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Top Degrees that Can Help You Snag your Dream Job

Written by

Dr. Ree Langham

Date

April 6, 2018

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With hundreds of majors out there, it can be a challenge to identify the degrees that can help you snag your dream job. If you’re a recent college graduate or you’re on the path to receive your degree soon, the good news is that most employers specifically look for college graduates. In fact, according to a recent survey on job prospects, approximately 74% of employers say they are actively seeking candidates that are fresh college graduates. Moreover, survey results also suggest that most employers are willing to pay graduates a higher salary than non-graduates.

So, if you want to snag your dream job, it’s imperative that you receive the “right” degree. What is the “right” degree? Well, it depends on your goals and desired career path (i.e. your field and industry). For some earning the highest possible income is the most critical factor, while for others, have an in-demand skill is more important. The reality is that in today’s world, not all job areas are growing at the same pace. If you want to get a job after you graduate, it is critical as you choose your major, that you consider what skills are projected to be most in-demand in the coming years.  

It’s also important to note that even though employers appear to be focusing on recent college graduates, it does not mean you will be handed your dream job on a silver platter. Nope. You will have to work just as hard as more seasoned candidates to snag your dream job – so be ready.

In other words, it won’t be easy. Why not? Well, primarily because getting any job nowadays is challenging. And, the competition for the “best” jobs (i.e. highest paying and most fulfilling) can be brutal. You’ll be required to demonstrate your skills and abilities, so it is important to know what degrees employers seek the most. Therefore, if you are wondering which degrees can help you receive your first post-grad job, you are in luck. This article will help you learn the degrees that most employers seek, when hiring employees.

Medicine

If your dream job is to become a doctor, veterinarian, or even dentist, you will need to have a degree in medicine. The good news is it’s still the most profitable career field – with most of the new medical school graduates making $85,000 – $184,000, per year. Note: The pay generally rises with more experience. However, if you love caring for animals and want to be a veterinarian, you will need a degree in veterinary science to snag your dream job. Guess what? Approximately 62% of college graduates find employment in this field within 6 months. 

Pharmacology

If you are interested in natural science, physiology, calculus, biology, and/or chemistry and curious as to how medications can affect the body, you may want to gain a degree in pharmacology or pharmacology sciences. As of 2017, pharmacologists (medical scientists) have a very low unemployment rate (1.7%). Graduates with this degree typically pursue careers as: pharmacists, pharmaceutical researchers, pharmaceutical administrators, or pharmaceutical marketers. It is important to note that there is currently a demand for pharmacologists, so if you decide to pursue this career avenue, you will be able to select where you want to work (location), how many hours you want to work, and who you want to work for – if anyone. FYI: If you plan to work as a pharmacist, you will need to go to pharmacy school and obtain a license to prescribe and dispense prescription medications.

Business and Finance

Guess what? Business degrees are the most common majors. So, if you are really good in math, statistics, and budgeting, and want to enter the business arena, then you should consider getting a degree in business. Business degrees typically include: finance, accounting, business management, human resources, auditing, budget analysis, labor relations, market analysis, insurance underwriting, logistics, financial examination, training and development, financial planning, compensations, money management, and claims adjusting.

The great thing about this area is that you can enter various sectors. within the business field – i.e. corporate, manufacturing, education, etc. In 2016, the median annual salary for a college graduate with a business degree was $67,000. Moreover, if you are willing to put in some extra study hours, you can get a CPA license, which will boost your pay and your level of expertise, within the accounting field.

Education

Did you know that education is one of the most-sought degrees? No? Well, it is. So, if you are thinking about entering the education field, you will need to enter an education program and graduate with an education degree. The goal of most education programs is to focus on instruction and delivery. In other words, the aim is to teach you how to teach or supervise – if you are interested in becoming a dean, chancellor, principal, educational administrator, etc.

If you aren’t interested in using your degree in the teaching arena, you can use it to become a translator, writer, life coach, professional sport’s coach, interpreter, researcher, and/or administrative executive. The good news is that most education degree graduates snag their dream jobs within 6 months. Moreover, new graduates can earn approximately $48,000, per year.

Engineering

An engineering degree can help you get a job in your field, if you have a propensity for designing, inventing, and fixing things. It’s can also be beneficial if your ultimate goal is to enter the technology sector.  Most engineering graduates earn, on average, $78,000, per year, which is higher than many other career fields. There are many different specialties within the engineering field, such as: biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, computer hardware engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, etc. This field is expected to grow approximately 7 percent by the year 2026.

Computer Science & Informational Technology

What degree do you need to snag your dream job as a computer programmer, data scientist, cyber security specialist, systems analyst, software developer, network architect, or database administrator? For these and many other IT related jobs, a computer science or informational technology is the way to go. With a degree in one of these disciplines, you can earn, on average, $83,000, per year! They say that technology is the wave of the future, so with a computer science and informational technology degree, that wave will take you to some pretty amazing heights.

Medical & Laboratory Technician or Technologist

If your dream job is to work in the healthcare field – but not as a doctor or nurse, you may want to consider getting a medical and laboratory technician or technologist degree. Note: While you will need at least a bachelor’s degree to become a medical and laboratory technologist, you will only need an associate’s degree or post-secondary certificate to become a technician. With a medical and laboratory technician degree, you can expect to earn, on average, approximately $39,000, per year, but with a technologist degree in the same field, you can expect to earn approximately $61,000, per year.

The good news is that the healthcare field is rapidly expanding, because people continue to age. As a result, there will continue to be a need and demand in the future for healthcare workers, especially medical and laboratory technicians and technologists. According to a Wall Street Journal report, one of the lowest unemployment rates in the healthcare field lies in the medical technologies sector. As a medical and laboratory worker, you will spend most of your time working with a variety of healthcare workers, such as: doctors, nurses, therapists, clinical social workers, surgeons, etc.  

Communications & Journalism

Think about your local news anchor, no better yet, think about a national news anchor, now imagine that person is you. Yep, it is possible to be a highly-esteemed journalist, reporter, broadcaster, correspondent, news analyst, or news anchor – all you need is the “right” degree. What degree is that, pray tell? Well, to become the person you see on your television screen, listen to on the radio, or read about in journals, newspapers, and/or magazines, you need to score a degree in communications and journalism. What is a communication and journalism degree? This degree involves the study of how messages are created, utilized, and interpreted, within a variety of outlets, cultures, and contexts.

The goal of this degree program is to teach you how to professional utilize your expertise in communications, so you can successfully snag your dream job. The good news is that a communications and journalism degree can land you a job in the radio, television, journalism, writing, advertising/marketing, digital communications, publishing, public relations, and social media sectors – just to name a few. Graduates with a degree in this field can make between $38,000 and $57,000, per year.

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Written by:  Dr. Ree Langham

Dr. R. Y. Langham holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Fisk University, a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University, and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology from Capella University. She is currently a medical, health & wellness contributor, copywriter, researcher and psychological consultant for Livestrong magazine, Upwork, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of TN, and Disorders.org.

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