Worried parents understandably want their kids to get the best return on their college investment. The following list gives some of the best majors for kids seeking to do just that. Engineering majors are by far the number one choice—but the rest are safe bets and are listed in no particular order.

(By the way, this seems like a great time to mention our “Winning College Scholarships for High Schoolers” video course on Udemy, which is guaranteed to help you with some related financial issues of higher education).

1) Engineering

Whether you study Petroleum Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science Engineering, Aeropsace Engineering, or Computer Engineering, you’re very likely to get a job right after college and earn more than most of your peers. Petroleum Engineering, like petroleum, might not be around forever, but all of the other fields will.

2) Physics

Physics majors go on to work all sorts of fascinating and well-paying jobs. After completing a physics major, you could become a nuclear physicist, an acoustics physicist, a science writer, a lawyer specializing in technology—the possibilities are endless. As a physics major, you’ll work to hone skills of investigation, computation, and communication that can lead you to plenty of careers inside and outside the laboratory. Check out a list here.

3) Economics and/or Political Science

Majors in Economics and Political Science are very marketable. Economics majors learn to gather, present, and interpret data, as well as predict the impact of investments, policy decisions, and so on. You could become a market analyst, an economic consultant, a compensation and benefits manager, an actuary, and so much more. Since economics is such a broad discipline, jobs aren’t scarce.

Political Science majors also learn a variety of marketable skills and find themselves able to pursue a multitude of careers. You could become a government consultant, a policy analyst, a political commentator, a political archivist, a city planner, a judge, a member of congress—the list goes on. Politics is never going away, and it often pays big.

4) Statistics

Statistics offer a high return on investment as well. Statistics majors go on to become actuarial analysts, programmers, data and technology analysts, financial analysts, stock planners, and so on. As a statistician, you’ll design, analyze, and interpret data. There’s a constant need for people to crunch numbers and interpret them, so statistics is a broad and employable field.

5) International Relations

The world is becomingly increasingly connected, and International Relations majors learn how relationships between nations are built, negotiated, and strengthened. This major involves a good deal of critical thinking, because there are often no rules and no black-and-white answers. Careers for those who’ve studied international politics, institutions, and diplomacy include immigration specialist, diplomat, journalist, language specialist, intelligence specialist, and market research analyst. Again, another major with limitless possibilities!

6) Advertising

In a world dominated by capitalism, advertising is never going away. There’s always something to buy and sell, and there will always be a demand for creative thinkers who can convince people to fork over their money. Advertising majors learn how to structure and create psychologically appealing ad campaigns in a variety of media. Potential careers for advertising majors include copywriter, production coordinator, art director, event planner, account executive, media buyer, web designer, and campaign manager. Chances are, if you study advertising, you’ll know how to sell yourself!

7) Marketing

Another field that’s never disappearing, marketing requires knowledge and skills that are applicable to every business in the world. People who majored in marketing work to create and promote content across all media. The Internet, of course, accounts for a large chunk of it. You could become a marketing manager, a sales manager, a product manager, an SEO specialist, or an advertising manager with a degree in marketing.

8) Biology

Biology, the study of human life, can be the gateway major to a host of exciting and well-paying careers. You might become a botanist, a doctor, a dentist, a horticulturist, a podiatrist, an entomologist, a forensic scientist, a microbiologist, a fish and game warden, a geneticist—there may be more careers related to biology than those in any other major! Whether your passion lies in the laboratory or outside it, biology offers a great return on your college investment.

9) Math

Mathematics majors go on to pursue a vast number of secure, well-paying jobs. This fact makes a math major a wise investment. People who studied math in college can become computer scientists, teachers, biomathematicians, cryptographers, operations researchers, and more! Math is used in many complicated jobs, and complicated jobs are highly specialized and thus pay dividends.

10) English

Believe it or not, an English degree is an incredibly valuable asset. The idea that an English major is useless is a myth (and as English major, I can spot a myth). English majors master the written word, and the powers of analysis and communication they hone in college can be applied to a wide range of well-paying jobs in fields such as writing, editing, publishing, advertising, law, marketing, politics, and technology. The poet Charles Bernstein puts the power of language quite succinctly when he writes: “Language control = thought control = reality control.” As an English major, the possiblities are truly limitless: you could become a speechwriter, a lawyer, a legal analyst, a copywriter, a professor, a language instructor, a technical writer, a grant and proposal writer, an editor, a library scientist, an advertising executive, a social media marketer, a college president—check out a huge list of English major jobs here.

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Note: I’m well aware that many people don’t consider college, in principle, as a means to an end—myself included. In the interest of balance, this article provides a great argument in favor of learning for learning’s sake. No matter what you study in college—and even if you don’t go to college—it’s possible to make it in this world with grit and determination.

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Additional Resources: “Winning College Scholarships for High Schoolers” Video Course

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