Careers

The 6 most popular college majors

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Brooks Kraft | Getty Images

Earning a college degree is more valuable than ever before. The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce calculates that a bachelor's degree is worth $2.8 million over a lifetime.

Accordingly, more Americans are going to college than ever before. Most recent figures from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show that students earned approximately 1.9 million bachelor's degrees during the 2014 to 2015 school year — a 32 percent increase from 2005.

But what are students actually studying? Check out the 6 most popular college majors to see if yours makes the list:

6. Engineering

5 percent
97,900 degrees

5. Biological and biomedical sciences

6 percent
110,000 degrees

4. Psychology

6 percent
118,000 degrees

3. Social sciences and history

9 percent
167,000 degrees

2. Health professions and related programs

11 percent
216,000 degrees

1. Business

19 percent
364,000 degrees

According to the NCES, the fastest growing major is health. Since 2005, the number of students who majored in health-related fields like nursing increased by 168 percent. Women earned a whopping 183,000 degrees with these majors while only 33,700 men did.

The No. 1 most popular major is business, with over 364,000 business majors graduating in 2015. The NCES found that business was the most common field of study for every racial and ethnic group but that men earned the majority of business bachelor's degrees. In 2015, 191,000 men majored in business and 172,000 women did.

John Byrne, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Poets&Quants for Undergrads says that majoring in business is a wise investment.

"At a time when parents and students are confronting ever-increasing tuition bills and levels of debt, the return-on-investment of a degree is more important than ever," Byrne tells CNBC Make It. "It's no wonder that more parents are encouraging their children to major in business. The best business schools are a no-brainer investment."

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