20+ Best College Majors To Pursue In 2024 (Jobs & Salaries)

College allows you to decide your future. You can dive deeper into the subject you like, be it literature, mathematics, or art. 

You can venture beyond your comfort zone and discover new interests thanks to esteemed professors, advanced courses, and special workshops. 

There are over 1,800 college majors offered by several universities in the world. It’s no wonder that students seek career counsel because who can choose one when you have that many options? 

Well, one thing we can do to help you is narrow down your search to the top 20 college majors in the world. These are the most studied and sought-after subjects guaranteeing a huge paycheck. 

Let’s explore the best college majors across the globe!

Top 20+ College Majors 

Here are the top 20 college majors that you can read about. 

1. Computer Science

In our technologically driven world, computer science is one of the best college majors you can choose. Not only do you learn about computers, but how they are used in different settings worldwide. Be it medicine, business, transportation, military, or any other field, the importance of computers and technology has no end. 

Best College Majors - Computer Science

As a computer science major, you can work with real-world challenges and contribute to making the world more advanced. Areas you can specialize in include AI, Game Design, Machine Learning, etc. 

The top colleges offering computer science majors include MIT, Stanford University, Tsinghua University, and University of California Berkeley. 

Starting Salary$74,210
Median annual salary$131,490
Top job rolesComputer scientist, software engineer, security engineer, full stack developer, UX Design. 

2. Computer Engineering

Computer engineering is full of scope. Computer engineers design and test new hardware designs. They also test existing hardware for improvement. Computer engineering may be the right choice for you if you have a keen interest in problem-solving paired with technology. 

Networking, hardware systems, security, web development, and software development are some of the most popular specializations you can explore in this major. 

Computer Engineering

The top colleges to study computer engineering include MIT, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

Starting Salary$98,653
Median annual salary$184,755
Top job rolesData engineer, data scientist, web developer, systems analyst, Java developer. 

3. Actuarial Science

Actuarial science involves using mathematics and statistics to assess risks in various industries and find solutions, primarily for insurance companies and finance. Students must have a good background in statistics, mathematics, and economic techniques. 

Most actuarial science graduates work in insurance, government agencies, employee benefits consulting, and investment firms. 

Some top colleges to study actuarial science are Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and the University of California – Berkeley. 

Starting Salary$74,601
Median annual salary$105,900
Top job rolesPricing actuary, actuarial director, consulting actuary, actuary assistant, senior actuarial analyst. 

4. Electrical Engineering 

Our world is gadget driven and, thus, has a massive demand for people who can design, create and improve electronic devices. The coursework is like computer engineering, as it is considered a branch of electrical engineering. 

Electrical Engineering

The difference between electrical engineers and computer scientists is that the latter works to develop and design computer systems and software, whereas the former work with electricity and electric currents. 

Universities with renowned electrical engineering programs include MIT, Stanford, Harvard, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford. 

Starting Salary$76,000
Median annual salary$93,622
Top job rolesCommunication engineer, computer hardware engineer, applications engineer, hardware design engineer and machine learning engineer. 

5. Business Management 

Business Management programs teach you the fundamentals and principles of efficiently establishing and running a business. You can pursue this major to start a business instead of getting a 9 to 5 job. 

Business management coursework is about problem-solving, decision-making, communication skills, and number crunching. You’ll be taught how to form a multi-million dollar company with only a few hundred bucks in your pocket. 

Business Management 

The top business schools you can check out are Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Cambridge. 

Starting Salary$62,508
Median annual salary$92,548
Top job rolesSales management, operations management, marketing management, chief executive officer (CEO), financial manager. 

6. Healthcare Administration 

Many people confuse healthcare administration with the healthcare sector. Those are not the same fields of work. 

Healthcare administration and management courses are meant to provide you with the skills and knowledge to manage healthcare organizations. You’ll be responsible for the efficient operations of the healthcare department, facilities, or clinical areas. 

Healthcare Administration 

The top five specializations within this degree are Healthcare Law and Policy, Healthcare Informatics, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Financial Management, and Program Director.

Here are your top five college options if you’re interested in pursuing the major:  Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of California, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. 

Starting Salary$76,321
Median annual salary$262,107
Top job rolesHealth information technician, pharmaceutical sales representative, health care practice manager, clinical informaticist, chief nursing officer.

7. Construction Management 

If you believe you’re born to build things, you may want to try construction management. 

The major is designed to help individuals learn how to oversee and manage construction projects effectively. It equips students with technology, business, administration, engineering principles, applied science, and mathematics skills. 

You’ll be required to safely manage labor, cost, materials, time, and other resources within the field. The best specializations you can pursue include cost estimation, real estate development, sustainability, and transportation management. 

Here are some colleges you can check out– Hong Kong Polytechnic University, National University of Singapore, Purdue University,  Loughborough University, and MIT.

Starting Salary$77,000
Median annual salary$105,000
Top job rolesSenior project manager, architect, civil engineer, construction manager, civil engineering technologist. 

8. Communications 

Think you have excellent communication skills? We have the perfect major for you! 

Majoring in communications allows you to improve your communication skills and strategically use them to make an income. By developing your ability to communicate effectively and understand people, you can set yourself up for a wonderful career and various job roles. 


Communications is an umbrella term for an ocean of specializations to choose from. Some of the top examples are Applied Communication, Communication Education, Electronic & Digital Media, Health Communication, and International & Intercultural Communication. 

The best schools to study this major include the University of Amsterdam, The Ohio State University, Michigan State University, The University of Texas, and Nanyang Technological University. 

Starting Salary$88,000
Median annual salary$131,082
Top job rolesCommunications director, public relations manager, brand strategist, media supervisor, account supervisor. 

9. Physics 

Physics can be tough to understand but interesting at the same time. If you are interested in studying space, time, energy, and how the universe works, this is your major. 

Physics has a lot of scope in today’s world. The field offers many jobs, from teaching in high school to going to the moon as an astronaut. However, it takes a lot of hard work and a strong background in mathematics. 


Some of the most popular physics specializations include astrophysics, nuclear physics, biophysics, quantum mechanics, and electromagnetism. Colleges you can explore are MIT, Harvard University, CalTech, the University of Tokyo, and the University of Chicago. 

Starting Salary$99,000
Median annual salary$105,789
Top job rolesLab manager, test engineer, nuclear engineer, geophyscist, aeronautical engineer. 

10. Mathematics

Growing up, you must have seen one kid failing at math most of the time. Mathematics is indeed a tough one but a lucrative subject to major in. 

Studying mathematics is all about dealing with large amounts of data. Math major coursework usually includes linear and abstract algebra, calculus, geometry, and the equations needed to solve problems. 


Math students also take physics, computer science, and statistics courses. Popular specializations include data analytics, finance, computer science, economics, and topology. 

The best colleges for maths are Stanford University, MIT, Princeton University, University of Cambridge, and Harvard University. 

Starting Salary$52,000
Median annual salary$135,000
Top job rolesStatistician, aeronautical engineer, financial modeler, robotics engineer, economist. 

11. Psychology 

Psychology is one field that has gained tremendous recognition in the past decade. People are increasingly realizing the importance of mental health. 

If you want to help people deal with their mental and emotional struggles that they often cannot share with others, psychology majors might be the one. The subject focuses on learning the human mind, motivation, cognition, memory, intelligence, and everything to do with the brain. 

Some popular and high-paying specializations in the field include clinical, forensic, organizational, criminal, and health psychology. The top colleges to pursue the course are Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and the University of Michigan. 

Starting Salary$68,000
Median annual salary$139,000
Top job rolesIndustrial and organizational psychologist, clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, engineering psychologist, counseling psychologist. 

12. Government/Political Science 

Government and Political Science coursework teach you the government basics: the legislative process, the judicial system, and political parties. You’ll also study political philosophy, foreign affairs, public policy, and comparative government. 

Quite interestingly, you’ll be gaining extensive knowledge about your history and culture. You have various career options, from news channel journalists to becoming a political leader. 

Some of the best colleges you can check are John Hopkins University, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, and the University of Chicago. 

Starting Salary$39,500
Median annual salary$98,000
Top job rolesLawyers, political scientists, judges and hearing officers, urban and regional planners, arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators. 

13. Management Informative Systems

Management Informative Systems is somewhat a mix of administration, computer science, and quantitative techniques. MIS majors study people, organizations, technology, and the relationship between them. 

The focus is on decision-making, control, analysis, and coordination to ensure an organization can run efficiently. Common specializations you can check out are data management, health informatics, and cybersecurity. 

Here are some excellent colleges: the University of Arizona, the University of Georgia, MIT, Harvard, and Princeton University. 

Starting Salary$61,000
Median annual salary$82,951
Top job rolesIT technician, systems administrator, data manager, database administrator, network engineer. 

14. Biomedical Engineering 

Biomedical engineering is concerned with fixing biological and medical problems in the healthcare sector using engineering. 

Imaging systems to detect cancer or artificial limbs are typical examples of biomedical technologies. As a biomedical major, you’ll learn about the human body and how to maintain and promote good health. 

Biomedical Engineering 

By studying the human body, biomedical engineers design medical devices that help diagnose diseases and replacement of organs. 

Some popular colleges to check out are Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, University of California, and Duke University. 

Starting Salary$71,269
Median annual salary$88,602
Top job rolesScience advisor, veterinary pathologist, forensic scientist, genetic counsellor, clinical research scientist. 

15. Visual And Performing Arts

Photography, poetry, films, music, and art are things that everyone loves. We have grown up loving at least one visual and performing art type. It is safe to say that this is one of the most satisfactory and fun subjects to major in. 

There are various specializations in the field, such as fine arts, music performance, graphic design, etc. Most people who choose this major do it out of their love for the type of art rather than the money. 

Visual And Performing Arts

But, if you play your cards right, you may become the next big face in Hollywood or the music industry. Here are some colleges to check out: The Juilliard School, Royal College of Music, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Royal Academy of Music, and New York University. 

Starting Salary$29,000
Median annual salary$93,000
Top job rolesFashion designer, art director, industrial designer, UX designer, art lecturer. 

16. Economics 

Economics is all about choices. It is about how organizations, businesses, schools, governments, and societies use the time and resources on their hands. If you want to major in Economics, you must have a strong background in Math. 

Economics has the reputation of being about money only, but it can be applied to various areas of life– food, health, education, transportation, etc. Here are some subjects you can specialize in macroeconomics, labor economics, international trade and finance, environmental economics, and industrial organization. 

Some of the world’s top universities offer economics majors, such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, and Columbia University. 

Starting Salary$73,000
Median annual salary$109,102
Top job rolesStatistician, corporate lawyer, product manager, economist, compensation manager. 

17. Information Technology Management 

This major is also known as IT Management and focuses on programming, networking, and engineering concepts. Depending on your program, you practice your skills using Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, and open-source technologies. 

IT management is basically about efficiently operating an organization’s hardware, software, and networks. It focuses on making people work better. Specializations include Computer and Information Security, Data Analytics and Management, Information Technology Infrastructure, etc. 

Information Technology Management

Here are some top IT management colleges you can check out: Carnegie Mellon University, Arizona State University, Syracuse University, and Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Starting Salary$113,367
Median annual salary$139,826
Top job rolesData Scientist, DevOps engineer, big data engineer, machine learning engineer, AI/ML architect.

18. Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering majors require a strong understanding of physics and mathematics subjects. Along with textbook knowledge, students also gain practical, real-world experience during the degree. In the best colleges, students are provided with hands-on training. 

The coursework includes production systems planning, manufacturing systems design, statistics, and engineering principles and science applications. Students learn the core philosophies of running an efficient operation. 

The best colleges to study industrial engineering are the University of Michigan, the University of California, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Starting Salary$70,000
Median annual salary$85,000
Top job rolesOutside plant engineer, fabrication engineer, manufacturing engineer, plastics engineer, CNC field service engineer.

19. Nursing 

If compassion is your thing, you should definitely consider nursing. As a nursing major, you’ll learn about diagnosing, evaluating, and treating health problems using the latest medical technology. 


While textbook knowledge is extremely important in nursing, students must also make clinical rotations at hospitals and healthcare facilities during the course. After you graduate, you’ll be required to get an additional certification before officially practicing as a nurse. 

The University of Manchester, the University of California, and Yale University are some of the top college recommendations for nursing. 

Starting Salary$59,450
Median annual salary$82,750
Top job rolesCertified registered nurse anesthetist, general nurse practitioner, ICU nurse, neonatal intensive care nurse, psychiatric nurse practitioner. 

20. Finance

Finance majors learn a good deal about financial analysis, statistics, economics, and portfolio management. The typical finance coursework includes business forecasting, banking, mergers and acquisitions, financial modeling, and federal taxation for businesses. 

The major focuses on financial planning and using critical thinking and analysis to help individuals and businesses make more money. Specializations you can explore include corporate finance, investment baking, international finance, etc. 

You can check out the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas. 

Starting Salary$38,000
Median annual salary$80,000
Top job rolesChief Financial Officer, Chief Compliance officer, investment banker, financial analyst, investment specialist. 

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Conclusion: Best College Majors In (2024)

With that, our list of the current best 20 college majors ends. Remember that this is only a glimpse of a vast ocean of higher education. 

We have included the majors that are the most demanded and highly paid today. If you don’t see your preferred stream here, you can always choose a subject that brings you joy and contentment. 

Make sure you consider your talents, skills, and aptitudes before you choose your college major. By knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you can excel in your coursework. 


Should you choose a major solely based on the potential earnings?

While it is essential to consider the potential earnings before you choose a major, you should not ignore your personal interests. With proper research, you can find something that interests you as well as pays well. 

Which sectors make the most money?

Healthcare and engineering sectors have the most high-paying jobs. People working in these sectors make the most money, with physicians and surgeons earning more than $300,000 annually. 

Which is considered to be the most satisfactory major?

Nursing is considered the most satisfactory major mainly because the jobs allow people to form relationships with patients and help them achieve better health. Nurses are also one of the highest paid in the world. 

Ryan Harris

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