Careers by degree

Employers in the United States have a difficult time filling a vast number of in-demand jobs. Why? They simply can’t find enough people with the appropriate qualifications.

The in-demand careers in our list don’t require a graduate degree, although for some of these high-demand careers a master’s degree may be helpful for some of the positions.

We had numerous top careers to choose from. We selected in-demand occupations which don’t inspire people to watch the clock, and which also have excellent employment growth forecasts from 2010 to 2020.

All of our employment projections and income statistics come from the redoubtable Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment growth forecasts cover the period from 2010–2020, while median salary figures are from 2011.

So, which jobs are in demand?

In alphabetical order, here’s our list of 10 rewarding, in-demand careers:


What they do: Actuaries gather and evaluate facts to calculate the financial costs of risks. They build mathematical models to put a price tag on future risks.

Since they spend a lot of time working with numbers, they need an understanding of probability, statistics, and risk analysis.

Many actuaries work in the insurance industry. They decide how much to charge for insurance, or decide how much money to set aside to pay outstanding insurance claims.

Education requirements: Many actuaries have an undergraduate degree in mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, or business. Some employers hire people with a liberal arts degree who show a high mathematical aptitude.

Actuaries need to take required courses for professional certification, including applied statistics, economics, and corporate finance. Helpful courses include courses in computer science, particularly programming languages. They also need the skills to develop and use spreadsheets, statistical analysis tools, and databases.

The occupation requires continual education. To achieve professional status, actuaries need to pass a series of examinations provided by the Casualty Actuarial Society or the Society of Actuaries. Both societies offer associate and fellowship certification.

Median salary: 3, 000

Employment growth: 27%, faster than the average for all occupations

The BLS expects consulting services to have the largest employment growth for actuaries—58%—due to the demand from insurance companies for contract work, and to companies seeking help with evaluating and managing employee benefit plans. For the insurance industry itself, 25% employment growth for actuaries is forecast.

More industries are expected to use the services of consulting actuaries to evaluate risks across all business areas, a practice known as “enterprise risk management.” Those who have passed at least one actuarial exam and completed an internship while attending college should have the best prospects for entry-level jobs.


What they do: Cardiovascular technologists test and treat patients for heart, lung, and blood problems. Working with sophisticated lab equipment, they have the opportunity to specialize in invasive or noninvasive cardiovascular technology.

Most cardiovascular technologists work in invasive health labs or medical surgical intensive care units. They help other healthcare professionals perform heart surgeries and studies.

It's Interesting

  • The Master of Science in Leadership (MSL) is a master's degree in leadership studies that is offered by a college of business. It is an alternative to, not a substitute for, the traditional Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The MSL degree requirements may include some business/management courses that are required in an MBA...

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