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The 5 Most Meaningful Majors

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Why not pick the major that leads to the highest salary after graduation and over time? Because not everyone wants to a petroleum engineer or an actuary. Aptitude and passion both count when it comes time to choose a major. For that reason, PayScale's College Salary Report also lists the majors that provide the highest meaning for their graduates.

Why not pick the major that leads to the highest salary after graduation and over time? Because not everyone wants to a petroleum engineer or an actuary. Aptitude and passion both count when it comes time to choose a major. For that reason, PayScale’s College Salary Report also lists the majors that provide the highest meaning for their graduates.

nurses 

(Photo Credit: timefornurses/Flickr)

As you can see, it’s not all about trading money for love. While some of the majors on this list lead to jobs that offer non-monetary rewards at the expense of compensation, others — like nursing — provide a nice mix of both. (Note that some majors were tied for the same place.)

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1. Pastoral Ministry

High Meaning: 93 percent

Typical Job Title and Median Pay: Pastor, $44,727

2. Nursing

High Meaning: 83 percent

Typical Job Title and Median Pay: Registered Nurse, $55,745

2. Clinical Laboratory Science

High Meaning: 83 percent

Typical Job Title and Median Pay: Medical Technologist, $51,094

4. Child Development

High Meaning: 80 percent

Typical Job Title and Median Pay: Preschool Teacher, $27,497

5. Athletic Training

High Meaning: 78 percent

Typical Job Title and Median Pay: Athletic Trainer, $38,809

5. Early Childhood Education

High Meaning: 78 percent

Typical Job Title and Median Pay: Child Care Center Director, $37,281

5. Sports Medicine

High Meaning: 78 percent

Typical Job Title and Median Pay: N/A (not enough responses for bachelor’s only to list)

5. Medical Technology

High Meaning: 78 percent

Typical Job Title and Median Pay: Medical Technologist, $51,094

Tell Us What You Think

Did your college major set you up for a meaningful career? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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