre Dame Department of Sociology, possible fields for sociology majors include business management, consulting, corporate administration, medical administration, politics, realty, religious life, social work, teaching and higher education.
While many sociology majors get advanced degrees and become sociologists, graduates with bachelor’s degrees often obtain jobs outside the discipline that use their interests, experience and skills to their advantage.
These are some potential jobs for sociology majors:
Art majors are more than just painters, illustrators and photographers – the field of visual and performing arts also covers dance, theater, film and music. While many art majors will pursue careers as professional photographers, painters, actors, dancers, singers, and musicians, others will find ways to incorporate their passions into alternative creative jobs.
According to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, visual and performing arts majors pursue many different careers, including these:
Julie Thompson andBrittney Morgan contributed to the writing and research in this article.