With many companies now requiring applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, obtaining graduate degrees and beyond can be a great way to stand out from the crowd. Many jobs require more in-depth knowledge than a bachelor’s education can provide. Additionally, many people who earn a graduate degree earn more money and find more fulfilling work after completing their programs.
As of 2015, about 8% of the US population held master’s degrees. You can pursue your graduate degrees in just about any field, but some industries require more rigorous education than others, making some degree programs more in-demand.
Here are 5 of the top graduate degrees of 2018, which can all lead to fulfilling and lucrative careers.
Because nearly every field involves the use of computers in various applications, computer science is an excellent choice for postgraduate study. Computer science graduates can become software engineers, software developers, security engineers, mobile application developers, or pursue careers in a wide range of newer fields, such as data science.
Because coding is such an in-demand skill, these fields are growing quickly. The growth outlook from 2016-2026 for software developers is 24%–much faster than average job growth. Since many computer science graduate degree holders can make more than $100,000 annually, this is a great option for students with an aptitude for code.
Counseling can be one of the most satisfying careers available for people who thrive on helping others. There’s a robust need for counselors, with a projected 8% growth rate. Better yet, there are a number of online counseling programs so individuals can study without having to quit their job.
Counselors can work in different settings, including schools, care centers, and government organizations. The requirements for licensing vary depending on the state, but every area has a need for counselors to help people learn more about themselves, whether that means working with a family in turmoil, or a student having trouble keeping up with school curriculum.
It’s a crucial role in society, and it takes an emotionally strong and caring person to do well. Counselor salaries vary depending on the context of their work and the organization they work for.
Earning an MBA has always been a solid choice for people who are interested in working and business and finance. Today, with so many lucrative careers in the financial industry, it has become one of the most popular postgraduate degree.
An MBA is extremely versatile, preparing graduates for many different careers, particularly those in upper management. Financial managers can earn a median salary of $117,990. MBAs are needed in every field, from healthcare to finance to tech. They can thrive in human resources, marketing, project management, and many other positions. The options are really almost unlimited—which is why the MBA has been such a popular degree for so long.
You can become a nurse with a bachelor’s degree, or even an associate’s degree. However, students who want to take their education to the next level and open up their career options often seek graduate degrees of some sort.
This can lead to a number of promising health care careers. For example, job opportunities may include Nurse Midwife (specializing in women’s health) or a Nurse Practitioner (NP). Nurse practitioners are in high demand. With the median age of the population rising, more general NPs will be needed to care for the elderly.
There are just 7,029 certified geriatricians in the United States, and that number needs to at least double in the coming years. Nurse practitioners provide more care than registered nurses, and have many of the same responsibilities as MDs. A NP can prescribe, diagnose, and often do not have to work under a doctor’s supervision (depending on the state), providing 80-90% of the care a doctor can offer.
- Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical engineers have some of the most exciting and demanding careers in engineering. While civil engineers build infrastructure, software engineers build software, and electrical engineers build electrical devices and systems, biomedical engineers create artificial body parts and devices that advance human health and biology.
They are trained in both medicine and engineering, and both develop new medical equipment and train physicians how to use it. Biomedical engineers need to have a wide breadth of knowledge, since many different disciplines are involved in creating the devices, medications, and other products they produce. This is an extremely rewarding career path with an average salary of $85,000 per year and a 23.1% growth rate.