Kiplinger updates its rankings of college majors annually. Above is our list of the best college majors for a lucrative career from the 2017-2018 academic year. Keep in mind that ranking methodologies can change from year to year based on the data available at the time, changes to how the data was gathered, switches to new data providers and tweaks to the formulas used to narrow the pool of candidates.
The University of Massachusetts-Lowell, the second-largest degree-granting institution in its state, offers a handful of online undergraduate degrees. These include fully online bachelor's pathways in business administration, management, English, liberal arts, and psychology -- along with a degree in information technology with a business minor. Other bachelor's degrees at UMass Lowell, such as the RN-to-BSN track and engineering fields, are available in a blended format. The school also offers 12 master's degrees and a doctorate in educational leadership fully online.
This engineering field offers slightly less pay than nuclear engineering but far more employment opportunities. That’s because industrial engineers, who develop systems to make products and provide services in the most efficient way possible, are less specialized and can find work in a range of industries, from aerospace and motor vehicle parts manufacturing to natural gas distribution and oil and gas extraction. And jobs for them can be found all across the country, with the highest levels of employment in Michigan, California and Texas. The national median income for industrial engineers is $85,862 a year. But average pay reaches nearly $107,000 a year in Washington and California; in Texas, above $108,000 a year.

Stephen F. Austin State University offers three online Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degrees in education. They are the BSIS in Elementary Education 4-8, the BSIS in Elementary Education EC-6, and the BSIS in Special Education. All three are 45 credit majors and admissions require a 3.0 GPA. Up to 60 credits may be transferred. The EC-6 program is only available to Texas residents and requires a concentration in math, English, social studies or generalist. The 4-8 program focuses on the middle grades. The Special Ed program focuses on teaching diverse students with exceptionalities. It prepares students for EC-12 Special Ed Teacher and EC-6 Generalist Teacher. All three programs require a visit to campus once a semester for program intensives. Tuition is $362 per credit hour.


The upper-division coursework in the bachelor's program is centered around the student's particular focus area in education. Possible specializations include elementary education, special education, middle school, or secondary education. Students specializing in secondary education also take coursework in a particular teaching subject area, such as math, science, or English. Teaching-oriented bachelor’s degrees require that students complete teaching labs or practicums, as well as an internship.
Perhaps you were class president in high school. Or perhaps you were a member of the honor society. You could have graduated in the top percentile of your graduating class; perhaps you were even valedictorian. Maybe your were in the honors program or the International Baccalaureate program. Actually, it doesn't really matter what you did in high school as you make the transition to college. High school success (or lack of it) doesn't automatically apply to college.
CBU Online delivers courses in accelerated 8-week courses, with three semesters offered year-round so students move through courses efficiently, helping you graduate faster. And CBU is committed to being transfer-friendly so students can consolidate their undergraduate college credits and finish their degree.  Students also benefit from Academic Success Center support, including SmartThinking—24/7 online tutoring support for multiple subjects.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education- Early Childhood Inclusive. The degree is designed for adults who work as in-service teachers, in HeadStart programs and similar settings. Admission requires a diploma and ACT/ SAT scores or the GED for freshmen, and transfer students should have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Two specializations are available: Birth through Kindergarten and Age 3 to Grade 3. The Inclusive teaching certificate allows teaching birth to age 5 in Special Ed, and birth to age 8 in standard teaching programs. Program courses include Typical/ Atypical Growth and Development, Phonics and Word Study, and Math, Science and Social Studies for Children 3-8. Online tuition is $422 per credit for nonresidents.

The University of Denver is a nationally-ranked, private (nonprofit), four-year university with a robust online presence. Through DU’s University College (College of Professional and Continuing Studies), the University provides a fully accredited educational experience. Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels can take challenging and career-relevant online classes designed for busy adults.
The top of our rankings present interested scholars with the best shots at success and satisfaction in the workplace, complete with generous incomes and an abundance of job opportunities. Check out the best college majors for a lucrative career. (Spoiler alert: STEM majors—that is, fields in science, technology, engineering and math—dominate our rankings.)
The University of Toledo, located in Toledo, Ohio, offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. The program is designed for students interested in graduate study or who want to work in administrative support positions in schools and related programs. This is a non-licensure fast track program. Applicants must have an associate's degree in early childhood education or child development with a 2.7 GPA, and must also be employed at least half-time in an appropriate educational setting. The program is on the cohort system. Among the courses offered are Education of Talented and Gifted Children, Effective Teacher Practice and Curriculum Adaptations and Policies. Online tuition for a 3-credit course is $1,260. California residents should check with UT about program availability.
A public, four-year university, University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) is a member of the acclaimed University of Minnesota system and a provider of nationally-ranked online Bachelor’s degrees. UMC prides itself on their high-quality educational programs designed for nontraditional or continuing students, community organizations, and the workforce.
Graduates of these programs often become professors in universities and colleges, teaching classes in general education, teaching, education policy, education administration, and educational psychology and counseling. Professors of education also participate in research studies, often with the goal of publishing their findings in academic journals; they may also advise graduate students as they write their theses and dissertations. Some graduates will work in education policy and reform, while those who studied education administration can become principals, headmasters, deans, superintendents, or employees for state and national departments of education.
If you’re willing to take those risks, expect to study plenty of math and science. At the University of Texas, a top school for this field, some courses for the petroleum engineering degree include: engineering, energy and the environment in the first year; mechanics of solids in the second year; petrophysics in the third year; and reservoir geomechanics in the final year.
Whether you want to study Photography at a technical school, career college, community college, online school, 4-year college or university, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. To select the right program, look at course requirements—some schools approach Photography as a fine art while others prepare you for careers in photojournalism, fashion photography and the like. You should also take a look at the photo labs and ask about the types of cameras and computer software you’ll learn.
All bachelor's options are fully online, and instructors deliver most graduate-level degrees primarily online with some minimal face-to-face requirements. Distance learners can participate in online workshops for library training and MS Office software. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act approves several of the university's online bachelor's and graduate programs; this initiative provides financial aid for unemployed or underemployed students who cannot afford course tuition and fees.
Future photography majors should never be without their camera during high school whether you have a point-and-shoot or an SLR. You’ll want to capture as many artful and eventful images as you can. Even if your school doesn’t offer a photography class, art classes of all kinds can provide an introduction to color and composition. Look for afterschool activities such as the yearbook photo committee or editing images for the school’s web site.
To become the superintendent of a school district, some states require that applicants have a current principal or teaching license and a certain number of years of experience in each professional role. Superintendents may also be required to complete a superintendent preparation program as well as an accredited master's degree program with a superintendent focus before they can take a licensing exam. After passing the exam, they may be eligible for an initial superintendent certificate for a certain number of years before they must renew their certification.
How do I choose a major? Take courses in areas that appeal to you early in your academic path, and then try to focus on a subject that motivates you. Make sure that you have genuine interest, though. You'll do better in class when you’re interested, and your motivation will continue through college and into a job if you pursue a professional degree.  Read more about choosing a college major and utilize the College Major Checklist to evaluate them...
This engineering field offers slightly less pay than nuclear engineering but far more employment opportunities. That’s because industrial engineers, who develop systems to make products and provide services in the most efficient way possible, are less specialized and can find work in a range of industries, from aerospace and motor vehicle parts manufacturing to natural gas distribution and oil and gas extraction. And jobs for them can be found all across the country, with the highest levels of employment in Michigan, California and Texas. The national median income for industrial engineers is $85,862 a year. But average pay reaches nearly $107,000 a year in Washington and California; in Texas, above $108,000 a year.
Central Methodist University features two online Bachelor of Science in Education degrees: one in Elementary Education and one in Early Childhood Education. Freshman admission requires a diploma with a minimum 2.5 GPA or the GED, and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students need a minimum GPA of 2.0. The Early Childhood program covers all aspects of development and education and can lead to teacher certification in birth to age 5. The Elementary Education program focuses on child development, teaching methods and teaching content (such as math). It also can also lead to teacher certification. Courses in the programs include Reading and Writing with Young Children, Emerging Language, and Children's Literature. Online tuition is $250 per credit. CMU is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
The career opportunities available after completing an education certificate will depend on the graduate’s previous education and experience. Many use the certificate to take a state licensing exam, either to become a kindergarten-through-12th-grade teacher or a school principal. Education certificates can also be useful for teachers interested in moving into policy or research roles in local, state, and federal governments. Other programs are used by practicing teachers to deepen their curriculum and cement their role in their current school.
Attending online class is easy, all you need is a reliable internet connection. You simply log into your classroom to complete assignments, access course materials and resources and interact with faculty and classmates. Class participation is graded based upon your contributions to online discussions. This is a great solution for students who might have a difficult time commuting and for those who learn better independently.

Compassionate individuals with a great mind for the intricate–and sometimes heartbreaking–world of medicine will be well–suited for a nursing career. In the course of evaluating, diagnosing, and treating health problems there is also the chance to work with ever-evolving and ultra-sophisticated technology. Nursing majors take the traditional science and liberal arts courses as a first–year student and begin clinical rotations at hospitals and other health care facilities during the second semester of their sophomore year. Certification exams are required after graduation from an accredited nursing program before you can be officially registered. And the job prospects for nurses are not only plentiful but also varied, available in fields such as geriatrics, neurology, oncology, obstetrics, and pediatrics.
Your coursework—and real work potential—looks very similar to that of computer engineering students, a field which is considered a branch of electrical engineering. That’s because of the proliferation of computers being used to operate all sorts of products. But your studies will not be limited to just computer-operated electronics. So you can expect to take courses such as circuit analysis and design, digital systems, electric components and tools and semiconductor technology.

The Teachers College at Western Governors University is granted accreditation at the initial-licensure level from CAEP, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, 1140 19th St NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20036 (202) 223-0077. CAEP is the only recognized national accreditor for educator preparation. WGU is the first competency-based online university to receive CAEP accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure.
A big problem for a lot of new students is a combination of homesickness and a feeling of not quite belonging. A solution? Consider joining a select group (and be careful not to go overboard) -- student organizations, clubs, sororities or fraternities, or sports teams. You'll make new friends, learn new skills, and feel more connected to your school.
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