Despite a soon-to-burst student loan bubble and a stubborn un- and under-employment epidemic plaguing recent college grads, study after study continues to show that, on average, those who earn a post-secondary degree far outpace those who don’t when it comes lifetime earnings.

But even though the general consensus validates college as an educational experience worth both the time and ever-increasing cost, not all college degrees are created equal. Indeed, choosing the right major of study can make all the difference between a six-figure income and living in your parents’ basement for the next five (or ten) years.

Here, we’ve taken a look at five degree programs that offer the best —and most profitable—post-graduate employment opportunities.


The addition of millions of previously uninsured Americans to the healthcare system through the passage of the Affordable Care Act, coupled with the aging-while-sick baby boomer population, has created the perfect job-creation storm for those in the healthcare industry. Job security may be considered a thing of the distant past in many fields, but for nurses, employment prospects look bright for many years to come.

“Healthcare is a growing industry, and registered nurses (RNs) with specialized experience are very marketable,” says Sarah Stevens, an account executive with the nurse staffing firm Fortus Healthcare Resources. “People who have just graduated with RN degrees just need to dive in and get their careers started in ICU or medical surgery. In those areas, they will have the opportunity to develop skills in different areas working with patients who have co-morbidities. It is a great place to be when an RN is called with multiple opportunities that they are qualified for. [They] can pick and choose their perfect position, and if they are flexible about relocation, the sky is the limit.”

Read the entire article: Five Highest Paying College Degrees

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