Report: Where Will Your College Major Take You?

You’ve walked across the stage to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance”, flipped your tassel to the left side of your cap and posed hurriedly for a picture your parents will definitely buy for the fireplace mantel. Now it’s time to begin the next stage of your life: college.

And of course, you’ve got to choose a college major but which major is the right one? The future stretches ahead of you, and there are many possibilities to pursue based on your talents and interests.

At the same time, student debt is a serious concern the average student in the Class of 2016 had $37,172 in debt, and it’s the now the second-highest consumer debt category after mortgages. Which is all to say that choosing the right major is more important than ever before.

“A good career starts with a solid foundation,” says Indeed SVP Paul Wolfe. “A student’s major may lead to a variety of options that they don’t even know about yet. But studying the potential options can help you hone in on your area of study, as well influence the types of organizations and people you look to connect with on the way.”

Information on which jobs are trending in today’s market can be a helpful resource for students, parents, and educators. Let’s take a closer look at pathways and salary information, based on an analysis of Indeed’s data.

Connecting majors to careers

To make our list our data science team identified some of the most popular majors in Indeed’s 90 million strong resume database and then looked at the jobs that most commonly appeared on those resumes. We then analyzed Indeed’s salary information for these jobs to get a sense of how much they pay on average. In the table we provide an at-a-glance sense of the results. Below, we take a deeper dive into potential pathways.

Accounting

Are you good with numbers? Accounting is a versatile business degree, and you’ll have the opportunity to work with businesses, individuals and the government to ensure the accuracy of financial records, as well as make sure taxes are paid on time. Popular jobs for accounting majors include chief financial officer, assistant controller, and accountant people in these positions make an average salary of $126,579, $85,636 and $53,227, respectively. That said, some studies suggest that accounting roles may be impacted by automation, so be sure to follow the advice of the experts and be prepared to upskill so you can pursue strategic roles.

Search for accounting jobs here.

Biology

If you want to understand and explore the structure, function and evolution of diverse living systems, biology is the major for you. Majoring in biology means you could contribute to fields ranging from genetic engineering to stem cell research to cancer research — and beyond. Biology grads have a lot of options: They can research or teach, and they can work for profit or non-profit organizations. We often see roles such as scientist, microbiologist or research associate on resumes on Indeed which on average pay $84,978, $61,480 and $48,733 respectively.

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