Higher Education Degree Demand Shifts Among Students

By Frank HealyAugust 24, 2015

Higher Ed Growth (HEG), a leader in post-secondary education marketing, has analyzed its data from 2009 to year-to-date 2015 to pinpoint trends and illuminate what degree programs are skyrocketing in popularity.The data issued by HEG illustrates multiple changes in the higher education industry. It is clear that institutions will need to update their program offerings in the next few years as a result of the change in demand for these degrees.

With more than 6 years of data on student degree interest, HEG set out to determine which specific degree programs are growing in popularity. Among the data, we find that degrees in healthcare are on the fast track. In 2015, Medical Assisting demand is up by 2.3 percent compared to 2009-2014.

Other healthcare-related degrees increasing in demand include Health and Fitness, with a 2.9 percent increase, and Health Information Technology, with a 1.8 percent increase. Clinical Psychology has experienced a 0.8 percent rise in interest from previous years. Unique from the healthcare industry, demand for Accounting degrees has also grown this year by 1.73 percent.

This increase in demand for healthcare degrees is likely the result of a growing senior citizen demographic that requires advanced medical care, along with evolutions in technology. Degree interest will also continue to shift as government, media and the higher education industry focus on student outcomes and gainful employment.

With new rules and regulations, institutions are now required to provide information to students on the specific degree’s return on investment, which will likely steer many students into more profitable career areas. The higher education industry should prepare for shifts in demand as changes in technology and the job market continue. More than ever, schools need to focus their efforts on cultivating student success by offering and steering students toward programs that are in high demand. 

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