5 Degrees with Solid Potential


These majors are linked to strong average earnings, according to one study.

By Chelsea Lin

Deciding what to study in college is no walk in the park - just ask a good chunk of enrolled college students.

In fact, according to research conducted by Penn State in 2005, 50 percent of undergraduates switch majors at least once before they graduate - a clear indicator that picking the right degree is not an easy feat.

To help you make a decision, we turned to PayScale's 2010 "Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary" to compile a list of degrees that are often linked to an important factor worth considering: solid average earning potential.

Keep reading to learn more...

Degree #1: Bachelor's in Accounting

If you like to crunch numbers - and want to earn a degree linked to solid earning potential - a degree in accounting might be perfect for you.

Accounting courses will likely teach you how to gather and analyze the financial activity of a person or business, then interpret that into future risks and outcomes.

Accounting degree graduates can go on to pursue career opportunities as budget analysts, auditors, financial clerks, and more.

Average starting pay for accounting grads: $44,600*
Average mid-career pay for accounting grads: $77,500*

Want to Study Accounting? Find the Right School Now

Degree #2: Bachelor's in Information Technology

If you're the person everyone comes to for computer help - and you actually enjoy fixing their problems - you may enjoy the tasks - and earning potential - that could come with a bachelor's degree in information technology (IT).

IT degree programs will likely cover aspects of both computer science and communications. You might also study how people interact with machines.

Potential career opportunities for IT degree grads might include: computer programmer, database administrator, IT specialist, and more.

Average starting pay for IT grads: $49,600*
Average mid-career pay for IT grads: $79,300*

Want to Study Information Technology? Find the Right School Now

Degree #3: Bachelor's in Business Administration

Because business is such a broad area of study, there are opportunities for a variety of people and personalities. Another plus: This major is linked by PayScale to solid average earnings post-graduation.

Business programs will likely teach you the general ins and outs, including: accounting, business organization, communication, and buying, selling, and producing goods.

The skills learned in business courses can be utilized in different environments, so the opportunities for business graduates could be greatly varied. Some common career paths include sales, management, and human resources.

Average starting pay for business grads: $41,100*
Average mid-career pay for business grads: $70,600*

Want to Study Business? Find the Right School Now

Degree #4: Bachelor's in Computer Science

Another degree program that could potentially satisfy your bank account down the road is computer science.

In a computer science bachelor's degree program, you'll likely learn about the scientific way in which people and computers work together. You also might create the programs that allow people to use computers more effectively.

Common career paths for computer science degree grads include: computer programming, video game developing, and computer software engineering.

Average starting pay for computer science grads: $56,200*
Average mid-career pay for computer science grads: $97,700*

Want to Study Computer Science? Find the Right School Now

Degree #5: Bachelor's in Marketing

If you're the sort of person who could add a lifetime of lemonade stands sales to your resume, you might consider earning a bachelor's degree in marketing, since you're probably already good at being creative and selling products.

In this type of program, you would likely learn about consumer purchasing behavior, marketing communications, research, advertising campaigns, product pricing, and more.

Since marketing and sales are so interconnected, marketing degree graduates frequently go on to sales-type positions like buyers and purchasers for retail businesses, public relations managers, and sales supervisors.

Average starting pay for marketing grads: $38,600*
Average mid-career pay for marketing grads: $77,300*

Want to Study Marketing? Find the Right School Now

College major information courtesy of CollegeBoard.com.

*Salary statistics courtesy of "Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary," a 2010-2011 College Salary Report by PayScale.com.

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