The Top Majors Employers Want To Hire

Degrees Employers Want

Studying the right major in college could greatly improve your job prospects after graduation.

By Lia Sestric
If you're in the market for a new job, you know how important it is for your resume to stand out from the pack. But you may not realize how much your degree takes center stage. In fact, the degree on your resume could mean the difference between sealing the deal and getting tossed out.
It's true. Findings from "2013 Job Outlook," a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), suggest that certain degrees may put you in a better position for employment than others.
After surveying 244 employers, the NACE determined which six degrees are at the top of employers' lists when it comes to hiring.
So before you commit to one field of study, why not find out where the odds are in your favor? Keep reading to learn about six degrees that most employers will find impressive.

In-Demand Degree #1: Finance

What's the degree most sought-after by employers according to the NACE study? Finance. Nearly 67 percent of businesses surveyed said they planned on hiring applicants holding this degree.
Finance majors practice making investment decisions, work with complex computer programs, and learn how to manage a budget, according to the College Board, an organization that promotes higher education and administers the SAT exam.
Why It's Impressive: It boils down to money, says Stuart Mease, director of undergraduate career services at Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business.
"The financial work the person is doing is either generating or saving money for these companies," he says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.
That's because they're able to understand numbers and income statements, and that information helps managers make better decisions about the business, Mease says. Managers can use this information to generate additional revenue or cut costs, so that's why finance degrees are in demand.
Potential Careers*:

In-Demand Degree #2: Computer and Information Sciences

Coming in at a close second on the NACE list is computer and information sciences (CIS), with about 65.3 percent of surveyed employers saying they planned on hiring graduates with this major.
The College Board says that information science majors learn how people interact with information. They might take courses like information architecture and database management. On the other hand, computer science majors learn how people interact with computers and might take courses such as computer system organization and software engineering.
Why It's Impressive: "It's very difficult, just like learning a different language," says Mease. "Not everyone can speak computer language."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Plus, the need for computer and information science majors is only going to grow from here, says Mease, as business operations depend more on technology to operate smoothly.
"We are moving from a tangible manufacturing economy to a digital manufacturing economy," Mease says. "Instead of producing widgets we are producing Web and mobile apps."
Potential Careers*:

In-Demand Degree #3: Accounting

Accounting holds the third place on NACE's list of in-demand bachelor's. In fact, about 59 percent of companies expected to hire graduates who studied this field. So if calculating numbers is your forte, you may want to focus your efforts on this number-crunching major.
The College Board says that "accounting majors learn how to gather, record, analyze, interpret, and communicate information about an individual's or organization's financial performance and risks." Tax accounting, business law, and auditing are some of the courses the College Board says accompany this major.
Why It's Impressive: It comes down to showing you're serious about your career, says Mease. "If [the student is] willing to commit to the grind of studying and mastering this skill, then it shows their maturity level and desire."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
Plus, he adds that the curriculum can be difficult. "The content is harder to master because you have to be exactly correct [with the numbers]. Plus, in order to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam you must have 150 semester hours of credit, which is usually 20-30 more credits needed to graduate," says Mease. Talk about showing dedication.
While you don't have to become a CPA to be considered for a position, Mease says it does lead to more opportunities.
Potential Careers*:

In-Demand Degree #4: Business Administration and Management

Business administration and management is the fourth most sought-out bachelor's degree, according to NACE. Nearly 55.6 percent of employers surveyed said they're planning to hire students with this degree. So if you're business savvy, you may want to get off to a good start by studying this major.
Some of the coursework business administration and management majors complete includes marketing, economics, and business policy and strategy, says the College Board. It also notes that the program "prepares students to plan, organize, direct, and control an organization's activities."
Why It's Impressive: It's a versatile degree, says Mease. "It's the most general major that has a lot of street credibility," he says. For example, in a small business setting, this degree may be helpful for working on multiple projects.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.
On the other hand, degree-holders in this major fill a lot of sales, business development, customer service, or retail positions, says Mease.
Potential Careers*:

In-Demand Degree #5: Mechanical Engineering

Half of all employers who shared their hiring plans said they expected to employ mechanical engineering graduates, according to NACE, making this degree the most sought-after in the engineering field.
The College Board says "as a mechanical engineering major, you'll learn the science behind machines and the energy that makes them work. You'll also apply what you learn by creating your own machines." Major courses could include circuit analysis, dynamics, materials science, and mechanical design fundamentals.
Why It's Impressive: Since a mechanical engineer is the glue that holds everything together, employers find a mechanical engineering degree an asset, says Michael Mercer, CEO of The Mercer Group, a management consulting and executive search firm, and author of "Job Hunting Made Easy."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.
"Everything that is manufactured requires a mechanical engineer. It is the core of technology," he says. "Mechanical engineers actually have to combine a number of types of engineering: industrial, electrical, civil. It's a good, all-around degree."
Potential Career*:

In-Demand Degree #6: Management Information Systems

Not in the top five - but certainly tailing close behind - is management information systems (MIS). On this list NACE ranks it sixth, with 49.5 percent of companies surveyed planning to hire students who completed this degree.
As the College Board notes, "MIS majors study information systems and their use in business and other organizations. They learn about computer databases, networks, computer security, and more." Database design, ecommerce, networks, and telecommunications are just a few examples of possible courses for this major, the College Board adds.
Why It's Impressive: This major is in demand because companies like to have employees "who have a general understanding of computer science but can also couple business skills with the technical side," Mease says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Information Systems Program.
"They can articulate why an app or technology can benefit the corporation and can communicate to software developers what needs to be done," he says.
Potential Careers*:

Follow by Email