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Choosing an area of study is an important step when choosing a school, but it doesn’t have to happen right away. Having a few good choices when you’re college hunting is a good way to remain relatively flexible in your studies. Here are a few majors that pay the most:

5. Physics

NASA, the Department of Defense, and private scientific research firms all scoop up these majors and their starting salaries are generous. Research and development should be your modus operandi – not to mention a whole lot of studying in college.

4. Applied Mathematics

Calculating costs, estimations, predicting outcomes and designing systems are all future projects you can expect out of this career field. A practical degree that can be utilized in many different industries, graduates can expect work in finance, economics, and education among many others.

3. Medicine

Doctors and nurses are always in high demand, as it’s a major that’s science-heavy and requires lots of hands-on training. The specific fields of study are diverse in both career paths and get more specialized as you go further. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree could specialize in neonatal, family health, surgical, and geriatric care, for example.

2. Computer Science

Focused on the interaction between humans and computers, this admittedly broad field of study could translate into a career in several industries, notably computer system development, software publishing, research, video games development, or mobile application system development.

1. Engineering

Basically any specific area of engineering you study, you’ll probably wind up with a pretty spiffy salary. Some engineering fields include: biomedical, software, mechanical, electrical, industrial, aerospace, computer, nuclear, chemical, and petroleum engineering.

Ready to take the first step towards a rewarding and high-paying career? Contact Sandweiss Test Prep to help set you on the right path towards your college major.

 

From Kiplinger, five graduate degrees that tend to pay off in the end:

  1. M.D.    Physicians’ incomes range from about $188,000, on average, for family practitioners to more than $485,000 for orthopedic surgeons. As the population ages, job prospects for physicians will continue to be robust.
  2. Master of Public Health.    Average income: $90,970. As the health care industry changes and expands, MPHs will be increasingly sought after.
  3. Doctor of Pharmacy.    Average income (pharmacist): $106,630. We all still and will continue to need medication, as well as help navigating the changing health insurance landscape.
  4. M.B.A.    Here’s a degree that’s necessary for hiring within certain firms. Some companies will even pay for their employees to get an MBA. Job growth for business management analysts should be strong over the rest of this decade.
  5. Lawyer.    In particular, jobs at big private firms, where new lawyers earn a median annual salary of $160,000. In our supersaturated legal job market, these jobs are harder to come by than ever.

In a move opposite of trends on most other state school campuses, this year Washington State University will have 1,100 more in-state freshmen at its Pullman campus than last year, with an emphasis on bringing in Washington students.

Because of budget cuts, universities like UW have cut down on the number of in-state freshmen and increased tuition, but WSU is bucking the trend by actively recruiting within Washington high schools. There will be consequences, though–for the first time, some double dorm rooms will become triples, for example. The school is also hiring more tenure-track and part-time professors to accommodate the increased student population

 

The Pew Research Center recently surveyed adults ages 18 and higher in the U.S. on what they think of the state of college education in this country. Here’s what they said:

  • A majority of Americans say the higher education system in the U.S. fails to provide students and their families good value for their money.
  • Adults who graduated from a four-year college believe that they are earning about $20,000 more a year as a result of having gotten that degree–and they are.
  • About half of students say that paying off student loans has made it harder to pay other bills.
  • It was worth it: 74% of college grads say their college education was very useful in helping them grow intellectually, 69% say it was very useful in helping them grow and mature as a person, and 55% say it was very useful in helping them prepare for a job or career.

Lawmakers say they’ve agreed on the broad strokes of a higher-education bill that would give Washington’s five public universities and The Evergreen State College authority to set in-state undergraduate tuition for the next four years.

This will mean a tuition hike of about 13 to 16 percent to make up for cuts in higher-ed funding, but also a sharp increase in the percentage of families who will qualify for financial assistance.

So what will this mean for students and their families? For those earning less than about $97,500 a year, it’s good news. Students who pay full tuition are the ones who will make up for the tuition increases.

The bill will also set UW’s in-state freshman enrollment at a minimum of 4,000 students,

Yes, according to The New York Times. The master’s is currently the fastest-growing degree, and is on its way to becoming the entry degree to a wide variety of professions, especially now that degrees are specific and utilitarian (think supply chain management) and often with internships built in.

So why the trend? Some blame the devaluing of the college degree. As colleges turn out more grads than the market can hire, a master’s becomes almost essential if you don’t have a Bachelor’s from a highly elite undergrad institution.

It’s not exactly bad news for the universities, for whom master’s programs tend to be unfunded (unlike the PhD track) and therefore cash cows. For students, some of the programs provide direct access to potential employers, who draw from the programs they know to provide effective job training.

Some worry that the trend signals a shift in graduate work from an intellectual pursuit to job training. But in an age when grad-school-as-intellectual-pursuit is landing students hardly any jobs, this shift seems practical. In fact, it seems to yours truly that the only graduate degree worth pursuing at this point is one that has a reasonable chance of helping students obtain a job that will allow them to pay off the debt accrued in grad school.