By Josh Kegley

Don’t settle for that throwaway major just yet!If you’re an undeclared student who’s finding that your college career is starting to resemble Van Wilder’s, a recent survey by CNN and Money Magazine may finally help you decide what to do with your life.

The survey listed the 50 best jobs in America, based on criteria such as stress level, ease of entry, salary and growth potential. The top 10 jobs are: Software Engineer, College Professor, Financial Adviser, Human Resources Manager, Physician’s Assistant, Market Research Analyst, Computer IT Analyst, Real Estate Appraiser, Pharmacist and Psychologist.

But does Eastern offer programs that will get you into these fields? The answer is: mostly.

No bachelor’s degree is offered specifically in software engineering. However, according to Jaleh Rezaie, chair of the Department of Computer Science, Eastern graduates with a degree in computer science are often hired into software engineering positions.

“However, we do offer a master’s level degree in software engineering,” Rezaie said, which Money Magazine recommends to those who wish to climb the corporate ladder. A bachelor’s degree will get you into the field, but in many cases, you have to put in those two extra years if you hope to advance very far.

As far as college professors go, there’s a whole campus full of them willing to tell you yeah, it’s a pretty sweet gig. It may gross you out to think about making a career out of college when you’ve just dedicated a good portion of your life to it, but college professors have it good for several reasons: flexible schedule, creative thinking and no dress code, as pointed out by Money Magazine and Salary.com.

But many professors at Eastern say they enjoy their job for a different reason than any of the criteria listed in the survey. They love to help people.

“I’d say it belongs close to the top. It’s a very satisfying profession,” said Ross Clark, professor of biology. “I recommend it to people with motivation to teach.”

“It serves the public good, it pays a decent salary, and it makes people’s lives better,” said Robert Buskirk, a math professor.

However, Buskirk is wary of the future of the profession. “I’m not sure I’d want my children to do it,” he said.

He fears that many professors’ salaries will decrease as inflation rises.

“I didn’t become a professor to get rich, but I didn’t do it to get poor, either,” he said.

Eastern’s psychology program is another draw for many students. Psychology, the 10th best job in America according to Money Magazine, is often a highly sought-after job for people who seek the psychological reward of helping people with troubled minds.

“I think Eastern has a very good psychology program,” said Oonhi Akin, a 22-year-old psychology major.

While she hasn’t decided exactly what she wants to do after graduation, Akin is looking forward to lots of possibilities after college.

“I’ve thought about working at a school, or maybe as an animal psychologist,” she said. “Clinical psychology is a possibility, too, but I’d have to go on to get my doctorate.”

Another cool thing about psychology is, to those with a doctorate, it is relatively easy to be self-employed.

Financial advisers may seem like a strange addition to a top ten jobs list, but if you’ve got a head for numbers, check out Eastern’s Finance Department. The job’s major is appealing because of its salary, which averages over $100,000 per year, the highest in the top 10.

For the complete list of top 50 jobs, check out CNNmoney.com.

Reach Josh at
joshua_kegley2@eku.edu