As many college graduates struggle to find employment in their field, many are realizing how important pursuing a degree that opens up future job opportunities is. Even though many well-educated people are currently unemployed, students who strategically choose degree programs that offer a future have bright prospects upon graduation. Here are five professional degree programs with a future.
Medical Assistant Certification
Certified medical assistants (CMAs) provide basic care for patients in hospitals, nursing homes and hospice care. As the U.S. population ages, the need for CMAs will increase throughout the country. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has named this one of the fastest growing fields, with an expected growth rate of 18 percent over the next 10 years. Those who need a job that pays decently and can become a long-term career can begin earning a living as a CMA after a couple months of training.
Veterinary Technician Associate Degree
Over the past decade or so, the pet industry has grown exponentially. Large pet retailers, such as Petco and Petsmart, have capitalized on this trend, but individuals can also take advantage of the growing pet industry. Those who have a veterinary technician associate degree can find a job anywhere in the country, since veterinarians are needed everywhere. Certified vet techs earn an average of $30,000 annually, but this figure varies greatly from state to state.
Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical engineering is a fairly new major, but many colleges are quickly adding the program to their natural sciences department. Biomedical engineers use their engineering background and technology to develop vaccines, improve pharmaceutical drugs and build robots that help during surgery. The BLS believes this will be the fastest growing career between 2008 and 2018, with a 72 percent increase in the number of people working as biomedical engineers.
Master’s Degree in Counseling
One does not need a doctorate in psychology (Psy.D.) to work as a counselor. Counselors who have a master’s degree earn anywhere between $30,000 and $90,000 annually, depending on the field they work in. Those who are employed as a public social worker or employed by a non-profit tend to be on the lower end of this spectrum. Those who open up their own counseling practice, especially if it is faith-based like a Christian counselor, can earn much more, if they choose too. Of course, most people do not enter this field for the money; they are simply interested in helping people.
Ph.D. in Theology
Of all the Ph.D. degrees available, a doctoral degree in theology offers a relatively good return on investment. Many scientific researchers and engineers will only see a small increase in their salary if they earn a Ph.D. Those who have a Ph.D. in theology, however, are better placed to land a pastoral or rabbinic position that pays well. This is not the only opportunity this degree creates, though. While teaching positions at seminaries and colleges remains extremely competitive, those holding a Ph.D. in theology will not have a hard time landing a position at a secondary school. A doctoral degree from a Christian seminary also opens up opportunities to write Christian books, which is a quickly growing niche market that is easy to enter if one has the proper credentials.
Graduates who hold one of these degrees have excellent employment prospects within their chosen fields. These five degrees span various interests and levels of education. Degrees with futures are not limited to one field or level of education. College and University students, however, should seriously consider what degree might be appropriate for them and offer a promising future. There is something for everyone, whether they hold a high school diploma or a Ph.D.