10 Most Prestigious Degrees to Work Toward that will Benefit Your Future

College majors are becoming more and more specific. At Cornell, you can earn a degree in winemaking and at NC State you can major in poultry sciences. However, despite the growing list of options, not all students know exactly what career they want to pursue when they enter college. If you’re looking to build your skills to make you employable in the future, check out these ten degrees.

10 – Criminal Justice

Anyone who flips through the channels to Law and Order thinks they know all about the criminal justice system, but they might not know of all the possible career options open to students with this degree. On top of becoming a law enforcement officer, students can also work in forensic sciences, become a criminologist, and even enter the FBI. Employers ranging from small town police departments to federal national security organizations seek candidates with criminal justice degrees. If you’re considering criminal justice, the University of Cincinnati has a great chart with the top criminal justice schools, and they offer the degree online themselves.

09 – Nursing

Like criminal justice, a nursing degree can help you find employment in any city or town in America, but can also extend outside of the hospital into a lucrative career. If you like babies, a nursing degree can lead to becoming a midwife. Home births have been on the rise over the past few years, and expecting mothers are seeking out specialists to help them deliver in a more natural setting. Also, childbirth educators, who serve as resources throughout the pregnancy process, can make more than $55,000 per year.

08 – Business Management

While business management might be one of the most common degrees out there, there’s one career path that’s a little more exciting than the rest. Students with a degree in business can focus on casino management depending on where they’re studying. Naturally, the casino management degree is incredibly popular and useful in Nevada, but it comes in handy in other states too. Good business sense and knowledge of important aspects like finance, human resource policies, and leadership, are transferable to almost any industry. Cut your teeth in a less than luxurious field, and you might be running a casino some day.

07 – Computer Science

Like criminal justice, computer science is a degree that is glamorized by Hollywood. We’ve all been jealous of the nerdy hero who runs to the computer and hacks into the system just in time to save the day. Both Google and IBM seek out candidates with computer science degrees specifically. Whether you’re entering the tech universe or want employment at a major company, this degree can help you. This is also one of the favorite degrees for start-ups that need software developers to create their products. So ditch that major corporation for five guys in a basement and a pair of jeans with your fancy new CS degree.

06 – Biology

If you were the kid who was constantly bringing home new “pets” that you found outside and regularly gave your mother a heart attack, biology might be a great degree for you. The more time you spend in the major, the better you’ll be at picking your niche. You can spend time out on the ocean as a research assistant for a marine biologist, or you can study the smallest organisms alive as a microbiologist.
If you’re interested in protecting the environment, biology will give you a leg up. Community organizers are always looking to clean up their parks and local bodies of water, and a biologist can help plan ways to do that. On a macro level, the government turns to biologists for ideas about global warming, deforestation in the Amazon, and the melting of polar ice caps.

05 – Physical Therapy

If you enjoy helping other people out in their time of need, a degree in physical therapy is perfect for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that by 2022, the field will grow by more than 30 percent, thanks to those who experience debilitating injuries such as heart attacks and strokes. Physical therapists are appropriately compensated – the median wage is around $79,000, and the best paid made around $110,000. The bottom ten percent make $55,000, which is still great.

04 – Education

Do you enjoy teaching others? Did you earn extra money by tutoring? If so, a degree in education is for you. You don’t necessarily have to be a teacher with a degree in education. If you get your bachelor’s degree in education, you can also be a librarian, a writer or an editor, a manager, a guidance counselor, an instructional coordinator, or any number of other things. The average salary depends solely on the career that you choose, but with an education degree, there will be a ton of doors open for you.

03 – Accounting

Majoring in accounting opens the door to many areas. If you’ve always liked dealing with numbers, this is the degree for you. With a degree in accounting, you could audit, become a certified public accountant, or even go into law enforcement as a forensic accountant or IRS criminal investigation special agent. As long as there’s money, there’s going to be a need for an accountant, so you’ll always have options with this degree.

02 – Public Health

If you’re all about helping both people and the environment, a career in public health is for you. This degree can pave the way into Health Services Administration, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Nutrition, and so much more. Starting out, you should expect to make around $35,000, but some fields, such as Environmental Health, pay as much as $140,000.

01 – Human Resources

With a human resources degree, you have one foot in a lot of different doors. If you’re able to develop solutions for employee issues and have great communication skills, this is the perfect area for you. You can become a benefits manager, a crew leader, an interviewer, a project manager, a recruiter, a trainer, a union negotiator, and so much more. It’s a long and difficult path, but the reward is well worth it.
While business and nursing might not seem like the most exciting majors on the outside, they unlock careers that are interesting, unique, and rewarding. You really don’t have to know what your future career is when you graduate, but you do want a strong set of skills and the right degree. Hopefully, these gave you an idea for which paths will give you the most options when you finally have a diploma in your hand.