CHICAGO — Most college students don’t have to declare a major until the end of their sophomore or beginning their junior years. 

It’s a big decision that can also be extremely stressful because of the impact it will have on the student’s future career path.

Career experts recommend students consider their interests, values, passions and abilities when choosing a major.

They also suggest students look at predictions for job growth in their future field and explore what the projected earnings are for a career.

Experts suggest students talk to career advisors, their parents and peers for inspiration and feedback on selecting the right major for them.

Students should also keep in mind that nothing is etched in stone; and that they can always switch their major, but that it may cost more and take longer to complete the new degree.

In an effort to ease some of the stress surrounding this ‘major’ decision, WGN News Now put together lists of the top paying, in-demand and popular majors of 2022. 

First up, the Top Majors with the Highest Entry-Level Salaries

Top Majors with Highest Median Wages

Computer Engineering:

Computer Engineers design, develop, research and test computer systems and components.

Median entry-level salary = $102, 908 

Nuclear Engineering:

Nuclear Engineers are in charge of monitoring nuclear energy to safely harness its benefits. They have responsibilities surrounding the management, innovation and research of the materials, or reactor facility.

Median entry-level salary = $100,639

Petroleum Engineering:

Petroleum engineers develop and design techniques for removing gas and oil from deposits below the Earth’s surface. 

Median entry-level salary= $98,040 

Chemical Engineering:

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, physics and biology to improve manufacturing processes and procedures involving products such as fuel, drugs, food, detergents, plastics, gasoline, synthetics and plastics, synthetics and cement.

Median entry-level salary = $79,890 

Aerospace Engineering:
Aerospace engineers design a variety of spacecrafts, airplanes, satellites and missiles. 

Median entry-level salary= $78,702 

Electrical Engineering:
Electrical engineers design electrical systems. They develop, test and design electrical equipment and components such as smartphones, electric motors and power generation equipment.

Median entry-level salary = $75,073


Mechanical Engineering:
A Mechanical Engineer designs and develops moving objects, including products like robots, engines, machines and instruments. They also test machinery, various equipment and mechanical components.

Median entry-level salary = $73,500 


Civil Engineering:
A Civil Engineer designs construction projects for roadways, airports, railroads, bridges, dams and channels. They also estimate costs for material and personnel. 
Median entry-level salary = $71,901

Computer Science:
Professionals in this field work on software and hardware development, information systems management, and areas like cyber security.

Average salary for 0-1 years experience = $68,000 (Coursera)

Industrial Engineering:
Industrial engineers design the layout of machines to help with manufacturing production. They make sure products meet quality, safety and design standards and guidelines.

Median entry-level salary = $50,486 (Zip Recruiter) 


Below are the Top 10 In-Demand Majors Best Colleges recommends college students consider when choosing their major 

Most In Demand Majors

  1. Engineering (see above)
  2. Business
  3. Nursing
  4. Hospitality
  5. Education
  6. Computer Science
  7. Architecture
  8. Pharmaceutical Sciences
  9. Information Technology
  10. Construction Management


Here are the 10 Most Popular Majors among college students according to Best Colleges.

10 Most Popular College Majors

  1. Business
  2. Health Professions
  3. Social Sciences and History
  4. Engineering
  5. Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  6. Psychology
  7. Communication and Journalism
  8. Visual and Performing Arts
  9. Computer and Information Sciences
  10. Education