The 25 most valuable college majors

Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesSeven of the top 10 spots are held by various engineering concentrations.
    • The most valuable college majors have a high likelihood of post-graduation employment and a decent salary.
    • Bankrate recently took a look at the most valuable college majors – the top 10 were all in STEM fields.
    • Naval architecture and marine engineering took the top spot.
    • Across all 162 college majors surveyed for the study, the median income was $US55,000 and the unemployment rate was 2.8%.
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The cost of college is higher than ever, making it important to pick a major that will be valuable in the long run, with a high likelihood of post-graduation employment and a decent expected salary.

Financial education company Bankrate recently determined the most valuable college majors based on the most recent data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Using weighted data, the August 2019 study determined the employment and unemployment rates and incomes for graduates for their first year out of college across 162 majors. (Each of the majors included in the study employed at least 15,000 people.) It also considered the number of college graduates who held an advanced degree.

The 10 most valuable majors were all in STEM fields, with engineering concentrations dominating seven of those spots. The median income for all degree holders observed in the study, across all 162 majors, was $US55,000, and the average unemployment rate was 2.8%.

Below, see the college majors that have proven to be the most valuable to students post-graduation.


25. Health and Medical Preparatory Programs

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Median income: $US74,000

Unemployment rate: 1.7%


24. Mathematics and Computer Science

Median income: $US99,000

Unemployment rate: 4.5%


23. Finance

Getty Images / Hero Images

Median income: $US75,000

Unemployment rate: 2.9%


22. Miscellaneous Engineering Technologies

Getty Images/ Hero Images

Median income: $US70,000

Unemployment rate: 2.1%


21. Chemical Engineering

Median income: $US88,000

Unemployment rate: 3.0%


20. Civil Engineering

Median income: $US80,000

Unemployment rate: 2.7%


19. Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Median income: $US70,100

Unemployment rate: 0.6%


18. Computer Science

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Median income: $US87,000

Unemployment rate: 3.1%


17. Management Information Systems and Statistics

Hero Images/Getty Images

Median income: $US80,000

Unemployment rate: 2.9%


16. Mechanical Engineering

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Median income: $US88,000

Unemployment rate: 3.0%


T15. Transportation Sciences and Technologies

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Median income: $US72,000

Unemployment rate: 2.2%


T15. Construction Services

Median income: $US70,000

Unemployment rate: 1.9%


13. Applied Mathematics

Median income: $US78,200

Unemployment rate: 1.8%


12. General Engineering

Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

Median income: $US80,000

Unemployment rate: 2.4%


11. Engineering and Industrial Management

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Median income: $US72,600

Unemployment rate: 1.3%


10. Materials Science

Median income: $US90,000

Unemployment rate: 2.0%


9. Electrical Engineering Technology

Goran Bogicevic/Shutterstock

Median income: $US76,000

Unemployment rate: 1.8%


8. Computer Engineering

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Median income: $US92,000

Unemployment rate: 2.8%


7. Aerospace Engineering

Associated Press

Median income: $US90,000

Unemployment rate: 2.3%


6. Architectural Engineering

YP_photographer/Shutterstock

Median income: $US74,000

Unemployment rate: 1.5%


5. Electrical Engineering

Moof/Getty Images

Median income: $US99,000

Unemployment rate: 2.7%


4. Genetics

Solis Images/Shutterstock

Median income: $US85,000

Unemployment rate: 1.2%


3. Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration

Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Median income: $US100,000

Unemployment rate: 2.2%


2. Nuclear Engineering

Median income: $US98,100

Unemployment rate: 1.8%


1. Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Median income: $US90,000

Unemployment rate: 1.6%

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