7 of the Best Degrees for the Future

Thanks to technology, many jobs in the future aren’t going to be the same. Robots, artificial intelligence, and automation are already taking over many traditional jobs. Think about it. Apps are the new accountants and medical consultants. Robots are building cars and are parking lot attendants. New technologies are even replacing taxi drivers and cashiers. The impact of all these changes has led some people to use the term: job apocalypse.  Luckily, there are some jobs that will survive or even thrive in this scenario. But careers of the future rely on degrees for the future – and you can arm yourself with one before it’s too late! 

Alright, enough doomsday jokes. If you plan on going to college, consider degree programs that set you up for the future. Some careers that will be in high demand in the future include:

  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Healthcare
  • Financial
  • Business Services
  • Sales
  • Engineering
  • Consulting

So, yes—some jobs are teetering on the brink of extinction. But other well-paying careers still have a bright future. What are the best degrees for the future? And how can you improve your chances of landing a high-paying job now, and down the road? Read on to learn about 7 of the best careers and related degrees for the future. 

(By the way, if you think that you can’t afford to get a degree, you might be eligible for a federal grant for college.)

What is the Job Apocalypse? 

The term apocalypse usually refers to destruction on a catastrophic scale. And, that’s how many analysts foresee jobs in some industries. You can see what has happened in some sectors.For example, take the farming industry. 

According to a report, there were 7 million farms in the U.S. in 1935. Yet, that figure has dropped to just over two million. The reason? New technology (tractors, harvesters, automatic milking machines, sensors, robots, etc.) are doing the work people used to do. The result is that fewer workers are producing more crops. 

A 2017 report predicts 800 million jobs will disappear by the year 2030, thanks to automation. So, start college on a career path that isn’t going to be one of those facing the chopping block.

Future-Proof Your Career – The Top Degrees for The Future of Work

Thankfully, robots are not making all jobs redundant. After all, who’s going to design, build, and service the robots? So, which are the best degrees for the future? Let’s look at some of the best in-demand degrees for the future.

1. Information Technology

It’s not surprising that the IT industry has the best potential for job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on the impact of technology. The report found that technology developments will increase demand in hi-tech jobs. 

In-demand IT jobs for the future include system engineers, IT analysts, software developers, database administrators, and web developers.

Examples of bachelor’s degrees you need to get an IT job include: 

  • Management information systems
  • Software engineering
  • Coding and programming
  • Computer science
  • Network architecture
  • Data science

Many people predict that the demand for jobs in IT will grow between 10% and 50% over the next ten years. 

2. Healthcare

Of course, healthcare apps help lower the cost of medical treatment. But many people worry that new-fangled apps these put many healthcare jobs at risk. Yet, there are still many jobs in healthcare with future demand. And, you don’t need a degree in medicine to work in healthcare. 

Jobs in healthcare that will grow in the future include the following:

  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Dental hygienists
  • Physical therapists

Latest predictions show the need for physician assistants will grow 31% over the next few years.

Also, some jobs in healthcare only need an associate’s degree. For example, you could work as a dental hygienist, physical therapist, or veterinary technician. Those are jobs that new technology will take decades to replace. Other healthcare jobs may require a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or both.

3. Financial Services

Do you like crunching numbers? If so, a lucrative career in financial services could be just what you’re after. With more people taking control over their finances, the demand for financial advisors will grow. People need help with retirement planning, tax prep, accounting, and investing. Some predictions say the need for CPAs and personal financial advisors will increase by 41% in the coming years.

Is providing one-on-one financial services not your thing? Companies all over the world are looking for qualified loan officers, financial analysts, and financial reporting specialists. Further, with the US tax code changing every year, professional tax accountants, CPAs, and regulatory experts will continue to be hot commodities.

So, what types of degrees are useful for a job in finance?

  • Any degree in Accounting and Finance
  • Bachehor’s degree in Business Management
  • Master’s degree in Taxation
  • Juris Doctor (JD) degree in Tax Law

Plus, some jobs in this field only need an associate’s degree. That means you could qualify for a great career after only two years of college.

4. Business Services

Not all industries face an grim future. Many service-related jobs will meet the needs of emerging technologies. What are some of the jobs with the biggest growth prospects? Any jobs related to renewable energy, the environment, improving efficiency, and making things quicker and easier. So, some jobs with excellent opportunities are: 

  • Solar panel installation
  • Clean car engineers
  • Sustainable builders
  • Sustainability professionals
  • Wind turbine maintenance
  • Network architects

Many of these jobs require a degree in environmental engineering. However, sustainability advisers can benefit from bachelor’s degrees in alternative energy or green technologies. 

5. Sales

Sales continue to drive the economy. And the demand for sale reps, advisors, and executives will never go away. Companies large and small depend on sales professionals to build success. With growing competition, lower profit margins, and changing markets, businesses will always need talented and highly-qualified salespersons. 

Examples of degrees that can benefit a career in sales include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • Any degree in business administration
  • Bachelor’s degree in finance
  • Communication or liberal arts degrees

6. Engineering

Engineering jobs cover a wide range of industries. Did you know thsat some of the best degrees for the future are in engineering? Pretty much any company who designs or builds anything from handheld devices to cruise ships relies on engineering skills. Many industries are desperate for these types of trained engineers:

  • Project engineers
  • Civil engineers
  • Environmental engineers
  • Structural engineers
  • Biomedical engineers
  • Software engineers
  • Robotics engineers

Rising technologies that use robots, artificial intelligence, and advanced automation need skilled engineers. For example, data science and software engineering are the backbones of machine learning. Also, data analysts need to accurately predict results. Robotics engineers are required for each step of designing, building, maintaining robots.

7. Consulting

Knowledge is power. So, getting a job as a consultant can start you out on a lucrative career. Plus, the types of consultancy jobs that are available are endless. All you need to do is become an expert in a specific field. Some of the most popular types of consultancy careers include: 

  • Financial advice
  • Business and process improvement
  • Risk management and compliance
  • Information systems
  • Environmental and sustainability

Companies are always looking to save money or apply new technology. In turn, they look for consultants to provide advice and support backed up by market data. 

What types of degrees can help your employment as a consultant? Choose one where classes cover subjects like: 

  • Project management
  • Data and process analysis
  • Statistics and reporting
  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Accounting

Final Word on Degrees for the Future

Business and technology are continually changing. That means choosing a degree in an in-demand field will help improve your chances of securing employment. Focusing on the best degrees for the future maximizes the odds that you’ll get a high-paying job that stands the test of time.