Top Industries for College Freshmen to Consider

Entering college can be a dizzying experience. While few students know exactly which career they want to pursue before they even set foot on campus, most college freshmen have no clue. A landmark study revealed that about 20 to 50 percent of college freshmen enter college as undecided and 75 percent of students change their major at least once before graduation. No matter what your end goals are to attaining a degree, here are some overlooked industries consider getting into after graduation.

  1. Artificial intelligence

Whether or not we’re prepared for it, we are entering the era of Artificial Intelligence. The artificial intelligence industry is projected to be worth an eye-popping $70 billion by 2020!

According to a report from the World Economic Forum, robots could take over as much as 52 percent of the current job market by 2025. Not to worry though; An increase in demand for technology-related jobs will offset this, specifically within the AI and robotics sectors.

This is a great industry to consider if you want to travel or relocate to Asia. Since the continent has a greater necessity for industrial and commercial automation, the Asian robotics market is at the industry’s forefront. China’s service robot market alone is 44 percent higher than the global average rate.

The best undergraduate majors: Artificial intelligence, mechatronics, computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, robotics and automation engineering, data, science, and computer programming.

  1. Cloud computing

Despite the name, cloud computing has nothing to do with meteorology or accounting. Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computer services, such as servers, databases, storage, networking, software, analytics, and other virtual data over the Internet. If you have used Dropbox, Gmail, or Facebook, you’ve witnessed cloud computing at work.

The recent rise of cloud delivery model could become a very lucrative career in the next years. Almost all industries can benefit from cloud computing; It helps businesses reduce costs, secure their data, and provide them scalability. The Gartner report estimates 90 percent of enterprises will use cloud technology by 2022. Larger organizations on average leverage almost five clouds for their operations, and public cloud production is expected to grow exponentially.

The best undergraduate majors: Cloud computing technology, computer programming, computer engineering, computer science, information systems, and information technology.

  1. Biotechnology

Want to use your analytical skills and technological prowess to help save the world? You can by getting into the innovative and technical world of biotechnology. At its simplest, biotechnology is a technology based in biology. Biotechnologist harness and manipulate cellular and biomolecular processes to develop groundbreaking technologies and create commercial products that help improve our health and environment.

The biotech industry is divided into the medical and agricultural markets. With annual revenues exceeding $150 billion, medical biotech is unarguably where all the money is. The average salary for entry-level jobs in medical biotechnology is $70 thousand per year.

According to a report, it expects the global biotechnology industry to be worth $727.1 billion by 2025. A rise in demand for diagnostic solutions on DNA sequencing, recombinant technology, and red biotechnology will further fuel its growth.

While medical biotechnology is lucrative for its use on drug development, large multi-national agricultural companies such as Bayer and Monsato are integrating biotech in their research and development programs.

In addition, the need to find solutions to dire environmental issues such as low crop yield, pest attacks, water shortages, and limited availability of agricultural land in both developed and developing countries are creating more research jobs in the environment and natural resources sector.

The best undergraduate majors: Biotechnology, biology, biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, medical laboratory science, and environmental engineering and medical laboratory science.

  1. Pharmacology

People are living longer than a hundred years ago. About two billion people worldwide will be aged 60 years or older by 2050. Meanwhile, seniors (65 years or older) will double to 100 million in the United States by 2060. This means that an aging population will need higher quantities and more varieties of prescription drug treatments- an industry projected to be worth $1.2 trillion in the next six years.

A job in the pharmaceutical industry offers a stable, well-paid, and meaningful career that will help improve the quality of people’s lives. You don’t need higher level degrees to get into the sector. However, a Ph.D. is essential if you want to work in research.

Best undergraduate majors: Pharmacology, chemistry, pharmaceutical science, biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, and toxicology.

  1. Video Game Industry

If you’re creative and passionate about video games, consider a career in the video game industry. The continuous rise of eSports and high demand for mobile games has skyrocketed the industry’s growth and value to $137.9 billion.

Unless you plan on breaking into the ultra-competitive world of eSports, don’t count on making a worthwhile career out of playing video games. The industry is full of programmers, designers, and artist that started out as low-paid entry-level video game testers.

I won’t sugarcoat it, the video game industry is notorious for its competitive environment, long work hours, and lofty recruitment standards. But once you’re in, the salary is good- the average annual salary for programmers with less than 3 years’ experience is about $70 thousand.

Having a good portfolio of games to show employers is essential. The video game industry is known for its meritocratic approach, where only your work matters.

Best undergraduate majors: Computer science, interactive media, game design and development, computer animation, software engineering

  1. Correctional Facilities

A job inside the state penitentiary may not be the most alluring nor the safest of occupations, but this is an evergreen industry- there will always be a viable need because people will continuously commit crime. The demand for probation officers, parole officers, and correctional treatment specialists is expected to increase slightly until 2026.

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and spends three times more money on prisons than public schools. The industry also enjoys increased federal and state government funding for private facilities and services. As long as there is abundant financing, don’t expect common corrections jobs to disappear soon.

Best undergraduate majors: Criminal justice, law enforcement science, criminology, forensic psychology, and forensic nursing.

It’s never too early to decide on a career path. You’ll save lots of time and money in higher education if you know where to focus all your time and energy in. No matter what industry you get into, keep in mind that several fields have a meager average median salary but once you gain a graduate degree, the profession can be lucrative. Consider these lucrative and booming industries the next time you join a job fair.

This article was written by Catherine Tabuena. Catherine Tabuena is a content writer, e-book ghostwriter, and retired professional singer. Her articles have appeared in BuzzFeed, Medium, Thought Journal, and Nexxt. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources from Charter Oak State College. She is a lifelong music lover and a devoted hobbyist of kooky subjects such as classical music, opera, metaphysical science, stoicism, and krav maga. She also bakes delicious chocolate chip cookies. Learn more about her at

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