For many people thinking about going to college, job prospects and potential income are key factors in the decision. What are the in-demand fields and hot degrees? Here are five that look promising for this year and beyond.

Master of Business Administration

This degree is perennially on the list of top programs, and last year the degree was hotter than ever. The Class of 2015 saw median salaries hit six digits. At the same time, an overwhelming 84 percent of American companies say they plan to hire MBA holders.

MBA graduates are in such high demand because today’s complex business world demands different thinking from top managers. They must understand their own department, all parts of the company, and in some instances the global market as well. An MBA from a quality program gives future business leaders that understanding.

Master of Accountancy

A master’s in accounting is another consistently in-demand advanced degree. A good program not only prepares accountants to be better at what they do, but it also positions graduates for other exciting jobs and even entrepreneurship. Corporations often turn to accountants for leadership roles because these professionals are trained in the analytical skills businesses need.

Some professionals pursue MBAs with an emphasis on accounting, finance, or business economics rather than a master’s in accounting. The difference: A master’s in accounting focuses on specific professional skills, while the MBA gives you an overview of business operations as a whole.

MBA in Project Management

Project managers are tasked with making sure objectives are met on time and within budget. It’s exciting work that gives professionals an opportunity to shepherd large-scale projects from idea to outcome. It’s also complex work that requires broad-based business knowledge.

An MBA with a project management specialization helps business leaders learn hard skills such as budgeting and soft skills such as communication. Those who can master both sets may find a wealth of employment opportunities.

Human Resources Management

In years past companies had personnel departments able to guide employees through payroll and benefits paperwork. In the modern business world, highly skilled human resources professionals must onboard new hires, recruit, make sure all policies comply with labor laws, and ensure that great employees stay with the company. An online master’s in human resources management or an MBA with an emphasis on human resources management is a great way for working professionals to stay on top of their game and on track for promotion.

Marketing Managers

This field is another that’s seen a sea change in just the past few years as more marketing professionals have, by necessity, turned to eMarketing tools to get the word out about their company and their products.

A bachelor’s degree in marketing from a program that includes these cutting-edge tools is a great way to get started. Professionals who aspire to higher levels such as a marketing or sales manager will find that earning a master’s is a great way to develop crucial cross-departmental knowledge.

Many of the more popular online degrees for 2016 may lead to careers that have seen growth for the past several years. Students who enroll in MBA, accounting, human resources, marketing, or project management programs will find themselves equipped to pursue these exciting opportunities and potentially succeed.

Written by University staff.

For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, please visit Program Disclosures.

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