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6 Degrees That Employers Are Looking for Right Now

To have the best chance of landing a good job when you graduate, pick one of these majors

By Greg Scott Neuman
Posted 2012

6 Degrees Employers Want
6 Degrees Employers Want

Some fields are experiencing – and should continue to experience – considerably greater demand than others. Employers are actively looking for workers with degrees in these areas, as they have knowledge and skills to fill jobs that are going to be important over the coming decade. But what credentials do you need to enter these careers?

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Here are six degrees that employers currently want to see on your resume:

1. Computer science. Studying computer science prepares you for innovation and research roles in the information technology (IT) industry. This discipline focuses on applying knowledge and creativity to invent new technology; if you want to do more with computers than simply use them effectively, earning a computer science degree is probably an excellent option.

Earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Information Systems or equivalent degree to enter this field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of computer science careers to grow by about 19% through 2020. The median annual wage for these professionals was $100,660 in 2010.

2. Accounting. Accountants examine, analyze, and interpret accounting records to prepare financial statements. Giving accounting advice, and auditing and evaluating statements prepared by others, is often part of working in this field as well.

To become an accountant, earn a BS in Accounting or similar degree and pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. According to BLS data, this field will grow by about 16% through 2020. In 2010, the median annual wage for accountants was $61,690.

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3. Finance. Finance professionals can enter a variety of business careers that involve handling credit, investments, monetary transactions and much more. This includes financial examiners, one of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S.

Earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) – Finance or equivalent degree to become a financial examiner. The BLS expects the number of careers in this field to grow by about 27% through 2020. The median annual wage for financial examiners was $74,940 in 2010.

4. Engineering. There are many different branches of the engineering field, including aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Currently, biomedical engineering is the fastest-growing specialty and is expected to become a very important discipline in the future.

Earn a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering Technology or similar degree to become a biomedical engineer. According to BLS data, this field will grow by an amazing 62% through 2020. In 2010, the median annual wage for these professionals was $81,540.

5. Business administration. Earning a degree in business administration prepares you for leadership roles in the business world. If you want to advance into high-level management or executive positions with major companies, advancing your education beyond the bachelor’s level may be required.

To enter this field, earn a general BBA or BBA – Management. To advance, complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. There are too many specialties in this field to give employment statistics for each, but financial management can provide a good example. The BLS expects the number of careers in this field to grow by about 9% through 2020, and the median annual wage for financial managers was $103,910 in 2010.

6. Management information systems. Management information systems (MIS) professionals use various assets – especially computer applications – to collect, process, store and disseminate information critical to businesses. This field is computer-intensive, but other resources such as documents and processes are also critical.

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Earn a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems to start an MIS career. According to BLS data, this field will grow by 18% through 2020. In 2010, the median annual wage for information systems managers was $115,780.

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