TODAY   |  September 04, 2012

Top 10 college majors for having a lucrative career

With the economy still struggling, it’s become difficult for college seniors to find jobs right out of school, but there are professions that are still hiring. Caitlin Dewey of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine breaks down the top 10 majors that will help students find well-paying careers.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> economy many college graduates are finding it can be really hard to get jobs right out of school. but there are professions that are hiring and paying pretty good salaries. kaitlyn, the online editor for kiplinger's personal finance magazine which just ranked the ten best college majors that can lead to lucrative careers. is that the criteria, salary, availability of jobs? is that what drove this ranking?

>> we were looking at four things, median salary, unemployment rates for graduates and starting salary.

>> one thing you found is students heading to college might stop and think how long they need to go. it's not necessarily all about four year degrees.

>> there are some associate degrees that have better job prospects that bachelor degrees .

>> let's get right to the list, medical assisting services, people who help with administrative services for doctors. why is that good?

>> right out of school, 2.9 unemployment rate . basically graduates are assured a job.

>> what's the salary.

>> mid-40s to $50,000.

>> pretty good starting salary.

>> yes.

>> number nine, management information systems . this is basically work in the i.t. field.

>> this is people doing i.t. for major corporations, a lower unemployment rate but you see a strong salary, starting at $51,000.

>> number eight is an interesting one, construction services. people looking at this difficulty recovery saying not a lot of people are building things. you have a caveat, a certain kind of service.

>> ecofriendly, retrofitting old buildings. because the population is growing, more buildings and roads.

>> ecofriendly. next three are specialized industries but still only require a bachelor's degree, medical technologies , electrical engineering and chemical engineer , number five. doesn't have the greatest job growth but you think look to the future.

>> a lot of chemical engineers are expected to retire in the next 10 years.

>> that presents opportunities for people looking for jobs. number four you have treatment therapy professions. what are those.

>> a little bit of a mouthful. essentially talking about things like recreational therapists, radiation therapists, those type of careers.

>> do they require only four-year degree.

>> they do.

>> only four year degree.

>> uh-huh.

>> number three you have transportation sciences and technology. i don't remember seeing that on my college brochure. what exactly does that mean?

>> a little vague. wieber talking about air nautical, aviation technology. these people are probably going to work for airline manufacturers.

>> what kind of job availability is there out there for these people.

>> it's good. a growing field. again, this is another place where we expect a lot of people to retire in the next decade or so.

>> looked at the median salary, starting out in the 50s with growth beyond that.

>> absolutely.

>> number two is going to surprise people, let's spend a little time on that, nursing.

>> nursing is an excellent field first because there's so much demand, only 2.2% unemployment rate , which is extraordinary. salaries are also pretty strong.

>> what about the requirements in terms of time studying.

>> that can go either way . some states will actually allow a nurse with an associate's degree to practice. as with all other things if you stay two more years, get the bachelors you're going to have a better job prospects.

>> are prospects better regionally. with all of these things do you need to make sure you're in the right part of the country to take advantage of these opportunities?

>> you're going to need nurses anywhere but in rural areas, underserved cities better perks.

>> the number one major you think will provide for possibly lucrative careers, pharmacy and pharmacology.

>> really the way to go. 100 top majors, most popular in the u.s., only one with a six-figure salary. so over the course of your career, you can expect to make about $105,000 as a pharmacist.

>> can you really get one of these jobs with just a bachelor's degree?

>> that's a great question. to be a pharmacist you do need to have some kind of post grad position, pharmacologist or researcher in a lab you can get those jobs after four years.

>> communications, history and english, how did they do?

>> not so well.

>> it's not just me. there's a lot of us in here. kaitlyn, thanks very much.