5 Highly Promising Degrees for Undergrads to Consider

College is supposed to be a time of learning the ways of the world and finding yourself.  Many students go through several majors before settling on one they want to make a career out of. However, considering a specific career path requires quite a bit of thought. You must look at a major that will pay you well and will also give you work you enjoy, at least most of the time. If you’re only working for money, happiness will elude you at every turn. Here’s a list of five promising undergraduate degrees to consider, if you want to make a good living and enjoy your work.

College graduates
College students need to consider a career path and major well before graduation.

Biomedical Engineering

Majoring in any type of engineering is well worth the money you will spend on tuition, but biomedical engineering is one of the highest paying fields for those with a bachelor’s degree. The median salary starts over $50,000 and most will make close to $100,000 annually by mid-career. This field is also one of the fastest growing with many job opportunities for new graduates.


Business Degrees

Many different majors in the business field pay very well and they also allow for a wide array of job possibilities. Getting a degree from one of the top undergraduate business schools can make it very easy to start a new career. Candidates can choose from a variety of fields including finance, accounting, economics, marketing, management and administration. The average hourly rate varies, but starts around $30 and goes as high as $100 for those with an undergraduate degree in business.



With the growing need for medical personnel, a degree in any discipline is a good choice, but nursing is one of the best. Many hospitals and private practices need good nurses and they will pay very well for registered nursing graduates. This field continually grows and offers many ways for employees to advance and specialize.


IT and Computer

It you enjoy working with computers and you want to get a degree with quite a bit of value, specializing in computer science, IT or any other area dealing with computers fits perfectly. This field pays bachelor’s degree holders, on average, $35 per hour and the top 10% in this field make over $50 per hour. It’s very easy to specialize in one specific area and the computer industry is still growing at a steady rate.



With an undergraduate degree in communications, you can do many things. This field may not be one of the highest paying, but with the different job opportunities, a communications degree can be quite valuable. The average PR representative makes around $30 an hour and will also gain the ability to advance within the field.


When you are ready to declare your major and choose the right college to fit your needs, it’s important to look at both the monetary possibilities and what type of work you want to do. Many degree programs give you the ability to work in a number of different industries. Take the time to consider all the possibilities before you choose the right degree program for you.

  • Funancials

    If you’re going to major in Business, I would recommend specializing. Accounting (as you probably know) and Finance majors typically have more options than Marketing and Management majors. Just my observation..

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      Accounting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You need to have a lot of patience if you go into public, and considering all of the crazy periods, it’s not for everyone. Guess that’s why there are so many accountant suicides!

  • http://twitter.com/Eyesonthedollar Kim

    The health care field has been very good to me, and I think it will continue to grow. Nursing is hard work, but you rarely see an unemployed nurse and the different areas you can specialize in provide lots of variety.

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      I know someone who just got certified in RRT (or something like that) and she’s having a bit of trouble finding employment. A bunch of my friends went into the medical/healthcare studies in college (late 90’s)–mostly in the dental field actually–and all have had tremendous success.

  • http://twitter.com/moneybeagle Money Beagle

    I think the effects of Obamacare on the health care industry will take some time to sort out. Hospitals have already started trimming costs in anticipation of lower revenues. This will translate into less hiring and less salary especially if it’s felt throughout the industry as a whole. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, because I know the demand is there to provide growth in hires and subsequently in salary, but if the revenues aren’t there, there will be some gap. Hopefully it doesn’t translate into longer wait times for access to health care.

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      That is the one field in which they say will always be demand because people are always having babies and people are always getting old. I can see how the government intervention may influence hiring trends, but it’s pretty tough to do without something that is obviously needed.

  • FrugalPortland

    Ut oh, is this a list post? :)

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      Yeah, it is :-p But it’s like what I was telling you about–not just a bunch of one liners, and it’s also not something like 1,000 ways to do something when there aren’t really 1,000 ways to do it!

      • FrugalPortland

        Ha! Touche.

  • krantcents

    I think it is still up to the individual to do something with their degree. One of my bosses had a degree in English, but he went into Marketing and became very successful.

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      Definitely agree with you there. There are still a large number of people who are doing things that have nothing to do with their degrees. But at least it gives some of the undecideds or those thinking about the future a place to start.

  • http://twitter.com/littlehouse2009 Little House

    I really wish I would have done more homework before choosing anthropology as a major! I think at the time I thought I’d become a professor. Instead I became a teacher. ;)

    • http://www.dollarversity.com Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

      Sometimes what seem like great career paths, or at least interesting ones, tend to lead nowhere once we actually get into them. It really is amazing how many people are doing things in life that have nothing to do with their college degrees and how many people have gone back to school to change their career trajectories.