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Study programs with a future: Best career opportunities and good job prospects

7. May 2021, INFO, TIPS

The job market today is more dynamic than ever. The job profiles in job advertisements are changing, the requirements of companies are increasing and other jobs are disappearing from the scene altogether. So it’s no wonder that when it comes to choosing a course of study, it’s not just the training for the dream job that’s at the forefront of many students’ minds, but also common sense and a view of the future. We’ll get to the bottom of the matter and summarize for you which degree programs are particularly promising.

What do we mean by courses of study with a future?

You can study almost anything. But in addition to the question of your interests and talents, you should also consider the career prospects of the profession you are aiming for. Courses of study with a future are not only the basis for a secure job, but also score points with appropriate working conditions and a good income – even when starting out on your career. However, promising courses of study require that you constantly keep up with the times and keep learning. In return, a wide range of career opportunities and thus more than one door are open to you.

Which degree programs have a future?

Now we’re getting specific: degree programs with particularly good career prospects usually deal with technological progress, digitalization, climate change and automation. They are usually related to research and development or to highly topical social issues. This is true of the following degree programs:

1) STEM degree programs:

STEM stands for mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology. Due to the technologization of recent decades, it is hardly surprising that the demand for graduates in STEM fields of study has risen sharply. While in mathematics a distinction is made between pure mathematics (algebra, topology, … ) and applied mathematics, you have many different directions to choose from regarding computer science, natural sciences and technology. Thematically, they often overlap and usually require a certain inclination towards mathematics. Around 200 disciplines can be classified as STEM studies, including, for example:

  • Nanotechnology
  • Sustainable Management
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Business Informatics
  • Medical Technology
  • Robotics
  • Aerospace engineering

As a MINT graduate, you can look forward to excellent career opportunities with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The shortage of skilled workers definitely comes to your advance here. However, it cannot be taken for granted that all prospective students will make it this far. The dropout rate for STEM courses at many universities should not be underestimated, and for good reason: You have to be interested in these courses and have a natural talent for them. But don’t let that put you off. If this is a given, you’re in the right place in a STEM major.

Our additional MINT tip: Excellent conditions for students await you, for example, when studying in Aachen or at the Montan University in Leoben, Austria.

2) Digital degree programs

UX design, SEO skills and app development: In the course of digitalization, a lot of new jobs have emerged. Of course, this includes everything that has to do with programming and software development. But data scientists, deep learning engineers and social media managers are also constantly in demand. Digital studies are booming and if you see your professional future in them, you can look forward to extremely exciting jobs with the best career prospects. However, these jobs definitely require you to keep up to date with the latest developments. When choosing a suitable course of study, it is important to find the right balance between basic knowledge, your personal specialization and up-to-date teaching content. Often, universities also teach business administration content so that you can not only implement orders in your professional life, but also manage projects independently. The list of digital degree programs includes, for example:

  • Digital Transformation Management
  • Digital Media Communication
  • Digitalization and sustainable management
  • Data Science
  • E-commerce

3) Nursing, social and health care

If STEM studies and digitalization are not really your thing and you see yourself working with people and health-related topics, you will certainly find what you are looking for in this division. The aging society or the demographic change offer the best conditions for a secure job in this versatile work environment. Some of the degree programs in the field of nursing, social services and health have come about as a result of the academization of apprenticeships and teaching professions. However, some degree programs are the consequence of technical and medical progress.

Nursing professions or jobs in social services in particular are not necessarily known for their generous salaries. However, income depends on many factors – for example, your overall qualifications, work experience, position and general employment conditions. Many degree programs also prepare you for future work in management or for a niche profession, which in turn entice you with good salaries. A career in the healthcare industry, for example in field service, is also possible. Curious? You can take these degree programs with a focus on nursing, social services and health, for example:

  • Health Care Management
  • Nursing Sciences
  • Health sciences
  • Social work
  • Social Management
  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Orthopedic Technology

4) International study programs: study abroad

You want to speak a foreign language fluently, not just at school level, and live abroad for a while for your studies? You’re not alone in thinking that. International study programs are more in demand than ever – whether for a semester abroad, an international bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. It’s not uncommon for companies to even require an international orientation on an application. Putting study abroad on your resume shows that you’re flexible, culturally open-minded, and able to navigate new environments. Courses are usually held in English and cover a wide range of topics. Business programs can be found particularly frequently in the list of international study programs, including for example:

  • International Management
  • International Business Economics
  • International Trade Law
  • Global Business and Sustainability
  • MBA Programs

Are you considering studying in the Netherlands? Then you should definitely take a look at this article: 10 Reasons to Study in Rotterdam.

How important is salary when choosing a course of study?

Of course, it is not insignificant what you can earn in the future with the aspired profession. However, you should not be blinded or deceived by the numbers. After all, in addition to your degree, it’s your experience, talent, skill and a little bit of luck that will determine what ends up in your bank account each month. Your local flexibility and networking skills also play a significant role in your career. All of this determines what kind of job you will have and what your salary will be. Company size and industry also have an impact on your earnings. The starting salary for career starters is naturally lower than the annual income of an experienced manager, which can quickly reach six figures. Everything takes time – including your career. If you choose a course of study with a future, you can expect to be able to live well on your income. And you can’t put a figure on the enjoyment of a career.

For whom are degree programs with a future suitable?

These courses of study are usually based on the following factors, which you should be at least partially interested in:

  • Digitization
  • Technical progress
  • Globalization
  • Climate change
  • Demographic change
  • Political influence

Therefore, these courses of study appeal in particular to people who like to constantly develop themselves. In these jobs, it is important that you find solutions to current problems, recognize trends, remain curious and are not afraid to actively help shape change. If you meet these requirements, nothing can really go wrong, can it?

What other skills are important for degree programs with a future?

In any case, you should have a good dose of curiosity and a certain amount of IT knowledge. After all, degree programs and the jobs with a future based on them generally require digital know-how – some more, some less. You will also find intercultural skills and analytical thinking as requirements in many job postings. But beyond that, one point is even more important. When choosing a course of study, you should first and foremost make sure that you are interested in the subject and that you naturally enjoy the content. So if you already did well with the subjects at school, that’s a good sign. This is especially true for courses with a scientific, technical or mathematical focus. If you already struggled with math, biology or physics when you graduated from high school, you probably won’t have an easy time in a STEM major. However, nothing is impossible if you show ambition and a willingness to learn.

Conclusion: You can make a career out of a degree with a future

Degree programs with a future are a perfect career booster. If your degree program is not listed here, you should not let this deter you from your plans. After all, the world can’t just consist of scientific specialists, IT people and digital experts, can it?

You can find more tips on how to choose the right degree program and what other considerations are important in our article “What should I study?’’