Indeed’s 2016 Best College Majors for Jobs of the Future

AUSTIN, Texas (August 18, 2016) — As college students prepare to head back to school, job site Indeed released the fields of study and majors that will best lead to jobs of the future.

“Our recent research tells us that the most high-potential jobs of the future are concentrated in a relatively few key sectors, creating both an opportunity and challenge to students figuring out a major,” said Tara Sinclair, chief economist for job site Indeed. “Gone are the days when a college degree could guarantee financial security–it is increasingly important for job seekers to think carefully about where their studies will lead them.”

Students looking for strong career paths in the future should consider majors such as computer science, engineering, healthcare administration, and finance, according to Indeed’s findings. As of 2014, business, health services, and biological and biomedical services were among the country’s top five most popular majors, while engineering ranked eighth, and computer and information services came in at 11, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“If you’re interested in computer science, engineering, or another area with high demand and potential for strong salaries, the data shows it would be smart to consider a major in the field,” Sinclair said. “However, if you’re focused more on the liberal arts, you may want to look to supplement your degree with additional courses or relevant work experience through a part time job or internship.”

Overall, getting a college degree is a benefit to landing a job of the future, as 75% of opportunity jobs require a 4-year degree.

“The list below may be food for thought for people entering college or still undecided in their major,” Sinclair said. “Meanwhile, people who are not pursuing a four-year degree should consider getting skills that will lead to other in-demand roles, perhaps getting experience with certificate programs or requests for on-the-job training.”

In a recent study, Indeed found that 92% of all jobs that have shown wage growth keeping up with inflation, and an annual salary of over $57,700, are concentrated in 5 occupations: computer and mathematical, architecture and engineering, management, healthcare practitioners and technical, and business and financial operations.

Beyond competitive pay, the jobs Indeed identified have a number of other traits in common, including: high employer demand versus supply, little chance of automation, and dynamic fields that will expand, not shrink, as technology changes the workforce.

Best Fields of Study and Majors for Jobs of the Future

  1. Computer and information sciences

Majors include: Computer Science, Computer Programming, Computer Networking

  • 55,367 graduates in 2014
  1. Engineering

Majors include: Engineering, Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering

  • 92,162 graduates
  1. Architecture

Majors include: Architecture

  • 9,144 graduates
  1. Business – Management

Majors include: Business Administration, International Business

  • 358,079 graduates (general business)
  1. Health Professions & Related Programs

Majors include: Biology, Nursing, Medical Assistant, Healthcare Administration, Medicine, Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy

  • 198,770 graduates
  1. Business – Finance

Majors include: Finance, Accounting, Economics

  • 358,079 graduates (general business)

Most Popular Fields of Study (2014)

  1. Business

358,079 graduates 

  1. Health Professions and related services

198,770 graduates

  1. Social Sciences & History

173,096 graduates

  1. Psychology

117,298 graduates

  1. Biological and Biomedical Sciences

104,633 graduates

  1. Education

98,854 graduates

  1. Visual & Performing Arts

97,246 graduates

  1. Engineering

92,162 graduates

  1. Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

87,604 graduates

  1. Homeland security, law enforcement, and firefighting

62,409 graduates

  1. Computer & Information Services

55,367 graduates

  1. English Language & Literature/Letter

50,404 graduates

*Data source: National Center for Education Statistics.

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