Top 5 In-Demand Degrees


Find out which college degrees are most marketable in today's economy.

By Chris Kyle   

Do you want to be more marketable to employers?

New research shows that having the right degree could help.

"As is typically the case, business and engineering majors, plus those earning degrees in technical fields, including computer science, are most in demand at the bachelor's degree level," writes the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in its "2011 Job Outlook".

While some studies break down which degrees are most popular nationwide, NACE's study is unique in that it polls employers and asks them to forecast their hiring intentions.

Thinking about going back to school and not sure what to study?

Check out NACE's 5 most in-demand bachelor's degrees.

In-Demand Degree #1 - Accounting

Knowing how to read and balance a financial spreadsheet could come in handy when marketing yourself to companies. When asked for your skill-set, you'll be able to respond confidently that you are well-versed in the latest accounting theories and practices and know how to use the most current software.

Want to Earn an Accounting Degree? Find the Right School Now.

In-Demand Career Prospects: Employment opportunities for accountants will rise 22 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Closely related careers include budget analysts and loan officers.

Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Loan Officer: $65,900
Accountant: $68,960
Budget Analyst: $70,660

Search for Accounting Programs

In-Demand Degree #2 - Finance

Want to impress high-level business employers? Understanding the markets and how businesses raise and invest capital is a good place to start. Studying finance in school could ground you in basic economic theories while allowing you to pick up the latest buzz words used by the banking and business worlds.

Want to Earn a Finance Degree? Find the Right School Now.

In-Demand Career Prospects: Job prospects for financial analysts, to name just one possible profession, are expected to grow 20 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Other closely related careers include personal financial advisors and actuaries.

Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Financial Analyst: $86,040
Personal Financial Advisor: $91,220
Actuary: $98,620

Search for Finance Degree Programs

In-Demand Degree #3 - Engineering

Engineering is a common choice for any list of top majors and our list of in-demand degrees is no different. Drilling down even further, electrical engineering graduates are poised to find the greatest success in the job market, according to the NACE survey, followed by mechanical engineering grads.

Want to Study Engineering? Find the Right School Now.

In-Demand Career Prospects: The future looks bright for engineering graduates, with engineering jobs as a whole expected to climb 11 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Mechanical Engineer: $82,480
Civil Engineer: $82,280
Electrical Engineer: $87,770

Search for Engineering Programs

In-Demand Degree #4 - Computer Science

Going back to school to study computer science is a great way to stay relevant. Computers have revolutionized the business world and even the way we enjoy our free time. At the center of this perfect storm are computer scientists, who are always looking for more creative and efficient ways to do things.

Want to Earn a Computer Science Degree? Find the Right School Now.

In-Demand Career Prospects: Job opportunities for computer scientists are expected to grow 24 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Related careers include computer network systems administrators and computer support specialists.

Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Computer Support Specialist: $49,930
Network Systems Administrator: $72,200
Computer Scientist: $103,150

Search for Computer Science and IT Programs

In-Demand Degree #5 - Business Administration

Business administration is such an in-demand degree, in part, because it's so flexible. Want to work at a bank? Business programs include finance classes. Or maybe you want to work in communications, marketing, or e-commerce? Again, this degree could cover some very relevant topics. Whether you want to work for a big or small business, studying business administration is a good way to prepare yourself.

Want to Earn a Business Administration Degree? Find the Right School Now.

In-Demand Career Prospects: There are plenty of different routes to go here. Public relations specialists, to name one, are enjoying a 24 percent surge in opportunities through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Market researchers are doing even better, with a 28 percent jump in employment opportunities. Operation research analyst jobs, meanwhile, are growing 22 percent through 2018.

Related Careers and Average Salaries:*
Public Relations Specialist: $59,150
Marketing Specialist: $66,850
Operations Research Analyst: $76,980

Search for Business Administration Programs

*All average salary info comes from the U.S. Department of Labor using median earnings for 2010.

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