Top College Degrees to Help You Achieve Homeownership

Some college degrees could help you achieve homeownership faster than others — we’re looking at you, engineers.

When you declared your college major, you likely chose it based on passion, interest and childhood dreams.

But, what if you are more concerned with the long term, like making a reasonable salary? One that would allow you to pay back or pay off your student loans and still be comfortable? One that would allow you to buy a home?

That begs the question, “What college degrees are best for aspiring homeowners?”

Luckily enough, a recent study by realtor.com has identified the best degrees for graduates who’d like to become homeowners as soon as possible.

Drumroll please! If you’re a college graduate who’d like to become a homeowner in the least amount of time, you’d better study engineering — and just about any type — as the top of the list was dominated by various engineering degrees.

In an analysis that underscores how consistent and diligent saving can make homeownership viable for all types of majors, the No. 1 spot was snagged by petroleum engineering. 

To create this ranking, realtor.com analyzed how long it would take graduates of 337 popular majors to save for a 20 percent down payment on a $250,000 home, based on the average starting salary of each degree as reported by Payscale.com, and saving 20 percent of one’s income per year.

With an average starting salary of $96,700, that allows for a savings per year of $19,340, it would take a petroleum engineering graduate about 2.6 years to save for the down payment on that $250,000 home.

While petroleum engineering and many other engineering-focused career paths may offer the fastest route to homeownership, other degrees that made the top 50 included the following:

  • Physician Assistant Studies (No. 2 at 2.9 years)
  • Dental Hygiene (No. 14 at 3.8 years)
  • Computer Science (No. 15 at 3.8 years)
  • Computer Science & Mathematics (No. 20 at 3.9 years)
  • Packaging Science (No. 29 at 4.1 years)
  • Actuarial Science (No. 30 at 4.1 years)
  • Physical Therapy (No. 31 at 4.1 years)
  • Informatics (No. 32 at 4.2 years)
  • Finance & Real Estate (No. 37 at 4.2 years)
  • Information Security (No. 40 at 4.3 years)
  • Management Information Systems (No. 41 at 4.3 years)
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (No. 43 at 4.3 years)
  • Nursing (No. 45 at 4.3 years)
  • Statistics (No. 46 at 4.4 years)
  • Construction Management (No. 47 at 4.4 years)
  • Management Science (No. 49 at 4.4 years)

The data illustrated that education degrees, like Education and Secondary English Teacher Education, hold the longest path to homeownership at an average of seven years. The slowest of the 337 degrees in the study at 8.1 years was Early Childhood Education.

For both a graphical and textual representation of the top 10 degrees according to the Realtor.com data, see below:

College Degrees Corrected

These are the college degrees that’ll put you on the path to homeownership the fastest:

1. Petroleum Engineering
  • Starting Salary: $96,700 
  • Savings Per Year: $19,340 
  • Years: 2.6

2. Physician Assistant Studies
  • Starting Salary: $85,200 
  • Savings Per Year: $17,040
  • Years: 2.9

3. Computer Science & Engineering
  • Starting Salary: $71,200
  • Savings Per Year: $14,240
  • Years: 3.5

4. Mining Engineering
  • Starting Salary: $70,200 
  • Savings Per Year: $14,040 
  • Years: 3.6

5. Chemical Engineering
  • Starting Salary: $69,800 
  • Savings Per Year: $13,960 
  • Years: 3.6

6. Computer Engineering
  • Starting Salary: $69,600 
  • Savings Per Year: $13,920 
  • Years: 3.6

7. Nuclear Engineering
  • Starting Salary: $68,500 
  • Savings Per Year: $13,700
  • Years: 3.6

8. Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Starting Salary: $68,100 
  • Savings Per Year: $13,620 
  • Years: 3.7

9. Electronics & Communications Engineering
  • Starting Salary: $68,000 
  • Savings Per Year: $13,600
  • Years: 3.7

10. Electrical Engineering
  • Starting Salary: $67,000 
  • Savings Per Year: $13,400 
  • Years: 3.7
Drew Knight is a freelance writer for Builders Digital Experience (BDX). You can find him online at LinkedIn.

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