Top Careers to Keep In Mind When Choosing A College

by Rachel Conway


As the recent 2008 recession –the Great Recession—has shown everybody very clearly, not just any college degree is enough to guarantee successful employment in a career of some kind. Despite holding B.As, legal degrees and numerous other high profile and highly expensive titles from major schools, millions of graduates were left without job prospects, some of them still being in the same situation.

Worst of all, in addition to having no work prospects to take advantage of, lots of former students were also left saddled with thousands in inescapable student loan debt to deal with.

If there’s one thing that this terrible situation should teach anyone, and especially a young person who’s about to start their first years of college, it’s that picking where to spend your thousands in education costs is something that needs to be given some serious consideration right from day one.

That said, let’s cover exactly that subject and help you at least slightly narrow down your potential career choices to some extent.

Here are some of the best career courses to choose from as you enter your university or college years. As you go through them, you’ll notice that the running theme is technical specialization; All of these are difficult fields in which competition doesn’t easily get churned out by the education system.


With burgeoning growth in all things related to computer science, algorithmic development and mathematically derived software programming –especially with the still exponential growth of the world’s connected data gathering landscape—it shouldn’t be any wonder that mathematics is an extraordinarily powerful field to study towards as you enter college.

All of the above industry areas will need numerous mathematicians in the years to come and this demand will only continue to scale upward as the complexity of data and software programming becomes ever more complex. The fact that major aeronautical, aerospace and energy industries also require mathematical expertise is certainly a bonus. Mathematician’s salaries can vary depending on work placement, but it is not difficult to earn $100,000+ with a little clever job searching –especially in the digital tech industry.


As usual, engineering always manages to maintain its top level position as an excellent career choice to study for while in university. Virtually all hard engineering related fields pay consistently high salaries that average at or above $100,000 per year for mid career pay.

Almost any engineering related specialty will see enormous demand growth for the foreseeable future and unlike many fields, this one, in its various types, is largely immune to recessionary slumps.

Some particularly strong engineering specialties to aim for would be in the sub-fields of chemical engineering, materials science engineering and aerospace engineering. Another area with truly powerful potential is civil engineering, involving work in the kind large-scale construction projects that will continue to be a major feature of any continuously growing social infrastructure.

Computer Science

Computer science is a career path that’s absolutely loaded with growth potential in our increasingly computerized world. The highly generalized description of a computer scientists work would be that he analyzes how computational systems are designed and implemented through a strong knowledge of applied computational theory. From this basic framework, high paying specialist careers can be found in an enormous variety of industries.

From major software developers to information management companies like Oracle and Google, all of them require and will continue to require plenty of computer scientists with assorted levels of specialized training in computer related areas such as algorithmic structures, programming languages, network science and computer security.

Average pay for most computer scientists employed within the private sector floats comfortably above $120,000.

Dentistry and Medicine

The amazing employment prospects available in any of these fields should not be in the least bit surprising when you consider the ageing population, greater focus on dental care and the fact that more people than ever are becoming deeply serious about their overall health.

Graduates from either one of these fields steadily find employment at percentages comfortably above 90% within six months of graduating from a dental or medical school. Also, pay is excellent, with average salaries for dentistry and medicine well in the $150,000+ range.

Construction Management & Environmental Remediation

If you want a career that garners very high employment percentages within a short time after graduation, pays very well and does not require an exorbitantly long tenure in school, then Construction management is an excellent choice. Moving up in demand in tandem with increased engineering employment opportunities, the overall field of construction management careers will be especially friendly to those who graduate with training in more specialized construction related fields such as those having to do with environmental remediation, which is becoming a vitally integral part of the modern building industry thanks to stricter environmental protection laws and land use regulations.

Under the umbrella of construction management related environmental remediation careers, several specialties exist which will all see increasing labor demand thanks to both regulatory and responsible land use trends. These include: emergency management, natural sciences management and compliance officer positions, which revolve around ensuring that all environmental regulations are followed during land development.

Construction management and its related subfields doesn’t pay as well as some of the other above-listed career options but, once hired, most graduates can look forward to median salaries in the 80 to $90,000 range.

About the author

Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who generally covers a variety of subjects relating to the latest changes in white hat SEO, marketing, marketing tech and brand promotion. He also loves to read and write about subjects as varied as location-free business, portable business management and anything to do with advertising or strategic marketing tricks. When not busy writing or consulting on marketing and digital optimization, he spends his days covering RW Collins and enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico, where he spends part of the year.

This post was written by Rachel Conway

Rachel Conway is a staff editor at CCTS. She transferred from community college to Cornell University and enjoys helping students with this community college guide.

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