Six college degrees that are in demand

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Find out which college degrees are trending...right now.

By Chris Kyle   

Want to know what's trending in the world of higher education?

The trendiest degrees, according to the Collegiate Employment Research Institute's (CERI) Recruiting Trends report for 2010-2011, run the gamut from computer science to public relations.

Any academic background you have that can help bolster a company's internet presence is in-demand right now, according to CERI, which asked employers to forecast which degrees they target when hiring.

Wondering which college degrees are getting the most buzz right now?

Check out some of CERI's hottest degrees and see if any of these fit who you are and what you want to do...

#1 - Bachelor's in Accounting

Nearly 54 percent of accounting majors got a job offer prior to graduation, according to a 2011 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Kay, a career expert and author of "Life's a Bitch and Then You Change Careers", believes that accounting may stay trendy for quite a while. "The need for accountants will increase as economies grow, the number of businesses increase, and managers need help making financial and business decisions, as legislation changes and international competition increases," she says.

The U.S. Department of Labor also has some good news. Accounting is projected to experience 22 percent job growth from 2008-2018.

Average starting salary: $44,700*
Average mid-career salary: $75,700*

Start Your Accounting Education. Click to See Your School Options.


#2 - Bachelor's in Computer Science

Ever hear of Tim Berners-Lee? If not, you're probably familiar with his work. Berners-Lee is a computer scientist who is considered "the father of the internet," says ComputerWeekly, a web site for IT professionals.

If you're looking to prepare to pursue your own cutting-edge career in IT, studying computer science may be for you.

"Students graduating at all degree levels in computer science and related IT fields will have a favorable job market," writes CERI in its Recruiting Trends report for 2010-2011. "Already in short supply, these students will see expanded opportunities due to the investments companies are making in technology."

Average starting salary: $56,600*
Average mid-career salary: $97,900*

Start Your Computer Science Education. Click to See Your School Options.


#3 - Bachelor's in Public Relations (PR)

Are you a good communicator? If so, a degree in public relations (PR) may be for you.

"Public relations and advertising appear to have some momentum for job growth," writes CERI, with hiring for PR grads projected to climb 26 percent in 2011.

The Department of Labor has a similar outlook for PR specialists, who are expected to see a 24 percent increase in opportunities from 2008-2018. PR opportunities should be strongest for those with a degree in PR, journalism, or communications, notes the department.

Average starting salary: $35,500*
Average mid-career salary: $65,700*

Start Your Public Relations Education. Click to See Your School Options.


#4 - Bachelor's in Computer Engineering

Do you enjoy gadgets and putting things together? If so, you may want to study computer engineering.

"Computer engineering should be the major of choice for students who want to learn how to make a better iPod or cell phone or how to make a faster computer," says Tim Chang, a professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, on his school's web site.

What's more, hiring projections for computer engineering grads are expected to climb 18 percent in 2011, according to CERI.

Average starting salary: $61,800*
Average mid-career salary: $101,000*

Start Your Computer Engineering Education. Click to See Your School Options.


#5 - Bachelor's in Economics

Ever wonder why the stock market rises, and falls or how interest rates work? If so, ask an economist... or consider studying it in school.

After all, it's a pretty safe bet to say that money won't be going out of style anytime soon.

In fact, economics graduates are expected to see a 22 percent increase in employment opportunities in 2011, according to CERI.

Average starting salary: $47,300*
Average mid-career salary: $94,700*

Start Your Economics/Business Education. Click to See Your School Options.


#6 - Bachelor's in Marketing

Are you looking for a business degree for creative types? Marketing may be your pick. When it comes to business, big ideas alone won't make money. Companies will always need someone to market them.

"Just five years ago, sales and marketing positions were being sought by 50 percent of the employers responding to the survey," writes CERI in its Recruiting Trends report for 2010-2011. "With a weakened economy, this figure has eroded to 29 percent for the last two years."

Still, marketing remains one of CERI's hottest degrees in demand, with hiring projections expected to climb 21 percent in 2011.

Average starting salary: $38,200*
Average mid-career salary: $73,500*

Start Your Marketing Education. Click to See Your School Options.


*Average starting and mid-career salary info comes from PayScale's 2011-2012 College Salary Report


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