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Most popular college major the year you graduated college

  • Most popular college major the year you graduated college

    As the world continues to change drastically each and every day, so do the goals and aspirations of young people figuring out their lives as they embark on their respective educational journeys. More technologically driven corporations are taking over the global economy and America's youth is following suit, as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors are more popular amongst college students than ever before. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of students enrolled in STEM majors at the undergraduate level or higher has risen 43%, indicating a shift away from humanities in favor of more empirical sciences. A look at the top areas of study over the past few decades speaks to the way in which cultural and economic shifts impact educational preferences.

    Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Stacker listed the five most popular college majors from every year between 1980 and 2016. Each major is listed, along with the total number of degrees earned in the field that year, as well as information on whether the number increased or decreased from the year prior.

    Read on to learn what the most popular major was the year you graduated from college.

    RELATED: Click here to find out which college majors make the least money.

  • 1980

    #1 major: Business (184,867 degrees)
    #2 major: Education (118,038 degrees)
    #3 major: Social sciences and history (103,662 degrees)
    #4 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (63,920 degrees)
    #5 major: Engineering (58,402 degrees)

  • 1981

    #1 major: Business (198,983 degrees, +7.64%)
    #2 major: Education (108,074 degrees, -8.44%)
    #3 major: Social sciences and history (100,513 degrees, -3.04%)
    #4 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (63,649 degrees, -0.42%)
    #5 major: Engineering (63,287 degrees, +8.36%)

    Biggest mover: Computer and information sciences, +35.57%
    Biggest dropper: Education, -8.44%

  • 1982

    #1 major: Business (213,374 degrees, +7.23%)
    #2 major: Education (100,932 degrees, -6.61%)
    #3 major: Social sciences and history (99,705 degrees, -0.80%)
    #4 major: Engineering (67,021 degrees, +5.90%)
    #5 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (63,653 degrees, +0.01%)

    Biggest mover: Computer and information sciences, +34.03%
    Biggest dropper: Library science, -18.13%

  • 1983

    #1 major: Business (226,627 degrees, +6.21%)
    #2 major: Education (97,895 degrees, -3.01%)
    #3 major: Social sciences and history (95,228 degrees, -4.49%)
    #4 major: Engineering (72,163 degrees, +7.67%)
    #5 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (64,685 degrees, +1.62%)

    Biggest mover: Legal professions and studies, +29.91%
    Biggest dropper: Transportation and materials moving, -18.69%

  • 1984

    #1 major: Business (229,478 degrees, +1.26%)
    #2 major: Social sciences and history (93,323 degrees, -2.00%)
    #3 major: Education (92,299 degrees, -5.72%)
    #4 major: Engineering (75,638 degrees, +4.82%)
    #5 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (64,288 degrees, -0.61%)

    Biggest mover: Computer and information sciences, +31.26%
    Biggest dropper: Public administration and social services, -12.79%

  • 1985

    #1 major: Business (232,636 degrees, +1.38%)
    #2 major: Social sciences and history (91,570 degrees, -1.88%)
    #3 major: Education (88,072 degrees, -4.58%)
    #4 major: Engineering (77,066 degrees, +1.89%)
    #5 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (64,422 degrees, +0.21%)

    Biggest mover: Precision production, +49.06%
    Biggest dropper: Library science, -21.83%

  • 1986

    #1 major: Business (237,319 degrees, +2.01%)
    #2 major: Social sciences and history (93,840 degrees, +2.48%)
    #3 major: Education (87,114 degrees, -1.09%)
    #4 major: Engineering (76,225 degrees, -1.09%)
    #5 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (64,396 degrees, -0.04%)

    Biggest mover: Mathematics and statistics, +8.11%
    Biggest dropper: Precision production, -27.67%

  • 1987

    #1 major: Business (240,546 degrees, +1.36%)
    #2 major: Social sciences and history (96,342 degrees, +2.67%)
    #3 major: Education (86,936 degrees, -0.20%)
    #4 major: Engineering (73,747 degrees, -3.25%)
    #5 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (63,103 degrees, -2.01%)

    Biggest mover: Precision production, +13.75%
    Biggest dropper: Library science, -12.26%

  • 1988

    #1 major: Business (243,021 degrees, +1.03%)
    #2 major: Social sciences and history (100,460 degrees, +4.27%)
    #3 major: Education (91,112 degrees, +4.80%)
    #4 major: Engineering (69,380 degrees, -5.92%)
    #5 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (60,644 degrees, -3.90%)

    Biggest mover: Transportation and materials moving, +19.89%
    Biggest dropper: Computer and information sciences, -12.80%

  • 1989

    #1 major: Business (246,399 degrees, +1.39%)
    #2 major: Social sciences and history (108,151 degrees, +7.66%)
    #3 major: Education (96,913 degrees, +6.37%)
    #4 major: Engineering (66,099 degrees, -4.73%)
    #5 major: Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (59,005 degrees, -2.70%)

    Biggest mover: Legal professions and studies, +51.65%
    Biggest dropper: Computer and information sciences, -11.79%

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