They have the highest employment rates and are expected to grow.

For those of us who don’t get free rides, it’s smart to know what a degree’s worth—new data could steer you towards the degree most likely to land you a job.

For example, while accounting sounds boring, it’s dependable—the employment rate for graduates is historically above 90 percent, says a new report from job site CareerCast.com. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, the field is expected to grow 10 percent by 2026, which is a rate BLS calls “faster than average.”

Or if you need more excitement, consider a nursing degree, demand for which “ranks among the highest for all careers,” Careercast.com says, adding:

CareerCast.com combed through stats from nonprofits, government agencies, and its own 2018 jobs report to figure out the best degrees for jobs for people who don’t want to chase a job that doesn’t even require a college degree

The best college degrees to get a job

  • Business Management
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Finance
  • Information Systems
  • Marketing and Market Research
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Nursing

But choosing your degree is just one of your collegial concerns.

Paying back your student loan debt can hurt your retirement

Putting money aside for that moment when you can stop working is another growing concern for graduates.

Financial services company OneAmerica surveyed more than 12,000 of its members and found that their student loans certainly leaned into their retirement savings…

  • First off, nearly four in 10 respondents said they’re paying a student loan off for themselves or for someone else.
  • Of those, “an astounding 85 percent of respondents” said that repayment impacts their ability to prepare for retirement.
  • And of that majority, more than a third (38 percent) called the impact “significant.”

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While that’s not good news to anyone, especially those about to head to campus, student loan debt isn’t the worst. In fact, we know of a few reasons why it’s good. For one, you get the value of a college education from it. On top of that, paying it off on time helps your credit.

But beware: Paying it late is not forgiving to your score — in fact, missing payments is the leading reason people’s credit scores drop. And as Debt.com has previously reported, “Thanks to student debt, millennials are one financial emergency away from sinking their credit scores.”

Unexpected bills exist — yes, you have to pay them

New research confirms what we know: Young adults have a hard time understanding the value of money.

Digital financial services company Ally Bank asked current and recent students about their savings priorities and found some interesting things…

  • More than half (57 percent) said their “biggest financial surprise” was the price of stuff.
  • And more than a third (35 percent) said another top financial surprise was “having to pay for unexpected bills.”

But there’s a good side to all this: Students are adapting.

  • Almost nine in 10 (87 percent) use or used a budget.
  • And more than a third (36 percent) said they’re “die-hard budgeters.”
  • Looking ahead, three quarters (75 percent) said: “saving for the future should start before or during their college years.”

“College is all about planning for the future and money management skills should be part of that plan,” says Ally Bank executive Anand Talwar. “Establishing a budget, setting aside some savings and planning for the unexpected can all help new college students prepare themselves for a solid financial future.”

You have good reason to apply for financial aid

While student loan debt is increasingly a hurdle for people, there’s a surprising trend: People aren’t leaning as much into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Credit card company Discover commissioned a study asking more than 2,000 college students and parents about financial aid…

  • Less than half (46 percent) of parents with college-bound students said they’d submitted a FAFSA application.
  • Half of them said they didn’t fill one out because “they felt they wouldn’t qualify for federal aid.”
  • And 42 percent of current and former students said they didn’t fill it out because they felt they didn’t need aid.

“Filling out the FAFSA is a critical step in the college financing process since schools use it to determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid, including grants and scholarships,” says Nicole Straub, a Discover VP. “Families should plan to fill it out every year a student is in school, even if they feel they won’t qualify or don’t need the aid, because most people will be eligible for some aid.”

Research released from NerdWallet last year provided similar results — 1.2 million high school grads didn’t apply for FAFSA. As Debt.com reported then, “the dip in applicants left $2.3 billion of money behind.”

Conclusion? Fill out an application. Want to do it quickly? Here are four tips from an expert on speeding up the process.

For more, head to Debt.com’s Education Center on student loan debt.

Meet the Author

Gideon Grudo

Gideon Grudo

Writer for Debt.com

Grudo is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist based in Brooklyn, NY. Previously he was the digital editor of Air Force Magazine and the managing editor of South Florida Gay News.

Career and Business, College

employment, income, student loans

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Article last modified on October 30, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: The 10 Best College Degrees to Get a Job - AMP.