Getting a college degree is a huge financial investment, and when you make that kind of investment, you want it to pay off. You want to find a career that you will enjoy and that will give you some financial stability.
So what are the most lucrative fields that you can apply your major to? The compensation experts at the online salary database PayScale.com asked the same question and came up with a list of the 20 most common majors and the top-paying jobs in each major. You can view their whole list here, but letâ€™s look at the top jobs for 10 of the most popular majors so that you can see what kind of work you would be doing. All salaries are based on average income 5 to 8 years into each career, and itâ€™s important to remember that some of the careers involve an advanced degree or a state license.
Position: Internal Auditing Manager ($85,900)
What They Do: Streamline organizations by evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance. Advise management and any oversight committees on how to better organize the business.
Major: Business Administration
Position: Sales Director ($122,000)
What They Do: Implement and manage national sales for an organization, supervise regional managers.
Position: Senior Account Executive ($57,000)
What They Do: Identify marketplace opportunities, engage new clients, develop marketing proposals, meet with clients, and mentor account executives.
Major: Computer Science
Position: IT Program Manager ($97,200)
What They Do: Handle large-scale computer and information systems programs and address all aspects of technology projects.
Position: Assistant Principal ($52,300)
What They Do: Work with both students and staff, including mentoring teachers, organizing after-school meetings and programs, and monitoring the schoolâ€™s progress towards goals and achievements.
Position: Technical Writer ($49,100)
What They Do: Convert complex language and ideas into easy-to-read instruction manuals and other documents so that regular people can read them with ease.
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Position: Aviation/Aerospace Program Manager ($99,700)
What They Do: Manage multiple programs and teams, improve designs of aviation and aerospace-related projects.
Major: Political Science
Position: Intelligence Analyst ($67,500)
What They Do: Analyze data to predict the behavior of criminals, terrorists, and organized crime organizations, potentially design their own database and compile criminal profiles.
Position: Nonprofit Executive Director ($54,500)
What They Do: Implement goals to help nonprofit organizations achieve their mission, work with the Board to govern the organization, ensure that the organization is receiving funding.
Major: Social Work
Position: Hospice Social Worker ($40,421)
What They Do: Assist patients living with terminal conditions, arrange day-to-day care.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of other careers available for each major, and many people end up in careers that are not directly related to their major. If youâ€™ve seen a career on this list that interests you and want to learn more, your best bet is to try to find someone who works in that field and talk to them. In addition to this, you can use sites like CareerQA to get a bit more of an overview of specific fields and jobs so that you at least has some idea what youâ€™re talking about before you meet with the person.
Worried that the job you want doesnâ€™t fit with your major? Think about the skills that you can leverage and the advanced degree you may be able to get to pursue your goals. Thereâ€™s a career out there for everyone â€“ you just have to find it!
Josh Weiss-Roessler is a professional resume writer and co-owner of Weiss-Roessler Writing. He frequently shares career and job search advice with others, as well as writing about a huge range of other topics. When heâ€™s not writing, you can often find him spending time with his wife, one-year-old baby boy, or two excitable dogs in Austin, Texas.