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Does Your Degree Level Align With Job Openings?

Find out which occupations will have the most job opportunities, and what degree program can prepare you for those positions.

It would be wonderful to study any subject you like, purely for the learning experience. But most people pursue a degree not just for the love of learning, but to start a new career or advance in a career they’re already working in. That means it’s an excellent idea to ensure that the degree you’re pursuing—whether it’s a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree—aligns with actual job openings.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) makes projections by level of education that show which careers are expected to have the most openings in the coming decade.1 These openings are driven by employees retiring or leaving to pursue a new occupation, as well as new jobs being created due to industry growth. Across all occupations, the BLS projects an average of more than 17 million openings each year through 2029.1

If you’re seeking a bachelor’s degree, you can prepare for the tens of thousands of job openings for elementary and secondary school teachers, marketing specialists and market research analysts, project management specialists and business operation specialists, registered nurses, and more. These positions typically require only a bachelor’s degree and no related work experience.1

Additionally, more than 87,000 job openings are projected annually for management analysts, and 74,500 openings are projected for personal service managers and entertainment and recreation managers. Those management and analyst roles normally require less than five years of related work experience in addition to a bachelor’s degree.1

The category projected to have the most openings over the coming years is general and operation managers, with more than 200,000 projected positions available each year and a median annual wage of $100,780 in 2019.1 This is a broad career that exists in numerous industries, including government, healthcare and social assistance, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services.2 To take on this role, you’ll be expected to have five or more years of experience in a related occupation in addition to a bachelor’s degree such as a BS in Business Administration.

With a master’s degree, you could pursue one of the tens of thousands of positions that will be available for nurse practitioners and for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors. With a master’s in social work and an internship or residency, you could start a career as a healthcare social worker. If you have five or more years of experience and a master’s degree such as a master’s in education (also known as an MSEd), you could find work as an instructional coordinator or an education administrator for kindergarten through secondary schools.1

You may wish to pursue a terminal degree, like a PhD, which is the top degree available for a field. After doing so, you can apply for a number of great positions. If you’d like to become a postsecondary teacher, educating students beyond the high school level, you’ll need a doctoral degree, such as a PhD in Education or a Doctor of Education degree (also called an EdD). Nearly 19,000 postsecondary educator positions are projected to open each year through 2029. An additional 26,000 health specialties educator positions are estimated to become available annually. Health specialties educators teach in areas like public health, therapy, and nursing. To become a teacher in the health specialties field, you’ll want to have a doctorate and additional work experience.1

If you’re already working in your chosen field, that work experience will be helpful in your career path. It can make earning a degree at a campus-based institution challenging, though. Luckily, you can earn a degree online. Accredited online colleges go through the same accreditation process as campus-based colleges. Additionally, online education allows you to take college courses from home or from anywhere else you have internet access. Plus, online courses have flexible scheduling, meaning you can participate in classes at whatever time works best for you. This enables you to continue to work while earning your degree.

When it comes to taking advantage of job openings, earning a degree online can help you expand your professional network and gain the right skills for the career you want. It’s a great way to put yourself on the path to success.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,