Best Undergraduate Degrees for Finding Jobs

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Best Undergraduate Degrees for Finding Jobs
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While many college grads will struggle to find jobs, those that earn degrees in certain fields will have a much easier time scoring a position. These 10 degrees are some of your best prospects for landing a job.

Computer Science
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Computer Science

The world's dependence on technology is increasing rapidly, and computer science is the degree to get if you want to capitalize on that. Occupations for computer science majors include software developers; computer systems analysts; computer and information systems managers; information security analysts; web developers; and computer network architects. The government projects that more than 300,000 jobs will open up for each of these occupations between 2010 and 2020; the annual median salary for all of these is over $75,000.

Civil Engineering
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Civil Engineering

As people become more concerned with environmental and infrastructure issues, there will be a strong demand for environmental engineers and surveyors. To land either of these occupations, you'll need a degree in civil engineering. The projected number of new jobs opening up through 2020 for both of these careers is very good -- 51,400 for environmental engineers and 51,200 for surveyors -- though the mean annual salaries of the two jobs differ somewhat, with an environmental engineer earning $78,740 and a surveyor earning $54,880.

Health Administration
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Health Administration

As people live and stay active longer, medical and health services managers, also called health care executives or health care administrators, will be needed to plan, coordinate and direct these medical and health services. The government projects that from 2010 to 2020, 303,000 jobs in this field will open up. The median annual salary is $84,270.

Architecture
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Architecture

The projected number of available jobs for architects, who plan and design buildings, is very good, with 113,700 jobs opening up through 2020. Many architects attain a degree in architecture through a five-year program and, on average, earn a very good salary, $72,550 a year. Completing an internship gives you an advantage when seeking employment, but a candidate whose creativity stands out from the rest will likely have the most promising job opportunities.

Accounting
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Accounting

Graduating with a degree in accounting offers a few career options: accountant, auditor or financial analyst. Accountants and auditors work with financial records, preparing them and checking them for accuracy. Financial analysts gauge the performance of stocks, bonds and other investments and provide guidance regarding investment decisions. The average earnings of each of these occupations is very good, with the median annual salary of accountants at $61,690 and of financial analysts at $74,350. Furthermore, each has excellent projected job numbers through 2020: 1,216,900 for accountants and 236,000 for financial analysts.

Nursing
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Nursing

Registered nurses provide and coordinate medical care for patients. This field has an excellent number of projected available jobs -- 2,737,400 through 2020 -- mostly as a result of an aging population and an increasing emphasis on preventive care. While it's possible to become a registered nurse with only an associate's degree or a diploma from an approved nursing program, those with at least a bachelor's degree in nursing will generally have the greatest job opportunities. The average salary of nurses is very good, $64,690 per year.

Special Education
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Special Education

Special education teachers work with students who have any number of learning, emotional, mental and physical disabilities. Because of increasing enrollment and the continued demand for special education services, the need for special education teachers is expected to grow -- particularly in pre-, kindergarten, elementary and middle schools. The expected number of available jobs for special education teachers in these areas of education is very good, 459,600 jobs opening up from 2010-2020, and their average salary is $53,220 a year.

Social Work
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Social Work

With the increasing need for social services, those earning a degree in social work are looking at excellent projected job numbers, 650,500. The job of these professionals is to protect vulnerable children and help families in need of assistance. Social workers make an average annual salary of $42,480. A social worker with a bachelor's degree will likely work as a caseworker or mental health assistant. If your goal is to be a clinical social worker, however, you will need a master's degree.

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