A graduate degree can open doors in many occupations and industries. But there are some specific areas where a graduate degree can be most beneficial. According to researchers from Georgetown University, those industries are typically life and social sciences, education and law. Experts suggest that within the next decade a master's degree will be required for positions in the managerial, health care, technological, engineering, mathematical, community service and arts fields. These industries are projected to feature about 85 percent of all master's degree holders by 2018. Here are some of the jobs expected to be the fastest growing for graduate degree holders in the coming years:

Human Resources, Training or Labor Relations Managers and Specialists. Human resources and labor relations managers help consulting firms recruit the most highly skilled and talented employees to boost businesses' efficiency, productivity and profitability. These managers and specialists generally possess master's degrees in human resources, personnel administration or labor relations, or have MBAs.

Environmental Scientists. Environmental scientists study such conditions as pollution, erosion and deforestation and come up with solutions to them. Because sustaining the environment will be a top priority within the coming years, job prospects in this field are expected to continue to grow. These positions are generally awarded to those who have master's degrees in environmental science or a related field like earth science.

Medical and Health Services Managers. Medical and health services managers monitor and oversee the operations of health care facilities. Typical job duties include planning, directing, coordinating and supervising the health care system within a single department or entire facility. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these jobs mostly go to applicants who have master's degrees in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration or business administration.

Computer and Software Engineers. These professionals design software programs and applications for computers and mobile devices. They play an important role in establishing the efficiency and profitability of a variety of industries and sectors including business, technology and gaming. Since the world will continue to depend on computers and other technology within the coming years, this occupation is expected to continue to flourish. Although a bachelor's degree in software engineering is sometimes acceptable, top positions are usually won by master's degree holders in computer engineering, computer information systems or software engineering.


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