New Report: The Best College Degrees to Get a Home of Your Own Someday

Are you ready to become a homeowner? Depending on your college major, you might realize your homeownership dreams quicker than some of your peers. Although passion and calling are important when it comes to deciding on an area of study and eventually a career, earnings count.

One of the keys to making sure you can attain the American dream quicker is choosing a college major that typically pays a high starting salary. One thing all the majors we’ll talk about have in common is generous pay. All of these jobs are also within the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field.

Are you on the fast track to finding a place you can call home sweet home? The National Association of Realtors analyzed how long it would take certain degree holders to become homeowners. It based the findings on factors, such as starting salary and estimated down-payment savings per year (ability to save is based on typical starting salary). The time frame for each major is based on a hypothetical situation where the saver will make a 20% down payment on a $250,000 home.

Let’s take a closer look at the top 15 college degrees for homeownership.

15. Computer science

office work

The computer science curriculum includes software design and programming. | iStock.com

  • What it involves: Computer science majors learn how to design computer programs and the basics of how computer systems work. The computer science curriculum includes software design and programming.
  • After college: Those who study computer science usually go on to become computer and information systems managers, software developers, and researchers.
  • Starting salary: $65,300
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,060
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.8

14. Dental hygiene

girl at dentist office

Dental hygienists teach others the basics of oral hygiene. | iStock.com/LuckyBusiness

  • What it involves: Dental hygiene students learn how to properly care for teeth and gums. They also learn how to teach others the basics of oral hygiene. Courses include nutrition, microbiology, and dental anatomy.
  • After college: Most graduates go on to become dental hygienists and health educators.
  • Starting salary: $65,400
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,080
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.8

13. Aerospace engineering

Airplane over beach

Graduates go on to become aerospace engineers and aircraft pilots. | iStock.com

  • What it involves: Those who choose to major in aerospace engineering learn how to use math and science to design aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. Courses include flight controls, aerodynamics, and flight mechanics.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become aerospace engineers and aircraft pilots (with further training).
  • Starting salary: $65,400
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,080
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.8

12. Materials science and engineering

Rapid mountain river

Courses include metallurgy, mechanical behavior of solids, and materials engineering design. | iStock.com

  • What it involves: Materials science and engineering majors utilize math and science to analyze the inner workings of ceramics, metals, and other materials. Students also learn how to make new materials. Courses include metallurgy, mechanical behavior of solids, and materials engineering design.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become materials engineers, chemists and materials scientists, and petroleum engineers.
  • Starting salary: $65,800
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,160
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.8

11. Systems engineering

Laptop keyboard with lock and chain

Courses include systems design, statistics, and cyber security. | iStock.com/Bet_Noire

  • What it involves: Students of systems engineering learn how to use math and science to create systems that solve engineering problems. Courses include systems design, statistics, and cyber security.
  • After college: Most graduates go on to become systems engineers.
  • Starting salary: $66,400
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,280
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.8

10. Electrical engineering

Technician engineer checking wires

Courses include electrodynamics, circuit analysis and design, and semiconductor technology.| iStock.com

  • What it involves: Electrical engineering students learn about how electricity works, how it is generated, and how it is used to power technology. Courses include electrodynamics, circuit analysis and design, and semiconductor technology.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become electrical engineers and researchers.
  • Starting salary: $67,000
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,400
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.7

9. Electronics and communications engineering

person holding smartphone

Graduates go on to become communications engineers, teachers, and electronics engineers. | iStock.com/Prykhodov

  • What it involves: Students use science and math to solve communications problems. Electronic communications engineer students learn how to research, design, develop and test electronic equipment used for communication systems.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become communications engineers, teachers, and electronics engineers.
  • Starting salary: $68,000
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,600
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.7

8. Electrical and computer engineering

man with computer board on chest

Graduates go on to become computer engineers, researchers, and teachers.| iStock.com

  • What it involves: Students learn how to use a computer as a tool to design and analyze communication problems. Coursework includes digital and microprocessor systems, digital systems processing, and electronic circuit design.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become computer engineers, researchers, and teachers.
  • Starting salary: $68,100
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,620
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.7

7. Nuclear engineering

nuclear power plant

Coursework includes nuclear reactor theory, radiation measurement and safety, and nuclear engineering design. | iStock.com

  • What it involves: Those who enroll in a nuclear engineering program study radioactive materials and radiation and learn about their use in areas, such as power, nuclear medicine, and industry. Coursework includes nuclear reactor theory, radiation measurement and safety, and nuclear engineering design.
  • After college: Graduates go on to work in nuclear waste management, medical equipment design, and nuclear power systems design.
  • Starting salary: $68,500
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,700
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.6

6. Computer engineering

laptop and tablet

Graduates go on to become computer engineers, university professors, and researchers. | iStock.com/manfeiyang

  • What it involves: Computer engineering students learn all about the analysis, design, and development of develop computer hardware and software. They do this through an in-depth study of math, physics, and computer science. Coursework includes computer architecture, systems programming, and software systems design.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become computer engineers, university professors, and researchers.
  • Starting salary: $69,600
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,920
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.6

5. Chemical engineering

 laboratory technician working

Graduates go on to become chemical engineers, researchers, and instructors. | iStock.com/diamant24

  • What it involves: Students of chemical engineering learn the basics of how chemicals work. Coursework includes electrochemistry, organic chemistry, and thermodynamics.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become chemical engineers, researchers, and instructors.
  • Starting salary: $69,800
  • Estimated annual savings: $13,960
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.6

4. Mining engineering

construction worker checking location

Graduates go on to become researchers, mining engineers, and geological engineers. | iStock.com/shih-wei

  • What it involves: Mining and mineral engineering students study minerals. They also analyze the processes for removing minerals from the earth. In addition, they learn how to find minerals as well as how to design and construct mines and mining systems.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become researchers, mining engineers, and geological engineers.
  • Starting salary: $70,200
  • Estimated annual savings: $14,040
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.6

3. Computer science and engineering

man sits at a computer while he works

Coursework includes digital systems design, software engineering, and artificial intelligence. | iStock.com

  • What it involves: Computer science and engineering students learn about computer systems and how we interact with computers from a scientific perspective. Coursework includes digital systems design, software engineering, and artificial intelligence.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become computer science engineers, researchers, and instructors.
  • Starting salary: $71,200
  • Estimated annual savings: $14,240
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 3.5

2. Physician assistant studies

medical professional holding a tablet

A physician’s assistant learns how to practice medicine as part of a medical team. | iStock.com

  • What it involves: Physician assistant students study the process of helping doctors with patient care. They learn how to practice medicine as part of a medical team. Coursework includes anatomy, microbiology, and pharmacology.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become physician assistants and university instructors.
  • Starting salary: $85,200
  • Estimated annual savings: $17,040
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 2.9

1. Petroleum engineering

engineer, construction worker

Graduates go on to become petroleum engineers and researchers. | iStock.com

  • What it involves: Petroleum engineering students learn how to locate and remove petroleum and natural gas from the earth. They also learn about the process of transforming petroleum and gas into products. Coursework includes physics, general chemistry, and fluid mechanics.
  • After college: Graduates go on to become petroleum engineers and researchers.
  • Starting salary: $96,700
  • Estimated annual savings: $19,340
  • Years it takes to become a homeowner after graduation: 2.6

Rankings come from the National Association of Realtors.

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