dcsimg

Five in-demand graduate degrees and their careers

Today's volatile job market has people thinking about the value of graduate degrees. While not all graduate programs can lead to heightened employability or a boost in salary (for example, a Ph.D. in art history or British literature may not enable you to easily enter the field of online marketing or to gain a salary increase in your software developer job), those who earn certain graduate degrees are expected to see significant gains in employment opportunities over the next few years.

Five fast-growing careers

1. Industrial-organizational psychologist

Industrial-organizational psychologists are expected to experience a whopping 53 percent growth in employment between 2012 and 2022. The 2013 national median pay for this job was $80,330, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those who choose this career path seek to improve work environments by applying their knowledge of human psychology to help managers, employees and teams better navigate such things as training, employee morale and management styles. In order to become an industrial-organizational psychologist, one typically needs to earn a master's degree in psychology.

2. Physician assistant

This career in the medical field is projected to achieve a national job growth rate of 38 percent between 2012 and 2022, and the annual median salary was $92,970 in 2013, according to the BLS. Physician assistants work with a team of physicians, nurses and medical assistants to treat and develop health plans for patients. They conduct physical exams, make medical diagnoses, prescribe medications, review patients' medical histories and even engage in health promotion programs. Becoming a physician assistant typically requires the completion of an accredited master's degree program in physician assistant studies.

3. Physical therapist

The BLS expects this hands-on profession to have a projected job growth of 36 percent between 2012 and 2022. In 2013, the BLS reported that physical therapists had a national median annual salary of $81,030. Physical therapists work with physically injured patients to help them regain strength and mobility. Their typical duties include diagnosing patient injuries, setting up recovery plans (including recommended exercises and stretches) and monitoring patients' progress as they regain physical strength. In order to become a physical therapist, one must complete an accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT) program. In addition, they must earn a license in order to practice.

4. Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN)

Those who pursue specialized nursing roles can look for a projected job growth of 31 percent between 2012 and 2022. Types of APRNs include nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists. Their salary depends on their specialization. For example, according to the BLS, nurse midwives earned a national annual median salary of $92,290 in 2013, while nurse practitioners earned $92,670. APRNs develop patient care plans and may provide specialty or primary health care to patients. While APRNs' typical responsibilities vary depending on their specialty, their workday may include recording patients' medical history; performing physical exams and medical diagnoses; developing patient care plans alongside physicians, physician assistants, and medical assistants; administering patient medications and treatments; prescribing medicines; and conducting research. Becoming an APRN requires at least a master's degree in one's area of specialty. Advanced practice registered nurses must be registered nurses (RNs) before they can become APRNs. APRN programs prefer candidates who first have a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited program. APRNs, like registered nurses, must also pass a national certification exam and obtain a license.

5. Software developers

This technology-focused career field is expected to experience job growth of 22 percent between 2012 and 2022. The national median annual salary in 2013 was $92,660 per year for application developers and $101,410 per year for systems software developers, as reported by the BLS. While software developers generally only need a bachelor's degree in computer science (CS), a graduate degree in CS may be desirable or required for certain jobs.

Sources:

Fastest Growing Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193032.htm

Most New Jobs, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/most-new-jobs.htm

Nurse Midwives, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291161.htm

Nurse Practitioners, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291171.htm

Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm

Physical Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291123.htm

Physical Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm

Physician Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291071.htm

Physician Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm

Psychologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm

Software Developers, Applications, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151132.htm

Software Developers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm

Software Developers, Systems Software, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151133.htm

Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Matching School Ads

            Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic graduate school of psychology and counseling, founded in 1999 as the Institute for the Psychological Sciences.  The University is dedicated to the scientific study of psychology with a Catholic understanding of the person, marriage and the family.  The University offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctoral (Psy.D.) degrees in Clinical Psychology, a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Psychology and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

            • Online Courses
            • Ranked #1 on the list of Best Regional Universities in the North in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked #1 on the list of Best Value Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked #3 on the list of Best Undergraduate Teaching Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A Roman Catholic Institution of higher learning founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842.
            • Provides a rigorous academic experience, rooted in the liberal arts.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Good for Working Adults
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
            • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
            • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
            • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Students who chose the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty achieved a 95% pass rate on the national certification exam.
            • Grant and scholarship opportunities are available for nursing students who qualify.
            • The MSN program is 100% online and designed to be completed in 2 years.
            • Online students are able to use local preceptors for clinical rotations.
            • Ohio University’s School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Ranked #20 in the Top Public Schools in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Ranked among the Top 50 Schools for Entrepreneurship Programs in 2014 by The Princeton Review.
            • Ranked among America’s Top Colleges in 2013 by Forbes.
            • Offers over 90 undergraduate majors across 10 colleges, with numerous programs ranked among the top programs by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Has famous alumni such as Sergey Brin the co-founder of Google, Kevin Blank the Founder of Under Armour Athletic Gear, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • LU students learn to be Champions for Christ as well as strong business men & women
            • 15+ business specialization options and ACBSP accredited
            • 60+ undergraduate & graduate degree options in the Liberty School of Business 
            • Voted 2017 Best for Vets Business School by Military Times
            • MBA program ranked Best Buy Online MBA Regional Program by GetEducated.com
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Top-ranked online MBA
            • As few as 24 months to complete
            • GMAT waivers for experienced professionals
            • Bachelor’s degree required
            • Six concentrations available
            • AACSB accredited
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
            • As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Over 130 years as one of the nation’s premiere Catholic research universities
            • Located in the heart of Pittsburg, PA with 50+ undergraduate & graduate programs
            • Duquesne is MSCHE accredited with many prestigious accreditations per program
            • Ranked #37 among the “Best Value Schools” by U.S. News & World Report
            • There are many financial aid options available for qualifying students
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Ranked #4 for its Online MBA in the U.S. by the Financial Times in 2016.
            • Regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
            • The D'Amore-McKim School of Business is accredited by AACSB International--the hallmark of excellence in management education.
            • Tailor your degree by choosing from 8 in-demand concentrations 
            • Consider our dual degree option - Online Master of Science in Finance/MBA 
            • Participate in optional domestic and international residency courses
            • Earn your MBA in as few as two years while continuing to work
            • Leverage our focus on professional experience - GRE/GMAT not required for admission
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits