Discover the Top Emerging Fields for Bachelor’s Degrees

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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Emerg­ing fields often com­bine mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines, offer­ing inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to mod­ern prob­lems. Exam­ples include bioin­for­mat­ics, which merges biol­o­gy and data sci­ence.
  • Degrees in emerg­ing fields such as cyber­se­cu­ri­ty, arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, and envi­ron­men­tal engi­neer­ing are increas­ing­ly in demand.
  • Grad­u­ates in these fields are well-posi­tioned for impact­ful careers such as tech, health­care, and envi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment.
  • Pur­su­ing a degree in an emerg­ing field can help future-proof careers by align­ing edu­ca­tion with evolv­ing indus­try trends and tech­no­log­i­cal developments.

The world is chang­ing fast, and so are the skills need­ed to suc­ceed in it. As a high school­er or cur­rent col­lege stu­dent, choos­ing a major feels like a big deci­sion, and you want to be sure you’re pick­ing a field with a bright future. Well, fret no more! This arti­cle is your guide to Emerg­ing Bach­e­lor’s Degree Fields, also known as “future-proof” options in high-growth indus­tries. Buck­le up, because we’re div­ing into inno­v­a­tive and trend­ing fields like data sci­ence, GIS, HCI, cloud com­put­ing, and green energy!

Relat­ed Articles:

Cutting Edge Careers 

Imag­ine ana­lyz­ing moun­tains of data to solve real-world prob­lems, cre­at­ing maps that come alive with infor­ma­tion, design­ing tech­nol­o­gy that under­stands human needs, build­ing the dig­i­tal infra­struc­ture of the future, or har­ness­ing the pow­er of clean ener­gy. Sounds excit­ing, right? These are just a few exam­ples of what you could be doing with a degree in an emerg­ing field. Here’s a clos­er look at some of the hottest areas:

  • Data Sci­ence: This pow­er­house field com­bines sta­tis­tics, com­put­er sci­ence, and domain knowl­edge to extract insights from mas­sive datasets. Think health­care com­pa­nies ana­lyz­ing patient data to pre­dict dis­ease out­breaks or mar­ket­ing firms tar­get­ing ads based on online behavior.
  • Geo­graph­ic Infor­ma­tion Sys­tems (GIS): Imag­ine maps that not only show you where things are, but also tell you their sto­ry. GIS spe­cial­ists use cut­ting-edge tech­nol­o­gy to ana­lyze geo­graph­ic data, cre­at­ing pow­er­ful tools for envi­ron­men­tal stud­ies, urban plan­ning, and dis­as­ter management.
  • Human-Com­put­er Inter­ac­tion (HCI): Ever won­dered how to make tech­nol­o­gy more user-friend­ly? HCI blends psy­chol­o­gy, design, and com­put­er sci­ence to cre­ate inter­faces that under­stand and respond to human needs. This could mean design­ing voice-acti­vat­ed assis­tants, acces­si­ble web­sites, or even vir­tu­al real­i­ty experiences.
  • Cloud Com­put­ing: The cloud is where every­thing’s going these days, from stor­ing data to run­ning appli­ca­tions. Cloud com­put­ing spe­cial­ists design, man­age, and secure these vir­tu­al sys­tems, keep­ing the dig­i­tal world hum­ming smoothly.
  • Green Ener­gy: As we move towards a sus­tain­able future, the demand for clean ener­gy solu­tions is sky­rock­et­ing. Green ener­gy engi­neers devel­op and imple­ment tech­nolo­gies like solar pan­els, wind tur­bines, and ener­gy-effi­cient build­ings, com­bat­ing cli­mate change and cre­at­ing a green­er tomorrow.

Careers for the Future

So, what does the future hold for grad­u­ates with degrees in these emerg­ing fields? The answer: excit­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties! Here’s a sneak peek at the job mar­ket predictions:

  • The Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics projects faster-than-aver­age job growth for all the men­tioned fields, with some exceed­ing 20% over the next decade!
  • These spe­cial­ized skills are in high demand across var­i­ous indus­tries, giv­ing you flex­i­bil­i­ty and options in your career path.
  • Start­ing salaries for these fields are often com­pet­i­tive, reward­ing your invest­ment in education.
Wind tur­bine ser­vice technicians45%$57,320 per year
Nurse prac­ti­tion­ers45%$121,610 per year
Data sci­en­tists35%$103,500 per year
Sta­tis­ti­cians32%$98,920 per year
Infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty analysts32%$112,000 per year
Source: Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics (BLS)

Notice in that list of the five fastest-grow­ing careers, only one — Nurse Prac­ti­tion­er — is not in STEM. It is in med­i­cine, though! 

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics (BLS) does­n’t release spe­cif­ic job growth pro­jec­tions by major. How­ev­er, they do ana­lyze and fore­cast broad­er occu­pa­tion­al trends. While not as pre­cise, we can lever­age this infor­ma­tion to paint a pic­ture of the future out­look for the men­tioned fields.

Here’s how we can expand the “Future Job Mar­ket Pre­dic­tions” sec­tion with more detail and recent statistics:

Growth by Industry:

  • Data Sci­ence: The BLS projects 35% growth for data sci­en­tists over the next decade, much faster than the aver­age for all occupations. 
  • HCI: While there’s no spe­cif­ic “HCI spe­cial­ist” cat­e­go­ry, relat­ed fields like web devel­op­ers and dig­i­tal design­ers show pro­ject­ed growth between 13% and 15%. 
  • Cloud Com­put­ing: The BLS iden­ti­fies cloud com­put­ing as a major dri­ver of growth in com­put­er and infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy occu­pa­tions, pro­ject­ing an over­all 13% increase through 2032. 
  • Green Ener­gy: Envi­ron­men­tal engi­neers, a cat­e­go­ry encom­pass­ing many green ener­gy spe­cial­ists, are pro­ject­ed to see 6% growth, while solar pho­to­voltaics installers exhib­it a stag­ger­ing 22% growth expected!

Salary Insights:

  • Data Sci­ence: The medi­an annu­al wage for com­put­er and infor­ma­tion research sci­en­tists was $131,990 2023, while data sci­en­tists work­ing for spe­cif­ic indus­tries like finance and insur­ance can earn even high­er salaries. 
  • HCI: Web devel­op­ers and dig­i­tal design­ers earned a medi­an annu­al wage of $77,370 and $77,490, respec­tive­ly, in 2023. How­ev­er, spe­cial­iz­ing in HCI can open doors to high­er-pay­ing positions.
  • Cloud Com­put­ing: Cloud com­put­ing spe­cial­ists like cloud archi­tects and net­work engi­neers earn medi­an annu­al wages rang­ing from $129,350 to $138,880, reflect­ing the high demand for their skills. 
  • Green Ener­gy: Envi­ron­men­tal engi­neers had a medi­an annu­al wage of $96,640 in 2023, while spe­cial­ized roles like solar pho­to­voltaics installers can com­mand even high­er salaries, reflect­ing the grow­ing focus on renew­able energy.

Remem­ber: These are gen­er­al sta­tis­tics, and indi­vid­ual salaries can vary based on fac­tors like expe­ri­ence, loca­tion, and employer.

Niche Majors Gaining Importance

Want to stand out from the crowd? Con­sid­er these niche majors that are gain­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty and map direct­ly to the emerg­ing fields above:

  • Envi­ron­men­tal Data Sci­ence: Com­bine your pas­sion for the envi­ron­ment with data analy­sis skills to tack­le chal­lenges like cli­mate change and resource management.
  • Spa­tial Data Analy­sis: Delve deep­er into GIS by spe­cial­iz­ing in ana­lyz­ing spa­tial data to solve com­plex prob­lems in fields like pub­lic health, urban plan­ning, and transportation.
  • User Expe­ri­ence (UX) Design: Focus on the human side of tech­nol­o­gy, design­ing inter­faces that are not only func­tion­al but also delight­ful to use.
  • Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty: With the grow­ing depen­dence on tech­nol­o­gy, cyber­se­cu­ri­ty experts are cru­cial for pro­tect­ing sys­tems and data from cyberattacks.
  • Renew­able Ener­gy Engi­neer­ing: Go beyond tra­di­tion­al ener­gy sources and spe­cial­ize in design­ing and imple­ment­ing inno­v­a­tive renew­able ener­gy solutions.

Choos­ing Your Path:

The world of emerg­ing fields is vast and excit­ing. Do your research, explore your inter­ests, and talk to pro­fes­sion­als in these fields. Remem­ber, the best major is the one that ignites your pas­sion and aligns with your future goals. With the right choice, you can chart a course for a ful­fill­ing career in a rapid­ly evolv­ing world.


What are emerg­ing fields?

Emerg­ing fields are areas of study and work that are rapid­ly grow­ing and evolv­ing. They’re often char­ac­ter­ized by:
High demand for skilled pro­fes­sion­als: As these fields are new or expand­ing, there’s a short­age of qual­i­fied peo­ple to fill open posi­tions.
Cut­ting-edge tech­nol­o­gy and inno­va­tion: Emerg­ing fields are dri­ven by new tech­nolo­gies and ideas, offer­ing excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to tack­le nov­el chal­lenges.
Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary nature: Many emerg­ing fields com­bine knowl­edge from dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines, requir­ing flex­i­ble and adapt­able thinkers.
Focus on future needs: These fields address some of soci­ety’s most press­ing chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties, like cli­mate change, data pri­va­cy, and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence.
Exam­ples of emerg­ing fields include:
Data sci­ence
Arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence
Renew­able ener­gy
Human-com­put­er inter­ac­tion (HCI)
Geospa­tial infor­ma­tion sys­tems (GIS)
Cloud com­put­ing
While some emerg­ing fields may even­tu­al­ly “mature” and sta­bi­lize, their con­stant evo­lu­tion ensures fresh chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties for those who choose to explore them.

Which field has most demand in future?

Pre­dict­ing the “absolute most” in-demand field for the future is tricky, as job mar­kets con­stant­ly shift and depend on sev­er­al fac­tors. How­ev­er, look­ing at cur­rent trends and pro­jec­tions, some strong con­tenders for high future demand include:
Data Sci­ence: The ever-grow­ing vol­ume of data across indus­tries fuels the need for pro­fes­sion­als who can ana­lyze and inter­pret it. Roles like data sci­en­tists, data ana­lysts, and machine learn­ing engi­neers are expect­ed to see sig­nif­i­cant growth.
Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty: With increas­ing reliance on tech­nol­o­gy and dig­i­tal infor­ma­tion, the need for cyber­se­cu­ri­ty experts to pro­tect sys­tems and data from cyber­at­tacks remains crit­i­cal. This field encom­pass­es var­i­ous spe­cial­iza­tions, offer­ing diverse career paths.
Renew­able Ener­gy: As the world strives for sus­tain­able solu­tions, the demand for pro­fes­sion­als in renew­able ener­gy fields like solar pow­er, wind ener­gy, and ener­gy effi­cien­cy is pro­ject­ed to surge due to grow­ing envi­ron­men­tal con­cerns and pol­i­cy changes.
Health­care Tech­nol­o­gy: The health­care indus­try is rapid­ly inte­grat­ing tech­nol­o­gy, cre­at­ing demand for spe­cial­ists in areas like health infor­mat­ics, tele­health, and med­ical device devel­op­ment. These roles play a cru­cial part in improv­ing health­care deliv­ery and patient out­comes.
Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence (AI): While AI devel­op­ment itself may not be a spe­cif­ic “field,” its influ­ence per­me­ates var­i­ous indus­tries, cre­at­ing new job oppor­tu­ni­ties along­side poten­tial automa­tion. Adapt­ing to and work­ing along­side AI will be cru­cial, demand­ing pro­fes­sion­als with skills in areas like AI ethics, data gov­er­nance, and human-cen­tered design.
Remem­ber, these are just some exam­ples, and the best field for you depends on your inter­ests, skills, and career aspi­ra­tions. Research­ing cur­rent trends, explor­ing resources like the BLS Occu­pa­tion­al Out­look Hand­book, and engag­ing with career coun­selors can help you make an informed deci­sion about your future path.
It’s cru­cial to choose a field based on your per­son­al inter­ests and apti­tudes, not just pure demand. A field with high demand won’t be ful­fill­ing if you lack pas­sion for it. So, explore your options, con­sid­er your strengths, and find the emerg­ing field that aligns with your per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al goals.

Which field is best for future?

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there’s no sin­gle answer to “which field is best for the future.” It depends heav­i­ly on indi­vid­ual fac­tors like your:
Inter­ests: What sparks your curios­i­ty and gets you excit­ed to learn? Explor­ing fields that align with your nat­ur­al fas­ci­na­tion will lead to a more ful­fill­ing and enjoy­able career.
Skills & Strengths: What are you nat­u­ral­ly good at? Ana­lyz­ing data, design­ing inter­faces, solv­ing com­plex prob­lems? Align­ing your skills with a field­’s demands strength­ens your can­di­da­cy and ensures suc­cess.
Val­ues & Goals: What mat­ters to you in a career? Finan­cial secu­ri­ty, mak­ing a pos­i­tive impact, con­tin­u­ous learn­ing? Choos­ing a field that aligns with your val­ues leads to a career that feels mean­ing­ful and reward­ing.
Focus­ing sole­ly on “demand” with­out con­sid­er­ing these per­son­al aspects can lead to choos­ing a field you ulti­mate­ly find unsat­is­fy­ing.
How­ev­er, here are some tips to nav­i­gate the vast land­scape of emerg­ing fields:
Explore trends: Research reports, job mar­ket analy­ses, and career web­sites can help you under­stand areas with pro­ject­ed growth and future needs. Pay atten­tion to fields impact­ing var­i­ous indus­tries across the globe.
Iden­ti­fy your trans­fer­able skills: Ana­lyze your exist­ing skills, not just from aca­d­e­mics but also hob­bies or projects. Many skills, like crit­i­cal think­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and prob­lem-solv­ing, are val­ued across diverse fields.
Look beyond spe­cif­ic majors: Emerg­ing fields often blend con­cepts from dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines. Don’t get hung up on spe­cif­ic bach­e­lor’s degrees; focus on skills you can devel­op through var­i­ous cours­es, projects, and expe­ri­ences.
Con­nect with pro­fes­sion­als: Talk to peo­ple work­ing in emerg­ing fields through net­work­ing events, online com­mu­ni­ties, or infor­ma­tion­al inter­views. Gain first­hand insights into the dai­ly work, chal­lenges, and rewards of dif­fer­ent career paths.
Pri­or­i­tize growth mind­set: The world of work is con­stant­ly evolv­ing. Choose a field that encour­ages con­tin­u­ous learn­ing, adap­ta­tion, and upskilling. Being flex­i­ble and open to new oppor­tu­ni­ties will keep you rel­e­vant and valu­able through­out your career.
Remem­ber, the “best” field is the one that empow­ers you to lever­age your skills and inter­ests while align­ing with your val­ues and con­tribut­ing mean­ing­ful­ly to the future you envision.

What career will be in demand in 10 years?

Pre­dict­ing the exact career that will be “most” in demand in 10 years is impos­si­ble due to the dynam­ic nature of the job mar­ket. How­ev­er, based on cur­rent trends and expert analy­sis, some promis­ing career paths with high poten­tial demand in the next decade include:
Data-dri­ven roles:
Data Sci­en­tist: Ana­lyz­ing and extract­ing insights from mas­sive datasets will remain cru­cial across indus­tries.
Machine Learn­ing Engi­neer: Design­ing and build­ing AI sys­tems for tasks like automa­tion and pat­tern recog­ni­tion will see sig­nif­i­cant growth.
Busi­ness Intel­li­gence Ana­lyst: Trans­form­ing data into action­able insights for orga­ni­za­tions will be key in the data-dri­ven future.
Tech-cen­tric careers:
Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty Spe­cial­ist: Pro­tect­ing sys­tems and data from cyber­at­tacks will be para­mount as our reliance on tech­nol­o­gy increas­es.
Cloud Com­put­ing Spe­cial­ist: Design­ing, man­ag­ing, and secur­ing cloud infra­struc­ture will be vital for busi­ness­es of all sizes.
Soft­ware Devel­op­er: Build­ing and main­tain­ing soft­ware appli­ca­tions will con­tin­ue to be essen­tial for var­i­ous indus­tries.
Sus­tain­abil­i­ty-focused roles:
Renew­able Ener­gy Engi­neer: Design­ing and imple­ment­ing solu­tions for solar, wind, and oth­er renew­able ener­gy sources will be in high demand.
Envi­ron­men­tal Engi­neer: Address­ing envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges relat­ed to cli­mate change, pol­lu­tion, and resource man­age­ment will be crit­i­cal.
Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Con­sul­tant: Help­ing orga­ni­za­tions become more sus­tain­able will be increas­ing­ly sought after.
Health­care IT spe­cial­ist:
Tele­health Spe­cial­ist: Inte­grat­ing tech­nol­o­gy into health­care deliv­ery will require spe­cial­ists who under­stand both health­care and tech­nol­o­gy.
Health Infor­mat­ics Spe­cial­ist: Man­ag­ing and ana­lyz­ing health­care data for improved patient care will be cru­cial.
Med­ical Device Devel­op­er: Design­ing and devel­op­ing inno­v­a­tive med­ical devices will play a key role in advanc­ing health­care.
Human-cen­tered fields:
User Expe­ri­ence (UX) Design­er: Cre­at­ing user-friend­ly and intu­itive inter­faces for tech­nol­o­gy will be vital.
Human-Com­put­er Inter­ac­tion (HCI) Spe­cial­ist: Ensur­ing tech­nol­o­gy adapts to human needs and capa­bil­i­ties will be cru­cial.
Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence Ethi­cist: Address­ing eth­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions around AI devel­op­ment and deploy­ment will be impor­tant.
Remem­ber: This list is not exhaus­tive, and future demand can shift due to unfore­seen cir­cum­stances. Focus­ing sole­ly on demand with­out con­sid­er­ing your inter­ests, skills, and val­ues can lead to an unsat­is­fy­ing career.
Here are some tips for choos­ing a future-proof career:
Explore trends, but pri­or­i­tize your inter­ests and skills.
Devel­op trans­fer­able skills like crit­i­cal think­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and prob­lem-solv­ing.
Embrace con­tin­u­ous learn­ing and adap­ta­tion.
Net­work with pro­fes­sion­als in emerg­ing fields.
Choose a field that aligns with your val­ues and desired impact.
By fol­low­ing these tips and con­duct­ing thor­ough research, you can increase your chances of find­ing a ful­fill­ing and in-demand career path in the next decade and beyond.

Which field has the bright­est future?

Deter­min­ing the field with the “bright­est” future is sub­jec­tive and depends on your per­spec­tive and def­i­n­i­tion of “bright­ness.” How­ev­er, here are some approach­es to con­sid­er when think­ing about promis­ing fields:
Sus­tain­abil­i­ty: Address­ing cli­mate change and envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges has a direct impact on every­one’s future. Fields like renew­able ener­gy, envi­ron­men­tal engi­neer­ing, and sus­tain­abil­i­ty con­sult­ing con­tribute to build­ing a more sus­tain­able world.
Health­care: Improv­ing health­care access, qual­i­ty, and afford­abil­i­ty ben­e­fits indi­vid­u­als and soci­eties glob­al­ly. Roles in tele­health, health infor­mat­ics, and med­ical device devel­op­ment play a cru­cial role in advanc­ing health­care.
Edu­ca­tion: Equip­ping future gen­er­a­tions with essen­tial skills and knowl­edge shapes the tra­jec­to­ry of soci­ety. Edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy, cur­ricu­lum devel­op­ment, and edu­ca­tion­al psy­chol­o­gy spe­cial­ists con­tribute to effec­tive learn­ing expe­ri­ences.
Space explo­ration: Push­ing the bound­aries of human explo­ration and knowl­edge holds immense poten­tial for future dis­cov­er­ies and advance­ments. Engi­neers, astro­physi­cists, and space­craft design­ers con­tribute to this excit­ing field.
Arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI): AI’s poten­tial to rev­o­lu­tion­ize var­i­ous indus­tries and aspects of life makes it a dynam­ic and inno­v­a­tive field. Roles in AI ethics, data gov­er­nance, and human-cen­tered AI design guide its respon­si­ble devel­op­ment.
Biotech­nol­o­gy: This field holds promise for tack­ling med­ical chal­lenges, devel­op­ing new mate­ri­als, and enhanc­ing agri­cul­ture. Biotech­nol­o­gists, bio­engi­neers, and bioin­for­mati­cians con­tribute to ground­break­ing research and appli­ca­tions.
Per­son­al Con­nec­tion:
Ulti­mate­ly, the “bright­est” future lies in a field that sparks your pas­sion, aligns with your skills and val­ues, and allows you to con­tribute mean­ing­ful­ly to the world. Here are some ques­tions to reflect on:
What prob­lems or chal­lenges are you pas­sion­ate about solv­ing?
What skills and tal­ents do you want to lever­age in your career?
What kind of impact do you want to make on the world?
By focus­ing on your per­son­al aspi­ra­tions and align­ing them with promis­ing fields, you can choose a path that feels bright and ful­fill­ing for you, regard­less of exter­nal pre­dic­tions. Remem­ber, the “future” is con­stant­ly evolv­ing, and adapt­abil­i­ty and life­long learn­ing are key to thriv­ing in any cho­sen field.