Most Popular Degrees


More people are furthering their education and obtaining bachelors degrees than at any other time in history. With a competitive job market and increased awareness about the benefits of education, more high school students as well as adults look into which programs to enroll in and which schools to attend.

The increased capabilities of technology have also increased opportunities for education, as more individuals enroll with online programs to get their degrees. With all of that in mind, here are the top 10 most popular bachelors degrees that students are getting involved with for 2013 and the average starting salaries you can expect when you start working in the applicable field.

Top 10 Most Popular Bachelor Degrees 2013

1. Business Administration – The classic business administration and management degree is still extremely popular, although perhaps a bit less so following the recent turmoil of the markets. Many individuals continue their studies to get an MBA, but with the right skill set you can go right into the workforce, and potentially earn up to $55,000 as a starting salary.

2. Criminal Justice – Criminal justice degrees can be a jumping off point for many different professions and careers. You can be a police officer, continue your studies to be a lawyer, or work in one of the high demand fields of government security and intelligence such as Homeland Security or the FBI or CIA. Starting salaries across this broad range of fields are at about $40,000.

3. Psychology – Psychology is continuing to become more and more popular, and it’s a very common field of study. You can end up with your own private practice, work with social service programs, teach others, perform research studies and more. While many individuals with this degree go back to school for a masters or a doctorate, starting salaries for qualified individuals can be over $45,000.

4. Nursing – With a nursing degree you can work in any number of different roles, learning to interact with and care for patients of all kinds. It’s a profession that requires both compassion and intelligence, and you’ll help to recognize and diagnose illnesses, deliver effective treatments and provide all around care and support. A starting salary for nursing can approach $40-45k. In addition to this, because of the nursing shortage there are now Accelerated Nursing Degree Programs available that allow you to get your BSN in as little as 12 months.

5. K-12 Education – K-12 education and early childhood education are both very popular. In these programs of study you’ll learn through experience and study how to interact with and teach students and kids of all ages. Starting salaries for teachers have never been known for raking in the big bucks, starting in the range of $30,000, but this rewarding profession offers other perks such as great hours and time off.

6. Engineering – Engineering degrees are very common and jobs in this field are becoming increasingly valued for their importance. Engineering is of course broad in scope and it can pertain to any number of fields and professions in both the private and governmental sectors. The highest paying degree available today is petroleum engineering, with a starting salary in the range of $85,000, but many other engineering degrees including environmental, chemical, mining & mineral, mechanical and industrial are all high paying as well.

7. Health Administration – Health administration majors can work in many different fields, from large companies to government programs, to nonprofit organizations to politically based watch groups and more. It’s a field that combines management with human wellbeing, cost effectiveness with care and efficiency and more. Starting salaries for this bachelors degree can be around $40,000.

8. Computer and Information Sciences – From developing software programs, working as analysts, joining the growing field of website development, or being the ubiquitous IT guy at a corporation, computer sciences and information sciences have many potential routes. Starting salaries are rewarding as well, falling in at close to $50,000 for qualified individuals depending on the exact profession that you enter.

9. Accounting – Accountants are always going to be in demand, and learning the ins and outs of this industry is more important than ever with recent government reforms that call for stricter business accounting practices. CPAs can earn more than $45,000 right after earning their degrees and their certification, and opportunities exist for forming private practices, joining larger firms, working in-house at corporations, organizations or even government institutions.

10. Human Services – Human services is all about helping the community and its various groups and individuals, often through government programs but also through nonprofit organizations. Expertise in areas such as counseling and conflict management are combined with general care and many other disciplines as well. Starting salaries are around $30-$35,000.


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