College Trends: Top 10 Bachelor's and Associate Degrees and Majors

College Trends: Top 10 Bachelor's and Associate Degrees and Majors
Beth Dumbauld

Thinking about earning your college degree? Considering possible majors?

For some careers, a four-year bachelor’s degree may be essential to just be considered for a new position; for others, a two-year associate degree may be credential enough to get you the job.

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As you research degree programs and consider majors that can help you get that promotion or enable a career change, take a look at the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics on the most popular bachelor's and associate degrees. Though the popularity of a major doesn't necessarily reflect top pay upon graduation, the data does provide the full spectrum of degree options available to you as you consider a return back to school:

Top Ten Bachelor Degrees*

  1. Business (21%)
  2. Social Science / History (10%)
  3. Health Professions (8%)
  4. Education (6%)
  5. Psychology (6%)
  6. Art (6%)
  7. Engineering (5%)
  8. Communication (5%)
  9. Biological Sciences (5%)
  10. Other (28%)

For those graduating with an associate degree, you’ll notice there is a difference in the types of majors as well as the ranking order.

Top Associate Degrees*

  1. Liberal Arts/Science (33%)
  2. Health Professions (21%)
  3. Business (12%)
  4. Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, and Firefighting (5%)
  5. Computer Sciences (4%)
  6. Engineering & Engineering Technologies (4%)
  7. Other (21%)

(*Numbers have been rounded)

One of the things nearly all of these majors have in common, regardless of degree type, is the completion of prerequisite courses in order to earn your degree. These prerequisites typically include general education courses in math, english composition, and other general science or social science electives. No matter your major, you can save on these prerequisite courses by enrolling in low-cost online classes.

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