Top 5 Most Popular College Majors

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When it comes to college, you’re expected to make a lot of decisions: where to attend school, where to live, what classes to take and, eventually, what your major will be. If you’re having trouble deciding on a major, it may help to take a look at what other students are doing. The most popular majors often track with growth or high-demand areas in the job market—such as nursing and education—which will land you in good stead when you graduate.

5 Psychology

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A degree in psychology opens the door to a wide range of career options, but most often leads to graduate school. Psychology majors develop observational and analytical skills that are important in today’s business and healthcare fields. Psych majors may end up working directly in their field as psychologists, but they may also follow other career paths that rely on their skill sets, such as social work, marketing or even criminal profiling.

4 Education

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Education, including elementary education, is a path for many college students not only for the rewards that come with helping children—and adults—broaden their horizons, but also because the degree leads to high-demand jobs. If you have talents in math or science, in particular, your job search in the education field will be a short one. Education careers are not limited to teaching, however. You could end up doing anything from leading a college to counseling students.

3 Health Professions

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Nursing, in its own right, is one of the most popular college majors due to the high—and steady—demand for skilled nurses in the job market. When combined with other health-related programs, such as pre-med, degrees that lead to a job in the healthcare industry are near the top in popularity. Nurses and physician assistants both command high starting salaries and maintain strong earning potential throughout their careers. Graduate programs in nursing can open even more doors.

2 Social Sciences & History

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Degrees in the social sciences, including history, are high on the list for undergraduate students. Political science and economics, which are included in this category, are among the most frequently chosen majors. Econ majors have the highest median starting salaries of any major. Social science majors also tend to go on to graduate school more frequently than many of their undergraduate counterparts.

1 Business

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Even during a recession, business administration tops the list of undergraduate majors. One reason for its popularity is the variety of career options a business degree affords. From recession-resistant career paths in finance and lucrative jobs in accounting, a business degree can give you a lot of flexibility when it comes to making that next big decision: what to do after you graduate.

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