Top 10 Degrees That Did Not Exist 10 years ago

degrees I met a young lady recently and as we got talking, I asked her what she majored in. When she responded,  I was like; What! … I had never heard of her course of study. That conversation got me thinking and so here are top 10 degrees that did not exist 10 years ago. I bet you’ve never heard of them either.


Technology never ceases to amaze me. The field of nanotechnology works with systems at the molecular level and can be applied across many different disciplines, including physics, engineering and chemistry. Most nanotechnology programs are at the graduate level, but several programs provide a background in nanotechnology studies, like bachelor’s program in nanosystems engineering at Louisiana Tech University.

Career opportunities: Nanotechnology career opportunities, exist in areas such as;

  • Electronics/semiconductor industry
  • Materials science including textiles, polymers, packaging, among others
  • Auto and aerospace industries
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental monitoring, control, and remediation
  • Food science including quality control and packaging
  • Forensics
  • University and federal lab research
  • Military and national security

U.S. salaries for nanotechnology engineering technicians range from $30,000 to $94,000 according to with the average at $79,000.That’s a lot of dollars!

Computer Game Design

Almost every child loves playing video games. To give them what they want and also a source of income, parents could consider pointing them towards this path by encouraging them to major in computer game design. Computer game design programs were nearly nonexistent a decade ago, today more than 150 colleges offer programs and courses in game design.

Some programs, like the computer games development program at DePaul University, focus on the programming of games while others, like Michigan State University launched a Serious Game Design master’s degree program  for students with “a desire to create and study games which change the world.”

Career Opportunities: Video games are a $30 billion industry in the U.S., especially as more people play games on their mobile phones, according to Reuters. Game designers are an important part of a comprehensive team of designers and developers that coordinate the complex task of creating a new video game. As long as there are upgrades on phones and PCs there will be need for Game designers. According to payscale, the average pay for a Video Game Designer is $54,510 per year. 


This field focuses on buying, selling and marketing items on the Internet and may also include communicating with customers, employees and business partners. Demand for employees in this field is expected to grow faster than average, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Degree programs in e-marketing are usually in universities’ business schools and are more common at the graduate level. Some schools, like the University of Akron, offer bachelor’s programs in e-marketing.

As of today, an E-Marketer can earn as high as $36,000 per year, according to Telemarketer

Technology Entrepreneurship

This course is being offered at the Carnegie Mellon University and other universities around the world. Many of the world’s most recent and most successful ventures have stemmed from technology-centric concepts. Designed to “sharpen the students’ skills in identifying technology-based business opportunities,” this course teaches students how to approach entrepreneurship from a technologist’s perspective.

Career Opportunities:

In corporate settings, an entrepreneur that maintains their managerial and directorial responsibilities is often called a ‘chief executive officer’ (CEO) and are typically also simultaneously a board member. The annual average salary of such a position was $173,000 in May 2010.

Social Media & Virtual Communities

These days, we wouldn’t recommend starting a business without a solid social media marketing strategy. This course prepares students by teaching them how to integrate social media into a business context and tap communities in the most interactive way possible. This  is being offered at  Emory University Goizueta Business School.

The average salary for a Social media expert and Virtual community specialist per year is $50,000.

Forensic accounting

The need for Forensic Accountants has increased over the years due to the rise in corporate scandals. While it has existed for many years, forensic accounting is now the fastest-growing field of accounting. Forensic accountants are like money detectives – they investigate suspected financial mishandling and assist in legal matters. Forensic accountants must have a broad understanding of business practices beyond standard accounting skills.

A Forensic Accountant can earn as high as $60,000 per year.


Biotechnology combines biology and technology to solve agricultural, food science and medical issues. It is an interdisciplinary field and is often combined with a business degree. Most biotechnology degrees are at the master’s level, yet bachelor’s degrees in biotechnology are starting to emerge as this field becomes more in demand.

Career paths include:  bioinformatics, biomedical engineering and biomedical engineering. A Biotechnologist in the US can earn an average of $71,000 per year.

Media & Social Psychology

The course invites students to study social psychology in terms of mass media, and more specifically, as it relates to social influence. A big part of how we’re influenced today happens through social media.

The course explores the processes of self concept formation, the formation of judgments, explanations and expectations, along with an exploration of attitudes and behaviour, and social identity embedded within the context of mass media influence, new media interactions and the social psychology of social networks. Media psychologists’ average salary as of 2011 was recorded to be $53,000 annually. Based on the region, field, and number of years in the profession, the figures could vary according to psychologyschool.


As futuristic as it sounds, there’s been a demand for a robotics degree for quite some time. In 2007, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute offered the first bachelor’s degree program in robotics engineering.

As the name suggests, robotics is the study of the design, build and operation of robots.

Career Opportunities include; Welding, Installing safety systems, Programming and reprogramming robots, Robot maintenance and repair e.t.c. A Robotics expert can earn as much as $71,000 per year.

Data Journalism and Investigative Reporting

Your ward will learn how to find useful documents and other sources of data, extract meaningful information from large data sets, prepare data for public use, and make it possible for consumers of the news to interact with the data. They will also learn how to use data to perform investigative journalism.

The salary scale for a Data / Investigative Journalism expert ranges from $48,000 – $56,000 per year.

The list is endless but, these are the top 10 degrees that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Keep encouraging your children to explore new areas….

We are adding Machine Learning to the list –

Machine learning is dedicated to furthering the scientific understanding of automated learning, and to producing the next generation of tools for data analysis and decision making based on that understanding. Machine learning is a rapidly expanding field with many applications in diverse areas such as bioinformatics, fraud detection, intelligent systems, perception, finance, information retrieval, and other areas.

Today’s demand for expertise in machine learning far exceeds the supply, and this imbalance will become more severe over the coming decade. The salary scale for a Machine Learning expert ranges from $85,000 to over $140,000.

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