So you’re faced with the looming question on the college application: What is your intended college major?
Some students can easily answer that question. They’ve been dreaming of a particular career and are applying specifically for that purpose. For the average 18-year old, however, this question is daunting. I know what you’re thinking; how on earth am I supposed to declare the rest of my life at the beginning of my senior year in high school? In case you are in this boat, here are some of the fastest-growing industries over the next five years to consider.
1. Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy – these two professions are growing by leaps and bounds thanks to an aging Baby Boomer generation and a growing number of autism diagnoses in children. Occupational therapists work with patients on life skills, whether it is re-learning basic living skills for geriatric patients or helping young children overcome sensory overload with strategic games and exercises. Bonus: many OT’s end up making close to six figures. While majors in Occupational Therapy don’t really exist, ones such as psychology make good degrees to continue on to graduate school to specialize in OT.
2. Home Health Care – Once again, the Baby Boomer generation’s decline is the driving force behind many of the industries on the horizon. Pretty much any career in the health care field – nurses, doctors, physician’s assistants, dental hygienists – are going to have solid chances to landing a job right out of college due to the demand.
3. Engineering – This is a vast industry where one can specialize in several different places. Obviously, software engineers are in high demand, as are biomedical engineers to develop devices for an aging population. If you enjoyed puzzles, Legos, and problem-solving as a kid, then consider looking into the many tracks within this major as a starting point.
Remember also that the average college student switches majors at least five times. For many of us, taking elective coursework opened doors to avenues we never considered, and with the more experience you have, the more solidified your path will be. You don’t have to have every step figured out today – just an idea of which direction in which to take the first step.