Degrees That Are Linked To Good Hiring Odds


See which college degrees are linked to good employment odds.

By Chris Kyle

Think what you study in college doesn't matter? Think again.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), your college major is the biggest factor in determining your employment status come graduation time.

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Check out five degrees that are linked to good hiring odds.

#1 - Accounting Degree

New accounting regulations passed by Congress have made this often reliable degree potentially more valuable. According to a 2010 survey by NACE, 47 percent of accounting majors received a job offer prior to graduation.

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Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Accountants: $59,430
Personal Financial Advisors: $69,050
Financial Analysts: $73,150

Did You Know? The Big Four accounting firms of KPMG, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Deloitte finished just behind Google and ahead of companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs on a list of dream employers for business students, according to a 2010 survey by Universum Group.

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#2 - Business Degree

Businesses could very well lead the way out of these tough economic times, and they're likely to need new workers to do it. More than 45 percent of business majors found a job prior to graduation, according to NACE.

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Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Insurance Underwriters: $56,790
Administrative Services Managers: $73,520
Financial Managers: $99,330

Did You Know? Business degrees made up 21 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

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#3 - Computer/Information Systems Degree

According to NACE, more than 44 percent of computer and information systems majors received at least one job offer prior to graduating in 2010.

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Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Computer Support Specialists: $43,450
Network Systems Analysts: $71,100
Computer Scientists: $97,970

Did You Know? Large companies like Facebook and Apple have increased their hiring in Silicon Valley, ground zero for the IT industry, which saw an increase in jobs for the first time in nearly two years in September 2010.

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#4 - Engineering Degree

Not only do engineering students find jobs at a healthy clip prior to graduation, they have great earning potential as well. In a separate NACE survey, eight of the top 10 highest-paid majors were in engineering.

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Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Civil Engineers: $74,600
Chemical Engineers: $ 84,680
Petroleum Engineers: $108,020

Did You Know? The first patent for a wireless telephone was issued in 1908 to a Kentucky engineer named Nathan B. Stubblefield. He also operated a school on a farm that is now Murray State University.

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#5 - Health Sciences Degree

The future looks bright for health care. Nearly 39 percent of health sciences majors received a job offer before graduating in 2010, according to NACE. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that health care will generate more than three million new jobs through 2018.

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Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Medical Assistants: $28,300
Health Information Technicians: $30,610
Registered Nurses: $62,450

Did You Know? Many health care positions - such as health technician and medical assistant - have less stringent education requirements than other types of careers. Health technicians, for example, usually only have an associate's degree, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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* All average salary data comes from the U.S. Department of Labor and is based upon median salaries for 2008.

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