College degrees that can attract employers


See which degrees could give you an edge come graduation.

By Staff

Thinking about going back to school? Keep in mind that some degrees are more marketable than others.

Degrees in health-related fields, business, and technology, for example, were linked to a higher likelihood of employment, according to a survey by consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Keep reading to learn about five degrees that could make a crucial difference when you're out of school and in the job market.

Degree #1 - Bachelor's in Business Administration

A bachelor's degree in business administration can help students cultivate a variety of business-related skills, such as employee management, customer relations, finance, microeconomics, and more.

Why it matters: About 18 percent of the human resources managers surveyed by Challenger, Gray & Christmas stated that candidates with business degrees were in the best position for employment.

What's more, average salary offers to business administration degree-holders rose 2.2 percent since last year, according to a July 2011 report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Potential careers: Business administration degree graduates could go on to a variety of positions, including accountant, management analyst, and insurance underwriter.*

Start Your Business Administration Education - Find the Right Program.

Degree #2 - Bachelor's in Computer & Information Sciences

If you're an aspiring computer whiz, consider honing your skills with a bachelor's degree in computer and information sciences, which can teach you how to create systems for finding and storing data.

Why it matters: Technology is one of the specialties currently in highest demand and will remain in demand in the near future, says career expert Laurence Shatkin. The Department of Labor notes similar findings, with several careers in the computer and information science field projected to grow 20 percent or more between 2008 and 2018.

This degree is also linked to growing earning potential, according to NACE's July 2011 report, which found that the average salary offer for information sciences and systems graduates grew by 4.4 percent.

Potential careers: Computer systems administrator, database administrator, and computer programmer are just handful of the many tech-savvy potential career opportunities available for computer and information science degree grads to pursue.*

Start Your Computer and Information Science Education - Find the Right Program.

Degree #3 - Master's in Business Administration (MBA)

Already have a bachelor's degree, but want to further your leadership and innovation skills? An MBA program, where you'll likely take classes that present students with real-world guidance through case studies and actual business problems, can help.

Why it matters: Opportunities also look bright for MBA grads, who have a 17 percent projected employment increase, according to a 2005 Forbes article, "Best Master's Degrees For Jobs".

The same Forbes article notes that the mid-career median pay for these degree-holders is $109,000. Plus, it's often a preferred degree or requirement for many leadership positions, in a variety of industries, according to the Department of Labor.

Potential Careers: Depending on your concentration, an MBA degree could prepare you to pursue a wide range of management-track careers in the corporate world, including financial analyst, marketing manager, and database administrator.*

Start Your Business Administration Education - Find the Right Program.

Degree #4 - Bachelor's in Health Care Administration

If you're interested in a career in health care, but want to avoid hands-on patient-care, a bachelor's in health care administration could be a great option for you. With this degree, you'll learn all aspects of overseeing health care facilities through courses in financial management, human resources, and policy making.

Why it matters: Health care is among the most desirable higher education routes in the current economy, as skilled professionals in this field are and will remain in demand, says Shatkin.

According to the Department of Labor, several careers in health care, including health services management, are expected to grow 14 percent or more between 2008 and 2018. And as the health care industry undergoes rapid changes, administrators and managers with health care-specific degrees that prepare them to meet these changes will be increasingly important, says the Department.

Potential career: While a master's is a common credential, the Department of Labor notes that grads could pursue entry-level medical and health services management positions in smaller facilities and health information management. *

Start Your Health Care Administration Education - Find the Right Program.

Degree #5 - Bachelor's in Marketing/Communications

A bachelor's degree in marketing or communications could help students develop skill sets relating to identifying customer needs and effectively marketing a product or service to a desired audience.

Why it matters: If you're already media-savvy, and looking for a career path with staying power, a bachelor's degree in marketing or communications could give you that vital extra edge with employers.

The Department of Labor notes that the marketing and communications fields are among the last to be downsized, even in an economic downturn, because so many companies rely on advertising revenue to stay afloat.

Potential careers: This degree could prepare you for a career as a marketing, public relations, or advertising and promotions manager.*

Start Your Marketing and Communications Education - Find the Right Program.

*All potential career information is from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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