A lot of entrepreneurs are discounting the value of college, and they have a lot of good points. But not all degrees are created equal, so it’s natural that some graduates are going to walk away wondering what their diploma is worth. Still, certain degrees give you skills and qualifications that business need badly.
Picking a degree program is an important step on your path to success, and you should select it with care. Degrees tend to fall in and out of favor for all types of organizations as business needs and trends cycle through.
However, there are some degrees that have been in demand for quite a while, and the need for these majors is likely to remain steady or possibly increase in the future.
This may be the strongest candidate for the most in-demand degree in the United States. A significantly smaller number of students major in engineering here than in countries, such as Japan, India or China, despite the high demand. Although companies need engineering majors, there are two areas that top the rest:
- Electrical Engineers: Qualified engineers, especially those with a degree that surpasses the bachelor level, are in high demand because of the impact electrical engineering has on nearly every other type of engineering. This can range from petroleum refinery equipment to computer and mobile device design. With the amount of electronics we use to run our lives, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people with this degree are a prized asset.
- Computer Engineers: The demand for this degree is due to an increase in wireless technology, information security and data processing in just about every sector of the economy. Computers are now essential to most businesses, and this dependency has led to a greater need for people with the right skills and training to help design all sorts of connected devices, from smartphones to internet-connected mining equipment and more.
Notice any trend in demand for science degrees? Not only are computer science majors much sought-after by all businesses, but this degree offers a lot of flexibility in job choice due to the ubiquity of demand across all industries.
Graduates in this field have the option to work for large financial firms, software companies, healthcare organizations and other firms to whom harnessing data is increasingly essential. Fields such as animation and graphics, scientific research, marketing and many others are hungry for individuals that can help them manage their existing technology and build tools to get things done. Computer science students are taught to use creative thinking and engage in problem solving, which are two very desirable qualities in an employee.
Employment opportunities for accountants, from 2010 to 2020, are anticipated to grow by 16 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is expected to be especially concentrated in international finance as a result of the growth of businesses globalization. Since accounting students are required to learn about every feature of a company’s finances, the skills they acquire can easily be transferred to help their employers achieve goals for investment, budgeting and regulatory compliance. Possible careers for graduates with an accounting degree include financial managers, bookkeepers and budget analysts.
This skills gained through this degree program can be implemented in many different industries and can either be used to gain specialized expertise in areas such as human resources, or broad range knowledge that includes all aspects of a business. If you have a specialization in a field such as finance or computer information systems, an MBA can position you for critical administrative roles where you’ll need the business acumen as well as the technical knowledge from your bachelor’s.
The effects of globalization and information sharing have impacted the prospects for many graduates, including communication majors. Specializations in the areas of public relations and advertising, as well as new media studies are some of the top degree required by employers. Marketing with an emphasis on social media is a possibility for these graduates in addition to media relations and writing.
Written and verbal communication skills are needed by almost any business, which gives these graduates the opportunity to contribute in many different fields. These days, you also need to be savvy in online marketing, social media and web analytics to measure the effects of your various communications and plan for the future.
Visual communication is another area where businesses really need qualified people. Graphic designers use their creativity to produce visual concepts that can be used for many purposes including advertising, design services, public relations, publishing, and web design among others. Designers can help a business distinguish itself and create brand awareness.
The most in-demand degrees at this time are focused in several areas such as math and science, as well as art and communication. Although a broad major, such as communication, can be useful for employment purposes it is wise to focus on a specialty within your major. This will give you a specific skill set that you can use to market yourself to potential employers in addition to more generalized abilities.
Mike Mann, social activist and serial entrepreneur, is the author of MakeMillions.Com, a business book focused on making money in small business in order to better serve society. Read or download the book today for insight on his philosophy on wedding entrepreneurship and charitable goals.