Struggling economies are hard to weather and present many challenges to students considering their future career goals. But one potentially helpful long-term effect of a struggling economy is that they focus our attention on the careers that are on track to become the heart of our future marketplace. Right now is a key moment for many new industries that are posed to introduce new technologies and retool the business world for global impact. It is smart to base your career goals on these hints about what is right around the corner for some lesser traveled majors. The following is a list of the top ten degrees for the future
1. International Business Degree or Finance Degree Business is becoming increasingly global, and degree programs that specialize in navigating international concerns are replacing traditional business degrees. Businesses are finding that they need people who understand international finance regulations, laws, and local tax codes. This is where the International Business or Finance major comes in, as you will become expert in the nuts and bolts of areas that are important for global trade. Getting on Track: It is best to start with a business or finance degree that has an international scope. Some schools offer specific International Business or Finance degrees, and others offer these specializations as additions to traditional business programs. Either way, make sure you take advantage of opportunities to study or intern abroad. Fluency in the language of important hubs for global trade will also make your resume very marketable.
- Bioinformatics Degree or Biomedical Engineering Degree The medical industry is growing by leaps and bounds partly due to advances in technology and information science. Scientists and medical professionals are becoming increasingly reliant on people who can create systems that guide biomedical innovation. In addition, people with both engineering and biology educations are a key part of the development of products and services that deliver better medical care. As the health care landscape in the US begins to change, the profile of these degree programs is on the rise. Getting on Track: Degree programs in Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering are the best way to get your foot in the door. These majors have a unique blend of emphases in biology, medicine, and the basic mechanics of engineering or computer science. Though these programs can be quite demanding, the skill sets these majors to develop are only going to become more valuable.
- Any Engineering Degree As our economy begins to gain steam in many areas of technological development, people who understand the basics of how things work will find immediate entry into careers marked by job security and satisfaction. Whether you focus on chemical, nuclear, aeronautical, electrical, material, or any number of specific engineering tracks, these skills are going to continue to outpace most other career options. It can be difficult to narrow your interests to one set of engineering skills. Talk to people in different professions and spend time looking through the kinds of classes and experiences different degrees require. A good degree program will keep you up to date with the latest trends in the field.
- Environmental Science Degree or Sustainability Degree Every Presidential campaign has an environmental sustainability platform. This translates to jobs. As the US continues to increase the amount of money they dedicate toward creating “green-collar jobs,” these degree programs are becoming better options. These majors grant access to current plans to enhance the energy efficiency, create and implement alternative energy sources, and deal with environmental pollution. In addition, international trends in thinking toward more just and sustainable business practices have created an entirely new industry that has quickly achieved stability. Getting on Track: Environmental Science and Sustainability degree programs are beginning to appear with more frequency. These degree programs are attractive to many due to the way they expose students to scientific, practical, and ethical issues.
- Health Information Technology Degree or Health Administration Degree As the population of the US grows older, the demand for quality medical care is increasing. In order to make this kind of care happen, hospitals and research institutions need people that understand how to create and administrate complicated health care networks. This job market was once considered secretarial and pigeon-holed for low-level administration. But this is no longer the case. Health Information Technology and Health Administration degrees are a fast-track for rewarding and profitable careers. Getting on Track: Some discover these careers after spending time as nurses, specialists, or physician’s assistants. But no prior hospital or medical experience is required for these administrative roles. A good Health IT or Administration degree will equip you with all the tools you need to start these careers.
- Computer Science Degree Why is it that Computer Science degrees show up on every list of desirable careers or degree programs? Because there is no longer any way to conduct business or service people without the knowledge of information systems. But similar to engineering programs, computer science majors are also a core part of emerging industries in robotics, data processing, and an array of interesting occupations. Getting on Track: A general Computer Science degree is typically the entry point into a career that will enable you to apply your education in a specialized way. Many Computer Science programs have the added benefit of tailored internship programs that will help you tune into industries that fit your career goals.
- Information Technology Security Degree Similar to the Computer Science major, Information Technology Security is becoming a standard element of any industry. Very real concerns about protecting financial or medical privacy and confidentiality in a world that has moved into the digital cloud drive the need for people that have specialized in the complicated work of IT security. Getting on Track: IT Security degree programs are now very commonly offered in parallel to traditional Computer Science options. They also offer one of the highest entry-level salaries in the current marketplace due to their relative rarity.
- Public Health Degree Public Health concerns are an important element of changes happening in the health care industry. People with the ability to understand and interpret federal policy, as well as deal with issues in local health care, are starting to become a more important part of our daily lives Getting on Track: Undergraduate majors in Public Health tend to lead toward the standard Masters in Public Health. Even if you find that grad school is not your thing, the undergraduate track is the best way to become part of this exciting and growing field.
- Instructional Design. All levels of education are feeling the need to take advantage of the rapid growth of technology and media. Some have been more responsive than others, but higher education, in particular, has fairly recently begun creating jobs for people that can use technology to create better educational formats and programs. Beyond education, the business world is also discovering that people with this special set of skills can be a key part of creating a more effective workplace through innovative educational tools. Getting on Track: Instructional Design programs blend traditional coursework in education and educational theory with training in computer science and programming. Now that many schools are beginning to offer this specific degree program, it has become an option for students wanting the kind of job skills that are both rare and valuable.
- Human Resources Degree Human Resources does not sound like the most thrilling occupation, but HR is much more than meets the eye. This career option is currently one of the fastest-growing jobs and is projected to increase over the next decade. The reason for this is simple: Human Resources majors are the only place you get education and experience in handling people, which are the most valuable component of any business or institution. Getting on Track: Human Resource majors have long been a standard offering at the undergraduate level. As with many specialist degrees, a good school will provide you opportunities to intern in the different industries that require your skill and experience.
CULLED FROM BEST DEGREE PROGRAMS
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