These Are the Most Promising Careers Out There



Our last post offered some advice for students going back to school, but what if you’re going to college for the first time? There’s a lot to process during your first few weeks in school, but one of the biggest considerations ahead is your field of study. Most colleges or universities will have certain course requirements that every student must complete, and checking these boxes could take most or all of your freshman year. Still, it’s never too early to start thinking about your goals for your education – especially since the longer you’re in school, the higher the cost.

Data from the College Board indicates that a four-year degree from community college will run you $14,000, with the price rising to almost $40,000 for a public, in-state college. Considering private school? You can expect to pay an average of $35,000 each year. No matter what school you’re attending, it’s important to take an approach to your education that minimizes the cost and maximizes your return. Once your preliminary graduation requirements are out of the way, it’s time to hit the ground running and start earning credits toward your degree of choice. The following career paths are an excellent choice for any college student. They’re currently in high demand, and they command salaries that reflect that. The best news? Growth outlooks are extremely favorable, so you don’t have to worry about being replaced by AI in a few short years.

1. Application Software Developer

Ever wondered how much time people spend on mobile devices? Whether you get your data from the Pew Research Center, SmartInsights, Nielsen, or another source, you’re probably not going to like the answer. It’s around four hours on average, with almost three of those hours spent using apps according to eMarketer. As troubling as that figure might be for our mental health, it’s a source of incredible job security for Application Software Developers.

Most – but not all – developers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, which will typically take four years to earn. The good news is that application software developers can look forward to a median salary of $100,857 per year. While research from Kiplinger suggests that the workforce will grow by 13.3% through 2027, that won’t be enough to satisfy demand, which is forecast to increase by 17.2% over the same period.

2. Registered Nurse (RN)

As long as there are humans there will be health problems, and no amount of technological innovation is going to change the fact that we age. In our opinion, registered nurses perform some of the most meaningful work available, and research shows that 90% of nurses are satisfied with their career choice.

Many registered nurses hold a bachelor’s degree, but an associate degree can also earn you the title of registered nurse, and in a lot less time. The quickest programs can be completed in as few as 18 months, saving you time and money and putting you on the fast track to an exciting and rewarding career as an RN. In addition, out of CareerCast’s top eight most in-demand jobs for 2019, six are positions related to healthcare.

3. Solar Photovoltaic Installer

Interested in spending as much time as possible outside? As solar panels become cheaper and more efficient, demand is increasing rapidly, which means there’s a growing need for technicians to install the panels. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 105% growth in the demand for PV installers from 2016 to 2026.

While the median salary is $42,680, a career as a PV installer doesn’t necessarily require an expensive college degree. Most employers look for a minimum of a high school diploma, but you can gain valuable skills by taking college courses on PV design and installation.

4. Physical Therapist (PT)

If you want to help people recover from injuries and ailments and lead a better life, a career as a physical therapist is an excellent choice. PTs help patients regain mobility after surgeries or operations, but they also provide treatment and care that can reduce the need for more invasive operations.

PTs typically enter a doctoral program with a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but some schools offer a six-year program whose graduates earn both a bachelors and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. While the requirements for PT positions can involve lots of expensive education, PTs can expect to enjoy a median salary of $87,930. In addition, the BLS predicts that the number of PT jobs will increase by 28% from 2016 to 2026.

These four compelling career options offer a combination of job security and competitive wages with varying educational requirements. If you’re not sure what career path is right for you, don’t let it be a source of stress. Try a few classes in different fields and see if a particular subject ignites your interest, or talk to people in your network who have experience in different industries. Remember – no matter your field of study, you can pursue any career you want out of college. Some might require going back to school, but technology has created more opportunities for flexible learning than ever before.