When choosing a bachelor's degree program, students often want to balance their interests with the earning potential they may have when they graduate. For a student concerned about this balance, earning a degree program in a field that can lead to a career with many job opportunities is often the goal.
In this article, we discuss 10 bachelor's degree programs associated with careers that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected to experience excellent growth between the years of 2016 and 2026. These subjects have been arranged in order of the BLS percentage of projected employment change from 2016 to 2026, in descending order. While the average career growth during that time is expected to be about seven percent, the BLS predicts that the careers associated with these bachelor's degree programs have projected growth that is at least twice, and in some cases three times, the national average.
Software developers who specialize in applications are responsible for the creation of specialized utility programs and computer applications. In order to do this, these professionals construct standards for software applications, test programs and make modifications as needed, and install and monitor products for clients. Those who want to pursue this career can consider earning a degree in systems engineering, which is designed to teach students to model and analyze hardware and software systems. Specific coursework for these programs may cover areas such as control systems, analog circuits and systems, fluid mechanics, simulation analysis and modeling, project management and technical writing.
With increasing concerns about security breaches to personal and professional data, it's not surprising that information security analyst careers are expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. In order to prepare for this profession, students can earn a degree in information systems security, which focuses on concepts such as intrusion detection, information auditing, recovery and security systems protocols and the methods used to investigate cybercrimes. Depending on the specific program, students may take classes on cloud computing, Internet and network security, web security, infrastructure protection, information assurance and security development.
Marketing is a necessary part of growing a business, so students who earn marketing degrees can use the skills they gain to enter a wide range of fields. One of the fastest growing jobs in the marketing area, according to the BLS, is the job of market research analyst, which entails surveying the market to determine what products are selling and how they are being presented to consumers. To help prepare students for these jobs, marketing degree programs tend to focus on industry concepts and how they are put into practice, methods for conducting marketing analysis, and different marketing strategies and when to use them. Students may be required to take courses about consumer behavior, supply chain management, brand management, digital analytics and/or social media marketing.
Math hounds who enroll in mathematics and statistics degree programs may take coursework in basic and advanced statistics, probability, discrete structures, biostatistics, experimental design, calculus, topology and real analysis. Throughout their programs, math and statistics majors may also encounter techniques for dealing with uncertainty and making mathematical inferences. The advanced skills students learn in these programs can prepare them for an actuary career, which entails compiling and analyzing statistical data in order to determine the likelihood and cost of specific events like deaths, natural disasters, illnesses and accidents. In addition, actuaries are responsible for designing insurance policies, pension plans and investments that minimize risk.
Health and physical education degree programs are designed to prepare students to teach physical education. People who enroll in these programs may be required to study topics such as consumer health education, team sports, anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, health education methods and materials, and human motor behavior and learning. In addition, students who enroll in physical and health education programs may have the opportunity to get hands-on teaching experience while completing their degree -- experience they can use to enter the growing athletic trainer profession. The skills taught in these degree programs can then be used to help to instruct coaches and athletes on how to avoid injuries and improve athletic performance.
Students who major in psychology and behavior can expect to be exposed to seminal theories and concepts of human behavior, learning, cognition and personality. Depending on the school students enroll in, degree requirements may include coursework about abnormal psychology, behavioral science statistics, the history of psychology, neuroscience, lifespan development and cognitive psychology. In addition, students may have the opportunity to take courses related to the psychology of addiction, which can help them prepare to work as substance abuse counselors. These professionals are responsible for providing treatment for those who have addictions to drugs or alcohol, as well as patients with eating disorders. Duties include developing and executing treatment plans based on patients' individual needs, working with families to help them understand their loved one's addiction and helping patients recognize their addictive behaviors and triggers.
As life expectancy continues to increase and the Baby Boom generation reaches its golden years, the need for medical professionals, such as medical and health services managers, is on the rise. People in this career typically plan and direct the daily activities of medical facilities, including staff activities, finances and health care services. In order to prepare for this high-intensity career, students often consider earning a degree in health care administration. In such a program, students can learn about topics such as the rights of patients and the responsibilities of health care providers, quality and risk management, health care marketing, medical law and ethics, health care information systems and organizational behavior.
Finance professionals are tasked with ensuring that an organization can continue operating through a healthy flow of money. This is a tremendous responsibility, one that prospective workers can work to prepare for by enrolling in finance degree programs. Coursework in these programs is designed to present students with methods to understand financial principles and how they are used in practice. To that end, students may be required to study subjects such as corporate finance, investment and portfolio analysis, banking, cost accounting and supply chain management. Armed with a bachelor's degree in finance, graduates can pursue careers as financial managers and look for employment at financial organizations, insurance companies and government agencies, to name just a few opportunities.
Many students may have their interest in forensic science piqued by watching popular crime TV shows, but in order to learn about the realities of the field, they enroll in crime scene and forensics degree programs. These degree programs help students learn how to collect, process and analyze evidence that is found at crime scenes. To that end, required courses may cover topics such as criminalistics, fingerprint analysis, homicide investigation, juvenile justice and forensic photography. In addition, students may take elective courses to help sharpen their communication skills so they can write reports and provide testimony in court. With this training, graduates can qualify for forensic science technician positions, which require strong critical thinking, math, science and problem solving skills.
The increase of online streaming services is only one of the factors expected to contribute to the growing need for film and video editors. People in these positions are responsible for recording programs, using editing software to organize footage, shooting scenes based on what a director wants, selecting sound effects and adding special effects to enhance a scene. Enrolling in film and television degree programs can give prospective video editors the education they need to earn employment in the field. In these programs, students often learn about cinematography, television drama, screenwriting, film postproduction and directing cameras. In addition, students may also take classes covering different film theories, types of cinema and television, and the work of cinema masters.