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Deciding what to major in can be a big decision. A major can bring a great deal of career success and possibilities or it can saddle a person with lots of debt and few job prospects. Here's a list of the best majors, according to compensation research firm Payscale and the Bureau of Labor Statistics via Forbes. The majors are ranked based on median starting salary, median-career pay at 10 years, pay growth and hiring outlook.

15 Statistics
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Starting median pay: $49,000
Mid-career median pay: $93,800
Pay growth: 91 percent
Projected job growth: 14.1 percent

14 Physics
JIM MONE, AP

Starting median pay: $49,800
Mid-career median pay: $101,000
Pay growth: 10 percent
Projected job growth: 14.2 percent

13 Finance
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Starting median pay: $46,500
Mid-career median pay: $87,300
Pay growth: 88 percent
Projected job growth: 16 percent

12 Construction Management
SUE OGROCKI, AP

Starting median pay: $50,200
Mid-career median pay: $85,200
Pay growth: 70 percent
Projected job growth: 16.6 percent

11 Mathematics
Casey Madison, AP

Starting median pay: $47,000
Mid-career median pay: $89,900
Pay growth: 91 percent
Projected job growth: 16.7 percent

10 Applied Mathematics
J Pat Carter, AP

Starting median pay: $52,600
Mid-career median pay: $98,600
Pay growth: 88 percent
Projected job growth: 16.7 percent

9 Petroleum Engineering
AP

Starting median pay: $97,900
Mid-career median pay: $155,000
Pay growth: 58 percent
Projected job growth: 17 percent

8 Management Information Systems
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Starting median pay: $51,000
Mid-career median pay: $88,200
Pay growth: 73 percent
Projected job growth: 18.1 percent

7 Geology
Will Powers, AP

Starting median pay: $45,300
Mid-career median pay: $83,300
Pay growth: 84 percent
Projected job growth: 19.3 percent

6 Civil Engineering
Hamid Saadatmanesh, AP

Starting median pay: $53,100
Mid-career median pay: $90,200
Pay growth: 70 percent
Projected job growth: 19.4 percent

5 Environmental Engineering
HERIBERT PROEPPER, AP

Starting median pay: $51,700
Mid-career median pay: $88,600
Pay growth: 71 percent
Projected job growth: 21.9 percent

4 Software Engineer
Ted S. Warren, AP

Starting median pay: $54,900
Mid-career median pay: $87,800
Pay growth: 60 percent
Projected job growth: 24.6 percent

3 Computer Science
Gene J. Puskar, AP

Starting median pay: $56,600
Mid-career Median pay: $97,900
Pay growth: 73 percent
Projected job growth: 24.6 percent

2 Biochemistry
Eckehard Schulz, AP

Median starting salary: $41,700
Median mid-career salary: $84,700
Pay growth: 103 percent
Projected job growth: 30.8 percent

1 Biomedical Engineering
Bebeto Matthews, AP

Median starting salary: $53,800
Mid-career median salary: $97,800
Pay growth: 82 percent
Projected job growth: 61.7 percent