5 Best University Degrees for Millennials
Being the first generation of the 21st century and the first to grow up in a truly interconnected world, the millennials are a breed of their own. Therefore it’s only logical that the university degrees most suitable for them are not the same as those that have appealed to earlier generations.
If you were born between the early 1980s and late 1990s, you are part of the praised and bashed generation known as the Millennials. Described simultaneously as being overly ambitious and spoiled, this is the generation that is currently taking over the working world. In the US alone, the Millennials already make up the largest percentage of the work force, clocking in at around 56 million.
While most of the older millennials have already settled into careers, the younger members of this generation are just getting started on their adult lives. Many are still wondering what they should study in university, and which career path would suit their interests well.
To make the decision-making easier, we have gathered together some of the best bachelor’s degree options for this unique generation.
Millennials grew up with the Internet and cell phones and see them as life essentials instead of luxury items. They are described as digital natives, as most learned to use technology already as children or teens. Whereas earlier generations can barely keep up with Facebook, millennials have no problems swapping between their Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts, and communicating with their peers via WhatsApp, Kik and Telegram. Social media is in their blood. For increasing numbers of millennials, social media is also what brings food to the table as new jobs are created within the field. If your dream is to be a social media manager or a social media strategist, studying communication or media is a good way to get started. Above all, you need excellent writing, marketing and digital skills to get hired to manage a company’s online presence. You could develop these skills, for example, by pursuing Media Studies in the US at American University.
Studying something versatile and yet concrete is a good idea in this rapidly changing world that millennials have been thrown into. A degree in health sciences fits this description well and opens up a range of lucrative career options. One good place to obtain such a degree is Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, United States. Graduates can work as medical laboratory technicians, pharmacists and in medical case management, for example. Also, a health sciences degree is an ideal foundation for those wanting to study further to become physician assistants. According to a report by Young Invincibles, a millennial advocacy group, the need for physician assistants will go up by 38 percent by 2022. The job also comes with regular hours, leading to a healthier work-life balance than being an actual doctor. This works well for millennials, for whom adequate free time is a top life value, says a 2016 report by Deloitte.
While earlier generations did not have to think twice about studying humanities subjects such as history and literature, Millennials have been told from a young age that the future lies in the STEM industries (science, technology, engineering, and math). A degree in biomedical engineering is indeed a safe bet, as employment prospects are very promising in this rapidly growing field. The job of bioengineers is to develop and analyze new products, treatments and solutions for the medical industry or the biological field, improving patient care in the process. This aligns well with the values of millennials: they are one of the most civic-minded generations in history. Helping others and making positive contributions to society is a true calling for today’s young adults. If Canada is on your radar, you could look into the biomedical engineering programme of The University of Waterloo.
Millennials are more interested in healthy, clean eating than previous generations. Instead of grabbing a mass-produced burger at McDonald’s, these young adults prefer to cook gluten-free meals at home or to visit hip raw food restaurants. Being a vegetarian or vegan is also very common. In the US, about 12 percent of millennials say they are faithful vegetarians compared to just 1 percent of baby boomers. According to the Vegan Society of the UK, the number of vegans has risen by 350 percent over the last decade. Of all vegans in the UK, 42 percent were aged 15-34 in 2016. This type of social awareness about healthy eating means that the demand for nutrition experts will only be growing in the future. A degree in nutrition sciences, acquired for example from the Alabama-based Auburn University in the United States, can be useful in many ways, whether you are interested in working as a health consultant or are looking to open your own restaurant.
Out of all generations, millennials are the most skeptical towards the use of fossil fuels. According to a recent poll by Ernst & Young, only 2 percent of American college graduates list the oil industry as their preferred place to work. More than 90 percent of millennials believe in climate change. This means that all types of skills related to renewable energy production will be in high demand once this new generation truly starts calling the shots. Solar power is one field sure to pick up speed. The consulting company Accenture surveyed people from 19 countries and found out that 56 percent of millennials are looking to install solar panels in the next five years. Working within the renewable energy field will also help today’s young adults feel like they are doing their
best to save the world – which is something they really feel passionate about. If you’d like to join this eco-revolution, you could apply to study environmental engineering at the University of New South Wales in Australia.
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About the Writer: Mirva Lempiäinen is a US-educated freelance journalist from Finland. After calling New York City home for about a decade, she now resides on the French-Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.