Jason R. Henske / AP
Dartmouth College graduates Greg Agron and John Agbaje laugh as Conan O'Brien delivers the commencement address in 2011. New research finds that college grads with business degrees may face better job prospects.
If you are heading off to college in the fall and looking to get the most bang for your buck, you may want to major in business.
IBISWorld, an industry analysis firm, took a look at fields that are expected to see the most growth in the next five years. Then, they looked at which of the most popular college degrees a person would need to get a job in those industries.
The analysis found that business grads had the most positive outlook through 2017. That’s because business graduates are most likely to work in industries where higher-than-average job and wage growth are expected.
Those fields include commercial banking, reinsurance carriers and human resources. Jobs typically held by business degree holders pay an average $70,000 a year, which is expected to rise to $77,000 by 2017, IBISWorld said.
A degree in health sciences also is likely to serve you well. The IBISWorld analysis found that job growth in health-related fields such as primary care, dentistry and nursing care will be about on par with the overall economy, but wages will grow at a slightly faster rate.
The outlook is less promising for people who major in social sciences, history and education.
Other research has shown that college graduates are more likely to be employed if they choose a major with a specific career path, including business. But that research, from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, was more bullish on education because of the projected low unemployment rate in that field.
If you don’t have a head for business or an interest in health care, that’s not necessarily a reason to fret. Other research has shown that just going to college should give you a leg up in life over those who don't.
The unemployment rate for people with a college degree or higher was just 4 percent in April, compared with 8.1 percent for the general population. College grads also are likely to make more money than their less educated peers.