Medicine is where the money is, Bankrate survey shows

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Personal finance website ranked two medical/health fields of study among the top 10 most valuable for college students.

Health and medical preparatory programs ranked fourth, while pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and administration ranked sixth.

For the study, examined U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data from 2016, the most recent year available. The data was used to rank more than 160 majors based on a degree holder's average annual income, the unemployment rate for college graduates with that degree, and whether a degree holder's career path required higher education beyond a bachelor's degree.

Average annual income made up the greatest position of the ranking (70 percent), followed by unemployment rate (20 percent). An additional 10 percent factor applied when a degree holder did not need further higher education.

Health and medical preparatory programs degree holders earn $130,308 in average annual salary, the second-highest among the studied majors, according to Their unemployment rate, at 2.3 percent, is better than average. An advanced degree will likely be required for students to reach their full career potential, researchers said, as nearly 80 percent of health and medical program graduates received education beyond a bachelor's degree.

Pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and administration graduates earn $103,350 in average annual salary, the 15th-highest among the studied majors, and their unemployment rate is 1.8 percent. According to, 57 percent of these degree holders have an advanced degree.

Read more about the study here.


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