What Are the Top College Majors in the U.S.?

From art and literature to business and science, students have a wide range of fields to choose from for their college majors. Keep reading to learn more about a few of the top majors in the United States.

Overview of the Top College Majors in the United States

There's a lot to consider when choosing a college major. Students have to think about their interests and skills as well as the career paths they wish to pursue. They also have to determine if they'll need to go on to graduate school after earning their undergraduate degree. According to the Princeton Review, three majors currently popular in the United States include business administration, psychology, and nursing.

Important Facts About These Majors

Top U.S. Majors Business Administration Psychology Nursing
Common Courses Management, marketing, finance, organizational leadership Introductory/general psychology, mental illness, research methods Professional nursing, nursing research, nutrition, community health nursing
Degrees Bachelor of Business Administration Bachelor of Science Associate's Degree in Nursing, Bachelor of Science
Possible Careers Fiscal Analyst, Bank Loan Officer Rehabilitation Center Assistant, Employment Counselor Registered Nurse, Nurse Manager
Online Availability Fully online courseworkFully online courseworkOnline coursework with on-site clinical requirements
Median Salary (2018) $63,040 (for loan officers) $100,770 (for psychologists, all other) $71,730 (for registered nurses)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 11% growth (for loan officers) 11% growth (for psychologists, all other) 15% growth (for registered nurses)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Business Administration

The business administration major encompasses a variety of fields, including economics, accounting, finance and marketing. Strong communication and leadership skills are vital in the business world, and anyone considering a business administration major should enjoy working with both people and numbers. Many business administration majors go on to pursue a master's degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) reports that approximately 381,353 individuals received bachelor's degrees in business in 2016-2017, and 187,404 students earned master's degrees in business during that same period (www.nces.ed.gov).

Psychology

Psychology remains a popular major, even though career options are limited for individuals holding only a bachelor's degree. Around 116,861 students received bachelor's degrees in psychology in 2016-2017, per the NCES. Many students enter psychology hoping to become clinical psychologists or psychiatrists, jobs that require a Ph.D. or M.D., respectively. Thus, psychology also is a popular choice at the doctorate level, with 6,702 Ph.D. graduates in 2016-2017, according to the NCES. Psychology majors should have a keen interest in people and how the human brain works. They study biology of the brain and learn about personality, cognition and emotion.

Nursing

Nursing is both a popular college major and a growing career field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that nursing would generate approximately 438,100 new jobs for registered nurses (R.N.) between 2016 and 2026, making it one of the country's fastest growing occupations (www.bls.gov). Nursing majors should be natural-born caretakers and have a great deal of compassion. They take basic science and liberal arts courses and complete clinical training in hospitals or clinical settings. Licensure is required after graduation.

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