The Best Degrees for the Future: 20 Future-Proof Degrees College Students Should Consider – Academic Influence

What are the best degrees of the future? These are the degrees that will help graduates future-proof their careers. Check out this list of in-demand college degrees.
What are the best degrees of the future? The best degrees are those that prepare you to compete for jobs in tomorrow’s workplace. Today, we are experiencing a massive rise in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in every sector of the economy. Retail chains, financial institutions, and production facilities are finding new ways to streamline and automate functions once performed by human beings. In other words, machines are replacing people in countless jobs, even those that require a college education. This is why it is so important to think about the long-term implications of your chosen college degree.
You do not want to spend 4 to 6 years and tens of thousands of dollars on a degree only to see your job replaced by a robot in a decade. Fortunately, automation does not have to be a threat to your future job security and livelihood. With the right college degree, you could actually seize on opportunity in this changing job market. The Brookings Institution points out that “workers who can complement the new automation, and perform tasks beyond the abilities of machines, often enjoy rising compensation.”
Interested in a degree that would allow you to work from home? Check out our article The 20 Best Degrees For Working From Home.
So how can you make sure you are among those skilled and valued workers? Start with a look at the 20 Best College Degrees For the Future…
We ranked the best degrees of the future by first measuring the growth rate for prospective career paths against the overall projected rate of growth for all jobs over the course of the coming decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook, the projected growth rate for all jobs between 2020 and 2030 is 8%.
10 Year Growth Rate: 33%
The bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity focuses on key cybersecurity topics like network security, data surveillance, cloud computing, and more. With a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, you can help defend against growing cybersecurity threats from hackers, criminals, and hostile foreign governments. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is a great degree for the future because the demand is extremely high for professionals with a background in cybersecurity and related areas like network security and systems administration. Private companies, school districts, and government agencies all need cybersecurity professionals and in many cases, your duties as a cybersecurity professional will work in complement to emergent automated technologies.
Information Security Analysts earned a median salary of $102,600 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at an extremely robust rate of 33% between now and 2030, with 47,100 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity.
10 Year Growth Rate: 33%
A bachelor’s degree in mathematics will cover both the fundamentals of mathematics, and more advanced topics like complex variables, number theory, and vector calculus. A bachelor’s degree in mathematics blends logic, abstract thought, and linear reasoning, challenging students to think critically and analytically. This four-year, 120-credit bachelor’s degree can be earned online or in person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in math can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in mathematics is a great degree for the future because graduates with advanced math skills can qualify for an extremely wide range of jobs in a variety of high-growth industries. Graduates can pursue careers in finance, education, public health, private entrepreneurship, and much more. Some of the top-paying professions may require an advanced degree. But generally speaking, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in math will be in a strong position to take on new roles necessitated by the rise in machine learning and AI-based technology.
Mathematicians and statisticians earned a median salary of $96,280 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at an incredible rate of 33% between now and 2030, with 15,000 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Mathematics.
10 Year Growth Rate: 32%
The bachelor’s degree in health science prepares students for a wide variety of careers in public and private health—both in caregiving and administrative roles. You will study topics like health promotion, disease prevention, ethical decision-making, individual patient care, and public health. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person. Some roles in the healthcare profession will require an advanced degree or specialized certification.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in health science can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in health science is a great degree for the future because this versatile degree prepares you for career paths in the healthcare field or lays the foundation for advanced degrees in subjects like medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy. Recent events like the global COVID-19 pandemic and a sustained shortage of qualified healthcare workers demonstrate the continued and growing need for health science professionals. In an era of automation, the most essential health science and healthcare roles must still be performed by capable humans.
Medical and Health Service Managers earned a median salary of $101,340 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a dramatically accelerated rate of 32% between now and 2030, with 139,600 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Health Science.
10 Year Growth Rate: 24%
A bachelor’s degree in philosophy is a versatile degree, where you will take part in thoughtful debates, discuss complex ethical dilemmas, and explore the boundaries of logic. Philosophy is one of the top degrees held by law school students because it includes logic (argumentation), ethics, epistemology, perception, language, politics, and the history of law. In this way, philosophy is an interdisciplinary major that will necessarily incorporate aspects of other subjects like political science, legal studies, and linguistics. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in philosophy is a great degree for the future because graduates will qualify for a wide range of opportunities in education, public policy, organizational leadership, and more. The skills that students refine in the study of philosophy—research, writing, rhetoric, analytical reasoning, and logical argumentation—are incredibly valuable in a wide spectrum of leadership and consultation roles. Moreover, these are skills that cannot be performed by machines.
Graduates with a degree in philosophy earned a median salary of $55,000 in 2019. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for postsecondary teachers with a degree in philosophy are expected to grow at a rate 24% between now and 2030.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Philosophy.
10 Year Growth Rate: 22%
A bachelor’s degree in computer science offers a comprehensive education on topics such as software development, programming languages, algorithms, and artificial intelligence. Students will also learn the fundamentals of computing hardware and architecture. Many students will choose a concentration such as software engineering, computer engineering, or information technology. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in computer science is a great degree for the future because graduates with this degree will qualify for employment in a variety of industries from finance and education to healthcare administration and supply chain management. Simply stated, computing technology is the foundation of our economy and our way of life. A degree in computer science could be your ticket into almost any industry or sector, and your path to a profession that dovetails perfectly with the rise in automation.
Software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers earned a median salary of $110,140 in 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a remarkable rate of 22% between now and 2030, with 409,500 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science.
10 Year Growth Rate: 17%
The bachelor’s degree in public health prepares students for careers in public health outreach and advocacy, as well as jobs in social, community, and human services. Many students who earn a bachelor’s degree in public health will subsequently sit for the national certification exam to become a certified health education specialist (CHES). Students will study topics like epidemiology, nutrition, health statistics, and more. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in public health can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in public health is a great degree for the future because there is a growing practical need for better distribution of public health outreach, awareness, and resources. Moreover, this need can only be fulfilled by compassionate and engaged public health professionals. A public health career focuses on areas like policy, health promotion, infectious diseases, and access to healthcare. Communities throughout the United States and beyond have demonstrated considerable need in all of these areas. Consequently, the demand for professionals to fulfill this need is high.
Health education specialists and community health workers earned a median salary of $48,860 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a much faster than average rate of 17% between now and 2030, with 21,100 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Health.
10 Year Growth Rate: 14%
The bachelor’s degree in communication concerns the way that human beings create, convey, and receive meaning from one another. This versatile undergraduate degree explores the theories underlying human interaction, the practical technologies we use to mediate communication, and the best practices for effectively communicating and receiving ideas. Communications majors can expect to take courses in interpersonal communication, persuasion, communication theory, crisis communication, nonverbal communication, and political communication. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in communications can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in communications is a great degree for the future because strong communication skills are required to work in every industry. Indeed, communication is widely viewed as among the most important 21st Century workplace skills. As a communications student, you will get the chance to channel these valuable skills into areas as far ranging as marketing, education, human resources, social media, public relations, broadcasting, the creative arts, and so much more. And because effective communication relies so deeply on understanding human behavior, communication majors are in a position both to perform functions that can only be handled by humans, and to work in complement with AI technology as it “learns” to communicate more effectively with humans.
Professionals in media and communication occupations earned a median salary of $62,340 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a much faster than average rate of 14% between now and 2030, with 151,500 jobs added in an array of media, communication, and public relations fields.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the The Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Communications.
10 Year Growth Rate: 13%
An online bachelor’s degree in economics is an excellent starting point for a career in finance, policy development, marketing, and a host of other highly lucrative fields. As an economics major, you will study production, consumption, wealth transfer, and the way these activities relate to policy and governance. Your economics degree will also incorporate such core principles as monetary policy, budget planning, and cost analysis. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in economics can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in economics is a great degree for the future because graduates can qualify to work in a variety of fields with well-paying jobs and secure career paths. Students who major in economics gain skills that are in high demand across a wide range of professional sectors. Abilities such as budget analysis, cost estimation, and market analysis make economics majors highly employable regardless of the labor climate.
Economists earned a median salary of $105,630 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 13% between now and 2030, with 2,400 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Economics.
10 Year Growth Rate: 13%
A bachelor’s degree in digital media concerns the study of web-mediated communication with a particular focus on social media and digital marketing. Digital media is an increasingly foundational subject area as the demand for qualified professionals permeates every industry from advertising and education to public health outreach and political campaigning. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in digital media can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in digital media is a great degree for the future because graduates will gain a variety of in-demand technical and practical skills. Nearly all vocations rely on digital media to communicate, advertise, and engage. Upon graduation, students can gain employment as video editors, multimedia artists, videographers, copywriters, web designers, graphic designers, and much more. This means that the digital media degree is a great option for students with a wide range of personal interests and career goals. In essence, you can model your digital media degree around your focus. Fortunately, most careers relating to digital media are projected to grow alongside the robust software, web development, and social media sectors.
Web Developers and Digital Designers earned a median salary of $77,200 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a faster than average rate of 13% between now and 2030, with 25,500 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Digital Media.
10 Year Growth Rate: 12%
The bachelor’s degree in social work will provide students with the skills and knowledge to serve marginalized communities, advocate for at-risk individuals, facilitate the distribution of public resources, and plan interventions at the individual, family, and population levels. Students will study topics like behavioral psychology, social welfare policies, ethics, and addiction. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in social work can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in social work is a great degree for the future because there is widespread need for service, intervention, and distribution of resources. Inequality and socioeconomic disparity are widespread in the U.S. There is tremendous demand for professionals in the social work and social services sectors who can help address these needs. A bachelor’s degree in social work can help you become an advocate for those who need it most while earning a job that only a human being can do.
Social workers earned a median salary of $50,390 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a faster than average rate of 12% between now and 2030, with 89,200 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work
10 Year Growth Rate: 11%
The bachelor’s degree in information technology addresses topics like network administration, programming languages, project management, and information technology for businesses. Students earning the bachelor’s in IT may also have the option of choosing a concentration, like telecommunications, cybersecurity, or software development. Students will learn how to troubleshoot and solve technical and security issues as well as manage computer software, systems, and networks. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in information technology can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in information technology is a great degree for the future because it can set you on a path toward a lucrative career in a high demand field. Like many of the other technology-based degrees on this list—cybersecurity, computer science, data science, etc.—a bachelor’s degree in IT can provide you with the skills to complement our rising dependency on computers, automation, and machine learning. Put yourself in a position to navigate and administrate this technology and you will not risk losing your job to it.
Computer and information systems managers earned a median salary of $159,010 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a faster than average rate of 11% between now and 2030, with 52,700 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology.
10 Year Growth Rate: 10%
The bachelor’s degree in education is the most direct pathway to becoming a classroom teacher, professional development trainer, or educational administrator. Education majors will learn to manage a classroom, build a curriculum, evaluate student performance, and more. A degree in education will typically focus on one age group or subject area so that students can develop a deep understanding of the developmental age and discipline they plan to teach. Ultimately, the bachelor’s degree in education prepares students to sit for the teacher certification exams mandated by each state. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in education can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in education is a great degree for the future because the demand for teachers at every level remains high. Moreover, teaching is truly a job that only humans can do. The nuance of classroom instruction, the political complexity of educational administration, and the compassion required to work with children are all uniquely human professional functions. While the education profession is rife with challenges, being replaced by a robot is not one of them.
Those working in education, training and library occupations earned a median salary of $57,220 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 10% between now and 2030, with 920,500 jobs added across all levels of learning.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Education
10 Year Growth Rate: 10%
A bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising will prepare you for prospective careers in sales, product development, retail management, distribution, promotions, and much more. Students earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing will study topics like consumer behavior, business ethics, advertising, and market research. Students may also have the option to choose a concentration, such as social media marketing or business analytics. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising is a great degree for the future because career opportunities in this field are often lucrative. Moreover, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in marketing are typically prepared for a wide range of advanced roles in market research, sales management, and public relations. Even as we come to rely more and more on machine-learning technology to gather and analyze customer data, marketing and advertising still include an important psychological component. Human professionals will always be required to interpret marekting data and make meaningful decisions accordingly.
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers earned a median salary of $133,380 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 10% between now and 2030, with 31,800 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Marketing and Advertising.
10 Year Growth Rate: 9%
A bachelor’s degree in business administration is a versatile undergraduate degree that incorporates introductory business theory, practical business skills, and hands-on experience to produce future business leaders and owners. Core business topics include accounting, marketing, leadership practices, and business laws and ethics. You may also be able to choose a concentration from areas such as digital media management, human resources, or supply chain management. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in business administration is a great degree for the future because graduates can go on to pursue jobs in an unlimited variety of fields and positions, including roles in healthcare, human resources, sports management, nonprofit agencies, sales, transportation, and finance. The bachelor’s degree in business is the single most popular undergraduate degree for a reason—it’s sheer versatility. The bachelor’s degree in business administration is essentially whatever you want it to be. This flexibility will be exceedingly valuable in our rapidly changing employment landscape.
Administrative service managers earned a median salary of $99,290 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 9% between now and 2030, with 28,600 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration.
10 Year Growth Rate: 9%
The bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership provides both theoretical and practical knowledge in business leadership. The bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership focuses on topics like project management, organizational behavior, social conflict and negotiation, and human resource management. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership is a great degree for the future because it can prepare you to serve in a managerial or executive capacity in an extremely wide range of industries. Moreover, graduates with a degree in this specific subdiscipline can usually enter the workforce in a variety of upper-level positions, including project manager, human resources manager, financial manager, and community service manager. Functioning in a leadership capacity may mean greater job security even in the event that new technology forces labor changes in your organization.
Those in management occupations earned a median salary of $102,450 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 9% between now and 2030, with 906,800 jobs added across all sectors.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership.
10 Year Growth Rate: 9%
A bachelor’s degree in law can teach practical skills like negotiation, problem-solving, and public speaking, preparing graduates for success in a variety of careers. Students will study legal writing, ethics, and legal theory as well as current issues in law and the ins and outs of litigation. Programs may also allow students to choose a concentration, like business or environmental law. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in law and legal studies can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in law is a great degree for the future because it can open countless different career pathways. Students who wish to become lawyers or judges will continue into a Juris Doctor program, but many students will choose the bachelor’s in law as a path into law enforcement, public advocacy, and more. Each of these is a distinctly human job. Indeed, even in areas of the law where machine learning and automation are growing in usage—such as in surveillance—human operators remain essential to the fair and equitable leveraging of technology.
Legal professionals earned a median salary of $82,430 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 9% between now and 2030, with 116,600 jobs added across all legal occupations.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Law and Legal Studies.
10 Year Growth Rate: 8%
A bachelor’s degree in data science and analytics will prepare graduates for an extremely wide range of technical and research professions. Data science students can expect to take courses on predictive analytics, optimization for linear programming, and forecasting analytics. Bachelors in data science will learn to apply their knowledge in quantitative modeling and data analysis to solve problems and make predictions. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in data science and analytics can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in data science and analytics is a great degree for the future because so many industries have become increasingly data-centered. Indeed, so much of the machine-learning that we employ today is driven by the collection and analysis of what we call “big data.” As a professional with the capacity to leverage this big data, you could be an important and indispensable part of the rise in automation, as opposed to a professional casualty. Indeed, a bachelor’s degree in data science can lead to well-paying opportunities in various professional sectors, including business, healthcare, and social media.
Database administrators and architects earned a median salary of $98,860 in 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 8% between now and 2030, with 13,200 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Data Science and Analytics.
10 Year Growth Rate: 8%
A bachelor’s degree in homeland security is an ideal degree for those with an interest in defending public safety and securing America against both internal and external threats. Students will gain skills in risk management, ethical decision-making, and communication that they can apply in real-world situations. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in homeland security can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in homeland security is a great degree for the future because many of America’s security, defense, and emergency management needs rely on the compatible intersection of computer technology and human operators. Moreover, the Department of Homeland Security is a massive collection of government agencies. There are numerous opportunities to fill a wide spectrum of roles in countless different areas of specialization. The Bachelors in Homeland Security degree program will provide you with the skills, credentials, and concentrated education to find a secure and vital role inside of this government super-agency.
Protective Services professionals earned a median salary of $46,590 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 8% between now and 2030, with 286,400 jobs added across several law enforcement, correction, and emergency services occupations.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Homeland Security.
10 Year Growth Rate: 8%
The bachelor’s degree in psychology concerns the study of human behavior, mental health disorders, clinical psychology, and more. As a bachelor in psychology, you will study subjects like family counseling, theories in abnormal psychology, therapeutic interventions, and more. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in psychology is a great degree for the future because graduates with a bachelor’s in psychology can seek a variety of professions, including occupational analyst, personnel recruiter, caseworker, child welfare/placement caseworker, psychiatric attendant, and psychosocial rehabilitation specialist. This versatility makes the bachelor’s in psychology an extremely popular degree. If you wish to work as a psychologist or in a clinical capacity, you will need to earn an advanced degree. Wherever you decide to apply your bachelor’s degree in psychology, you will gain a foothold in a profession that can only be performed by humans.
Psychologists earned a median salary of $81,040 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 8% between now and 2030, with 13,500 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology.
10 Year Growth Rate: 7%
The bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering teaches the practices, principles, and theories that make up electrical engineering and how those elements can be applied to computer systems. The bachelor’s degree in engineering also places a heavy emphasis on mathematics and design principles, challenging students to investigate the relationship between computer hardware and software. You can earn this four-year, 120-credit degree either online or in-person.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering can get jobs as:
The bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering is a great degree for the future because students can pursue high-earning careers as electrical, computer, and software engineers in a wide range of fields. Electrical and computer engineering principles are at the root of countless other engineering subdisciplines. That makes the electrical and computer engineering degree a great pathway into many different engineering sectors including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and more. This gives you the flexibility to parlay your degree into high-growth areas, and to apply your skills to the administration, operation, maintenance or even construction of automated technology.
Electrical engineers earned a median salary of $101,780 in 2021. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 7% between now and 2030, with 20,400 jobs added.
These sites will help you start your degree:
Start your search with a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
If you know what subject you want to study, but you are not sure where to get your degree, be sure to check out the Custom College Rankings tool, where you can create your own school rankings based on the factors that matter most to you including discipline, location, cost, and more.
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