12 Smart Majors That Will Land You a Job After Graduation
Get a competitive advantage with the savviest, most bankable college programs right in your own backyard.
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Sustainability & The Environment »
If you think a major in sustainability is strictly for free-love nostalgists and Peace Corps volunteers, think again. Sustainability has become a top priority for many of the region’s largest corporations, including PPG, Bayer and Giant Eagle, and graduates with skills in green chemistry, environmental problem-solving and responsible manufacturing are in high demand. To get on the fast track, build a foundation of green chemistry fundamentals with Chatham University’s environmental-science major, where you’ll take courses such as Toxicology and Environmental Geology, then apply to Chatham’s Master of Sustainability program, which will soon be housed at the school’s new 388-acre Eden Hall campus—a veritable sandbox for sustainable science in evergreen Richland Township. An easy way to see green? Study it.
Class you’ll love: Wilderness and Food Sustainability
Experience fresh-air classrooms at Chatham’s new Eden Hall campus.
Pharmaceutical Sciences »
Maybe pharmacy doesn’t jump right out as a sexy profession, but the average starting salary of a pharmacist may arouse some strong feelings: $75,000-$100,000. One of the field’s best graduate programs is right here in our own backyard: The Mylan School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University. But to get on the fast track, you’ll want to enroll in Duquesne’s pre-pharmacy program as an undergraduate, since 85 percent of Mylan’s professional-phase students were pre-pharmacy. It will take most students six years to attain their Doctor of Pharmacy degree, but Duquesne boasts a 100-percent job placement rate for graduates.
Welcome to the real world: Undergrads and Mylan students help staff Duquesne’s recently opened pharmacy in the Hill District, which offers discounted prescriptions and free community health screenings.
Diversify: Gannon University also features a strong pre-pharmacy program for prospective undergrads who want to cast a wide net.
Duquesne’s pre-pharmacy undergrads benefit from immediate real-world experience.
La Roche College
Graphic and Communication Design »
So, you want to be a modern day Don Draper (without the drinking problem) or Peggy Olson (without the grandma sweater), but you haven’t figured out the next step after Netflixing “Mad Men.” Fear not, young creative. While most of your peers will choose generalist majors like advertising or marketing, what you want is a specialty you can use to wow one of the city’s many ad firms, like MARC USA, Brunner Inc. and IMPAQT. Consider the graphic and communication design major at La Roche College, which offers three vital perks for an aspiring creative: small class sizes, professors who teach to the latest technology and real-world project-management experience. La Roche’s program stresses the latter with its “Immersion Days,” grouping students in teams and challenging them with a 48-hour deadline to produce a full communications plan for a real-world client. It’s a unique resume-builder, and it teaches students one of the most important lessons of the pressure-packed advertising industry: how to make a mean Irish coffee. (Kidding, Mom and Dad.)
Typical internship sites: American Eagle Outfitters, Infinity Broadcasting
The North Hills campus of La Roche College may be a stop on the route to Madison Avenue.