According to a recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary offer is 4 percent higher for 2008 graduates than offers received by the class of 2007. Whatever you received your bachelor's degree in doesn't necessarily point to what type of job you'll end up working as your first, but some majors lend themselves to a more direct path than others.
If you regret choosing your major, don't feel like you must pursue a job in a related field — consider using your first job as a stepping stone and a way to get your foot in the door with an industry that interests you, even though you may not have the educational background to support it. Transitioning is always an option at any point in your career, but you're better off taking those chances now instead of in a couple of years when your salary needs and life demands may not be so flexible. Careerbuilder rounded up some of expected salaries for common majors that new grads can look forward to, along with some of the job opportunities that you could possibly pursue with your degree.
- Economics - $52,926: Career options for economics majors vary from private consulting for businesses to working for government agencies.
- Nursing - $52,129: Nursing majors can find job opportunities in hospitals, clinics, doctor offices and other medical facilities.
- Chemistry - $52,125: Chemists can find work in laboratories, pharmaceuticals, chemical manufacturing or research and development, and more.
- Political science/government - $43,594: Political science and government graduates have the option of working in the state, local or federal governments, as well as in the private sector or nonprofit organizations.
- Human resources - $40,250: Human resources majors work as assistants and payroll or benefits coordinators, and in diversity training.
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- History - $35,956: A degree in history (aka liberal arts) means you can be an educator, researcher, communicator or editor, information manager, advocate or even a businessperson.
- Communications - $35,196: Communications has much of the same focus as public relations, advertising, journalism, marketing and business management. The skills you learn in this major are transferable to many areas.
- English language and literature - $34,757: English majors typically work in education, but other traditional fields of work include writing and editing for newspapers and publishing firms, public relations and broadcasting, or technical writing for advanced industries.
- Journalism - $32,250: Journalism majors will find successful careers in print, broadcast TV or radio journalism, as well as opportunities in media relations.
- Psychology - $30,877: Psychology graduates can put their degree to use in the mental or social services sectors, as well as in business or education.
- Public relations/organizational communications - $30,667: Careers in public relations include orchestrating PR strategies for companies and nonprofit organizations, writing communications and even working in advertising.