The future looks bright

Good news, college students, the job market is better than ever! A few recent studies show promising futures for all of you. First, according to U.S. Census data, college grads make over $20,000 more a year than those with only a high school diploma. The National Association of Colleges and Employers also released a study breaking salaries down by field. Some are more lucrative than others these days. So, if you plan to go into information sciences or economics, you’re set. English and sociology majors might think twice, though—starting salaries for jobs in those fields are on a downward slope (they’re hovering at around $31,000). Here are a few of the career paths that look the best (I.e. the average starting pay has gone up at least 4 percent over last year), with average starting salaries. Check for more complete results.

Information sciences and systems$47,182
Civil engineering$46,084
Business administration/management$41,155

For those who still think school is uncool, here are U.S. Census Bureau stats on average salaries for those 18 and older (from 2004):

With a high-school diploma$28,645
With a bachelor’s degree$51,554
With an advanced degree$78,093