Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Most popular college majors in America

1/
Caleb Woods // Unsplash

Most popular college majors in America

With more and more alternative options for classes popping up in the college world each year (Harry Potter literary theory, anyone?), picking out a major and a semester's worth of courses can seem pretty daunting for any new student. And though the number and types of majors available vary from campus to campus, almost every school in the United States will have an overwhelming amount of degrees to choose from. Students are even going so far as to create their own majors when the college allows it, giving them the flexibility and freedom to invest time in just the classes that interest them and providing their resumes with a specific angle when it's time to find a job after graduation.

In 2018, there were 19.9 million students projected to attend U.S. colleges and universities in the fall, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, a number that was lower than 2010 but higher than the year 2000. Between 2018 and 2027, however, the center predicts that total enrollment will increase to 20.5 million. Colleges and universities are expected to award 1 million associate degrees, 1.9 million bachelor degrees, 780,000 master's degrees, and 182,000 doctorate degrees through the 2018–2019 school year.

Stacker examined 2017 data from FiveThirtyEight to find the most popular college majors in the country, ranked by most graduates of all ages. Those numbers were paired with information about careers and college majors from The College Board (the non-profit organization that creates the SAT and PSAT tests) and career outlooks from 2019 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.

For comparison, the U.S. Department of Labor projects an average growth rate of 7% in employment for all jobs between 2016 and 2026. The median annual wage for all workers was $38,640 in 2018. Here, see if your major is among the most popular.

You may also like: Best community college in every state

2/
GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#100. Communication technologies

- Major category: computers & mathematics
- Total graduates: 62,141
- Unemployment rate: 8.5%
- Median income: $50,000

Communications technologies students are taught how to operate equipment and manage procedures in the communications industry. This can include anything from film to TV to computers. Continued education and earning a master's degree in the computer and information research science field can earn recipients $118,370 annually.

3/
Alexander Dummer // Pexels

#99. Miscellaneous engineering technologies

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 64,196
- Unemployment rate: 6.0%
- Median income: $63,000

With technology becoming increasingly relevant in the United States, it would not be surprising to see this number shoot up in the coming years. If you choose to become an engineering teacher, for example, the growth rate is projected to rise much faster than average in 2019, with 5,000 to 9,999 projected new jobs over 10 years.

4/
Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#98. Medical assisting services

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 64,316
- Unemployment rate: 3.1%
- Median income: $55,000

Medical assistants often spend their days performing administrative and clinical tasks in doctors' offices and hospitals. Employment for the job itself is projected to increase by almost 30% from 2016 to 2026; medical assistants earned an average of $16.16 per hour in 2018.

5/
Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer // USAF

#97. Nutrition sciences

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 64,534
- Unemployment rate: 6.3%
- Median income: $49,500

Nutrition students often work at their college health centers to supplement their learning and then go on to work in jobs as food service managers or health educators. There were 68,000 dietitians and nutritionists working in the United States in 2016, and the job is projected to grow 16% by 2026.

6/
Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#96. Aerospace engineering

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 65,734
- Unemployment rate: 4.2%
- Median income: $80,000

An aerospace engineer may design anything from aircrafts to spaceships to missiles. The job outlook is average, with a 6% projected increase in employment and there were close to 70,000 aerospace engineers working in the country in 2016.

7/
Matthew Henry // Burst

#95. Pre-law and legal studies

- Major category: law & public policy
- Total graduates: 67,037
- Unemployment rate: 7.0%
- Median income: $48,000

Pre-law students can go on to become lawyers, judges, and government officials. Just sticking with a bachelor's degree could lead to a job as an arbitrator, mediator, or conciliator, all of which are projected to increase in job outlook by 10% according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

8/
Antoine Dautry // Burst

#94. Mathematics teacher education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 68,808
- Unemployment rate: 3.3%
- Median income: $43,000

A degree in mathematics teacher education can be a step toward becoming a high school, elementary, or middle school math teacher. Graduates can also go on to become accountants or professional mathematician doing investment analyses or developing software. In 2016, there were 1,018,700 high school teaching jobs in the country.

9/
Pixabay // Pexels

#93. Microbiology

- Major category: biology & life science
- Total graduates: 68,885
- Unemployment rate: 5.1%
- Median income: $60,000

Employment in the microbiology field—the study of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi—is growing at an average pace. Most microbiologists either go on to get a Ph.D. to work on independent research at universities, though it's possible to get an entry-level job with just a bachelor's degree.

10/
SpeedKingz // Shutterstock

#92. Forestry

- Major category: agriculture & natural resources
- Total graduates: 69,447
- Unemployment rate: 4.3%
- Median income: $58,000

For lovers of the outdoors, a degree in forestry may lead to a dream career. Students learn how to develop and manage forests in remote and urban areas. There were less than 35,000 conservation scientist and forester jobs in 2016.

11/
Pixel-Shot // Shutterstock

#91. Communication disorders sciences and services

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 74,977
- Unemployment rate: 4.6%
- Median income: $42,000

This program focuses on the principles and treatment of speech, language, hearing, and cognitive communication problems, usually caused by disease, injury, or disability. Graduates may go on to become speech pathologists, a profession predicted to grow faster than average in the coming years.

12/
science photo // Shutterstock

#90. Criminology

- Major category: social science
- Total graduates: 75,085
- Unemployment rate: 6.5%
- Median income: $49,000

Criminology students study the behavior and nature behind criminals and crime from a psychological and sociological standpoint rather than from a legal one. There are several different careers associated with this major, such as police officer or detective (growing faster than average). A student may also continue in school for a graduate degree in psychology.

13/
Drew Hays // Unsplash

#89. Biochemical sciences

- Major category: biology & life science
- Total graduates: 75,322
- Unemployment rate: 7.2%
- Median income: $53,000

A career as a biochemist or biophysicist usually requires a doctoral or professional degree, but once you've got that taken care of you're looking at close to a six-figure salary. The median salary was $93,280 per year in 2018, with a predicted growth rate of 11% (faster than average).

14/
Matthew Henry // Burst

#88. Business economics

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 75,547
- Unemployment rate: 6.2%
- Median income: $65,000

Business economics majors learn about the connection between businesses and the economy, answering questions such as whether a company can afford to give its employees a raise or how to set interest rates. Economists with a master's degree earned more than $100,000 per year in 2018. The profession is growing at an average pace.

15/
Undrey // Shutterstock

#87. Linguistics and comparative language and literature

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 75,791
- Unemployment rate: 8.1%
- Median income: $48,000

Comparative literature is the study of literary traditions for two or more subjects, such as two different countries, languages, or cultures. Linguistics, on the other hand, studies language itself (the structure of languages, how languages change over time, and relationships between different languages). Linguistics students may go on to become translators or interpreters, which at the entry level can earn them $24 per hour. The growth rate is much faster than average.

16/
TZIDO SUN // Shutterstock

#86. International relations

- Major category: social science
- Total graduates: 77,371
- Unemployment rate: 7.0%
- Median income: $55,000

One of the key components of studying international relations is learning diplomacy—how to conduct negotiations between different countries. Careers as a foreign service officer or a political scientist are both options for graduates with this degree. Keep in mind, however, that the political science field is growing slower than average, and there were only 7,300 jobs in the United States in 2016.

17/
Nicole De Khors // Burst

#85. Miscellaneous health medical professions

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 77,647
- Unemployment rate: 5.4%
- Median income: $45,000

A health degree can help lead to plenty of different jobs, from athletic trainer to massage therapist. Athletic training requires a bachelor's degree and special certification in most states, and the profession is on the rise.

18/
Pixabay // Pexels

#84. Information sciences

- Major category: computers & mathematics
- Total graduates: 77,805
- Unemployment rate: 5.3%
- Median income: $68,000

Students of computer and information sciences at the associate or bachelor's level usually study a broad range of computer topics and then go on to become experts in a specific field. Information science degrees teach students about the connection between people and computers, as well as how to create computer systems that find and store data.

19/
chuttersnap // Unsplash

#83. Plant science and agronomy

- Major category: agriculture & natural resources
- Total graduates: 79,409
- Unemployment rate: 3.2%
- Median income: $50,000

Agronomy is the scientific study of crop production and soil management, while plant science (also known as botany) is the study of plant life. Plant science majors may find jobs as agricultural and food science technicians. The field is growing at an average pace and doesn't usually require an advanced degree.

20/
Svetlana Pochatun // Unsplash

#82. Studio arts

- Major category: arts
- Total graduates: 81,008
- Unemployment rate: 8.4%
- Median income: $37,600

A studio arts degree is great for creative types who aren't sure which medium they'd like to commit to. Classes can include everything from illustration to painting to graphic design and can lead to a job as an artist. Employment growth for artists depends on the overall state of the economy, which can dictate whether people are willing to spend money on art. Still, the labor department predicts the profession will see average growth through 2026.

21/
g-stockstudio // Shutterstock

#81. Human services and community organization

- Major category: psychology & social work
- Total graduates: 81,786
- Unemployment rate: 7.2%
- Median income: $38,000

Someone who wants to learn about helping people meet basic emotional and physical needs may consider majoring in human services. Graduates can go on to become addiction counselors, social workers, or probation officers. Another option is becoming a social and community service manager (a job with great prospects that is growing much faster than average), often working for nonprofits or government agencies.

22/
Jenson // Shutterstock

#80. Industrial production technologies

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 82,142
- Unemployment rate: 5.0%
- Median income: $70,000

Industrial production managers oversee manufacturing plants that produce goods such as cars or computer equipment. The job, despite usually only requiring a bachelor's degree and experience, had a median income of almost $50 per hour in 2018.

23/
NPS

#79. Natural resources management

- Major category: agriculture & natural resources
- Total graduates: 83,188
- Unemployment rate: 5.4%
- Median income: $52,000

Students in this field learn how to develop and manage programs that help protect natural areas and resources. Managing a natural preserve may include overseeing the staff, gathering data on plants and animals, and administrative duties. Natural science managing is predicted to grow by 10% from 2016 to 2026.

24/
rawpixel.com // Pexels

#78. International business

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 86,064
- Unemployment rate: 7.1%
- Median income: $54,000

International business students look at the business world from an international perspective. They take classes on managing multicultural businesses and national companies. The degree can lead to jobs in such fields as advertising, promotion, and marketing, which can pay more than $60 per hour. The field is growing at a pace of 10%.

25/
Cherries // Shutterstock

#77. Teacher education: multiple levels

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 88,067
- Unemployment rate: 3.3%
- Median income: $40,000

High school teaching is growing by 8%, kindergarten and elementary at 7%, and middle school at 8%. Schools in the United States have reported having more trouble filling teaching positions for math, science, and special education, so gaining experience in one of those fields may provide better job prospects.

26/
Mark Agnor // Shutterstock

#76. Art history and criticism

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 90,852
- Unemployment rate: 6.4%
- Median income: $44,500

Art history and criticism students don't just learn about the history and interpretations of art, but also of the care and preservation of different types of works of art. Jobs related to this major range from museum curator to archivist to historian. Professions in art curating and museum work is growing by 13%, while historian careers are growing by 6%.

27/
rawpixel.com // Pexels

#75. Construction services

- Major category: industrial arts & consumer services
- Total graduates: 92,346
- Unemployment rate: 5.1%
- Median income: $65,000

Graduates of construction services can go on to become building inspectors responsible for ensuring safety or construction managers supervising projects from start to finish. Both often require bachelor's degrees and extensive experience, and both are expected to grow in prospects faster than average through 2026.

28/
Pixabay // Pexels

#74. Electrical engineering technology

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 94,697
- Unemployment rate: 5.8%
- Median income: $67,000

Completing a degree in electrical engineering technology may mean taking classes such as electrical power machinery, laser technology, or robotics. While this definitely sounds like it would come in handy in the coming years, the prospective jobs are actually predicted to increase by 2%, much slower than average.

29/
John Lambeth // Pexels

#73. Agriculture production and management

- Major category: agriculture & natural resources
- Total graduates: 95,326
- Unemployment rate: 2.9%
- Median income: $54,000

A general degree in agricultural production will teach students about the overall aspects of running a farm or agricultural business. Pair that with some good work experience and you could be looking at a managing job, of which there were more than 1 million in 2016. Often consisting of strenuous outdoors work or operating farms and ranches that produce crops and livestock, the agricultural management field is expected to show little to no change in job prospects.

30/
val lawless // Shutterstock

#72. Miscellaneous business & medical administration

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 102,753
- Unemployment rate: 5.3%
- Median income: $53,000

A common career path that stems from this major is a job in medical records administration—managing and designing systems for the storage and maintenance of medical records. Graduates also could work as medical assistants, completing administrative tasks at a doctor's office or hospital. Medical assistant jobs are projected to grow a whopping 29% between 2016 and 2026, creating more than 180,000 new jobs within that time.

31/
mahdis mousavi // Unsplash

#71. Animal sciences

- Major category: agriculture & natural resources
- Total graduates: 103,549
- Unemployment rate: 4.3%
- Median income: $46,000

Ever wanted to learn where your food comes from? Animal science students learn about dairy, livestock, poultry, and fish production; the nutritional and breeding requirements of animals; the behavior of animals; and the management of animals. Professional agriculture and food scientists earned a median of $30 per hour in 2018, with a job outlook growth of 7%.

32/
Chokniti Khongchum // Shutterstock

#70. Area ethnic and civilization studies

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 103,740
- Unemployment rate: 6.8%
- Median income: $46,000

Area studies students are taught about the cultures of different parts in the world, focusing on their histories, politics, and economies. Careers related to this field include foreign diplomat and political scientist. The labor department has no specific outlook for diplomats, but political science is expected to grow slowly by 3%.

33/
energepic.com // Pexels

#69. General medical and health services

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 104,516
- Unemployment rate: 5.5%
- Median income: $50,000

Classes such as health care policy, ethics, and finance may be included in a degree in medical and health services. A degree paired with work experience may lead to a management position in health services and close to $50 per hour (the median pay for 2018), and a great outlook with a 20% increase in jobs over 10 years.

34/
Africa Studio // Shutterstock

#68. Environmental science

- Major category: biology & life science
- Total graduates: 106,106
- Unemployment rate: 5.1%
- Median income: $52,000

In 2016 there were close to 90,000 professional environmental scientists and specialists, and the job is predicted to see an 11% increase from 2016 to 2026. Students in the major learn about the natural world and how physical and biological processes interact. They also learn about the effects of humans on nature and solutions to environmental issues.

35/
OSORIOartist // Shutterstock

#67. Geology and earth science

- Major category: physical sciences
- Total graduates: 107,902
- Unemployment rate: 6.5%
- Median income: $65,000

Geology studies the physical structures of earth, including rocks, gemstones, and minerals, and their history, composition, and processes. Graduates often become professional geoscientists or geological engineers, and the labor department predicts there will be an increase of 4,500 geoscientist jobs by 2026.

36/
Evgeniy Kalinovskiy // Shutterstock

#66. Health and medical administrative services

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 108,510
- Unemployment rate: 5.7%
- Median income: $50,000

Graduates of health and medical administrative services are valued for their organizational skills and ability to accurately keep track of medical records and scheduling patients. Some attribute this field's recent influx in jobs to the aging population and the resulting added need for medical administrative services.

37/
gaudiLab // Shutterstock

#65. Geography

- Major category: social science
- Total graduates: 115,423
- Unemployment rate: 6.9%
- Median income: $54,000

Geography is the study of the earth and its distribution of land, climate, and inhabitants. The government predicts only 100 new jobs, which can include fieldwork or research, by 2026.

38/
Fotiev // Shutterstock

#64. Physics

- Major category: physical sciences
- Total graduates: 122,620
- Unemployment rate: 5.2%
- Median income: $70,000

Physicists who want to work in research or academia typically need to obtain a Ph.D., but the job is on the rise with a predicted 2,800 new jobs expected between 2016 and 2026. A student of physics studies matter and energy, taking classes on subjects such as thermodynamics and particle physics.

39/
Aral Tasher // Unsplash

#63. Transportation sciences and technologies

- Major category: industrial arts & consumer services
- Total graduates: 126,639
- Unemployment rate: 4.7%
- Median income: $67,000

Transportation majors may learn how to plan or administer transportation systems like airways or highways. Employment of transportation jobs is projected to grow by 6% between 2016 and 2026, lower than the average growth percentage. Occupations include pilots and water transportation workers.

40/
Elijah Hail // Unsplash

#62. Social science or history teacher education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 127,022
- Unemployment rate: 4.6%
- Median income: $45,000

For those who know exactly what subject they'd like to teach, majoring in social science or history teacher education will ensure that they're prepared to school future students of various ages in history. According to the federal government, a large number of older teachers will reach retirement age between 2016 and 2026, leading to more job opportunities for new ones.

41/
EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP // Getty Images

#61. General social sciences

- Major category: social science
- Total graduates: 127,363
- Unemployment rate: 7.1%
- Median income: $50,000

A degree in general social sciences gives students a broad understanding of the intellectual and social world, with some schools allowing students to design their own major from several different subjects. Jobs in the life, physical, and social science fields are projected to grow 10% and add about 124,800 new jobs.

42/
BATMANV // Shutterstock

#60. General agriculture

- Major category: agriculture & natural resources
- Total graduates: 128,148
- Unemployment rate: 2.6%
- Median income: $50,000

General agriculture students may take classes in economics or business in the agricultural industry, as well as more science-focused subjects like plant science and soil science. The position of agricultural manager, someone who may be hired to operate a farm or ranch, is projected to see little to no change in the number of jobs in the coming years.

43/
Jakob Owens // Unsplash

#59. Film video and photographic arts

- Major category: arts
- Total graduates: 133,508
- Unemployment rate: 8.6%
- Median income: $47,000

Film and video editing jobs are expected to increase by 13%, while photographer positions are projected to decrease by more than 7,000 jobs in 10 years. Majoring in the photographic arts doesn't necessarily mean becoming a photographer, however. Students also can go on to become web designers or archivists.

44/
Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#58. Industrial and manufacturing engineering

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 138,366
- Unemployment rate: 5.1%
- Median income: $75,000

While mechanical engineers design and develop mechanical devices such as engines and tools, industrial engineers are more focused on making production processes more efficient. Both positions offer similar pay rates and both are foreseen to improve by 9% and 10%, respectively.

45/
MARK RALSTON/AFP // Getty Images

#57. Anthropology and archaeology

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 143,087
- Unemployment rate: 7.8%
- Median income: $43,000

Professional anthropologists and archaeologists study the origin and development of human beings and often work all over the world studying different cultures and archaeological remains. Oftentimes these professionals are needed during construction projects to ensure the proper handling of artifacts, though the reliance on federal funding has caused the job outlook in the past to depend on federal budget decisions.

46/
Natalia Lebedinskaia // Shutterstock

#56. Special needs education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 149,689
- Unemployment rate: 4.7%
- Median income: $42,000

A major in special needs prepares graduates to teach children and adults with learning disabilities or needs, requiring classes like psychology and behavioral management. Teaching jobs in special education are rated higher in occupational outlook because the positions are more difficult to fill, due to the high emotional demand of the job, according to the labor department.

47/
Clint Bustrillos // Unsplash

#55. Computer engineering

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 154,160
- Unemployment rate: 5.5%
- Median income: $80,000

Computer engineering students use math, physics, and science to research, design, and develop computer hardware and software—anything from circuit boards to routers. Job outlook is predicted to go up by 5% by 2026, though an increase in the need for computer chip-embedded devices in the future may lead to a larger increase.

48/
Caspar Camille Rubin // Unsplash

#54. Management information systems and statistics

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 156,673
- Unemployment rate: 4.4%
- Median income: $72,000

A management information systems (MIS) degree may come in handy if you want to get into the world of information technology, or IT, management, a field projected to grow by 13% between 2016 and 2026. MIS majors study how information systems are used in businesses while learning about things like computer security and database design.

49/
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#53. Early childhood education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 157,079
- Unemployment rate: 4.9%
- Median income: $35,300

Employment of preschool teachers is expected to increase by 10%, thanks to the ongoing demand for early education and the increasing number of new students. Preschool teachers generally instruct students under the age of 5 and typically need work experience to have higher-paying job prospects.

50/
Pixabay // Pexels

#52. Medical technologies technicians

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 164,990
- Unemployment rate: 3.6%
- Median income: $60,000

Medical technicians are responsible for performing medical tests on patients and analyzing body fluids. Students in the major study aspects like blood samples and learn how to operate sophisticated medical equipment in a lab. Employment is expected to grow 12% from 2016 to 2026, attributed to an aging generation’s need for additional medical attention.

51/
The Skyline View // Flickr

#51. Drama and theater arts

- Major category: arts
- Total graduates: 174,817
- Unemployment rate: 8.0%
- Median income: $42,000

Drama and theater majors study the art of plays with a set of classes that may include theater history, playwriting, and costume design. The labor department predicts that because of overall job growth in the film industry and in internet platforms (such as streaming), employment for actors is expected to grow by 12% by 2026. However, due to independent theaters often having trouble getting funding, it may become easier in the future to land a film acting job than a performing arts job.

52/
Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#50. Pharmacy pharmaceutical sciences and administration

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 180,084
- Unemployment rate: 3.4%
- Median income: $106,000

Undergraduate pharmaceutical science majors learn about the scientific application of biology and chemistry to drugs. A bachelor's degree isn't enough to become a pharmacist, however, as students must go on to graduate school for a doctorate or professional degree to find an entry-level job (which had a median pay of $60 per hour in 2018). Jobs for pharmacists are expected to grow at an average pace.

53/
wizdata // Shutterstock

#49. Language and drama education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 181,445
- Unemployment rate: 4.8%
- Median income: $42,000

Students who major in language arts education are prepared to teach grade levels between kindergarten and 12th grade in the subjects of grammar, composition, and literature. Employment of high school teachers is expected to grow 8% from 2016 to 2026, though growth for public school teachers may depend on state and local budgets.

54/
wellphoto // Shutterstock

#48. Advertising and public relations

- Major category: communications & journalism
- Total graduates: 186,829
- Unemployment rate: 6.7%
- Median income: $50,000

Advertising majors will learn how to design messages used to promote and sell products, while public relation majors learn how to promote the images of their clients, whether individuals or businesses. Specialist jobs in public relations are predicted to grow as fast as average, and advertising manager jobs are predicted to grow faster than average.

55/
OIST // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Human resources and personnel management

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 187,274
- Unemployment rate: 6.1%
- Median income: $54,000

Human resource students learn how to coordinate and manage employment issues and administrative functions of a business or organization. From overseeing the hiring of new employees to organizing pay to training for health and safety in the workplace, HR managers are the connection between a company's management team and its employees. The position is expected to grow as fast as average, with a median pay of $54 per hour in 2018 for management roles.

56/
NTNU, Faculty of Natural Sciences // Flickr

#46. Chemical engineering

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 188,046
- Unemployment rate: 4.6%
- Median income: $86,000

Chemical engineering students may take classes in biochemistry and electrochemistry, and learn to solve problems and improve how factories use chemicals. The employment outlook is average, with a projected 8% growth in the coming years.

57/
Kzenon // Shutterstock

#45. Hospitality management

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 200,854
- Unemployment rate: 5.1%
- Median income: $49,000

By taking a set of classes on running businesses that serve travelers, such as hotels and restaurants, hospitality majors may go on to become food service managers or hotel managers. Lodging managers—those who work to ensure that vacationers have good experiences at establishments—is a competitive business. Therefore, job growth is expected to increase slower than average.

58/
Anelina // Shutterstock

#44. Philosophy and religious studies

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 205,763
- Unemployment rate: 7.5%
- Median income: $45,000

A major in philosophy and religious studies teaches students how to apply philosophical analyses to explore life's more difficult questions. Coursework also may include world religions as they relate to ethics, art, and social science. Philosophy and religious studies majors often become college professors or writers.

59/
Win McNamee // Getty Images

#43. Mass media

- Major category: communications & journalism
- Total graduates: 211,213
- Unemployment rate: 8.3%
- Median income: $48,000

Mass media or mass communication majors learn how mass media outlets, such as newspapers and television, connect to culture. Courses may include classes in media law and ethics or global perspectives in media, and graduates can go on to become reporters or news analysts. The labor department warns, however, that declining revenue in radio, newspapers, and TV may lead to a decline in employment rates by 9% by 2026.

60/
Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#42. Secondary teacher education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 224,262
- Unemployment rate: 4.4%
- Median income: $45,000

Secondary school usually refers to middle school and high school, both of which are predicted to grow in employment opportunities as fast as the average between 2016 and 2026. Middle school teachers educate students, typically between 6th and 8th grades, on how to build on the lessons they learned in elementary school, while high school teachers help students prepare for life after graduation and college or employment.

61/
Mimi Thian // Unsplash

#41. Miscellaneous education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 225,553
- Unemployment rate: 3.9%
- Median income: $50,000

After finishing a bachelor's degree, education students often take their state's board of education certification exam. Miscellaneous education majors often become teachers, principals, or teacher assistants. School administrators or principals at the elementary, middle, and high school levels typically need a master's degree for an entry-level position, according to the government, and the job is expected to grow as fast as average.

62/
speedKingz // Shutterstock

#40. Art and music education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 231,861
- Unemployment rate: 4.1%
- Median income: $42,600

Art and music education majors learn how to teach art or music appreciation to children of various school levels. Graduates in music teacher education don't necessarily have to go on to become teachers; they can also be professional musicians or composers themselves. Jobs as a music director or composer in the United States are expected to increase by 6%.

63/
Shalone Cason // Unsplash

#39. Theology and religious vocations

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 232,865
- Unemployment rate: 4.3%
- Median income: $40,000

A major in theology means studying a particular religion or religious community and is usually offered by Catholic schools, though they often examine other faiths, as well. Graduates typically become priests, nuns, or ministers after completing their degrees. The job outlook for members of the clergy is at a rate of 8%, which is average.

64/
fizkes // Shutterstock

#38. French, German, Latin and other common foreign language studies

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 236,342
- Unemployment rate: 5.9%
- Median income: $48,000

Students who major in a common foreign language, such as French, German, or Spanish, learn how to write, speak, and read the language, as well as study the important literature of the regions where the languages are spoken. Jobs specializing in a specific language may include interpreter or translator, which are both expected to increase much faster than average at 18%.

65/
Toralf Thomassen // Unsplash

#37. Treatment therapy professions

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 252,138
- Unemployment rate: 2.6%
- Median income: $61,000

Treatment therapy majors often go on to become physical therapists who help ill or injured patients to improve their movement and manage pain. All states in the country require a physical therapist to acquire a license and a doctor of physical therapy degree, but the job outlook is much higher than average at 28% expected growth.

66/
Luke Jones // Flickr

#36. Computer and information systems

- Major category: computers & mathematics
- Total graduates: 253,782
- Unemployment rate: 5.2%
- Median income: $65,000

A student majoring in computer and information systems may want to become an information technology, or IT, manager, responsible for planning and coordinating computer-related activities within an organization or business. The job, which paid a median wage of $68 per hour in 2018, has a growth outlook of 12%.

67/
Matthew Henry // Burst

#35. Music

- Major category: arts
- Total graduates: 276,262
- Unemployment rate: 5.5%
- Median income: $45,000

A general degree in music will prepare students to perform on a specific instrument, including voice, while learning about music history, composition, and music theory. Employment of musicians and singers is predicted to increase as fast as average at 6%, though the labor department notes that increased interest in becoming a musician in the future may make it more difficult to obtain a professional job.

68/
oliveromg // Shutterstock

#34. Physical and health education teaching

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 281,661
- Unemployment rate: 4.6%
- Median income: $48,400

Students passionate about health may get a degree in health education training to prepare them to teach health classes at the elementary, middle school, or high school level. Societal efforts to improve the overall health of U.S. citizens will cause an increased demand for health educators, according to the labor department, resulting in employment levels increasing faster than average, at 16%.

69/
Daniel McCullough // Unsplash

#33. Architecture

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 294,692
- Unemployment rate: 8.6%
- Median income: $63,000

Architecture students take classes that prepare them to become professional architects, such as architectural theory, drafting, and site planning. Professional architects made a median wage of $38 per hour in 2018, and employment is estimated to grow by 4%, a slower pace than average.

70/
Shopify Partners // Burst

#32. Chemistry

- Major category: physical sciences
- Total graduates: 308,062
- Unemployment rate: 5.5%
- Median income: $59,000

Chemistry majors study the behavior and makeup of matter through theory and experimentation. Employment for professional chemists and material scientists is projected to grow as fast as the average between 2016 and 2026.

71/
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#31. Social work

- Major category: psychology & social work
- Total graduates: 319,163
- Unemployment rate: 5.9%
- Median income: $40,000

A degree in social work prepares students to work in different settings helping people at places like hospitals, child welfare agencies, mental health clinics, and schools. Increased demand for both health care and social services between 2016 and 2026 means the job outlook will increase by 16%.

72/
lightpoet // Shutterstock

#30. Physical fitness parks, recreation, and leisure

- Major category: industrial arts & consumer services
- Total graduates: 350,409
- Unemployment rate: 4.7%
- Median income: $44,000

Parks, recreation, and leisure studies majors learn the best ways to design and coordinate recreational services for their communities. The labor department predicts that recreation worker jobs will grow by 9% from 2016 to 2026, especially as the public increasingly begins to appreciate outdoor living and good health.

73/
Sorn340 Images // Shutterstock

#29. Civil engineering

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 358,593
- Unemployment rate: 5.3%
- Median income: $78,000

More civil engineers will be required in the coming years as the country's infrastructure continues to age and the need for new construction projects rises. A major in civil engineering prepares students to design construction projects using math and science through classes like environmental awareness for engineers, fluid mechanics, and dynamics.

74/
Air Images // Shutterstock

#28. Family and consumer sciences

- Major category: industrial arts & consumer services
- Total graduates: 402,038
- Unemployment rate: 5.6%
- Median income: $40,500

Family and consumer sciences (sometimes known as home economics) majors learn about issues relating to basic needs (food, shelter, social interaction, and more) that affect individuals, families, and communities. Careers such as teacher and family social worker often stem from this major, both of which are estimated to see average or above-average growth between 2016 and 2026.

75/
Tim Mossholder // Unsplash

#27. Journalism

- Major category: communications & journalism
- Total graduates: 418,104
- Unemployment rate: 6.2%
- Median income: $50,000

Journalism as a major requires classes such as broadcast news writing and copyediting to prepare students to report, write, and edit stories for publication and/or broadcasting. Reporter, correspondent, or broadcast news analyst are all commonly desired careers for journalism majors, though jobs in all three are predicted to decline by 9% through 2026.

76/
gopixa // Shutterstock

#26. Multidisciplinary or general science

- Major category: physical sciences
- Total graduates: 427,953
- Unemployment rate: 4.5%
- Median income: $56,000

Multidisciplinary science allows students to study a wide range of learning across different fields of science. Courses may cover anything from genetics to chemistry to oceanography, and often graduates go on to become scientists or science teachers at multiple levels. According to the labor department, many schools reported having difficulty finding qualified science teachers to fill teaching positions in 2016.

77/
Wallpoper // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Mathematics

- Major category: computers & mathematics
- Total graduates: 432,806
- Unemployment rate: 5.3%
- Median income: $66,000

Math majors study a broad range of mathematics such as algebra, geometry, calculus, and number theory. Besides becoming a professional mathematician or math teacher, graduates may go on to become computer scientists, actuaries, or financial analysts. Due to more businesses being created and the subsequent need for workers to analyze data, mathematician and statistician jobs are projected to increase by 33% between 2016 and 2026.

78/
Ethan Miller // Getty Images

#24. General engineering

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 503,080
- Unemployment rate: 4.8%
- Median income: $75,000

Students who choose to major in general engineering study different fields of engineering and business as opposed to specializing in just one area, such as electrical engineering or robotics. One of the most lucrative fields in engineering is a job as an aerospace engineer designing aircraft and spacecraft. The median wage for those jobs was $55 per hour in 2018.

79/
NordWood Themes // Unsplash

#23. Commercial art and graphic design

- Major category: arts
- Total graduates: 504,657
- Unemployment rate: 7.4%
- Median income: $46,600

Graphic design students are taught how to create visual statements and artwork. Professional graphic designers may use computers or their own hands to create exciting visual concepts, though the job is projected to increase at a pace slower than average between 2016 and 2026.

80/
goodluz // Shutterstock

#22. Fine arts

- Major category: arts
- Total graduates: 571,961
- Unemployment rate: 7.2%
- Median income: $45,000

Fine arts majors typically study a broad range of courses, such as photography, painting, and even sculpture to develop general skills as an artist. Fine artists jobs are expected to increase at an average pace through 2026, but that pace also may depend on the country's economy and whether people can afford to purchase artwork.

81/
Teupdeg // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Mechanical engineering

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 581,529
- Unemployment rate: 4.4%
- Median income: $80,000

Mechanical engineers earned a median hourly wage of $42 per hour in 2018, and the profession is believed to be growing at an average pace. A major in mechanical engineering can also lead to a job as an engineering and science manager or an industrial engineer, and the degree teaches students the science behind how machines work.

82/
Rawpixel.com // Pexels

#20. Liberal arts

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 601,221
- Unemployment rate: 6.8%
- Median income: $50,000

Students who take general liberal arts classes typically design their own personal programs of study, including classes in the sciences, arts, and humanities. As a result, the major can prepare them for a number of professions they might eventually decide to pursue.

83/
guruXOX // Shutterstock

#19. Electrical engineering

- Major category: engineering
- Total graduates: 671,647
- Unemployment rate: 5.1%
- Median income: $88,000

Electrical engineering students study electricity, how it works, and how to apply it to different projects. Graduates often get hired as electrical or electronics engineers designing and developing electrical and electronic equipment. The labor department predicts both professions will increase at an average pace of 7%.

84/
YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV // Shutterstock

#18. Sociology

- Major category: social science
- Total graduates: 674,558
- Unemployment rate: 6.6%
- Median income: $47,000

Sociology students examine social behavior by studying people and the roles they play in society. Many graduates go on to get jobs as sociologists, a field predicted to show little to no change in the number of jobs by 2026. Others may find work as criminologists or probation officers.

85/
Gunnar Pippel // Shutterstock

#17. History

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 712,509
- Unemployment rate: 6.6%
- Median income: $50,000

History majors take classes about interpreting texts and objects from the past, from ancient Greece to modern England. Graduates often become history teachers or professional historians, both of which are projected to grow as fast as average, with the latter proving increasingly difficult as fewer positions are typically available.

86/
Freedomz // Shutterstock

#16. Political science and government

- Major category: social science
- Total graduates: 748,956
- Unemployment rate: 6.9%
- Median income: $58,000

Political scientists do research and analyze political ideas and governments and such jobs are projected to grow slower than average between 2016 and 2026 because of strong competition and not enough openings. Political science majors also may consider becoming lawyers and possibly judges down the line.

87/
Senior Airman David Owsianka // DOD

#15. Criminal justice and fire protection

- Major category: law & public policy
- Total graduates: 757,141
- Unemployment rate: 5.4%
- Median income: $50,000

Students of criminal justice and fire protection can go on to become firefighters, police officers, probation officers, and more to put their knowledge of crime and the law to good use. Police and detective jobs are expected to grow at an average pace, while private detective jobs are expected to grow faster than average.

88/
gaudiLab // Shutterstock

#14. Economics

- Major category: social science
- Total graduates: 757,616
- Unemployment rate: 6.1%
- Median income: $69,000

Economics majors may take classes in finance or international trade to study economic theory and methods. Professional economists collect data and analyze how resources are produced and distributed, and job prospects are increasing as fast as average, though an advanced degree may heighten the chances of employment.

89/
Sarah Pflug // Burst

#13. Computer science

- Major category: computers & mathematics
- Total graduates: 783,292
- Unemployment rate: 5.0%
- Median income: $78,000

Students in computer sciences learn how to program and design computer software while studying the interaction between humans and computers from a scientific vantage. In 2018, computer programmers worked writing and testing code for a median pay of $40 per hour. But due to the increasing availability of cheaper labor outside the United States, the labor department predicts a 7% decrease in programmer jobs in the country through 2026.

90/
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

#12. Finance

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 816,548
- Unemployment rate: 4.8%
- Median income: $65,000

A finance degree prepares students to make financial decisions for organizations, and a managerial role in finance will put the full responsibility of a company's financial health on their shoulders. Financial managers made a median rate of $62 per hour in 2018, and the job will be in high demand—a 19% increase from 2016 to 2026.

91/
Jessmabbott // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Biology

- Major category: biology & life science
- Total graduates: 839,454
- Unemployment rate: 5.9%
- Median income: $51,000

General biology is the study of living organisms and may include classes such as cell biology, marine biology, and plant biology. A job as a biological technician is possible with a bachelor's degree and is projected to increase faster than average. Or, animal lovers may want to consider working as a zoologist or wildlife biologist, both predicted to grow as fast as average.

92/
Rad K // Shutterstock

#10. Communications

- Major category: communications & journalism
- Total graduates: 987,676
- Unemployment rate: 6.4%
- Median income: $50,000

A major in general communications will explore all aspects of communication, from political rhetoric to mass media. Media and communications jobs are projected to increase at an average pace from 2016 to 2026, and jobs can include editors, announcers, and sound technicians.

93/
Chinnapong // Shutterstock

#9. English language and literature

- Major category: humanities & liberal arts
- Total graduates: 1,098,647
- Unemployment rate: 6.9%
- Median income: $50,000

Literature students study important writing works from all over the world. Students take classes about specific time periods in literature, poetry, fiction, and prose while learning to think critically and analyze text. Graduates often go on to become teachers and writers; both jobs are increasing at an average pace, through experience is an additional requirement for both.

94/
Rawpixel.com // Pexels

#8. Marketing and marketing research

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 1,114,624
- Unemployment rate: 5.5%
- Median income: $56,000

Marketing classes teach students how to build large customer bases and understand how to create and sell products so people will want to buy them. Graduates may pursue a job as a market research analyst studying market conditions or as a marketing manager planning marketing programs. Both are projected to increase faster than average.

95/
Shopify Partners // Burst

#7. General education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 1,438,867
- Unemployment rate: 4.4%
- Median income: $43,000

Students who may not be sure which subject they want to gain expertise in may choose a major in general education or general studies. Coursework may combine the arts, sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. This major can provide flexibility and multidisciplinary experience when hunting for a job after graduation.

96/
ESB Professional // Shutterstock

#6. Elementary education

- Major category: education
- Total graduates: 1,446,701
- Unemployment rate: 3.8%
- Median income: $40,000

An elementary education degree helps students learn how to teach at the elementary school level. There were over 1.5 million elementary and kindergarten teaching jobs in the United States in 2016, and the labor department predicts that an additional 116,300 jobs will be added between 2016 and 2026.

97/
rawpixel.com // Pexels

#5. Psychology

- Major category: psychology & social work
- Total graduates: 1,484,075
- Unemployment rate: 7.0%
- Median income: $45,000

A degree in psychology prepares students to understand how humans think, and why they feel and act the way they do. Most professional psychologists need a doctoral degree or a master's degree to work, as well as a license. Training requires an internship or a residency as work experience, and the job is projected to increase faster than average through the decade.

98/
shopify Partners // Burst

#4. Nursing

- Major category: health
- Total graduates: 1,769,892
- Unemployment rate: 2.7%
- Median income: $62,000

Nursing majors learn how to help treat those who are ill or injured and promote healthy practices in patients. Most graduates go on to pursue nursing jobs at a hospital, doctor's office, or school. Registered nurse positions are expected to increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026.

99/
Billion Photos // Shutterstock

#3. Accounting

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 1,779,219
- Unemployment rate: 5.3%
- Median income: $65,000

Accounting students are taught how to prepare and communicate financial records for individuals and organizations to determine their financial status and risks. Accountant and auditor positions are tied closely to the economy, according to the labor department, and job growth is expected to be 10% through 2026.

100/
Helloquence // Unsplash

#2. General business

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 2,148,712
- Unemployment rate: 5.1%
- Median income: $60,000

General business students will take classes in subjects such as accounting, business communications, law, and economics to prepare them for a job after graduation. Employment in business and financial operations jobs, such as financial analysts, purchasing agents, and tax collectors, is estimated to grow faster than average.

101/
fizkes // Shutterstock

#1. Business management and administration

- Major category: business
- Total graduates: 3,123,510
- Unemployment rate: 5.9%
- Median income: $58,000

A degree in business management and administration can lead to jobs like administrative services manager, executive, or education administrator. Business managers are in charge of planning and coordinating, as well as various tasks to help lead organizations to success. Jobs in the business and financial operations sector are projected to increase by 10% between 2016 and 2026.

2018 All rights reserved.