Over 20.2 million students attend American universities and colleges every year, but not everyone wants to use their college degree to score a financial gold mine in Wall Street or even a regular 9 to 5 desk job. The idea of sitting behind a computer crunching numbers for endless hours is soul crushing for some students but don’t be fooled into thinking that they are doomed to a lifetime of failure.
Getting out of college with unusual majors has more benefits than you think, especially when students can feel passionate about their chosen career path. From fly-fishing to folklore and decision science to adventure education, you may want to tread down the unbeaten path to unleashing your unexplored potential with these unusual college majors.
10. Theme Park Engineer
College: University of Nevada
Someone does that? How else could you possibly have enjoyed all those safe roller coaster adventures all these years? Theme park engineering is one of the most exciting industries to be in because it helps students creatively use their skills to become master entertainers – even if they’re in the background.
The University of Nevada offers a multidisciplinary program that combines technical ideas with pure engineering to prepare students for a career in designing theme parks and rides. The program puts graduates in a commanding position to fight competition by becoming well versed in every aspect related to theme parks.
As a theme park engineer, you may not decide on the concept and design, but you can certainly figure out how to make it come to life. Theme park engineering is made up of mechanical, computer science, electrical and structural engineering. Physics, hydraulics, and mathematics also play a role in helping you develop your skills. Whether you plan structural columns or calculate roller coaster force, your job is to do the programming and math to make it happen.
With a theme park engineering major, you could potentially be employed at any large or small theme park around the country – and there are plenty of them for the taking.
Theme park engineers have a median salary of $72,124.
9. Turf Grass Management
College: Penn State
Turf Grass management is a multi-disciplinary graduate program with a key focus on everything related to maintaining the pristine look of natural grass.
This Penn State degree may sound like a cakewalk, but don’t be fooled. The courses rely heavily on building your realization of the sciences, so be prepared to take up courses in chemistry, meteorology, and biology as focus subjects. You may also include more alluring sessions like ‘Garden Pest Management’ and ‘Weed Science’ in your curriculum.
The program aims at enabling turf enthusiasts with career opportunities in professional lawn management, sporting field maintenance, golf club development, sod production and much more.
With a major in turf grass management, you could potentially earn an income of $44,000 to start with based on data from Simply Hired.
8. Decision Sciences
College: University of North Texas
If you’re the type of person that’s used to making decisions, and you enjoy collecting data, then you may want to consider a degree in Decision Sciences from the University of North Texas.
As a Decision Sciences student, you will learn about manufacturing, finance, accounting, supply chain management, information technology and marketing – a wide and comprehensive curriculum to help you hone in on your skills. Some career possibilities include business analysis, data mining, business intelligence, data scientist, distribution planner, production planner, market research analyst and much more.
Decision Sciences graduates are well paid. You can expect to earn over $68,700 as a market analyst based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that’s just, to begin with. The salaries go upwards when you get more specialized.