Thursday, November 02, 2006

The 5 Hottest Majors

By Meghan Aftosmis

Undecided? These majors score the most job offers and bucks. Get ready to cash in, CG!

WHY IT'S HOT: One million new positions will be created in information technology by 2014. Enough said. "I talked to a Microsoft recruiter when I was a junior. Microsoft asked me to intern for the next two summers and then gave me a job!"

Carolyn, 23, program manager, Microsoft
JOB OPTIONS: Big-name companies include Microsoft, Intel, and Cisco, but companies doing anything from cloning research to filmmaking need computer science grads.

STARTING SALARY(*): $43,000-$57,000

WHY IT'S HOT: People are living longer, and the health industry can barely keep up with the increase in our elderly population. Registered nurses in particular are in increasingly high demand. "I applied to a hospital in November of my senior year, and they offered me the job during my interview!"

Heather, 23, registered nurse, surgical intensive care unit

JOB OPTIONS: You could work at hospitals, insurance companies, nursing homes, schools, and more.

STARTING SALARY: $37,440-$45,000

WHY IT'S HOT: After the accounting scandals at Enron and WorldCom, Congress is cracking clown on fraud. And that means accountants are in demand. "I interviewed with all the large accounting firms recruiting on my campus and received tour job offers."

Amy, 24, dispute analysis and investigations associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers

JOB OPTIONS: The big four (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PwC, KPMG) are obvious choices, but even the FBI needs special agents with accounting backgrounds.

STARTING SALARY: $41,800-$52,000

WHY IT'S HOT: Training for administration and management is so versatile--it can get you in the door of almost any business and help you work your way up to CEO. "I graduated during the recession of 2003, but I still got offers from my top two choices and was able to find my second job easily."

Tara, 27, associate, Deutsche Bank

JOB OPTIONS: Finance companies, retail headquarters, and nonprofits are looking for analysts, associates, and coordinators.

STARTING SALARY: $34,000-$45,000

WHY IT'S HOT: These undergrads were the highest paid of 2005 because they know what companies want: how to make new products safely and economically. "There were so many jobs available that the most difficult part was finding what interested me the most."

Alison, 23, research engineer, Compact Membrane Systems, Inc.

JOB OPTIONS: You could develop anything from new medicines and new beauty products to new plastics for use in appliances.

STARTING SALARY: $53,500-$60,000

If I were a paper doll, I could try on a new job every day!

(*) All figures are based on starting salaries offered to graduates with a bachelor's degree in each field during 2005 or 2006.

Did you know? Being a girl in a male-dominated major pays off--literally! Groups like the Society of Women Engineers offer female-only scholarships to entice more applicants.

Cosmo Girl, Sep2006


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