Major decisions: the highest-growing fields of study for ARC students

Carla Manes and Carla Manes

If you are a student at American River College but haven’t decided on your major, you should ask yourself this: what am I interested in? What jobs will be in demand when I’m finished with my education? How much money do I want to make and what is the least expensive way to achieve my goal?

Earning as much of your degree as possible at a community college is the most economical way to achieve your academic goals. Figuring out what your focus is going to be is essential as well. Taking every available course required to earn to your major at a community college will save you money.

Here are a few of the most popular majors ARC has to offer:

If Engineering is your field of studies, you’ve made a wise choice. A recent pole by Business Insider revealed that majority of the 10 most popular majors with the highest median earnings and the most likely to get a job are engineering majors. The highest paying being petroleum engineering, with a median earning of $120,000 annually. Chemical, electrical, mechanical, and mining and mineral engineering are listed in the top 10 as well.

ARC student Nate Smith, majoring in electronic systems technology, was asked if the projected salary in his field was why he chose this area of study. “100 percent, that’s the reason for it,” said Smith.

ARC offers 10 Engineering courses.  Each of these courses has three or more rigorous math and science prerequisites.

Performing arts, community or human services and psychology have the least projected median earnings. Counseling psychology is listed as the lowest median earnings of all.

For some students, choosing a major is not only about the highest earnings. ARC Electronic Engineering student Stephen Carr said income earnings are not that important.

“I just like the field,” said Carr, a former construction worker who wants a career with “health insurance and a retirement.”

Other students are attracted to majors with high employment rates.

ARC’s Nursing Program is one of the most popular programs on campus. The number of classes a student needs to complete in order meet eligibility requirements for this program is many.

For employment rates, the economic, production and management of agriculture majors are at 98 percent. The treatment therapy professions, medical assistant and metallurgical engineering majors rate at 99 percent.

The majors that are at 100 percent employment rate are geological and geophysical engineering, military technologies, pharmacology and school student counseling.

Metallurgical engineering and pharmaceutical sciences majors appear in both the highest employment rate majors, as well as in the highest earning majors. They each have earning capabilities of more than $100,000.

According to Robin Neal, dean of enrollment services, this study stands true with what students are majoring in at ARC. “Besides the General Ed, math and English classes, the biology and pre-nursing (classes) fill up the quickest and have the longest waiting lists,” said Neal. She encourages students that get on a waiting list to go to the class even if it’s closed.

“Our faculty here genuinely care about our students… instructors will make exceptions, when they see students put forth the extra effort,” said Neal.

Neal suggests that students meet with a counselor “early in their academic career for guidance and direction they are the roadmap to success at ARC.”