Whether you’re thinking of the career pathways of your chosen undergraduate degree, planning to switch degrees, or just curious about the existence of easy majors that pay well, this post should be the perfect read for you.
With the rising cost of living, sky-rocket prices of real estate, and the economic instability due to various factors, future-proofing should be a realistic approach when deciding your study focus and eventual career.
10 Easy Majors that Pay Well
The following fields of study are pretty broad, but I will highlight which career path can land you the biggest paycheck.
1. IT (Information Technology) or Computer Science
If you’ve always had a passion for coding and unique talent for solving problems, IT can be a field you’d consider easy.
- Information systems manager ($90,000 to $150,000 per year)
- Oversees and implements IT systems within a company. As managers, they are in charge of a team of IT professionals in the installation, upgrade, or maintenance of these IT systems.
- The job outlook of this career is expected to grow 11% in the next 10 years. There are about 45,000 openings on average each year.
- Software developer ($105,000 to $165,000 per year)
- Mobile app developers and software developers design phone apps and computer programs from planning to testing and launch to updates.
- According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030.
- Computer network architect (About $115,000 a year)
- Designs and builds data communication networks like intranets and cloud infrastructures.
- There are around 11,000 job openings projected yearly.
- Data scientist (Around $115,000/year)
- The work of data scientists revolves around big data and solving complex problems in computing.
- The demand for this job is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Many business degrees are easy majors that pay well without having to earn management training. These include:
- Business analyst ($85,500 to $115,000/year)
- Conducts market analyses, analyzing both product lines and the overall profitability of a business.
- BLS projects that demand for business analysts will increase by 11% between 2019 and 2029
- International business professionals (About $125,000/year)
- International business jobs focus on fundamental business practices and globalization concepts, including international marketing, trade operations, and finance policies.
- Due to globalization, the field of business and financial operations are projected to grow by 7% from 2018-2028.
- Economist ($97,000 to $150,000/year)
- Investment bankers, credit/market analysts, financial planners and other professionals that took up economics all help in deciding how individuals, communities, corporations, and even nations use their limited resources.
- The employment of economists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030.
3. Health and Pre-Med
Learning medicine isn’t for the faint of heart, but did you know that even professionals who took up pre-med and health-related majors can have lucrative careers without being doctors?
- Nurse practitioners ($80,000 to $100,000 a year)
- Having completed a nursing degree, NPs perform physical exams, prescribes some meds and treat common injuries.
- Overall employment of nurse practitioners is projected to grow 45 percent from 2020 to 2030.
- Healthcare administrators (About $74,000 to $104,000/year)
- Oversees the day-to-day administrative operations of hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
- Employment for health service administration professionals will increase by 32% between 2019 and 2029.
- Physician assistants (Around $115,000 a year)
- Collaborates with healthcare workers in examining, diagnosing, and treating patients
- Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2020 to 2030 with 12,000 job openings each year.
Education majors can be majors that pay well.
Even if education professionals require higher credentials, their focus is usually only on one field of study.
For example, training and development specialists (with an average salary of $70,000 to $104,000 a year) help create, plan, and run training programs for businesses and organizations.
Their specialization depends on the industry they are in, so expect the training specialists in Silicon Valley to be experts in the specific niches.
Educators in educational institutions (from kinder to college) may not have the salaries to compete others jobs on this list, but employment in education and training occupations is projected to grow 10 percent from 2020 to 2030.
5. Criminal Justice
- Detective or Criminal Investigator ($85,000 to $145,000/year)
- Investigates crimes, collects evidence, conducts witness interviews, and other similar tasks.
- According to BLS, the employment of private detectives and investigators is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030.
- Special Agent ($120,000 to $125,000 a year)
- Helps amass evidence and build cases to assist criminal investigations of law enforcement.
- The job outlook for special agents is expected to grow 5% through 2029.
If you’re a quick-thinker with excellent communication skills, taking degrees in aviation, aeronautical science, and aerospace engineering can lead to a lucrative career as an air traffic controller.
Air traffic controllers (with a salary of $130,000 to $185,000 a year) can begin their careers just after a two-year degree in aviation and passing the Air Traffic Standardized Aptitude Test (AT-SAT). Employment of air traffic controllers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2020 to 2030, with about 2,500 openings each year.
- Actuary ($77,000 to $115,000 a year)
- Analyzes financial risks using their knowledge of math, statistics and financial theory.
- Employment of actuaries is expected to grow a whopping 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, BLS says.
- Financial manager ($94,000 to $110,000/year)
- Provides advice on the financial health of an organization based on accurate data analysis.
- Employment of financial managers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2020 to 2030 with around 64,000 openings every year.
No one really considers psychology majors as easy majors that pay well, but people who love studying the minds, behaviors, and actions of other people would enjoy a career in this field.
- Human resources managers/directors ($97,000 to $155,000 a year)
- HR managers and directors lead the Human Resources department in hiring, enforcing company policies, and administering benefits, leave, and other pay-related concerns.
- The employment of human resources managers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030.
- Corporate mental health counselors or on-site therapists ($70,000 to $170,000 per year)
- Corporate counselors or in-house therapists work with employees to deal with mental health issues and improve mental well-being in a corporate setting.
- Overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030.
- Geophysicist ($109,000 to $120,000)
- Studies the earth’s changes using magnetic, seismic, and electrical methods.
- Geoscientist jobs are projected to grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030.
- Environmental Scientists & specialists ($76,000 to $115,000)
- Clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers and reduce waste in order to protect the environment.
- Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030 with around 10k job openings each year.
10. Arts & Communications
Arts and communications majors are usually considered easy, but some degrees could lead to jobs that pay well. Here are two examples:
- Film or Video Editor (From $67,000 to $150,000 a year)
- Help create movies, TV shows, music videos, documentaries, and other content.
- Overall employment of film and video editors is projected to grow 29 percent from 2020 to 2030 with about 8,600 job openings each year.
- Product designer (About $101,000 a year)
- Develop new products, conduct usability testing, and work with other technical designers to ensure products meet specifications before launch.
- The job outlook of commercial and industrial product designers is around 4% from 2019 through 2029.
Easy Majors that Pay Well: Are they Really Easy?
Defining something as easy or difficult is subjective.
What one person thinks is easy may be challenging to another person.
When I chose the entries to include on the list of “easy majors that pay well”, I had two non-negotiables: that the job should earn over $60,000 and that anyone can learn the industry without being a genius.
Also, note that location would play a HUGE role in determining if a job pays well or not. $75,000 in Pennsylvania is “well enough,” but it wouldn’t be a liveable amount in a place like San Francisco, so consider location when deciding your future career path as well.
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