If undecided about a career field, and the degree needed to get hired, consider jobs requiring these advanced degrees. Jobs in these career fields all have one thing in common – promising futures with projected growth several times above the average (5% to 9%) used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Here are three master-level degrees for three of the fastest growing fields.

Master of Public Health

In the year 2000, 12.4% of the U.S. population was at least 65 years old; in 2030 that figure will grow to 19.6%. As the number of our Nation’s people growing older continues to rise, so does their requirement for healthcare – especially public health services.

From epidemics, to pandemics, to chronic health problems that can hit the older population harder, public health officials are the clearinghouse for the identification and ultimate management of these health challenges. Globalization amplifies these challenges as diseases never before seen here make their way to the United States, such as the recent Ebola scare.

As far as demand, the BLS estimates the need for epidemiologists will rise by 10%, while biostatisticians will grow by 27%. Recent median pay for these two jobs is listed as $69,000 and $80,110, respectively.

This degree is offered online by 31 schools, including John Hopkins University.

Master of Project Management

While the degree is specialized, its application to a particular field is not. From healthcare, to information, to manufacturing, and more, project management is a career that spans across numerous fields. In fact, estimates show 700,000 new positions will be added to the workforce between 2010 and 2020. Median salary for project managers is $105,000. Several schools offer this degree as a total online program, including Penn State, Northeastern and Brandeis. Some schools are tailoring this degree to specific career industries in their area in an effort to keep graduates local.

Master of Data Science

Because of the increase of stored data by companies having 1,000 employees or more, the need for people that know how to analyze and spot trends from this data will continue to rise. Product/services development and marketing departments depend on data results to keep their businesses viable and relevant.

Two promising jobs using this degree are computer information research scientists and data statisticians. According to the BLS, projected growth for these two jobs is expected to be 15% and 27%, respectively, by 2022. For both of these occupations, businesses prefer master’s degrees instead of bachelor’s degrees.

By 2018, the BLS estimates 300,000 new data jobs will have been created and half of these positions will go unfilled due to lack of trained people. If a median salary of $80,000 plus in the data field interests you, now would be the time to get this degree.

Because graduate school tuition is much higher than what the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay, prospective students should consider Yellow Ribbon schools offering these degree programs. Under the Yellow Ribbon program, schools can pay up to 50% of the difference between tuition and what the New GI Bill pays. The VA matches the percentage, thus reducing out-of-pocket education expenses.

Any of these fields would be great career choices. By starting your master’s degree now, you would still have time to get in on the ground floor of these career fields that are projected to explode in the near-term.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.