Higher education has gone through a huge dynamic shift over the past few years, with the current pandemic only heightening the tension. Student loan debt has been an argument for the ages, and with more and more students wanting to head to university, the demand for such places has boosted the requirements, with many falling short of qualifying for their first and second choices.
And then came COVID-19, which forced campuses across the world to close while students isolated in their accommodation and studied their courses online. This quick, necessary shift to e-learning highlighted which schools were equipped to handle a more accessible teaching method and which were not. It also allowed first-year students to settle into the big changes that university life can bring while shining a new light on the ‘value’ of a degree – both financially and how a degree can help you pursue a fulfilling career.
Many people are now looking to change jobs, and prospective students are looking for degree courses that can really make a difference. Here are some of the top degrees and courses that will continue to make a difference in the post-pandemic world.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a distinct shortage of registered nurses across the globe. This year, colleges and universities released students early from their studies to help with the demand for healthcare professionals. Due to necessity, nurse roles on the job market are currently offering signing bonuses or higher salaries to incentivize people to join hospital workforces.
If you’re worried about choosing a career that won’t survive the pandemic, nursing is certainly something to consider. Nurses have a high job satisfaction rate and will always be in demand. It’s also a great profession for those who like the flexibility of shift work or anyone wanting to work their way up and make serious changes to the way healthcare is administered in the US.
Due to the demand, nursing can now be studied online around other life priorities, with many courses requiring just a few weeks on-campus for practical examinations.
Our mental wellbeing has certainly taken a dive over the past year, and social workers are proving essential across the world. Whether it’s helping those with mental health issues or providing support for those in financial difficulty, social workers have been an incredible help during one of the largest crises of our time.
If you like the idea of working in the community, supporting families, or caring for vulnerable members of society, then social work will likely be the perfect choice for you.
Lean Manufacturing & Supply Chain
A career that you might not have thought about is lean manufacturing or supply chain. With most non-essential businesses closing during the pandemic, a failed supply chain has been prominent across the world. In the future, supply chain managers will be vital for making sure this breakdown during a crisis doesn’t happen again.
Similarly, lean manufacturing will be practiced by more and more production companies in the future. Lean manufacturing refers to the concept in which companies can reduce waste and become more streamlined – producing more value for their customers. Using Six Sigma techniques, lean manufacturers can quickly go on to become project managers, consultants, and quality surveyors – all key roles in the fight against global warming, encouraging sustainability, and preparing for worst-case scenarios. It’s these techniques that allowed production lines to quickly turn from making engines to providing ventilators to hospitals, fashion manufacturing switched to making PPE, and much more.
You can study a Six Sigma Master Blackbelt degree online with a schedule that suits you.
Whether it’s working for the government and banks or helping small businesses get back on their feet, the demand for accountants and economists after the pandemic will be high. To get the economy back on track, we’ll be dependent on those that are experts in number crunching and budgeting.
Accountancy is a great degree for those with a statistical mind. The skills learned are invaluable when it comes to helping people manage their finances. Bookkeeping is also a legal requirement for every business, making accountancy a pretty stable profession to pursue.
If the race to find a COVID vaccination created excitement in you, it might be worth considering a degree in biology or biomedicine. These scientists will be at the forefront of research that will hopefully stop new strains coming through while also predicting other cross-species viruses for the future. Who knows, you could be on the team that prevents the next pandemic.
There are other degrees that have seen a surge in popularity since the beginning of last year. Of course, teaching is a huge contender, while other unexpected choices like IT and cybersecurity are finding their way into the limelight as more businesses look for remote working to become a permanent thing.
If you want to make a difference, you can gain a great education online without breaking the bank. And in a few years, you could be supporting the world during the next big crisis.