Area of interest isn’t the only consideration on the path to a worthwhile career. In 2014, 69 percent of students graduated with an average of $27,022 in education debt. Choosing a major is difficult when Return on Investment (ROI) and starting salary are factors. Using recent debt and collegiate attendance data, CreditRepair.com analyzed which institutions housed the most indebted graduates, which schools where most costly, and the best majors to offset impending debt. Below you’ll find more information about the top 10 majors with the best starting salaries and long-term potential. Read on to learn how financial stability begins with career choice.

  1. Engineering. Engineering encompasses a wide array of specialties, from designing consumer product hardware as a mechanical engineer to designing roads as a civil engineer. The average starting salary is nearly $60,000, but many students earn much more. Review the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for more specifics.
  2. Engineering technology. Like their engineering counterparts, engineering technology majors learn the curriculum related to their field, but engineering technicians take a hands-on approach. For example, while a mechanical engineer may lead a team and conceptualize a design, an engineering tech would assist with drawings, become familiar with the manufacturing process and follow through with the mechanical engineer’s vision. This career is suitable for science-minded individuals who enjoy taking on several tasks. New grads can expect a median salary of $55,000 per year.
  3. Builders are in high demand in a growing society. While the majority of construction positions require skill, most are earned with hands-on associate degree training at a vocational, two-year college. Carpenters, building inspectors and electricians are just a few of the 700,000 positions projected to grow by 2024.
  4. Math. Actuary, mathematician, and research analyst are common career avenues for math majors. Assessing risk, analyzing data and predicting business costs are at the forefront of mathematics education. The best part? The 2015 median pay ranged from $78,630 to $111,110.
  5. Computer science. Technology is essential in today’s world, and computer experts are the workforce that sustain our culture’s changing marketplace. If you enjoy designing new ways to approach existing technology or creating your own problem-solving programs, computer science is for you. Job growth in this field is expected to top 11 percent by 2024, providing security for your career in the future.
  6. A career in transportation seems like a vague path, but it’s actually one of the most well-paying positions in the United States. New grads earn just under $50,000, and seasoned professionals like air-traffic controllers earned an average of $122,950 in 2015 with an associate-level degree. Transportation majors don’t stop there. Airline pilots, railroad technicians and several others benefit from college educations before their careers begin.
  7. Business majors can expect a starting salary of nearly $50,000, and the field offers a wide range of opportunity. Accountants, financial analysts, management consultants and market research analysts are just a few of the specialties found under the business umbrella. Experienced professionals earned nearly $90,000 in 2015. Click here to learn more.
  8. Health is the common thread that runs through every community throughout the world. There are dozens of majors that lead into the healthcare field. Doctors, nurses, therapists and administrators are in high demand, and the surplus of jobs isn’t slowing down. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 19 percent job increase from 2014 to 2024, a trend creating 2.3 million new positions.
  9. Social science. Life, physical and social science degrees are in high demand for the future, and experts estimate 97,600 new jobs by 2024. Urban planner, sociologists, researchers, environmental scientists and economists are just a few of the professionals that benefits from a social science degree.
  10. Life science. Life science is an essential part of maintaining our culture’s needs, from growing the food we eat to studying modern illnesses and analyzing the cleanliness of our atmosphere. Life scientists work in the fields of agriculture, meteorology, biology, biochemistry, forestry and conservation, geography, geology, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The median annual wage for life, physical, and social science occupations was $62,160 in May 2015, which was higher than the median wage for all occupations of $36,200.”

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