5 Intriguing New and Upcoming Degree Programs

choosing a career for yourself

Choosing the right college degree is probably one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime. Your choice of major will determine the type of career you can pursue ahead. With a current unemployment rate of 5.5% (The Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015), you want to make sure you choose a career that is in demand.

Not long ago, a high school diploma was enough to get you a job in many sectors. But now due to the ever-increasing job market competition, the high demand for skilled individuals and the changing dynamics of the corporate world, college education is a must.

When choosing a career for yourself, research well and find out what the potential future of your selected occupation is. Also keep in mind your preferences, aptitude, skills, and level of interest.

Top 5 degree programs

With hundreds of degree programs being offered in multiple disciplines, picking the right program can be tricky and time-consuming. Here is a list of 5 upcoming degree programs that are exciting and offer a positive employment outlook:

  1. Business degrees

Business and management are among the most popular majors at colleges nowadays. In recent years, the number of business enrollments has increased. Business education is broad and incorporates a variety of disciplines such as finance, marketing, human resource management, etc. Business degrees enable students to explore management theories and concepts that are applied in modern-day organizations.

One of the major reasons why business has become a popular academic choice is the wide range of careers that come with it. Business majors can work in all kinds of industries and sectors ranging from manufacturing to retail and from fashion to law.

Here are business related occupations and their expected employment growth rates (2012-2022) provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Management analyst: $78,600 – 19% employment growth rate

  • Accountant and auditor: $63,550 – 13% employment growth rate

  • Marketing manager: $115,750 – 12% employment growth rate

  1. Criminal justice degrees

Criminal justice degrees are offered at all levels of post-secondary education. You will learn about crime prevention techniques, law and order, and the criminal justice system.

With a criminal justice degree, you may enter many professions in the private and public sectors. This major open doors to job opportunities in the police department, corrections department, justice administration, court systems, Homeland Security department, border patrol, and other sectors. If you are looking for a career that is all about serving your community and helping others, this may be a suitable academic choice.

Here are some popular career paths and their annual mean salary data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistic (2014):

  • Police and detective: $59,560

  • Fish and game warden: $53,260

  • Bailiff: $42,360

  1. Psychology

Psychology is a fast-growing field in the United States. Shifting economic trends, technological advancements, laws, and the busy lifestyles of individuals have raised concerns for growing psychological disorders and mental illnesses. Many people and organizations are seeking help from qualified psychologists. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), jobs in the field of psychology are expected to grow by 12% in the next 10 years.

This can be a suitable college major for you if human mind interests you and you want to help people in your community. Psychology degrees are offered at undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels. You will learn about different concepts of psychology and what practices are used to identify and treat psychological disorders. The field has many sub-branches you can choose from. These include clinical psychology, developmental psychology, counseling psychology, educational psychology, and more.

Here is the mean annual salary data for psychologists provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014):

  • Industrial-organizational psychologist: $90,070

  • School psychologists: $74,030

  1. Healthcare degrees

The healthcare sector is one of the largest employers in the nation. If you are looking for a career that aims to promote the physical and mental well-being of others, this may be the field for you. Healthcare degree programs are growing in demand due to changing dynamics of the population, increasing need for healthcare workers, and better healthcare insurance coverage.

You can choose from a wide variety of healthcare degrees in areas such as: dentistry, nursing, physical therapy, healthcare administration, medical billing and coding, massage therapy, and more. US News & World Report has ranked the above mentioned healthcare occupations among the best healthcare jobs of today.

Here is the information on the median annual income of popular healthcare professions provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012):

  • Dentist: $149,310 – 16% employment growth rate

  • Registered nurse: $65,470 – 19% employment growth rate

  • Medical and health services manager: $88,580 – 23% employment growth rate

  1. Education and teaching

If you are interested in giving back to your community and enjoy working with students of various ages, consider teaching as a suitable college major. You may launch a career as a teacher after completing your bachelor’s degree in education.

There are many specializations you can opt for in education and teaching. For example, many students are pursuing special education courses due to an increasing demand for special education teachers.

Here are some teaching careers and their median annual income data reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012):

  • Teacher assistant: $23,640 – 9% employment growth rate
  • Special education teacher: $55,060 – 6% employment growth rate
  • High school teacher: $55,050 – 6% employment growth rate

Now you can narrow down your search and pick a career that best fits your interest and career goals. Always select a career that is exciting, in-demand, and worth the college investment.


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