Who doesn’t want a future-proof career? With uncertainty in the job market, it’s becoming difficult to predict job security for most careers. While it’s important to choose a college major for your ideal career path, your decision should be strategic. Choose a college major that interests you and is one of the best degrees for the future.
So, how does one choose the best degree for the future? It’s easy if you think about career choices with future-proof jobs. Some future-proof jobs offer a high median salary, opportunities for career growth, job security, and overall job satisfaction. Read our curated list of the best degrees for the future and learn more about future-proof jobs.
Most Useful Majors for Future-Proof Jobs
The most useful majors for lucrative careers are flexible majors that prepare you for diverse job opportunities with high annual salaries. Some of the most useful bachelor’s degree majors are in engineering, business, and information technology. In fact, Statista found that the top three highest paying bachelor’s degrees in the US are engineering majors.
How We Define Future-Proof
We define future-proof degrees as college majors that prepare graduates for jobs that have a high rate of growth and are unlikely to become obsolete in the next decade. We chose degrees that are flexible and can change with complex trends in the job market. To help you decide on your future career goals, we’ve provided you with a list of degrees that lead to high-paying and fast-growing jobs.
Best Degrees for the Future
|Future-Proof Degree||Average Salary||Highest-Paying Potential Jobs|
|Medical Science Degree||$102,000||Epidemiologist, Respiratory Therapist, Clinical Laboratory Technologist|
|Operations Research Degree||$101,000||Logistician, Operations Research Analyst, Management Analyst|
|Electrical Engineering Degree||$95,000||Solar Voltaic Installer, Sales Engineer, Electrical Engineer|
|Nursing Degree||$89,000||Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, Registered Nurse|
|Physical Therapy Degree||$86,000||Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Exercise Physiologist|
|Civil Engineering Degree||$84,000||Construction Manager, Civil Engineer, Urban and Regional Planner|
|Computer and Information Science Degree||$78,000||Software Developer, Information Research Scientist, Data Scientist|
|Information Security Degree||$78,000||Information Security Analyst, Information Systems Manager, Computer Systems Analyst|
|Economics Degree||$76,000||Actuary, Market Research Analyst, Economist|
|Finance Degree||$75,000||Financial Examiner, Financial Manager, Financial Analyst|
Medical Science Degree | Average Salary: $102,000
Medical scientists study the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and injuries. From physical problems to mental health challenges, people will continue to need medical technology to improve their lives. Medical scientists develop new medical technology and help doctors and nurses apply new advances to patient care.
Potential Medical Science Degree Careers
- Epidemiologist | Job Outlook: 26% from 2021 to 2031
- Respiratory Therapist | Job Outlook: 14% from 2021 to 2031
- Clinical Laboratory Technologist | Job Outlook: 7% from 2021 to 2031
Best Medical Science Degree Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Medical Sciences
- Master of Science in Medical Sciences
- PhD in Medical Sciences
Operations Research Degree | Average Salary: $101,000
Modern operations research cuts across disciplines and fields such as financial engineering, statistical modeling, manufacturing, logistics management, project management, and supply chain management. With this interdisciplinary college degree, you’ll be prepared for a wide range of STEM job roles.
Potential Operations Research Degree Careers
- Logistician | Job Outlook: 28% from 2021 to 2031
- Operations Research Analyst | Job Outlook: 23% from 2021 to 2031
- Management Analyst | Job Outlook: 11% from 2021 to 2031
Best Operations Research Degree Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Operations Research
- Master of Science in Operations Research
- PhD in Operations Research
Electrical Engineering Degree | Average Salary: $95,000
Electrical engineers design, install, and maintain electrical systems in any kind of environment from manufacturing robots to elementary schools. A particularly fast-growing segment of this field is renewable energy, due to a necessary shift away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst effects of global climate change.
Potential Electrical Engineering Degree Careers
- Solar Voltaic Installer | Job Outlook: 27% from 2021 to 2031
- Sales Engineer | Job Outlook: 6% from 2021 to 2031
- Electrical Engineer | Job Outlook: 3% from 2021 to 2031
Best Electrical Engineering Degree Programs
- Associate of Applied Science in Solar Energy Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
- Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering
Nursing Degree | Average Salary: $89,000
Nurses are essential in healthcare. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners are in the top five fastest-growing occupations. A degree in nursing requires a lot of dedication, but it will prepare you for an in-demand job with a high annual salary.
Potential Nursing Degree Careers
- Nurse Practitioner | Job Outlook: 40% from 2021 to 2031
- Nurse Anesthetist | Job Outlook: 40% from 2021 to 2031
- Registered Nurse | Job Outlook: 6% from 2021 to 2031
Best Nursing Degree Programs
- Associate Degree in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Master of Science in Nursing
Physical Therapy Degree | Average Salary: $86,000
Physical therapists improve the quality of life of injured patients through physical fitness education and exercises. These movement experts also specialize in correcting physical disorders or impairments. When you become a physical therapist, you become an essential part of the healthcare industry.
Potential Physical Therapy Degree Careers
- Physical Therapist | Job Outlook: 17% from 2021 to 2031
- Occupational Therapist | Job Outlook: 14% from 2021 to 2031
- Exercise Physiologist | Job Outlook: 9% from 2021 to 2031
Best Physical Therapy Degree Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy
- Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science
- Master of Science in Physical Therapy
Civil Engineering Degree | Average Salary: $84,000
Civil engineers work on infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, sewage treatment, and renewable energy. They survey potential building sites, draft building plans, and visit construction sites to manage projects.
Civil Engineering Degree Careers
- Construction Manager | Job Outlook: 8% from 2021 to 2031
- Civil Engineer | Job Outlook: 7% from 2021 to 2031
- Urban and Regional Planner | Job Outlook: 4% from 2021 to 2031
Civil Engineering Degree Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
- Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering
- Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Computer and Information Science Degree | Average Salary: $78,000
Computer and information scientists discover new ways to improve technology by studying, and developing new hardware and software. With this degree, you can become an app developer, artificial intelligence researcher, or data scientist.
Potential Computer and Information Science Degree Careers
- Software Developer | Job Outlook: 25% from 2021 to 2031
- Information Research Scientist | Job Outlook: 21% from 2021 to 2031
- Data Scientist | Job Outlook: 21% from 2021 to 2031
Best Computer and Information Science Degree Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
- Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
- Master of Science in Computer Science
Information Security Degree | Average Salary: $78,000
As long as there is sensitive data, there’ll always be a need for information security experts to stop malicious hackers from accessing and stealing data from vulnerable computer networks. Information security or cyber security experts protect individuals, businesses, and governments from cyber crime, and cyber security is an extremely important piece of national security.
Potential Information Security Degree Careers
- Information Security Analyst | Job Outlook: 35% from 2021 to 2031
- Information Systems Manager | Job Outlook: 16% from 2021 to 2031
- Computer Systems Analyst | Job Outlook: 9% from 2021 to 2031
Best Information Security Degree Programs
- Associate of Science in Cyber Security
- Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
- Master of Science in Information Security
Economics Degree | Average Salary: $76,000
Economists study economic trends and design and implement macroeconomic and microeconomic policies that govern wealth distribution. Companies hire economists to study consumer behavior and market trends.
Potential Economics Degree Careers
- Actuary | Job Outlook: 21% from 2021 to 2031
- Market Research Analyst | Job Outlook: 19% from 2021 to 2031
- Economist | Job Outlook: 6% from 2021 to 2031
Best Economics Degree Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Economics
- Master of Arts in Economics
- PhD in Economics
Finance Degree | Average Salary: $75,000
Businesses will always need finance majors who are experts in cash allocations, budgeting, corporate finance, and business law. A finance bachelor’s degree doesn’t just equip you with how to secure and allocate funds, it also teaches you how to predict human behavior and create profitable business models.
Potential Finance Degree Careers
- Financial Examiner | Job Outlook: 21% from 2021 to 2031
- Financial Manager | Job Outlook: 17% from 2021 to 2031
- Financial Analyst | Job Outlook: 9% from 2021 to 2031
Best Finance Degree Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Finance
- Master of Science in Finance
- Master of Business Administration in Finance
Is It Important to Pick a Degree With Job Security?
Yes, it is important to pick a college degree with job security. Having career options with high job security makes long-term planning easy. Investing in an undergraduate degree with high job security will help you build a successful career and pay back any student debt. Electrical engineers, software developers, and business analysts are just a few in-demand jobs for the foreseeable future.
Best Degrees for the Future FAQ
The most in-demand degrees are STEM degrees. In most instances, you’ll discover a strong demand for candidates with engineering, business administration, information technology, and medical degrees. However, there are also plenty of non-specialized degrees that lead to a strong annual wage. It all depends on the industry you want to break into and what skills are valued in that field.
You should study a discipline that has strong job growth, but make sure it’s a career field that interests you. While a degree in a high-growth field doesn’t guarantee job security or employment, it’s a key step on the path to a bright future. Another step is to learn management skills so you can move into higher-level positions.
The degrees that will be most in demand in 2030 are degrees in business administration, technology, engineering, renewable energy, and healthcare. While it’s hard to guess what potential careers and job market conditions will be like in a decade, these degrees have strong job growth now and are relatively broad fields.
Computer science and business degrees have the most job opportunities. With a computer science or business degree, you could explore job roles in a variety of industries. These degrees are flexible yet offer autonomy. Software development for artificial intelligence in particular is a booming field with employment opportunities for both computer scientists and businesspeople.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.