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By Meghan Belnap
Getting your diploma or GED and moving on with life as a young individual can mean some serious decisions are ahead. For incoming college freshman, whether you come from a homeschooled background or not, picking your major can be a stressful choice to make. Your parents will have their opinion of what you can do, but make sure that you are doing what you are passionate about.
While it’s not necessary to rush your decision and declare a major your freshman year, it’s good to consider your options and start down a specific path. Too many freshmen end up wasting the whole year and don’t learn anything about themselves or their passions. If you’re indecisive about what academic discipline you want to pursue, consider one of these four smart STEM degrees.
With the ever-expanding market for software technology, a degree in software engineering is highly sought after. With this degree, you learn to plan, formulate and test computer software, with program designs for a wide array of applications. As a freshman, you should consider taking beginning classes that are aimed at software development to see if this is right for you. Median mid-career salaries reach just under six figures, meaning you’ll be generously rewarded for completing this degree no matter where you end up. Remember, there are many options and many different engineering languages to choose from and, hopefully, your university has the one that is right for you.
Geology degrees offer a plethora of concentrations, from paleontology for those interested in searching for fossils, to geophysics for those who are more interested in mathematics. The versatility of geology really allows you to get creative with your major. Not to mention, it’s a much more fun major than most, with opportunities to study and work in the field, and offers competitive salaries, with median salaries breaking the $80,000 range. If you love the outdoors, and have a desire to unravel some of Earth’s greatest mysteries, pursuing one of the many degrees in geology might just be the perfect option for you.
For anyone that grew up loving to build things, here’s your chance to do it on a real-world scale. Civil engineers design and supervise construction projects, including everything from airports to roads, ensuring that the structures are fundamentally sound and will last for years to come. Civil engineers employed by the federal government make a median salary of just over $90,000, and the fact that there are always new structures to be built makes this one of the most sensible degrees you can pursue.
Some of the most sought-after graduates hold a degree in computer science, and with good reason. This degree prepares you to join an industry that is projected to grow an astounding 36.5 percent over the next 10 years. Coursework is mainly focused on learning how to code in a specific computer language, and is difficult but rewarding. In a difficult job market, computer science majors are flooded with job offers after graduation. This alone can be a deal-maker for incoming freshmen. With a median salary over $100,000, this is a great major choice if you enjoy working on computers.
These are just a few of the most lucrative college majors in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Talk to an academic advisor at your selected university to explore all of your possibilities, and most importantly, make sure to pursue a passion.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan also enjoys researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.