Top 50 Degrees for the Future

When investing the time, effort, and money into getting a college degree it would be great to be able to look into the future to make sure you’re choosing your major wisely. While there are no guarantees when it comes to the future, there are some degrees that certainly seem to be future-proof. These degrees are in fields that are growing and projected to see continued growth in the future.

Some degrees, such as many types of engineering, have always been solid choices for students. Others, such as the Internet of Things degrees are brand new and created to fulfill a strong demand. They all show promise for the future and are great options for new students or those who want to change majors. Hospitality majors, we’re looking out for you.

The 50 degrees we have listed here each show strong promise for the future. Many of these degrees cover a broad scope of employment opportunities in many industries and are very versatile. The majority of the degrees we have included on this list provide skills and knowledge that can be applied to many, if not most fields of business making them stable choices for the future. As you would expect, STEM degrees are prominently featured on this list, but there are also a few surprises.

degrees for the future

Information Technology Degrees

1. Computer Science
A computer science degree is focused on writing code in many programming languages and developing software systems, which are a big deal in the world now and for the foreseeable future. This degree is very versatile, as software systems are used in all manners of business and businesses of every size.

The average salary for an employee with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science is $85,354. The average salary for a software engineer is $83k annually, software developers earn an average of $69k per year, and senior software engineers are paid an average annual salary of $115k. However, a graduate of a computer science degree program is qualified for a wide variety of job positions with an equally wide range of average starting salaries.

2. Internet of Things (IoT)
Currently, the only Bachelor of Science in IoT degree offered is at FIU. However, as technology rapidly advances the demand for skilled IoT workers is growing. “Smart” gadgets are the new standard and the number of IoT devices is projected to skyrocket in the coming years.

In the IoT field devices and networks are built, programmed, and maintained and data is transmitted using the internet.

The average salary for people who work with the Internet of Things earn an average of $102,691 per year.

3. Health Information Technology
A Health Information Technology degree is an Associate Degree that can be completed online in about two years. As medical health records are now kept in digital files, the demand for health information technicians is on the rise. This degree prepares you for work in the field of coding and classifying medical documents and working with different health care reimbursement methods.

The average salary for a health information technician is $35,276 per year with some bonuses and profit sharing possibilities.

4. Information Technology
With a Bachelors Degree in Information Technology you can work as a software developer, cybersecurity expert, IT consultant or business analyst, computer network architect, computer forensic analyst, and many other jobs where the demand for qualified workers is growing.

The average salary for an Information Technology (IT) Manager is $88,424 per year plus bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing opportunities.

5. Big Data Systems
A Master of Computer Science with a Big Data Systems specialization prepares you to design scalable systems for making sense of and gaining insights from large and complex sets of data that the system has captured, processed, and interpreted.

The average annual salary for someone working with big data analytics is $110,351.

6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
An Artificial Intelligence degree is well-rounded, including coursework in advanced mathematics, engineering, and computer science. This degree allows you to create machines or systems with the capability to solve problems without human intervention.

Those employed in the field of artificial intelligence earn an average annual salary of $123,571.

7. Management Information Systems (MIS)
A degree in Management Information Systems is multi-faced. Courses of study for this degree include business theory, data analysis, management, as well as computer security, networks, and databases. These courses lay the groundwork that will allow you to put technology to use in many different fields.

The average annual salary for an Information Systems Manager is $83,335.

8. Computer Science and Mathematics
With a Computer Science and Mathematics degree there are many career options. This degree allows you to work as an analyst, mathematics or technical instructor, systems or database administrator, computer technician, software engineer, or one of many other positions that are in high demand.

Annual salaries vary depending on the job taken, however, the average salary for a senior software engineer, developer, or programmer is $96,907 per year.

engineering degrees

Engineering Degrees

9. Electrical Engineering
An electrical engineering degree includes coursework in electrical theory, computer programming, and mechanics and prepares students to work in the field designing and analyzing electrical systems.

Electrical engineers earn an average annual salary of $76,052 not including bonuses, commissions, or profit-sharing.

10. Computer Engineering
Computer engineering degrees are available at bachelors, master’s, and doctorate level. This degree is a blend of computer science and electrical engineering and includes hardware engineering and software development. Computer engineers use their education in a variety of fields to improve digital technology through innovation and computer programming.

Those who work in the field of computer-aided engineering earn an average annual salary of $94,218.

11. Electrical and Computer Engineering
While earning an Electrical and Computer Engineering degree you will study software systems and the digital hardware systems they run, smart grids, and the Internet of Things. This degree is extremely versatile and the demand for graduates is growing as technology advances and more “Smart” devices, homes, and cities become the norm.

Electrical engineering and computer engineering are two of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S. today.

12. Computer Science and Engineering

A Computer Science and Engineering degree is similar to a degree in computer engineering. Engineers with a strong background in computer science are and will continue to be in high demand.

The average salary for a computer aided engineering job is $94,218.

13. Biomedical Engineering
A Biomedical Engineering is a blend of engineering and life sciences. Biomedical engineers are responsible for the design of body part replacements and artificial organs. They also design, build, install, maintain, and repair machines that diagnose medical programs.

Biomedical engineers earn an average salary of $67,000 per year not including bonuses, profit sharing, and the opportunity for significant commissions.

14. Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers use their knowledge of biology, physics, and mathematics along with chemistry to develop new manufacturing processes for many different industries. Given that a chemical engineering degree provides a broad education, graduates may work in many fields. The demand for chemical engineers is also increasing, making this a secure degree for the future.

Chemical engineers earn an average annual salary of $74,918.

15. Civil Engineering

Civil engineers keep cities and towns working by building and maintaining roads and transportation systems, public water and sewer systems, and other utilities that keep municipalities running smoothly behind the scenes.

Civil engineers earn an average annual salary of $66,733.

16. Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering is not regulated to only factories and heavy machinery. Industrial engineers are needed in many work settings that require scientific and mathematical problem-solving mechanics. The skills learned while earning an industrial engineering degree allow graduates to work in a wide and ever-growing variety of fields.

Industrial engineers earn an average salary of $67,933 per year.

17. Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineering is a lucrative field that blends geology with engineering. Petroleum engineers use their skills to locate deposits of crude oil and natural gas, extract the fossil fuels from the earth, and refine them into usable products that are used worldwide.

Petroleum engineers earn an average annual salary of $101,491.

18. Mechanical Engineering

There is no engineering field more diverse than mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineers are needed to design, construct, and maintain all types of mechanical equipment and machinery, devices, and even planes and vehicles. This means that every industry needs mechanical engineers to keep things running, giving graduates many excellent job options and prospects.

Mechanical engineers earn an average annual salary of $71,083.

19. Systems Engineering

Systems engineers are responsible for overseeing entire hardware and software systems to make sure all parts are working properly. Systems engineering does not focus on the development of specific components that make up the system but must be familiar with them all to gauge reliability and compatibility within the system as a whole.

Systems engineers earn an average salary of $80,261 per year.

20. Electronics and Communication Engineering

With a degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering, graduates develop and maintain communications technologies that every business relies on. With a strong background in both electronics and communications, there are many diverse job options to consider. As technology continues to advance, those who have electronics and communication engineering degrees will have no problems finding lucrative employment.

The average annual salary for a Senior Software Engineer/Developer/Programmer is $96,907.

business and finance degrees

Business and Finance Degrees

21. Finance

A degree in finance provides an education not only in general finance but in private equity and venture capital schemes as well. Finance managers are in demand and the field is broad. Many businesses and corporations have the need for financial managers and money experts.

The average annual salary for finance managers is $91,919.

22. Business

A business degree provides a broad education that includes finance, advertising, marketing, economics, the art of negotiation, as well as basic best practices in business. Graduates with a degree in business may work in almost any field of business or opt to start their own company. Starting salaries for graduates tend to be very competitive at large corporations.

Business managers typically earn a salary between $39k and $109k annually. However, those with a degree in business are qualified for many other positions that may be more lucrative.

23. Economics

Graduates with a degree in economics are qualified to analyze the finances of businesses, organizations, or government entities. The study of economics gives students an education into how money is managed and how to make sure a business or organization is spending and charging the right amount for products and services.

Job opportunities for graduates with a degree in economics include risk analysis and consultancy, which are lucrative careers.

The average career for an economic analyst is $62,740 plus bonuses and profit sharing. The average salary for a corporate economist is $75,863 plus bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing opportunities.

24. Communications

The field of communications is very vast and an important function of all businesses and organizations. Businesses must effectively communicate with customers, other businesses, as well as conducting inter-office communications. Communications students learn to concisely convey ideas and information using new methods and technologies that benefit employers.

The average salary of a communications specialist is $52,480 plus bonuses, commissions, and opportunities for profit sharing.

25. Finance and Economics

Studying both finance and economics in college gives students an understanding of world trade, economic models, marketing, and management. Graduates are in demand in the banking industry and also often work in the insurance industry.

The average annual salary of a financial controller is $84,078 plus bonuses, commissions, and profit-sharing, making a degree in finance and economics very lucrative.

26. Accounting

Accounting skills are important to every business and organization. A degree in accounting prepares graduates to work in an extremely wide variety of fields. Accountants are necessary for keeping the books for businesses, completing payroll tasks, tracking sales and expenditures, and conducting internal audits. As every business needs accounting services, jobs for those with accounting degrees are plentiful.

The average annual salary for an accountant is $51,410, not including bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing opportunities.

27. International Business and Finance

A degree in international business and finance familiarizes graduates with international tax laws and financial regulations along with traditional business and finance principles. This degree prepares you to work in many different roles, including logistics manager, banking manager, management analyst, or business analytics manager.

The average annual salary of a business insight and analytics manager is $98,894.

28. Business Administration

Business administration is an extremely popular degree choice — and for a good reason. This degree provides a well-rounded education that covers finance, marketing, sales, and business operations. Graduates can work in management or as a consultant in virtually any field of business.

The average salary of a business consultant is $74,407 per year, plus bonuses, profit sharing, and substantial commissions.

29. Marketing or Advertising

Another skill all businesses must tap into is effective advertising. Marketing and advertising are essential for the success of any business or product launch. Marketing and advertising professionals use market research, analytics, creativity and communication skills to develop effective advertising campaigns that produce results.

The average annual salary of a marketing director is $88,486.

30. Industrial Distribution

Industrial distribution involves selling and supplying items to manufacturers and distributors. Graduates with a degree in industrial distribution are in demand and employers often find they are in short supply, making this a great degree for the future with plenty of employment options.

The average salary for a distribution manager is $68,708 per year, with large commissions, bonuses and profit sharing possible.

healthcare degrees

Healthcare Degrees

31. Nursing

Nurses are superheroes in the medical field. While studying to be a nurse, students learn about anatomy, biology, nutrition, microbiology, and chemistry along with nursing theory and practice. Graduates of nursing degree programs may work in clinics, doctor’s offices, or hospitals caring for the sick, providing emotional support, tracking patient care, keeping accurate records, assisting with paperwork, helping patients understand medication and treatment scheduling or diagnosis, and the list goes on and on. Nursing is no doubt a tough job, but it can also be very rewarding for those who are called to work in the field.

The average annual salary for registered nurses is $64,992.

32. Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the study of drugs and drug interactions. A pharmacology degree prepares you to work for pharmaceutical companies, in pharmaceutical laboratories, in pharmacies, or at clinics or hospitals.

The average annual salary of a pharmacist is $114,904 plus bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing opportunities.

33. Physical Therapy

Getting a degree in physical therapy involves the study of health sciences including anatomy and biology. Physical therapists are an important part of recovery for many patients. Hospitals and rehabilitation centers need and regularly hire physical therapists to work with patients and help them reach the maximum potential recovery from their injuries.

The average salary for a physical therapist is $71,422 annually.

34. Medical Technology

While earning a degree in medical technology you’ll study clinical laboratory protocols and functions as well as chemistry and biology. In the field, you may work with and maintain medical devices. In labs, you may develop and test new medical technology, or improve existing technology. Hospitals, laboratories, clinics, and doctors’ offices need technicians. As technology continues to advance, degrees in medical technology will become even more important.

The average salary of someone with a degree in medical technology is $71,000.

35. Industrial/Organizational Psychology

While studying the coursework for a degree in industrial/organizational psychology you will learn about psychology and human behavior in general as well as in a workplace environment. This degree can allow you to work in positions coaching employees, optimizing the workplace for optimum performance, performance evaluations, or as an in-house psychologist for a company.

Industrial/Organizational psychologists earn an average salary of $103,000 per year.

Environmental degrees

Environmental Degrees

36. Sustainability and Renewable Energy

Earning a degree in sustainability and renewable energy requires coursework involving pollution reduction, energy-saving techniques in building and manufacturing, recycling, energy conservation, alternate energy sources, and sustainability.

With this degree, you are qualified to work as an energy engineer, turbine technician, renewable project engineer, or other clean energy professional. Graduates with this degree earn an average of $85,000 per year.

37. Environmental Science

Environmental scientists find ways to enhance energy efficiency, reduce pollution, and put clean alternate energy sources to use. They also help companies develop and implement more sustainable business practices. With a degree in environmental science, you are qualified to work as an environmental engineer or consultant, marine biologist, water quality scientist, along with other positions that require knowledge of conservation and sustainability.

Environmental engineers earn an average salary of $65,814 per year.

math and science degrees

Math and Science Degrees

38. Actuarial Science

Actuarial science uses mathematics and statistics to predict or estimate future probabilities. While no one can predict the future with absolute certainty, working in the field of actuarial science uses data and math formulas that can come close. Insurance companies regularly employ actuarial analysts to measure risk in an effort to minimize losses.

Some catastrophes cannot be predicted or avoided, but actuarial scientists can help businesses adapt to circumstances and provide knowledge that can help companies limit loss as they navigate the future.

The average salary of an actuarial analyst is $65,229, while a senior actuarial analyst earns an average of $87,137.

39. Applied Mathematics

Unlike the high school math you were forced to learn for no reason, applied mathematics is practical math applied to real-life problems and situations. A degree in applied mathematics can be used in many vastly different fields, from finding ways to reduce costs in industrial production to a career in data analytics.

Entry-level pay for data analysts is over $80,000.

40. Physics and Mathematics

A degree in physics and mathematics combines two very complementary subjects. Earning this degree also develops many skills that employers in many industries need. A physics and mathematics degree prepares you to work as an actuary, economist, software developer, finance manager, or even an aerospace engineer. The world – and beyond – is your oyster.

The average annual salary for an aerospace engineer is $84,167 plus bonuses, profit sharing, and potentially large commissions.

41. Statistics

While studying for a statistics degree you learn to be a data scientist by organizing it, examining it, and extracting information from it. Many industries employ data scientists to interpret statistics and many more will in the future as technology gives us the ability to collect more data.

With a degree in statistics, you can work as a data analyst, data scientist, actuarial analyst, or related field.

Data scientists earn an average salary of $94,000 per year.

42. Physics

With a degree in physics, you may work in many different industries in a variety of capacities. While studying for a degree in physics you learn about life, the universe, and everything. Those with a degree in physics often work as software engineers or data scientists. Some even work at NASA.

The average annual salary of someone with a BS in Physics degree is $86,600.

43. Mathematics

Businesses and corporations need professionals with mathematics degrees to fill all sorts of roles such as finance managers, software engineers, data scientists, and market research analysts. Individuals with mathematics degrees are extremely employable in a wide variety of business settings.

The average annual salary for someone with a Bachelor of Science Mathematics Degree is $76,878.

44. Biochemistry

The field of biochemistry blends biology with chemistry. Biochemistry students learn about the chemical processes that sustain life on our planet. This degree prepares students to work as biochemists who are just as comfortable in nature as they are in laboratories.

The average salary for someone with a BS in Biochemistry degree is $72,214.

45. Biology

Biology is the study of living organisms and a degree in biology can open the door to a very lucrative STEM career. Many other disciplines rely on biology.

While earning a degree in biology, students learn about genetics, diversity in nature, and processes on this planet that make living on it possible. Biology is not just about humans and animals though, it’s also the study and understanding of plants, marine life, wildlife, microscopic life — anything that is or was alive.

A person with a BS in Biology degree earns an average salary of $70,697 per year.

46. Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a blend of biology and technology that is poised for explosive growth in the future. As technology pushes forward, the field of biotechnology works on ways that new technology can help heal, treat, and allow people to live better quality lives.

Students studying biotechnology will learn anatomy, the functions and processes of the human body, and courses related to medicine. They also study technology and how it can help promote and maintain health.

The average annual salary for someone with biotechnology skills is $77,958.

47. Chemistry

Chemistry is another discipline that is used by many others. Those studying for a chemistry degree will learn about the atoms and molecules that make up all of the materials and substances in the world. Students also learn how chemicals react with each other and even how to create new chemical compounds that can improve and help many businesses and industries.

With a degree in chemistry, you may work as a chemist, research scientist, analytical chemist, or other jobs that utilize your education and skills.

Those with a BS in Chemistry degree earn an average salary of $74,573 per year.

48. Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of humanity, its history, and its future. Anthropology students examine the human race from all angles, looking at biology, culture, and language to gain an understanding of the human condition.

With a degree in anthropology, you may work as a program coordinator for non-profit organizations, project manager, or even as an archaeologist.

Those with a BA in Anthropology degree earn an average annual salary of $59,861.

building and construction degrees

Building and Construction Degrees

49. Construction Management

With a construction management degree, you may work as a project engineer or project manager for construction projects. As there will always be structures to build and rebuild around the world, construction managers will continue to be in demand.

Construction managers earn an average annual salary of $73,608.

50. Architecture

With a degree in architecture, you can work as an architectural designer, a project architect, or another type of architect. Just as we said about construction management – there will always be things to build or build all over again in a new way, therefore architects will always be necessary and in demand.

Those with a BA in Architecture earn an average annual salary of $65,835.