master's degree
Looking for a Master's degree that will boost your employability factor in years to come? Source: Shutterstock

Education is always about the future. Are universities preparing students adequately for the future? Are students studying the relevant degrees that will get them jobs in the future?

It can be hard to predict exactly what’s coming, especially with the growth of new technology and automation set to replace thousands of jobs.

However, there are degrees and qualifications you can take today that will prepare you for jobs that will remain in high demand, even in the future. Data science and healthcare, for example, are fields where the job prospects are excellent and where experts are always needed, no matter where you are in the world.

According to EdSmart, “Some industries are seeing record growth and increased demand, while others are turning stagnant. Unsurprisingly, there are many jobs being created in renewable energy as more of the country pivots to going green.

“Likewise, as our dependency on technology and internet-enabled devices increases, there is a lot of demand for people skilled in app development and cybersecurity. Students interested in these fields should consider a degree in computer science.

“One trend is absolutely certain: there has been an increased demand for healthcare-related careers.  This is largely because the baby boomer population continues to age and experience greater medical needs. Areas that featured the most growth in the healthcare industry were at the assistant or aide level which shows that good help is hard to find.”

When applying for a graduate degree programme, it’s a wise move to use it as an opportunity to upskill yourself and expand on your interests and specialisations, building on your existing foundation in the field, instead of going for something brand new.

Here are the best Master’s degrees for 2020 for a job with good job prospects and return on investment.

Master of Business Administration – Information Systems

MBAs are still valuable, but today there is a shift towards a more specialised MBA that not only provides you with a broad knowledge of business, but also targeted towards a specific area.

According to EdSmart, “Reports of cyberattacks and hacks are always in the news. Research has shown that organisations (private, and public entities) are all woefully vulnerable to cyberattacks. What this means is that qualified cybersecurity experts are in high demand.

“These experts often monitor a network for breaches, investigate attacks, install and upgrade firewalls and encryption programs, and develop best practices for their organisation.”

Taking a Master’s degree in this field will give you the edge you need in 2020 as you will be positioned as a leader or analyst, especially if you have prior work experience in IT.

Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 28 percent, and median pay is US$98,350.

Master’s Degree in Genetic Counselling

People are increasingly interested in finding out more about their genetic links and hereditary illnesses, and now that you can do so with technology, the industry is growing rapidly.

According to World Health Organisation, “Genetic counselling is the process through which knowledge about the genetic aspects of illnesses is shared by trained professionals with those who are at an increased risk or either having a heritable disorder or of passing it on to their unborn offspring.

“A genetic counsellor provides information on the inheritance of illnesses and their recurrence risks; addresses the concerns of patients, their families, and their health care providers; and supports patients and their families dealing with these illnesses.”

If you have a Bachelor’s degree in genetics or in another health science-related field, you should be qualified to further your studies with a Master’s degree in Genetic Counselling.

EdSmart wrote, “Coursework often includes classes in genetics, public health, patient empathy, and epidemiology. Students are also required to have a clinical rotation where they work with clients and patients. After graduation, students will then need to obtain certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling.”

“Currently, there are approximately 3,100 genetic counselors in America. This field is expected to grow by 29 percent and add 900 jobs to the market.”

The job currently has a median pay of US$80,379 in the US.

Master’s Degree in Nursing

Those who hold a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing would be wise to further their studies with a graduate degree as there is a deficit of nurses with advanced skills worldwide.

Due to the number of elderly people rising and the growth of the healthcare industry, nurses are high in demand.

According to EdSmart, “Nurse practitioners, referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) may work in a variety of roles such as anesthetists, midwives, nurses and more. They have many duties as it relates to a patient’s treatment and can perform examinations, create care plans, perform diagnostic tests, and diagnose health problems.

“APRNs are registered nurses. This means that for a student to achieve this position, they would first have to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a related health science area (preferably nursing), become a registered nurse by passing the licensing exam, and then complete an APRN master degree program. Students can opt to continue their education with a doctorate in nursing as well.

This career is expected to grow 31% in the next seven years, and the median salary in 2018 was US$113,930.

Master’s Degree in Computer Science and Information Technology (IT)

While this is already a popular and highly in-demand field, more software developers will be needed due to emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science.

A graduate degree in this field will enable you to work as a software developer for video games and apps, using coding and programming skills. Of course, you’ll need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science first where you can still work in this field.

However, a graduate degree will allow you to hone in on your specialisation in an industry that’s growing bigger by the minute.

According to MastersPortal, “As more and more new technologies are developed, they will need programmes, lines of code and instructions that allow them to function properly. This is why studying a Master’s degree in Computer Science & IT is a great choice for the future.”

Software developers earned a median annual salary of US$106,710 in 2017.

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

New Global Talent Independent programme in Australia points to future skill shortages

Why should students opt for a career in cybersecurity?