10 Best College Degrees
By Belle Harker
When it comes to your career, do you find yourself searching for something more? Whether it is a higher paying job or more rewarding work, the definition of “success” varies from person to person. Most agree that job security coupled with a high salary spells success at work, but did you pick the best college degree to prepare you for the challenge?
Whether you’re making a career change or want to earn a degree online for the first time, check our list of successful college degrees first. The following 10 best college degrees have better than average projected job and income growth over the next decade.
- Computer Science Degree – A computer scientist analyzes complex problems and finds ways to create or use new technology. Since much of the preparation can be done remotely, earning an online degree in computer science makes the most sense.According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the field of computer science is expected to have above average employment growth up to 2016. Compensation for computer scientists ranges from about $53,000 to $118,000 annually.
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Keep your day job and go back to school for a master’s degree in business administration. When you’re done with your courses, you will be able to budget, organize, plan, hire employees and manage organizations with great success.Employment opportunities are expected to remain the same in the next decade, but earning potential is tops. According to the BLS, salaries for top executives range from $58,000 to more than $145,000 annually.
- Engineering Degree for Civil Engineers – Civil engineers are responsible for the planning and design of infrastructures such as pipelines, sewage lines, transportation systems and buildings. Earning a degree in engineering is a great first step toward a successful career.Jobs for civil engineers are expected to quickly grow up to 2016 due to the population’s need for infrastructure development. Annual earnings for civil engineers range from $55,000 to $104,000.
- Engineering Degree for Mechanical Engineers – Earning an online degree in engineering certainly pays, especially since there are so many jobs in this career field. Mechanical engineers>, for example, design machines, processes, systems — anything mechanical. Because they are needed in almost every type of manufacturing industry, the job outlook is expected to increase, making engineering one of the best college degrees top pursue.What about salary? Mechanical engineers can make anywhere from $54,000 to $73,000 or more annually, depending on location and the state of the economy.
- Accounting Degrees – A degree in accounting is one of the best online degrees to earn, especially since many tedious aspects of this career have been assumed by software programs.Globalization has led to the establishment of new trade and accounting rules, so to meet these needs, accountants will be in very high demand. Annual earnings for accountants range from $54,000 to $94,000.
- Nursing Degrees – There is currently a high demand for registered nurses (RNs), and it is expected to continue up to 2016. If you are an RN who wishes to earn more money, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing may be a good career move. For those just getting started, a degree in health and human services can help introduce you to the field. Depending on level of experience and specialty, nurses make between $40,000 and $83,000 annually.
- PharmD, or Doctor of Pharmacy – Generally, pharmacists dispense prescription drugs while advising individuals on proper dosage and possible side effects. To practice in the United States, pharmacists must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a license to practice.Within the next decade, employment for pharmacists is expected to increase at a high rate — will you be ready? Starting out with a degree in health care can help you get familiar with the field. The average annual salary is between $68,000 and $102,000.
- Law Degree – Aspiring lawyers must attend three years of law school and pass the Law School Admission Test, but if you are interested in seeking justice for citizens and retribution for victims, earning a degree in criminal justice, one branch of the law, could be a great first step.Employment is expected to increase for lawyers at an average rate up to 2016, and average annual earnings range between $70,000 and $146,000.
- Dental Degrees – To become a dentist in the United States, eight total years of college and dental school must be completed to earn a license. If that feels like too much school for you, check out other options in dentistry, such as dental hygienist or medical transcriptionist. According to the BLS, the demand for dentists is expected to increase steadily in the next decade, making it one of the best college degrees available. The average salaried dentist makes about $137,000 a year.
- Marketing Majors – Companies use marketing to sell products that people need or want to buy. A marketing manager oversees this process and, due to the many industries that require this position, employment opportunities are expected to increase at an average rate. Earning a degree in business with a focus on marketing is a great first step.Marketing job earnings vary according to industry, but range between $91,000 and $120,000 a year.