Thursday, April 03, 2008

Degrees That Lead To A Profession

Is Anything New In Personal Finance? listed "go to college and major in a degree that leads to a profession," as a timeless personal finance principle I followed. For me, it was important that my college degree led to a job that paid well. Although I'm sure the answer will change by the time our three year old goes to college, here are the majors I think can lead to a profession:
  • Engineering - OK, I admit I'm biased since my degree is in engineering:-) However, I believe that the world will continue to need engineers of all types as developing economies expand, environmental challenges increase, and resources become more scarce. The world will need more energy, more infrastructure, more technology and more innovation to meet growing demands.

  • Finance/Risk Management - The recent mortgage, investment bank and credit crisis may cause some to avoid this area. However, I believe the recent crises show that more education and expertise is needed to enable the future changes and innovations in financial and economic areas.

  • Business - I would consider a degree in this area with emphasis on business innovation and entrepreneurship to be valuable in today's economy. Companies will always need business leaders who can deliver new innovation to the market.

  • Basic science - Chemistry, biology, or physics are a few examples of science degrees. Science is one of the main drivers of innovation, enabling new inventions and technologies. I believe there will always be demand for scientific researchers, even more so at the PhD level.

  • To note, I am not opposed to taking courses in subjects are not related to a profession. I would tell my daughter take English, Politics, History, Music and other humanities courses. They are a excellent part of rounding out one's education. However, I would recommend majoring in one of the four areas I listed.

    For those who would like some additional information to make their own assessment, I've provided links to:

    The Top 10 Degrees Drawing Massive Demand in 2008 by Everyday Finance on the top 10 majors and starting salaries. The Top 10 Jobs for the Class of 2008 at Top 10 Best Jobs Based upon Average Salary, Growth, Job Openings at These articles provide excellent perspectives on good jobs and the degrees that can lead to them.

    For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or higher education advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

    1 comment:

    traineeinvestor said...

    There's also law, medicine, dentistry, vet science and a few others.

    Many universities offer a double degree programme enabling students to do one degree in a practical career orientated subject and a second degree in a more elective (I was going to use the word interesting) subject. I do agree with the principle of being well rounded and will encourage this in my own children as they grow older. There is a fine line between being focused and being narrow minded.