As a junior, or senior, in high school, you probably don’t have a crystal-clear idea of what kind of career you want to pursue—and that’s okay. But the arrival of millennials coupled with the rapid advancement of technology is bringing about wholesale change to the labor force.
This increased rate of change means it’s never too early to start thinking about what kind of job you want after graduation. Based on research, interviews with experts, and technological trends, these majors are expected to be more in-demand than others.
Robotics and Industrial Engineering
Automation is the new trend in almost every field, from transportation to farming to manufacturing. Forbes listed robotics as one of the most in-demand majors for 2022 graduates. Though enrollment has increased in recent years, there was a shortage of engineering students in the early 2000s that the industry is still trying to catch up with. With one in four currently-employed industrial engineers age 55 years or older, engineering and robotics majors can expect healthy demand for their skills in 2022 and beyond.
The rise of computers and increased emphasis on technical skills and career paths has created a pendulum effect: there is now a need for professionals with the ability to solve problems and identify patterns. In 2011, Steve Jobs said that Apple’s goal was to “bring a liberal arts perspective and a liberal arts audience” to the computing world. As technology continues to develop, companies will increasingly need thinkers who can help them relate sophisticated algorithms to human behavior.
Computer Engineering Technology
Computer systems are revolutionizing the way we buy, sell, and communicate with each other. While the field is competitive, steady growth is expected in the demand for computer and electrical engineers, according to a recent report by Paul Hyde of The Greenville News. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) research shows that computer engineers with a focus on software will be more in-demand, since computer innovation today is primarily happening with software, not hardware.
One of the biggest reasons biomedical engineering jobs are projected to grow so quickly is that the field itself is relatively new. These engineers design and develop equipment and systems to be used in healthcare and biological sciences. The BLS projects that biomedical engineering jobs will grow much faster than average at 23%, and CNN listed Biomedical Engineer #1 on its list of Best Jobs in America, projecting an astounding 61.7% growth rate through 2022.
Psychology and Mental Health
If you like helping people and have an interest in human behavior, majoring in psychology or a related field could be your ticket to a lucrative career. A study of job outlooks by the Rochester Institute of Technology projected 29% growth in the demand for mental health counselors, in part because of an increasing number of patients expected to seek treatment compared to earlier decades. Research by the University of Denver shows substance abuse counselors are especially needed, with overdoses and the use of hard drugs like heroin at all-time high rates.
Just because you don’t see a major you’re interested in on this list doesn’t mean you’ll struggle to find employment after school. Things may have changed by the time you graduate college, but if you can align your skills and desires with the future needs of employers, you stand a great chance at obtaining a fulfilling career after graduation.
To learn more about choosing a major, check out our Majors and Careers 101 Guide, where you can learn more about identifying your skills and matching them to the right field of study: