The education program you choose for your college degree is crucial in determining the beginning of your career. It is important to make the most of your college education as it leads to personal success, a good income, and job satisfaction. However, not all degrees hold the same value. Some degrees are more sought-after than others, and higher demand often means higher pay. Students can choose to pursue degrees that are in high demand, but they must also ensure that these degrees will continue to be in demand after they graduate.
Some degrees are highly desirable because there aren’t enough qualified professionals available to fill the available job positions. These degrees often require a significant amount of education and sometimes a long-term investment in education. Many students choose not to pursue these degrees because they believe that the demand for them will have decreased by the time they graduate. However, the following degrees are currently or expected to be in high demand and should be seriously considered by students who want a fulfilling career with appropriate pay.
A degree in Software Engineering at the undergraduate level
Career: Software Developer
The program for the Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (B. SE.) instructs students on the process of creating software and ensuring its functionality before delivering it to customers. Additionally, students gain knowledge in computer architecture, database design, constructing software for specific operating systems, and mathematical concepts like calculus and algebra. The degree focuses on mathematics as computer software necessitates mathematical principles for compatibility with the operating system and computer hardware.
The presence of computers is permanent, ensuring a promising future for software developers. As computer technology progresses and evolves, there will always be a need for software. In order to keep up with the advancements in hardware, current software must undergo updates and adjustments, while new software will be sought after to fully utilize the new hardware.
Projected Jobs: 316,000
Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
Obtaining a Doctor of Medicine degree allows individuals to pursue a career in the medical field and choose a specialization within healthcare. These professionals offer healthcare services to the general population, addressing regular health concerns, monitoring normal physical development, addressing urgent healthcare needs, conducting surgical procedures, diagnosing medical conditions, and prescribing appropriate medications. Physicians play a vital role in preventing and managing healthcare emergencies, contributing to the overall well-being of the community.
There is a high demand for doctors because there are three significant generations that currently need or will need medical services in their lifetime. The largest demand comes from the elderly population, who require medical care to enhance their quality of life and address age-related health issues. However, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of skilled doctors in both primary and specialty care. As a result, the need for students to enroll in M.D. programs is increasing, making it one of the most sought-after degrees.
Projected Jobs: 18,500
DDS, also known as Doctor of Dental Surgery, or DDM, also known as Doctor of Dental Medicine.
A person who holds a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree is qualified to perform dental work on all parts of a patient’s mouth and practice general dentistry. The education required to obtain these degrees is very similar, with only minor differences. To become a dentist, a student must first earn a bachelor’s degree in a field related to dentistry. After completing their bachelor’s, the student then attends dental school for four additional years. During this time, they gain hands-on experience working with patients, receive classroom instruction, and train in a dental laboratory. Following graduation, students must pass the National Board Dental Examination, a regional board examination, and pass a state licensing exam in order to become licensed dentists.
The high demand for the DDM/DDS degrees stems from the necessity for skilled dentists in the field. Regardless of advancements in dental technology for personal use, there will always be a persistent need for dental care.
Projected Jobs: 3,700
A degree in Health Care Administration, Bachelor of Science.
Career: Managing health care
The Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration (BSHA) is a management degree that emphasizes the effective management of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. This program equips students with skills to handle the business aspects of health care administration and addresses the distinct challenges faced by the industry. While health care administrators do need to take some medical classes to familiarize themselves with their work environment, they are not obligated to pursue the extensive education required for most medical professionals.
Healthcare management encompasses a wide range of job roles. Individuals who obtain a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration (BSHA) usually begin their career at entry-level positions, but they have numerous chances for career advancement since the healthcare sector constantly requires skilled administrators. The growing number of aging populations contributes to the demand for healthcare services, and consequently, there is an increased need for administrative personnel within medical facilities.
Projected Jobs: 133,200
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Career: Nurse Practitioner
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an intermediary role between the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and the Physician Assistant (PA). Those who obtain their MSN are eligible to become nurse practitioners, allowing them to work at a higher level in nursing. Earning this degree provides several career opportunities, including specialization in a particular medical field available to nurse practitioners, as well as the potential to become a nurse educator, manager, or administrator. Nurse practitioners with an MSN can also provide individualized care to patients as primary care providers.
In the medical field, nurse practitioners are increasingly being hired to fill roles typically held by doctors. They possess the ability to provide primary healthcare services and assist patients with their medical concerns, just like physicians do. Due to an anticipated shortage of qualified doctors, the healthcare industry is actively recruiting nurse practitioners to support patient care and other aspects of healthcare.
Projected Jobs: 110,700
Master of Science, Physician Assistant
Career: Physician Assistant
The physician assistant (PA) is an individual who works under a physician’s supervision but has the ability to make medical decisions independently. A PA can perform similar duties as a nurse, nurse practitioner, and some of the duties of a medical doctor. They receive training in various procedures, can assist in surgeries, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications following a diagnosis, and participate in clinical research. The main distinction between a PA and an MD lies in the length of their education and level of autonomy. Unlike an MD, a PA student is not required to complete an internship or residency program and shares responsibility for patient treatment with the MD.
There is currently a shortage of fully licensed MDs, which has increased the demand for qualified PAs. PAs are able to perform many of the duties that physicians do, allowing medical facilities to provide quality care to patients while saving the MD staff for tasks that require their expertise. Additionally, PAs can refer patients to an MD when they come across a medical issue that they are not qualified to handle. As a result, the Master of Science, Physician Assistant degree is highly sought after.
Projected Jobs: 39,300
A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) degree
A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) is someone who has acquired the skills to provide medical care for a wide range of animals, including farm animals, pets, and exotic species. Before applying to veterinary school, aspiring veterinarians must complete an undergraduate degree with a focus on veterinary-related courses. Accepted students will then undergo an additional four years of study to learn the necessary knowledge and techniques for animal treatment. After graduating, individuals must take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) and successfully pass it in order to obtain a license to practice as a DVM.
There has been a consistent high demand for veterinarians for a while now, and this demand is expected to grow even more in the future due to pet owners increasing their expenditure on pet healthcare. Another contributing factor to the high demand is the limited number of veterinary programs available in the United States, with only 28 in total. This scarcity of programs is a major reason why a veterinary degree is highly sought after.
Projected Jobs: 14,200
Bachelor of Science, Data Science
Career: Data Scientist
The field of Data Science, also called Data Science and Analytics, involves evaluating data to extract meaningful information. By analyzing and presenting data visually, a Bachelor of Science in Data Science learns how to compile informative reports. Students in this field gain skills in programming languages, data visualization software, and machine learning, as well as the ability to utilize information from various data platforms. The valuable insights provided by data scientists are utilized by businesses and governments to better understand the vast amount of data they collect on a daily basis.
Data science is a relatively recent and expanding career field, driven by the vast amount of data being gathered by organizations. This data is utilized to identify patterns and predict the behaviors of specific groups or populations. Companies employ data scientists to analyze and interpret information that is not easily accessible through alternative methods.
Projected Jobs: 10,300
Master of Science in Statistics
The Master of Science in Statistics is a higher-level mathematics program that involves gathering and analyzing data, interpreting the findings, organizing the results, and using them to solve specific problems. These problems can have social, scientific, or industrial implications, and often require predicting potential outcomes. To become a statistician, students must excel in various branches of mathematics, be adept at using computer software, and possess strong skills in number theory.
Companies are seeking statisticians to meet their hiring needs for data analysis and forecasting. Organizations rely on statistics to decipher the vast amount of data generated by people and make it comprehensible. Moreover, the insurance sector is also in search of statisticians to assist in determining the risk factors related to their various insurance products.
Projected Jobs: 14,800
MS Speech-Language Pathology
Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
The MS SLP program specializes in studying communication disorders and their therapy. A speech-language pathologist (SLP), who is also called a practitioner, works individually with patients who require assistance in speaking normally. The SLP assesses the patient to identify the root cause of the problem, gives a precise diagnosis, and develops a suitable treatment plan to improve their communication skills. Additionally, SLPs play a crucial role in diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children and assisting them in developing communication abilities.
Speech-language pathologists are expected to be in higher demand because of the aging Baby Boomers. As more elderly individuals exist, there will likely be an increase in health problems leading to speech or language issues. Consequently, these individuals will require speech therapy as part of their healing process.
Projected Jobs: 40,500