Three Careers for 2020 and Beyond

Figuring out which career path to follow can be a daunting prospect, and you need to make sure that any education you undertake will give you a good return on your college investment and provide lasting, well-paid employment. Take a look at these hot career picks and see if they fit your bill.

Cybersecurity Specialist

Attacks on the networks that we rely on for the smooth running of civilization are a big threat today, and that threat isn’t going away. Rogue nation states, terrorists and blackmailers all seek to undermine the safety and security of people, businesses and governments around the world. Cybersecurity specialists work to protect critical systems from these threats.

With a projected shortfall of 1.5 million qualified specialists by the end of the decade, cybersecurity professionals can expect some of the best pay and conditions around. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in computer science to get started in this field, but a master’s will give you the pick of the choicest opportunities.

The average salary today across the sector is $120,000, and the more highly specialized role of security software engineer can pay twice that amount.

Civil Engineer

The United States needs to invest heavily in infrastructure upgrades in the coming years. The American Society for Civil Engineers says that a further investment of $3.6 trillion is needed by 2020.

Civil engineers play a part in ensuring the safety and fitness for everything from roads, bridges and dams to airports, stadiums and retail parks and will take a prominent role in the huge build-out of the renewable energy infrastructure.

To take advantage of the best opportunities, you’ll need a master’s degree in civil engineering, which can be completed in five semesters when you take your civil engineering degree online.

Civil engineers enjoy competitive salaries, with a median income in the region of $82,000. Currently, the fossil fuel industry is paying the highest salaries, with workers on pipeline projects pulling in close to $114,000 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Physician’s Assistant

It’s no secret that the population in the western world is heavily skewed toward those in retirement, and this aging sector of society are big consumers of healthcare services of all kinds, which puts pressure on medical staff and the system as a whole.

Physicians are increasingly turning to professional assistants to help them manage their increased workload, with assistants needed to handle the time-consuming visits to retirement homes to check on patients. To work in this field, you’ll need a master’s degree. You’ll also have to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Once you’re qualified in this field, you can expect a good income with the median salary currently in the region of $91,000.

When you study for a degree that will give you access to these types of careers, you can be certain that your time and your money will be well spent.