Choosing a graduate degree program
Are you thinking about earning a graduate degree but are not sure what field you would like to study? If so, you may want to consider acquiring a master's or doctoral degree that is related to one of the fastest growing occupations in the country.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified 30 occupations that are projected to experience the fastest growth from 2008 to 2018. Some of these occupations and their graduate degree requirements are listed below.
Graduate degrees in medical sciences
Medical scientist (excluding epidemiologists) is one of the top 10 fastest growing occupations. With a median income of $72,590 per year, medical scientists conduct research that leads to improvements in human health.
This occupation typically requires a Ph.D. in the biological sciences. However, earning both a Ph.D. and medical degree, which is needed for clinical work with patients, provides the most career options.
Master's-level physician assistant programs
Physician assistants (PA) practice medicine under the supervision of a physician and earn — on average — $81,230 per year. A graduate school degree is not required to become a PA, but most schools offer graduate degree programs that require students to have a bachelor's degree and work experience in the health care field.
Graduate degree programs for computer software engineers
Jobs for computer software engineers (for applications and systems software) are also expected to grow at a fast rate.
Computer software engineers, who earn on average $85,430 per year, develop various types of software including business applications and computer games. They must hold at least a bachelor's degree in disciplines such as computer science, software engineering, or mathematics.
However, a graduate degree, such as a master's degree in software engineering, computer science, or information technology, may be required for some positions — particularly the managerial ones, for which there is great demand in today's job market.
Graduate degree programs for personal financial advisers
Personal financial advisers, whose median income is $69,050 per year, evaluate individuals' finances and help them develop financial plans that incorporate investments, insurance, retirement plans, and education expenses.
Although it is not a requirement, a master's degree in finance or business administration can help people in this field secure managerial positions, obtain employment in competitive firms, and build their own businesses.
What graduate degree program is right for you?
Earning graduate degrees is a serious commitment of time and money, so it is important to choose the right field of study.
If you are unsure about which graduate school degree is best for you, then learning more about the 30 fastest growing occupations might help you choose a graduate degree that leads to a rewarding and lucrative career.