Top 12 Degrees That Are In Demand (2023)

Engineer designing machine
August 28, 2023


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/3/23

If you are looking to study something that will lead to a lucrative career, look no further! Read on to learn about what makes these top 12 degrees so popular. We’ll also give you a rundown of the type of job prospects you might have after graduating. 

When thinking about what to study in college, it is important to take a look at degrees that are in demand. These degrees might have more competition, meaning you’ll have to work extra hard for admittance.

In this article, we will outline the 12 degrees that are in high demand, why students flock to them and answer a few frequently asked questions.

12 Degrees That Are In High Demand

Before choosing an educational path, it’s always a good idea to consider job availability and need. Here is our list of college degrees that are in demand.

1. Engineering

Engineering is one of the degrees that are in high demand, with some of the best job prospects. Engineering can be broken down into many different specializations, with the original four being civil, mechanical, chemical, and electrical. 

These four branches of engineering have been broken down even more to include such things as biomedical engineering, aerospace engineering and computer hardware engineering.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), engineering is projected to grow by about 4% from now until 2031. Each specialization has its own specific growth projection, which ranges from moderate growth (between 4-7%) to very high growth (higher than 10%). 

Chemical engineering, for example, is projected to have 14% growth in the next decade, which makes chemical engineering one of the most in-demand majors.

Salaries among engineers are also high, with a median annual wage for 2023 of $84,474. Again, depending on which specialization you choose, you could make over $100,000 a year, which makes engineering one of the degrees that are in demand.

In terms of careers, there is a wide variety of options for engineers as their skills are in high demand. Some of the most popular career choices are aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computer hardware engineering. 

With the amount of choice in terms of career path, it is no wonder why engineering is one of the college degrees that are in demand.

2. Applied Mathematics

Applied mathematics majors will study advanced arithmetic courses, which will assist them in gaining entry into careers such as actuaries, data scientists, statisticians, and operation research analysts. 

These career choices are very popular and are projected to grow by 29% in the next decade. According to the BLS, there will be 30,600 jobs in this sector per year for the next ten years. This type of growth means that students who study applied mathematics will be able to use their degree in numerous avenues.

Another reason that applied mathematics is a degree that is in demand is the high salary associated with their jobs. The average wage for applied mathematicians is around $98,700. With such a high average salary, taking applied mathematics as a major could be a very lucrative decision.

3. Computer Science

Another one of the degrees that are in high demand is computer science. Computer science incorporates subjects such as software development, web development, AI engineering and more, giving students the ability to work many different positions within the technology industry. 

Job growth within this industry definitely draws students to this high-demand major. According to the BLS, we can expect to see 15% growth over the next 10 years. This means that if you are able to take this degree that is in high demand, you are very likely to get a job once you graduate. 

Not only will you be able to get a job, but the job you get will also be very well-paid. The median annual wage for computer science degree-holders ranges from $70,000 to over 150,000 depending on your specialty, which puts this degree in high demand among college students. 

There are a lot of options for students with a computer major degree also, as they are able to use their skills to work as software developers, video game developers or computer programmers. These are just some of the options, which is why computer science is a high-demand degree program.

4. Hospitality

Due to the popularity of travel and tourism, one of the degrees that are in high demand is hospitality. Hospitality or hotel and restaurant management is a very popular industry where students will learn about how to run a business smoothly while keeping it profitable. 

Hospitality is projected to grow by 18% in the next ten years, meaning students graduating from this major would be able to find a job relatively easily. There will be about 7,100 new positions in hospitality each year before 2031, which is another reason why this college degree is in demand.

The median US salary for those in hotel management is $114,006. For students who want to have a good income right after college, hospitality is a great major to choose. 

With a hospitality degree, you can work in hotel management, event space management or dining facilities. With this amount of choice in career, it is clear why hospitality is a high-demand degree.

5. Business Management

One of the major degrees that are in demand is business management. Business management courses teach students to establish plans and policies for an organization as well as oversee people, products, and services. 

There are a lot of career opportunities for people who get a business management degree, as they can get a management position for any type of business.

One reason this degree is in high demand is that there is good job growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected growth in the industry of 8%, which translates to around 883,900 new jobs this coming decade. 

This means that people with a business management degree will be able to find a job after graduating, which is what differentiates degrees that are in demand from those that are not. 

Another good reason for this degree to be in high demand is that salary rates are high. Business management's median average wage is $85,196 in 2023. Having a high salary right after school can drive more interest in a subject, and business management degrees are in demand due to this association. 

Some examples of careers that can be entered after obtaining a degree in business management are facility manager, marketing manager or office manager.

6. Nursing (Registered Nurse)

Nursing is one of the degrees that are in high demand in 2023. Becoming a registered nurse requires students to learn how to care for patients in different healthcare facilities. Registered nurses need to successfully complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing and pass their licensing exams.

Nursing is projected to grow by 6% in the next ten years, with about 203,200 job openings within that same time period. Those wishing to become a nurse in the next few years will be making around $76,750 per year, which is the median wage in 2023. 

Having a lot of job opportunities and good income is why nursing has become one of the degrees that are in demand in colleges around the country. 

Nurses have a lot of options in where they work, which is another reason the degree is in high demand. Nurses can work in hospitals, doctor offices, health clinics, home health care or long-term care facilities. Nurses are often able to choose what type of nursing they find the most interesting, making their career very fulfilling.

7. Education

Education degrees are in high demand because there is a lot of need for teachers. In order to become a teacher, students learn about the developmental goals of children and classroom management. 

When getting a degree in education, you can pick the age you feel most comfortable teaching and learn how to teach lessons that are appropriate for that age group.

Job prospects for both elementary and high school teachers are good, with 4% and 5% growth projected for the next decade, respectively. Teachers also make a decent wage, with the median average salary for elementary teachers being $62,834 and university professors being $98,150

With good job prospects and good salaries, it is no surprise why education is one of the degrees in high demand.   

8. Finance

Finance is another degree that is in demand in 2023. Studying finance will train students to be involved in the day-to-day financial activities of a business, such as accounting or budgets. Career options for those with a finance degree are numerous and include such things as a financial advisor, accountant, and financial analyst.

Those wanting to get a degree in finance will have to decide on a specific area to study and possibly get registered. For example, if you want to be an accountant, you have to get a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and then pass a licensing exam to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Job growth in this sector is steady, with a projected 7% growth in the next decade, which would be about 715,100 new jobs. The amount of jobs makes finance one of the degrees that are in demand in 2023. Those in this sector make an average of $95,880 per year, though it’s worth noting this category is quite broad.

9. Construction Managers

Though you could become a construction manager without going to college, for people who would like to work for larger construction firms, a bachelor’s degree in construction management is needed.

With construction being in high demand, it shouldn’t be a surprise that having a construction manager degree is also in demand. Jobs in the construction industry are growing at a rate of 8%, and with salaries averaging around $113,900, it is easy to see why these degrees are in high demand.

With a degree in construction management, you have a lot of choices of career paths. You can work as a private construction manager, working as an independent contractor, or working with a large construction firm working on large projects. 

The various career options make construction management an in-demand College degree which could be very lucrative.

10. Information Technology

A degree in information technology can prepare a student for careers in computer support systems, network administration and information security analysis. In this day and age, almost every business needs someone with the type of expertise that these workers have, which is why IT is one of the degrees that are in demand.

Job growth in IT is projected to be around 15% in the next ten years, meaning there will continue to be a lot of jobs for new graduates. The BLS predicts that from now until 2031, there will be around 682,800 new positions for those with a degree in IT.

Those who earned a degree in IT also earn high salaries. The average wage for IT support managers is $91,050 per year. Having a high salary right out of college can be a huge draw to students and is one of the reasons this degree is in high demand.

11. Pharmaceutical Science

Students who get a degree in pharmaceutical science can go on to work in drug research, testing, development, sales, and more. These are all degrees that are in demand as they lead to steady jobs with good salaries.

With a pharmaceutical science degree, you can become a clinical research associate, lab technician, a pharmaceutical representative, and so much more. Because the range is so wide, it’s challenging to narrow down salary expectations. 

However, Lab technicians and similar positions are steadily growing at rates of around 7%, which should continue over the next decade. 

12. Architecture

Architecture is another degree that’s in high demand. In this program, students learn how to plan and design buildings, including houses, factories, or condo buildings. 

An architecture degree typically requires at least four years of schooling and a paid internship, and graduates must pass a licensing exam before they can become professionals.

One of the reasons architecture is one of the degrees that are in high demand is that they have consistent job growth. The BLS projects that there will be about 9100 new jobs in this sector before 2031. 

Students looking for a job once they graduate will also be happy to know that the average median wage for architects is $89,683 per year, which is fairly high.

Also, there is a wide range of opportunities for architects once they have finished their schooling. Depending on their interests, they can work on designing homes, buildings or urban landscapes. With all the different opportunities for architects, it makes sense that this is one of the College degrees that are in demand. 

When looking at the above degrees that are in high demand, we see that industries that have the most growth or high salaries seem to be popular.

FAQs: College Degrees That Are In Demand

Here are three of the most asked questions when it comes to college degrees that are in demand.

1. What Degree Has The Most Job Opportunities?

The degree that has the most job opportunity would either be architecture or engineering. Both have a lot of variety when it comes to the type of job you can have, and you can pick a specialization that speaks to your passions.

2. What Major Earns the Most Money?

Having a degree in business management will almost guarantee you a high salary once you graduate. Most managers are able to earn a good living right after graduating and have the potential to move into a CEO position once they have sufficient experience.

3. Which Degree Is Best for the Future?

Any degree that has to do with technology is a great place to place your bets. Technology is always needed, and if you look at the projections for job growth, it is likely that having a degree in computer science, information technology, or engineering degree will be good for your future.

Final Thoughts

When looking at the different college degrees that are in demand, it becomes apparent that students want jobs that have good growth potential and high salaries. To make sure they are successful, students flock to the degrees that result in a career, which makes a lot of sense in a world of economic instability.

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