Pharmacy best college major for lucrative career

September 30, 2013

Want to guide your son or daughter toward a college major that has the best chance of leading to a good-paying job? If so, then there’s no better choice than pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences, according to Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine.

Want to guide your son or daughter toward a college major that has the best chance of leading to a good-paying job? If so, then there’s no better choice than pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences, according to Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine.

Kiplinger analyzed 95 college majors to determine majors that statistically lead to the highest employment rates for both college graduates and experienced workers. It also examined the college majors that lead to the best paychecks right out of college and that have the best prospects for job growth.

Topping the magazine’s list of lucrative majors was pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. Computer science, civil engineering, information systems management, and nursing were also in the top 5. They were followed by information systems, finance, math, information science, and construction.

The magazine also identified the worst college majors, in terms of job prospects and pay, as human services and community organization, fine arts, social work, early childhood education, and art history. Slightly better, but also on the worst college majors list, were interdisciplinary studies, studio arts, mass media, humanities, and family consumer sciences.

Pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences were cited because of the mid-career salaries ($120,000), low mid-career unemployment rate (2.5%), and projected job growth (36.4%).

“Students in this field graduate into a welcoming job market and have the second-lowest unemployment rates on this list (after nursing),” the magazine said. “The starting pay may fall a bit short of the national median, but by mid-career you stand to earn the highest income of any grads with our best majors.”

The magazine also cited jobs other than pharmacist for which a pharmacy or pharmaceutical science major can qualify. “But if a career behind a CVS counter isn’t in the cards, a bachelor’s in pharmacy can also start grooming you to work as a medical scientist, doing research to design and develop drugs,” the magazine said.