Most In Demand College Majors

by David Luther
College Grad Jobs - 3 years ago

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What type of degree you earn can be even more important than where you choose to earn it… and it’s a major decision. But if you’re like many freshmen, you’re more interested in how in demand your major is in the job market than about crappy puns.

Because one of the most important thing to college freshmen, if not the most important, is that the program you choose prepares you for your career. And this isn’t speculation — in a 2015 study by UCLA, 60 percent of incoming freshmen indicated it’s “very important” that their college’s alumni get good jobs after graduation.

So, how to choose?

Well, that’s where we at Zippia come in. We think about this question as much as you do — and from what majors prepare you for a career in politics to the “most eligible” majors for marriage, we’ve got a bunch of ways to answer it.

We even have the toughest majors for finding jobs.

But perhaps the most useful metric is what majors are the most in demand in online job postings, which Pew research says will be your most-used and most-useful resource.

In many cases, just having a bachelor’s degree is enough — but some employers are seeking a particular set of skills, and not all majors are represented equally when it comes to this. So, we pulled data from 681,842 job postings to figure out which ones are the most in-demand.

We’ve got the complete list below, but first — the top ten most in demand majors.

most in demand majors

How we found the most in demand majors

To get our results, we searched more than 6 million entry-level job postings for listings that specifically mentioned a major or multiple majors — this yielded 681,842 quality posts.

Then, we used an internal algorithm to normalize the various titles into 324 majors — that way, we didn’t have separate results for Business, Business Operations, Business Management, Business Administration, etc.

No distinction was made between bachelor of science and bachelor of arts.

most in demand majors

Granted, many schools offer business finance degrees (think risk management) instead of Insurance degrees but we still separated the two because there is a definite distinction.

Write a sternly-worded email or something if it bothers you.

What the results show

Certain majors simply dominate the results.

The top ten majors make up 42 percent of demand, with the top three most in demand majors accounting for 23 percent of all results.

most in demand majors

So you’re still in business, even if you majored in Education or Insurance instead of Business.

The wordsmiths — PR, Journalism, and Marketing — can almost be combined into their own powerhouse category and did surprisingly well, as did the Industrial Equipment Maintenance and Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Majors.

And while it’s to be expected that certain majors are more in demand, what was surprising is just how large a piece of the online job market the top majors own.

most in demand majors

When we expand the selection to the next forty majors, we see that the top fifty majors represent 69 percent of the majors in online postings.

The Takeaway — which major is in the most demand

Keep in mind that the infrequency of employers seeking a particular major online doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t jobs for it out there. Of course not all jobs are going to be posted online, as plenty of positions get filled through internal hiring, headhunting, and networking.

However an increased frequency does indicate that there are more jobs for these degrees. This National Association of Colleges and Employers study shows that more online job postings correlate to high employability rates at six months from graduation, with these majors also being the most employable:

  • 68 percent of Business Majors found work — whether BS or BA.
  • 59 percent of Communications Majors are employed six months out.
  • 57 percent of Education Majors are employed.

So who’s the winner?

Considering that 86 percent of the 169 major companies in the NACE survey are hiring Business Majors in 2017, the overall winner is the country’s most popular major: Business.

In that same study, Finance was the major they wanted the most, at 87 percent — and as we noted previously, Finance sits on the fence bordering Insurance and Business.

Pursue whatever fascinates you.

It’s important that you follow your passion when it comes to what you’ll be studying for hopefully just four years of your life. More than just a career decision, it’s your life and personal identifier for four years.

I mean, half of the conversations you have your freshman begin with something like: “Where are you from? What dorm are you in? What’s your major?”

And that’s more or less an introduction to that networking jazz they keep talking about.

“My name is _____ and I’m a _____ major from _____” is even your first elevator speech — and by the end of your first year, a quarter of you change your minds about your field of study anyway.

The editor at large for The Chronicle of Education suggests that you pursue whatever you like, as long as you pursue it rigorously with these tips:

  1. Seek Passionate Faculty Members
  2. Dive Deep Into a Research Project
  3. Go On a Transformative Global Experience
  4. Be Creative. Take Risks. Learn How to Fail.

So do what you love and the money will follow. It’ll just be really convenient if what you love is studying business and money.

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