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05.08.11

20 Most Useful College Majors

With college graduation ceremonies just weeks away, The Daily Beast tallies the statistics to figure out which majors—from engineering to mathematics—are most valuable.

As the 1.5 million members of the class of 2012 prepare for internships and ready their résumés, those with engineering or business degrees will likely enjoy an easier transition into the world of employment than those holding journalism or fine arts degrees. And those engineers and entrepreneurs have company.

Gallery: Ranking the 20 Most Useful College Majors

To find which degrees are the most valuable in the long run, The Daily Beast considered which degrees offer the most job opportunities as well as relatively high pay. Weighted equally, we ranked each degree’s statistics compared to the average for each category. Data are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale:

• Starting and mid-career salary levels, using the profession most associated with the degree.
• The expected change in the total number of jobs from 2008-2018.
• The expected percentage change in available jobs from 2008-2018. The following gallery also provides the number of degrees awarded during the 2008-2009 academic year according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

So, what degree will be most valuable in the years to come?