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The Best Jobs You Can Get With Your College Major

Sammi Caramela
Sammi Caramela
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Updated Mar 03, 2022

Before you go back to school, learn about the career potential in certain industries.

  • Advanced degrees are available for a wide variety of career interests.
  • Top-paying fields include the medical, tech, engineering, finance and marketing industries.
  • Fintech is one of the fastest-growing fields, expected to reach over $300 billion in 2022.
  • This article is for future students and professionals looking to invest in a college degree.

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.

TipNote: Many career paths and professions may require additional degrees, certifications and training beyond an undergraduate degree.

Biology

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:

  • Epidemiologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Medical scientist
  • Veterinarian
  • Researcher
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Zoo or aquarium biologist
  • Park ranger
  • Teacher or professor
  • Biotechnologist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Forensic science technician
  • Science advisor for politicians and lawmakers
  • Scientific products or pharmaceutical salesperson, publicist, or marketer
  • Nutritionist
  • Bioeconomist
  • Computational, mathematical or theoretical biologist
  • Science writer or journalist
  • Artist or illustrator for textbooks and other educational materials

Key TakeawayKey takeaway: 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.

Business

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:

  • Marketing manager
  • Sales manager
  • Actuarial analyst
  • Personal financial advisor
  • Operations research analyst
  • Job development specialist
  • Quality control coordinator
  • Management analyst
  • Equal-opportunity representative
  • Merchandiser
  • Loan officer
  • Human resources professional
  • Customer service manager
  • Public relations manager
  • Financial analyst
  • Stockbroker
  • Recruiter
  • Purchaser
  • Researcher

You can get information about these business careers on the University of Denver’s website or check out these high-paying jobs for business majors at Indeed.

Communications

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:

  • Journalist (digital, print or broadcast)
  • Public relations representative
  • Events planner
  • Digital strategist
  • Product marketing manager
  • Hospitality manager
  • Speechwriter
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Lobbyist
  • Media buyer
  • Drama coach
  • Speech therapist
  • Playwright
  • News writer or director
  • Copy editor
  • Campaign director
  • Political aide
  • Health educator
  • Translator
  • Lawyer
  • Mediator
  • Consumer advocate
  • Recruiter
  • Social media manager

You can find a more exhaustive list of communications careers broken down by industry type on the NJCA website.

Computer science

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:

  • Software programmer
  • Technical writer
  • Software tester
  • Internet entrepreneur
  • Teacher or professor
  • Network administrator
  • E-commerce developer
  • Website designer
  • Computer software trainer
  • Technical analyst
  • Consultant
  • Database administrator
  • Hardware programmer
  • FBI or CIA agent
  • Telecommunications expert
  • Artificial intelligence quality expert

Criminal justice

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:

  • Security guard
  • Private investigator
  • Probation officer
  • Correctional officer
  • Police patrol officer
  • Security manager
  • Mental health counselor
  • First-line police supervisor
  • Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers

Economics

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:

  • Consultant
  • Investment banker
  • Hedge fund administrator
  • Equity trader
  • Financial advisor
  • Economic analyst
  • Housing development aide
  • Urban planning research assistant
  • Purchasing agent
  • Public affairs specialist
  • Market research analyst
  • International trade specialist
  • Sales representative
  • Merchandise analyst
  • Government relations advisor
  • Community affairs advisor
  • Program analyst
  • Real estate development researcher
  • Mortgage specialist
  • Appraiser
  • Asset manager

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.

Engineering

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:

  • Acoustical engineer
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Aeronautical engineer
  • Operations engineer
  • Electronics instructor
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Educator
  • Geologist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Chemical engineer
  • Industrial engineer
  • Licensing engineer
  • Safety engineer
  • Decontamination engineer
  • Physicist
  • Ceramic engineer
  • Quality control engineer
  • Fire protection engineer
  • Mechanical engineer

You can also check out this list of the highest-paying engineering jobs.

English

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:

  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Screenwriter
  • Critic
  • Casting director
  • Television reporter
  • Public relations assistant
  • Technical writer
  • Librarian
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Consultant
  • Lobbyist
  • Speechwriter
  • Events coordinator
  • Teacher or tutor

Additionally, English majors may consider becoming publishers, literary agents or bloggers

Fintech

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:

  • Data science analyst
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning strategist
  • Cybersecurity specialist
  • Blockchain and cryptocurrencies specialist
  • Algorithmic trading programmer
  • App developer
  • User experience (UX) designer
  • Compliance specialist
  • Automation engineer
  • Full-stack developer
  • Salesforce developer
  • Risk management specialist
  • Cloud engineer

Did you know?FYI: Students interested in the fintech industry may branch off into wealthtech (digital solutions for wealth management), regtech (regulatory technology) and insurtech (insurance technology).

History

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:

  • Writer or editor
  • Journalist
  • Documentary editor
  • Producer of multimedia material
  • Archivist
  • Records manager
  • Librarian
  • Information manager
  • Lawyer or paralegal
  • Litigation support staff

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.

Mathematics

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:

  • Cryptographer
  • Fraud investigator
  • Software tester
  • Math teacher
  • Biomathematician
  • Operations researcher
  • Computer scientist
  • Actuarial scientist
  • Financial advisor
  • Mathematical modeler
  • Statistician

Did you know?Did you know? 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.

Political science

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:

  • Activist or advocate
  • Attorney
  • Political data archivist
  • City planner
  • CIA agent or analyst
  • Corporate public affairs advisor
  • Journalist or editor
  • Foreign service officer
  • Foundation president
  • Intelligence officer
  • International research specialist
  • Mediator
  • Legislative analyst or coordinator
  • Policy analyst
  • Teacher or professor
  • University administrator
  • State legislator
  • Public opinion analyst
  • Immigration officer

Psychology

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:

  • Academic counselor
  • Applied statistician
  • Art therapist
  • Caseworker
  • Child development specialist
  • Criminal investigator
  • Customer service representative
  • Employee relations specialist
  • Employment interviewer
  • Financial aid counselor
  • Personnel recruiter
  • Polygraph examiner
  • Public health director
  • Teacher or professor

See the University of Northern Iowa’s complete list of psychology career options.

Sociology

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:

  • Human resources manager
  • Public relations staffer
  • Market research analyst
  • Consultant
  • Recruiter
  • Case manager
  • Community aide
  • Family planning worker
  • Fundraiser
  • Housing worker
  • Resident planning aide
  • Youth outreach worker
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Admissions counselor
  • Alumni relations worker
  • Teacher or professor
  • Legislative aide
  • Corrections officer
  • Parole officer
  • Consumer researcher
  • Census research assistant
  • Interviewer

Visual and performing arts

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:

  • Graphic designer
  • Webpage designer
  • Photographer
  • Animator
  • Gallery owner or administrator
  • Teacher or professor
  • Museum technician
  • Corporate art consultant
  • Reporter or photojournalist
  • Auditions coordinator
  • Studio manager
  • Production assistant or producer
  • Stage manager
  • Booking agent or manager
  • Promotions or publicity assistant
  • Recording engineer
  • Music or sound editor

Julie Thompson and Brittney Morgan contributed to the writing and research in this article.

Image Credit:

hxdbzxy/Shutterstock

Sammi Caramela
Sammi Caramela
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Sammi Caramela has always loved words. When she isn't writing for business.com and Business News Daily, she's writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. She is also the content manager for Lightning Media Partners. Check out her short stories in "Night Light: Haunted Tales of Terror," which is sold on Amazon.