In a perfect world, the sole purpose of attending college will be to learn about a field you are interested in for the joy of it. However, it only takes your first few lifestyle bills in school to brashly awaken you to the fact that passion alone is not enough to sustain life.
The route to getting a college certification that helps you fund, create, and maintain your dream life is to select a major with matching prospects. Moreso, getting this choice right is especially crucial in today’s fast-driven and dynamic world.
First, we are at the edge of a space-age that may significantly change life as we know it. And second, down here on earth, rapid advancements in science and technology are changing the way we live, work, interact, and do business almost daily.
Consequently, choosing a college major with a decent amount of future-proofing is one of the best ways of preparing for the new world, the new economies, and the ever-changing commercial landscape.
With automation gradually creeping up on available jobs in today’s job market, the definition of the perfect college major is rapidly changing. Now, in addition to increasing your chances of getting a high paying job, the right college major should allow the worker to quickly morph their career to match the new roles of the future, guaranteeing future relevance.
Here are some of the best college majors for any aspiring college students looking to improve their prospects in the short to medium-term future.
10 Best College Majors For The Future
Nursing is one of the few fields of endeavor that has provided steady employment for several decades now. Furthermore, with lower death and child mortality rates, the population of older adults and newborns has surged around the world, creating an ever-increasing demand for new nurses.
Hence, becoming a registered nurse is one of the best ways to future proof your career right now. There are always job openings for qualified professionals, and careers in intensive care are some of the hardest to automate.
Basic registered nurses have a decent average salary of around $67,000, while specialist nurses such as clinical nurse specialists and Registered Nurse Anesthetists can earn significantly higher.
The two main routes to becoming a registered nurse are with an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, which you can find in many top colleges around the country.
More: R.N. vs. BSN (What is the Difference Between Them?)
#9: Construction Management
Another aspect of society that is not changing anytime soon is our buildings and our need for more and more of them. This demand for more and increasingly more complex structures makes the field of construction management a ripe one for aspiring undergraduates seeking the best job prospects.
A construction manager oversees the planning, design, and construction of building projects. Consequently, the professional manages or site workers like architects, civil engineers, contractors, and laborers.
The field of construction management offers exciting prospects as careers here are some of the harders to automate in the building niche.
Furthermore, as construction continues to become more complex and features more automation, there will be a consequent increase in demand for highly skilled construction managers and a corresponding increase in pay for professionals. Plus, the fact that the field has a projected growth rate of 20% by 2024 shows that the ball is already rolling in That direction.
Construction managers currently earn an average salary of $76,264, according to Payscale.
More: What is Construction Management?
#8: Chemical Engineering
Graduates from the engineering field are presently some of the most in-demand professionals, and one niche that is consistently near the top of the pack is chemical engineers.
Chemical engineers use knowledge of the chemical properties of materials in developing new useful substances like fuels, cleaning solvents, and lubricants, or to improve already existing options. Furthermore, these professionals help to enhance the application process of these substances by providing improvement channels or troubleshooting assistance to existing chemical systems.
The highest demand for chemical engineers comes from industrial companies, a sector that has been on a steady rise for the last 100 years. Hence, chemical engineering offers some of the best guarantees of job market stability of any industry today.
The projection for chemical engineering predicts an 8% increase by 2024, while current professionals earn a decent average salary of $74,186.
One of the best ways to avoid the threat automation has on jobs is to switch to the other side of the table—make the robots, instead of getting laid off by them. The best route into this role is with a degree in one of the robotics disciplines.
Robotics involves the study of all forms of robot technology, how to make them, and understanding how the work. Consequently, this field is one of the broader ones, incorporating aspects of a host of other disciplines like mechanical engineering, biology, electrical engineering, physics, and mathematics.
Ergo, while entering into the field of robotics, you can choose from a wide range of specializations within the sphere.
Robotics is also robust on prospects, as while the field has been around for over 100 years, it is just beginning to pick up speed as technology gets more and more advanced. Even today, the domain is one of the highest paying ones, with professionals earning an average salary of over $81,000.
#6: Medical Technology
While we are improving the world, the new earth is only useful to us if we get comfort, good health, and long life to enjoy it. Helping us achieve this aim is the core driving force behind the field of medical technology.
Here, professionals develop solutions to health issues via the application of technology to help prevent or delay disease onset or to enhance good health and quality of life. Famous products of medical technology include precision medicine, vaccines, health wearables, wireless brain sensors, artificial organs, and robotic surgery.
While you get the job satisfaction of helping to better humanity with careers in this field, you also get decent pay to match, with Payscale reporting the current salary range for medical technologists as $41,989 – $71,995.
Furthermore, the demand for professionals is on the rise as we continue to advance the role of technology in bettering our health. Projections see the field seeing a 15% job market increase by 2025, and the current unemployment rate is only 2%.
#5: Computer Science
Everything is going digital, and computer language proficiency is gradually becoming a standard for professionals for leaders, akin to what literacy was to the priests a thousand years ago. While we may not all need to become C++ proficient, we do need a significant amount of professionals who can speak the language of the gods.
We need computer specialists to help maintain our current systems and build the computer infrastructure of the future, in a field where the future changes and the industry expands every year.
Consequently, the demand for IT professionals and software developers is rising at neck-breaking speeds, with the market for new workers in the field set to increase by at least 20% by 2025. Hence, it is no surprise that majors in the field of computing are increasingly gaining popularity in colleges around the US.
Remuneration is also substantial in this niche, with employees in these careers typically earning above the $80,000 mark depending on specialty and experience.
More: What is Information Technology
One non-computer programming language that is of vital importance in the world today, and going forward to the future, is one that has always been with us: DNA. DNA is the core language of life, and humanity is delving deeper into its secrets as we become a more advanced civilization.
While we may be a way off creating genetically engineered adults or building new genomes for children from scratch, we are already devising several innovative solutions to challenges in biology, medicine, and health.
Bioengineers serve as a go-between between engineering and medicine, offering an avenue to incorporate traditional engineering techniques and principles, as well as advancements in the field, into solutions to medical and biological problems.
Currently, the field is one of the more high-paying ones with salaries typically starting above $65,000. Furthermore, the demand for bioengineers is on a steady rise too as it is set to increase by 7% in the next decade.
#3: Advertising and Marketing
Even for civilization-changing leaps like the colonization of Mars and exploration of the asteroid belt, one of our primal drivers are money and business. Since the beginning of human civilization, some form of commerce has always been a core part of society. Consequently, those who were masters of it are almost always near the top of the social pyramid.
In today’s digital world, the path to that business dominance lies in marketing and advertising. Consequently, related areas of study provided aspiring undergraduate with some of the best prospects and a potentially significant return on their schooling investment.
Furthermore, the field is a dynamic one that quickly adapts to advances in technology, changes in mediums of media, and reorganizations of our social systems.
With budding realms like virtual and augmented reality set to open up new fronts for marketing and potential create trillion-dollar industries, advertising and marketing majors have some of the best prospects of the bunch.
More: What Is A Marketing MBA?
#2: Applied Mathematics
Mathematics is the language of the universe, and those who understand it help to shape our world in so many different ways. All modern technology have their roots in mathematics, and this universal language forms the basis for most scientific and technical inquiries. Hence, the demand for specialists in this field is not going down anytime soon.
Careers in applied mathematics revolve around using advanced mathematical equations and computer software to understand and solve real-world problems from all walks of life.
Consequently, applied mathematics professionals have a very dynamic, multipurpose skill set that they can use in various fields, including new emerging areas, making them one of the more future-proof sets of workers.
Hence, it is no surprise that the field posts a tiny unemployment rate of just 2% while offering a sizable average salary of around $70,000.
Industries that are ever in high demand for applied mathematicians include startups, research institutes, medical technologies, chemical manufacturers, all forms of engineering and medicine, and the government.
#1: Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering
There has never been a better time to get into aeronautics. Not only is aviation an established discipline that offers high paying careers that are not going anywhere anytime soon, but we are also witnessing the initial stages of a new space age that will, without a doubt, significantly expand the field.
In the near term, choosing a major in this field is a solid bet as Payscale estimates the salary for professionals with related careers at $83,000. Furthermore, holders of related degrees have an unemployment rate of only 4%. With the growth rate for jobs in the space at 5%, Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering is a no brainer for those interested in the field.
Even more, with billionaires like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos throwing big bucks at furthering the new commercial space race, it will be no surprise if the field eventually overshoots all projects. Down here on earth too, drone technology is all the rave, and this part of the industry is employing more and more people each year.
With majors in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering, undergraduates cover themes like thermodynamics, flight mechanics, orbital mechanics, craft design, and lots more. While this field offers some of the most rigorous curriculums on offer, the good thing is that you can find these majors in colleges around the country.
However, majors in the field differ from school to school as some focus on training pilots while others are more engrossed in the engineering side of things.