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College graduates who choose this major could earn over $100,000

Key Points
  • Median salaries for software engineers and application software developer surpass $100,000, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Computer and information systems majors could be in the running for higher salaries and strong hiring prospects through 2028, according to CareerCast.
  • Electrical engineers just starting out have the highest median annual salary among new graduates: $72,600.
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Looking for a college major that will help squash your student loan debt?

Consider electrical engineering.

Recent graduates in that field are earning the highest median annual salary — $72,600, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Longer term, electrical engineers earn a median salary of $99,070, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"If you were to get a doctorate, you'd get higher pay but you're incurring more debt," said Kyle Kensing, online content editor at CareerCast. The job hunting website analyzed employment data from the BLS.

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"For electrical engineers, making around $73,000 right out of the gate is really impressive," Kensing said.

Expect to fight hard to get your foot in the door, though.

The unemployment rate is only 3% for new electrical engineering graduates, which suggests that competition for open posts is tough, CareerCast found.

"You'll end up miserable if you don't like it, and the prospects aren't great if you don't have an aptitude for it," said Kensing. "I would recommend considering a double major or a minor in something you're passionate about, but get a degree in something a little more stable."

Here are the other majors that offer attractive employment prospects upon graduation.

Computer and information systems

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Whether your plan is to become a software developer or you hope to build a career in cybersecurity, you can't go wrong with a major in computer and information systems.

Recent graduates with bachelor's degrees in this field have median annual earnings of $65,400, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

You'll end up miserable if you don't like it, and the prospects aren't great if you don't have an aptitude for it.
Kyle Kensing
online content editor, CareerCast

Hiring prospects are looking strong for careers in this field.

For instance, information security analysts earn a median salary of $98,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These jobs are expected to grow by 32% from 2018 to 2028.

Median salaries exceed the $100,000 mark for software engineers and application software developers, the bureau found.

Finance and accounting

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Accounting majors who just received their degree are starting at a median salary of $57,700, while finance majors are making $63,700, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Both disciplines pay off if you stick with them.

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Financial advisors have a median pay of $88,890 per year, while accountants and auditors have a median salary of $70,500, the BLS found.

Marketing

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Newly minted graduates with a bachelor's in marketing start off with a median salary of $50,400, the National Center for Education Statistics found.

However, there's plenty of potential. The median annual pay for advertising, promotions and marketing managers is $132,620, according to the BLS.

Jobs in this discipline are expected to grow by about 8% from 2018 to 2028 — beating the average growth rate of 5% for all occupations, the BLS found.

"Marketing is an alternative route and a bit of a deviation from the other degree programs we found in this report," said Kensing.