While no college major is truly easy, it’s hard to deny that some majors are easier than others. It’s also true that some majors can lead to very high-paying careers. So, finding a major that’s easy for you and leads to a great career is worth spending some time on.
That’s what this guide is for.
We’re going to explain what makes a college major easier than usual, and how to pick a major that’s more likely going to lead to a high-paying job at the end of it.
Let’s dig in and count down the 20 easiest college majors!
What Makes a Major “Easy”?
If majors were easy (and free) we’d all have one. But they’re not. Yet some majors are easier than others. Why? Well, there are several reasons why some college majors are considered the easiest.
- Straightforward general knowledge topic – e.g. business or marketing, where once you know the facts, you’re set,
- Abstract concepts that are hard to define as right or wrong – e.g. creative writing and art majors, where you rely on your creativity,
- Majors that require fewer credits to pass,
- A short major that doesn’t require years and years of training.
College majors that are short (or at least not excessively long) and call on knowledge that isn’t crazily specific are generally considered easiest.
On the other end of the spectrum, some majors are considered very hard. The term “it’s not rocket science” is relevant here – majoring in applied physics, for example, would be considered a difficult major.
So, How Do I Pick?
Well, you need to think about your strengths and weaknesses. If you have a logical mind and a love for the sciences, you might find that a chemistry major is easier than an English literature major… and vice versa.
When figuring out which college major is easiest for you rather than in general, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- What subjects and topics do you enjoy?
- What learning style is best for you, e.g. visual?
- Which high school lessons could you pass easily with little studying?
Sometimes, the topic that you enjoy the most and the topic that you find the easiest aren’t the same. So, you need to think carefully about whether you can handle a difficult major if the topic is genuinely interesting. On the other hand, could you sit through a really boring major even if you do find it easy?
Consider the reputation of each major too. If you pick a major that many people think is a waste of time or is too easy (media studies comes to mind) then that reputation may follow you into the career. The opposite is true too.
Money Money Money
Once you’ve got a shortlist of topics that you think could work, you need to look at the careers each major affords you. Think about:
- How easy it is to get a career in the field,
- How much entry jobs pay compared to the dream job that requires years of experience,
- Whether it’s possible to switch positions (or even careers) if you change your mind,
- Other costs that may come with the job – from time requirements to travel costs to living costs, if your career requires moving to a new city or country for example.
So, once you’ve considered not just your personal strengths as a student but your long-term career goals, you may find that a major that’s typically considered difficult is actually the perfect fit!
Now, let’s get on with our list of 20 majors that many people consider to be easy and lead to high-paying career paths.
20 20 Easiest College Majors That Pay Well
‘Easiest’ is a subjective term, but we’ve done our best to include every major that people describe as easy… that’s why our list is quite long! We’ve also included some facts and figures on the highest paying careers you can get after each major.
The data we’ve used is from Indeed and is accurate as of June 2022. These figures are averages, of course. The actual salary you receive is going to differ based on the region, the job market at the time, your experience and knowledge, and other factors that we can’t predict.
Don’t forget, some jobs and careers require you to have a major – any major – and it’s not so important what the topic is. So long as you pass through college with a high GPA, you’ll find that there are more doors open to you on the other side.
These are listed in no particular order!
1 – Sociology
- Highest Paying Career: mental health technician, $84k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: digital marketing manager, $60k per year
- Other Career Options: social psychologist, anthropologist, researcher, statistician (particularly in health and social industries), real estate agent… any career that will benefit from having a good understanding of how people behave!
At a basic level, sociology is about culture and behavior in general, so a sociology major can be very rewarding if you are a people person (or just love people watching). As for careers, sociologists have a huge range of different avenues and that’s why this major is on our list.
You can find some very high paying jobs with a sociology degree, particularly private firms and companies that require a sociologist. Other careers that are available in education or are state funded tend to have lower salaries, but the work is incredibly rewarding.
You will most likely need additional qualifications and licenses after graduating with a sociology major.
This major is also very applicable to other careers, such as journalism and law enforcement.
2 – Business Administration
- Highest Paying Career: insurance actuary, $111k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: HR specialist, $51k per year
- Other Career Options: analyst, accountant, sales manager, auditor, financial advisor
A business administration major gives you the skills need to control, manage, assess and basically become the ‘administrator’ for any business. You could take this major and use it to become an accountant, a financial analyst, a logistician… any career that requires running a business or the finances of a business.
Companies will pay a large amount of money to you if you can help them run the admin for their business, especially if you can save them money and streamline their processes.
Furthermore, a business administration major gives you some of the essential skills you need to launch your own successful business. So, when it comes to high paying careers, the sky is the limit with business admin if you have the willpower.
If you have a logical mind and love numbers, this is a no-brainer.
3 – Sports Studies
- Highest Paying Career: contract negotiator, $86 per year
- Lowest Paying Career: sportswriter, $30k per year
- Other Career Options: sports commentator, sports reporter/journalist
A sports studies major at college covers pretty much everything except physically playing sports! Rather than becoming an athlete, this major can prepare you for a career in sports history, the role of sports in society, player physiology, and more.
If you want to be a coach or manage a team, sports studies is the major you should start with. If you are naturally interested in sports, you’ll find this major fairly easy to stay interested in. It’s also considered one of the easiest majors, although for someone who dislikes sports it would be a real struggle.
You can also take this major in other directions, for example journalism.
4 – Media Studies
- Highest Paying Career: advertising account exec, $68k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: public relations specialist, $27k per year
- Other Career Options: journalist, video editor, ads specialist, social media manager, producer, marketer, market researcher
This is a college major that enables you to study the media. Although that doesn’t mean you just get to watch movies and TV shows all day, it is still considered one of the easier college majors to take. The course could cover any number of aspects of the media.
History of the media, how it’s evolved over the years, as well as the impact of radio, television, digital media and more on our society.
You could also take this major and use it to create a career in a bespoke field, for example, media law and policy, or sociology. It’s a fun college major to take!
5 – Linguistics and Languages
- Highest Paying Career: investment analyst, $90k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: intelligence analyst, $41k per year
- Other Career Options: bilingual sales assistant, customer support, travel agent, immigrant paralegal, medical interpreter, customs officer
If you speak a second language other than English, then applying for a college major in your second language is a great way to find an easy and high-paying college degree. Although you’ll still need to put in a lot of work, the fact that you are already fluent in the language means that the course will be fairly easy to understand and progress through.
Common language college degrees include French and Spanish. You may also be able to study linguistic anthropology and general language studies, which comes closer to liberal arts.
For some people, choosing a language college major is the easiest decision ever. It can also open doors to a wide number of careers, if you’re willing to add additional qualifications and courses on top.
6 – Liberal Arts
- Highest Paying Career: management analyst, $92k
- Lowest Paying Career: editor, $47k per year
- Other Career Options: copywriter, HR manager, software engineer, translator
A liberal arts college major may be a broad look at a number of subjects, or it could focus in on a single subject. Majors that fall under the liberal arts umbrella may include art, art history, psychology, or English. These are subjects that require interpretation and analysis, but also a degree of creativity which is why some people find them easier than hard sciences, for example.
In terms of careers, you have a wide range available to you depending on what part of the liberal arts you focused on. To follow a specific career path, e.g. a political career, you may need hands-on training or additional courses to get a high-paying career at the end of it.
7 – Zoology
- Highest Paying Career: research scientist, $112k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: veterinary nurse, $22k per year
- Other Career Options: zoologist, marine scientist, zookeeper, scientific writer, conservation scientist
A zoology college major is all about animal biology, covering how animals interact with the environment and develop relationships. You might delve into animal diversity and evolution, as well as ecology and other science-based topics that surround organisms.
Zoology is a moderately hard college degree for some people, however if you are interested in animals or science but don’t have the skills and intelligence for veterinary or biology courses, then zoology is an easier alternative.
The highest paying careers will require additional studying at university, however.
8 – Creative Writing
- Highest Paying Career: successful fiction writer, $61k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: journalist, $35k per year
- Other Career Options: blogger, article writer, ghostwriter, critic, reviewer, publishing/editing
Creative writing is an interesting college major because the potential to make money is very obvious. You could be the next J.K. Rowling! How much money you make after a creative writing major depends very much on what you write – you could be widely successful or not successful at all.
If you are a creative person and enjoy writing, telling stories, or just literature in general, then you’re going to find this major not just easy but also enjoyable.
Whether you get a high-paying career at the end of it… well. That really depends on you. While there’s the potential for greatness, that doesn’t mean that all creative writing major graduates go on to be millionaires!
9 – Photography
- Highest Paying Career: fashion/newspaper photographer, $72k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: freelance photographer, $35k per year
- Other Career Options: YouTuber, blogger, Instagram influencer/content creator, wedding photographer, medical photographer, fine art photographer
A photography major at college involves both technical skills and creativity. While technical skills are easy to learn, a large part of creativity comes from natural ability. If you have a creative streak and love to take photos, then a photography major at college may be the easiest option for you.
However, just like creative writing, not everyone who graduates with a photography major will go on to be an ultra-successful photographer – like Annie Leibovitz. So, the highest paying career really depends on you personally.
Nonetheless, photography careers can be exciting and adventure filled. If you want to spend your life traveling, a photography career should be on the cards.
10 – Marketing
- Highest Paying Career: corporate marketing chief, $143 per year
- Lowest Paying Career: online community manager, $48k per year
- Other Career Options: marketing analyst, content marketer, social media marketer
Marketing covers a much wider range of careers than you may expect. If you’re great with numbers, there’s an analytical side that you’ll love. If you’re creative, then content creation is a huge part of digital marketing in general.
A marketing college degree is a great one to have, but we recommend it most for those people who always like to be learning, relearning, and moving forward. The world of marketing is always shifting and evolving, with new ways to market products and innovate.
For the curious mind, marketing can really help you stay focused and achieve a high-paying career.
11 – Health (General)
- Highest Paying Career: physician, $199k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: health educator, $34k per year
- Other Career Options: physical therapist, biomedical engineer, registered nurse, dental hygienist
Health care and health science can be the first major in a career that leads to a very high-paying position. Doctors do, typically, earn quite a lot… however you’ll need more than a college degree to get there.
The healthcare industry is very demanding but also very rewarding. If you genuinely enjoy helping people and are interested in health, you’ll find the college major moderately easy to pass. However, for the most high-paying jobs, you should also go to medical school and be prepared to climb the corporate ladder.
Entry jobs in healthcare are not initially high paying.
12 – English
- Highest Paying Career: English professor, $116k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: journalist, $35k per year
- Other Career Options: attorney, copywriter, librarian, high school teacher, grant writer
An English degree is not the easiest degree, but many people regard it as a lot easier than the sciences, for example. This is likely because students have been studying English – the language and literature – from the very start of their education.
A college degree in English just follows that on, rather than introducing a completely new field of study to students.
You’ve also got a very wide range of applications once you’ve graduated – an English degree can be used to enter a wide range of industries. As a result, you’ll find both high paying and low paying career options available to you.
13 – Psychology
- Highest Paying Career: psychiatrist, $217k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: counselor, $24k per year
- Other Career Options: clinical psychologist, social worker, family therapist, behavioral specialist
A psychology major is by no means easy, but if you compare it to medical school and some of the more technical sciences, it’s going to be a little more digestible. If you’re naturally interested in abnormal behavior – how to assess it and treat it – then the field of psychology will be interesting.
Although there’s some debate about whether psychology is a pseudoscience or not, it’s still a highly regarded field and can lead to some very high paying careers. Like most careers, you’ll need to attain additional qualifications and experience in the field to access these high-paying roles.
Don’t confuse psychology with sociology either!
14 – Astronomy
- Highest Paying Career: university physicist, $128k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: senior technical writer, $77k per year
- Other Career Options: planetarium director, meteorologist, climatologist, aeronautical engineer, astronomer
Space exploration. Exciting, right? We know that every little kid wants to be an astronaut, but these dreams often fade away by the time we reach college. For the select few who are still enamored with the secrets our universe holds, an astronomy major may be the perfect choice.
This college major requires strong science and mathematical skills, so if numbers come easy to you, then this major should be fairly straightforward to get your head around.
You’d be surprised at just how many different career paths can sprout from a college astronomy major.
15 – Teaching/Education
- Highest Paying Career: superintendent, $87k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: library technician, $33k per year
- Other Career Options: health educator, special education teacher, guidance counselor, speech pathologist
An education major at college will help you develop the skills needed to teach others. If you have good people skills and a desire to help others, then a major in education or health is perfect for you. You may find the technical elements a hard study at times, but the overall topic should be easy to get your head around.
Most educational and teaching jobs that pay well (your standard high school teacher doesn’t earn much) require bachelor and master’s degrees, plus specialism in a specific area e.g. biology to become a biology teacher.
Nonetheless, this is a good college major to start off with.
16 – Religious Studies
- Highest Paying Career: postsecondary philosophy and religion teacher, $90k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: family therapist, $59k per year
- Other Career Options: chaplain, archivist, missionary, religious program director, pastor
Some colleges offer studies into religion. This may be for a single particular religion, or it may be a study of religion in general (which most likely ties into anthropology or sociology too). Either way, a college major in religion could lead to some high-paying careers.
If you have faith and have studied religion before, you may find these college majors particularly easy. They are certainly interesting! If you have an open mind and enjoy studying culture and history, then religious studies may be of interest to you too.
Careers in religion can also be very high paying.
17 – Communication
- Highest Paying Career: brand manager, $134k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: journalist, $31k per year
- Other Career Options: public affairs specialist, event planner, college assistant, PR assistant
A communication career is all about the different forms of communication, not just communicating effectively. A major in this topic has broad applications. You could work in the media, communicating with the general population, or apply your knowledge of communication to community centers and schools, where you can help people directly.
There are also careers in government and private corporations who require a communications expert for more technical roles.
If you’re interested in business, politics, and anthropology, then you may enjoy this college major. An analytical mindset is a bonus.
18 – Humanities
- Highest Paying Career: regulatory affairs manager, $109k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: grant writer, $42k per year
- Other Career Options: curator, lawyer, publisher, brand manager, diplomatic agent
Humanities covers how people interact, so it’s much broader that sociology and psychology, while also delving into topics such as religion and culture. If you’re interested in people, history, and even media, then the humanities should be on your shortlist of college majors too.
This broad range of topics, with little in-depth focus, is why many humanities majors are considered easy. There are also a range of high-paying careers that you can find on the other side. Of course, the more you specialize and the more qualifications you get, the more career options will be available to you.
19 – Anthropology
- Highest Paying Career: project manager, $80k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: social media strategist, $54k per year
- Other Career Options: interpreter, social worker, archaeologist, research analyst
Anthropology is the study of human behavior and culture – a broader view of the human species than sociology, but on the same lines. If you’re analytical, have a scientific mindset, and like to solve problems, then an anthropology college major can set you up for a very successful career.
Anthropology overlaps with the behavioral sciences, history, media, and even languages. Not every college offers an anthropology course, so you might need to find an overlapping major instead. Once you’ve got your major in anthropology, it will be worth finding a specialism so you can snag one of the high paying careers listed above.
20 – Music
- Highest Paying Career: music historian, $83k per year
- Lowest Paying Career: production assistant, $33k per year
- Other Career Options: media manager, studio manager, piano teacher, music director, theatre manager
To study music at a college level, you need more than just a passion for your favorite tunes. You need some level of music talent, whether you play an instrument, write music, or just have an excellent ear and perfect pitch.
As for high-paying careers, you have the same dilemma as writers and photographers. There’s the possibility that you will be insanely successful and become a millionaire… but it’s not something you’ll want to bet all your money on.
Nonetheless, there’s a range of good paying careers that can come from a college music major – not just high school music teacher!
Choosing the Right College
It’s not just the college major that’s an important choice. Where you go to college can have a significant impact on your life. Not only does the quality of the college impact the quality of your education, but the cost of living while you study is also impacted by where you choose to go to college.
When selecting a college, think about:
- Which colleges have the best courses for your desired major,
- Living conditions and costs in the area,
- Extracurricular activities,
- Reputation and accreditation of the college,
- The vibe on campus.
Try not to judge a college by how it ranks. This is usually not the most important factor! Instead, visit the college campus and try to chat with existing students (or reach out to forums online) to find out what studying there is truly like.
What are the easiest college majors?
For creative people, choose marketing, media studies, or the liberal arts. If numbers and scientific studying comes easy to you, opt for astronomy, psychology or health. And if you are bilingual or love literature, then a language or linguistics college major will be easiest for you.
Which college majors lead to high paying careers?
If you’re willing to work your way up the corporate ladder and expand your academic qualifications beyond a college major, then choose health, marketing, and psychology. The top careers in these fields rake in over $100k per year.
What is the least stressful major?
The least stressful major will be one that you naturally enjoy. Even if the topic is difficult, if you genuinely enjoy it then it won’t be too stressful. Media studies, astronomy and photography are also considered some of the most enjoyable college majors.
Which college degree makes the most money?
While health, marketing and psychology can lead to very high-paying careers down the line, other college majors lead to high-paying jobs straight after graduation. Consider photography, business administration and sociology if you want to find an entry level job that still pays a great salary.
What is the quickest college degree to get?
Typically, a college major is going to be around 4 years to complete, however, some colleges (online and with an actual campus) offer accelerated courses that enable you to graduate in 2 years. A lot of the sciences and business-oriented college majors are available in an accelerated format… but be prepared to put in the work and maybe even sacrifice your summer vacation plans to study!