College students consider a number of factors when choosing their majors. They assess their interests and skills, and match them to potential careers. Degree programs vary not only in the subject matter of the course work, but also in cost and the number of years required to graduate.
If the potential for earnings was the only consideration, everyone would major in engineering. There would probably be more medical students if the process did not require so much money and time. Equalizing all salaries would quickly solve the teacher shortage.
At last report, 42 percent of students chose one of 10 majors, according to the Business Insider. These degree programs concern business, health care, education, and a few other fields. Here is a look at the most popular college majors, and the top-ranked schools offering them.
Eight percent of college students in the United States were majoring in business management and administration, when the Business Insider conducted its most recent survey. Degree programs in general business and accounting each attracted about 5 percent of students, placing them second and third on the list. Another business program, marketing and marketing research, ranked seventh with 3 percent of students.
Business majors take classes in subjects like accounting, marketing, finance, economics, statistics, budgeting and business planning, and employee management. The careers they seek require good math skills, as well as strong interpersonal communication.
According to Bloomberg Business Week, the best place in the United States to get a business degree is the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Others in the top five, in order, are the Harvard Business School, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
The fourth most-popular degree program is nursing, with about 4 percent of all students. Nursing requires a wide range of skills, from the technical to the personal. Nurses must deal with highly stressful, traumatic situations. They are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat injuries and illnesses, while working under the supervision of doctors.
In their freshman year in college, majors in this field take classes in the sciences and liberal arts. As sophomores, they begin clinical rotations to gain training and practical experience. Later, nurses may specialize in oncology, neurology, pediatrics, or obstetrics.
According to rankings compiled by U.S. News and World Report, three schools are tied for the distinction of having the best nursing program. They are St. Johns University in Baltimore, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and the University of Washington in Seattle. Next on the list are the University of California at San Francisco and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Psychology degree programs also attract about 4 percent of students. Classes cover complex subjects related to the workings of the human brain. Students learn about intelligence, perceptions, emotions, personalities, and learning abilities. They diagnose and treat mental disorders, and help patients cope with emotional challenges.
Getting a degree in psychology is just the beginning of the educational requirements to work in this field. A graduate degree from a medical school, as well as training and certification, also are required.
The Social Psychology Network reported that Stanford University has the best undergraduate program, based on a Princeton University report. Others in the top five are Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Elementary education majors make up about 4 percent of students, while about 3 percent pursue degrees in general education. While not among the higher-paying professions, teaching provides opportunities for other rewards. Inspiring children to learn can be highly gratifying.
Students majoring in education take mostly general-education courses, with some class work focusing on the grade levels they expect to teach. While in school, education majors frequently serve as student teachers to gain training and experience.
Michigan State University has the top degree programs in education, according to Campus Explorer. It ranked Pennsylvania State University second, Ohio University third, Vanderbilt University fourth, and the University of Georgia fifth.
These are the most popular college majors, and some of the institutions renowned for their degree programs in those fields. Pursuing these studies can lead to rewarding careers in a variety of disciplines.
Considering choices other students make can be instructive. However, it isrecommended that students focus on their individual needs and interests. Making money is not the only objective. Finding something that you can imagine yourself doing, in a full-time career, should be the main goal.