Best Degrees for Growing Careers

Valuable Bachelor's Degrees

Find out which degrees could prove useful for these in-demand careers.

By Amanda Hearle    

Thinking about earning your bachelor's degree? Smart thinking.

It's estimated that nearly two-thirds of jobs will require a bachelor's degree by 2018, according to researchers at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce.

But which bachelor's degrees are more in demand?

We break down six bachelor's degrees that could prove valuable - even in today's tough market.

Degree #1 - Bachelor's in Marketing and Communications

A good option for those who are intrigued by trends - whether in fashion, technology, or art - marketing and communications students generally learn to apply principles of psychology, sociology, and statistics to track and predict consumer trends.

As a marketing and communications major, you'll likely study how to tailor messages to reach a client's target audience. This degree offers great preparation for pursuing careers in marketing, advertising, and public relations.

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Career forecast: The Department of Labor projects employment of public relations specialists to grow 24 percent between 2008 and 2018.

Potential career opportunities: Public relations, market researcher, marketing and advertising, and promotions


Degree #2 - Bachelor's in Finance

If you're interested in one day managing money, a bachelor's in finance could be beneficial for you. A good option for people who have a knack for numbers, finance students generally study economic theory and financial modeling.

A bachelor's degree in finance can help prepare you to pursue careers in the exciting financial world. Financial analysts, for example, decipher the best way to invest and manage money on behalf of clients and companies.

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Career forecast: Employment of financial analysts is projected to grow by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the Department of Labor.

Potential career opportunities: Financial analyst, financial services sales agent, actuary, securities agent, and accountant


Degree #3 - Bachelor's in Information Technology (IT)

Are you interested in computers and the newest gadgets? Do you want to learn more about the ever-changing tech industry? A bachelor's degree in information technology could be a good fit for you. IT students usually learn how computer and software systems are used to store and manage information.

Classes might emphasize the hardware aspects of computer systems, such as software, database building, and computer networking. These courses could prepare you to pursue IT positions such as computer network, systems, and database administrators.

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Career forecast: The Department of Labor projects 30 percent industry growth for computer network, systems, and database administrators between 2008 and 2018.

Potential career opportunities: Systems administrator, database administrator, and network administrator


Degree #4 - Bachelor's in Accounting

If you like the idea of working with money, calculators, and spreadsheets, you might want to consider pursuing a career in accounting.

A bachelor's degree in accounting can help familiarize you with financial regulations and tax laws, while offering opportunities to focus your studies in tax, auditing, or cost accounting. Grads could be prepared to pursue careers as auditors or accountants.

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Career forecast: The Department of Labor estimates that auditors and accountants will see 22 percent job growth between 2008 and 2018.

Potential career opportunities: Accountant, auditor, and budget analyst


Degree #5 - Bachelor's in Computer Science

Having this degree under your belt could prove to be a valuable asset when you set out in the technology field.

Computer science students usually learn the language of computing, which may include algorithms, coding, operating systems, and math. Grads can be prepared to pursue careers in computer software engineering and computer programming, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Career forecast: The Department of Labor notes that computer software engineering and computer programming is projected to grow 21 percent between 2008 and 2018.

Potential career opportunities: Computer software engineers, computer programmers, computer support specialists, and computer systems analyst


Degree #6 - Bachelor's in Criminal Justice

For those interested in legal issues but not sure they want to pursue law, a criminal justice degree could be a logical fit. Criminal justice programs generally focus on the administration of justice by emphasizing the study of law enforcement, correction, and safety.

By choosing an emphasis, such as forensics or correction, students could focus their skills on a specific career like a probation officer or a correctional treatment specialist.

Click to Find the Right Criminal Justice Program.

Career forecast: The Department of Labor notes that employment of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is projected to grow by 19 percent between 2008 and 2018.

Potential career opportunities: Probation officer and correctional treatment specialist


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