Which Colleges Majors Are On the Rise?

Barry Lenson

Which Colleges Majors Are On the Rise?

Which Colleges Majors Are On the Rise?If you want to learn a lot about trends in American higher education and have fun at the same time, you should spend a little time playing around on Good Transparency’s website. The people who created this page took statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics and plugged them into one of the niftiest interactive websites anywhere that lets you slice up the data in a number of interesting ways.

Do you want to know whether more or fewer students are obtaining associates, bachelors, masters or doctoral degrees, for example? You can find out with a few clicks. Do you want to know whether more students are earning degrees in engineering, psychology, or another discipline? Again, this website can deliver the answers.

Here are some interesting random facts that we learned, just by clicking around . . .

  • Students in two-year colleges really like to study psychology and health-related subjects. Overall, those are the fastest-growing majors for students who are earning two-year associates degrees.
  • More students are majoring in the arts. In fact, there has been a 64% increase since 1998 in the number of students who are earning four-year bachelor’s degrees in the fine and performing arts. And those majors are equally popular among men and women.
  • Students are stampeding to earn doctorates in healthcare fields. There has been a staggering 531% increase since 1998 in the number of students who are earning doctoral degrees in health-related fields, but only a 10% increase in students who are earning doctorates in the social sciences.
  • Fewer undergraduate students are studying education. In fact, there has been a 5% decrease since 1998 in the number of students who are earning bachelor’s degrees in education – but a whopping 51% increase in the number of students who are earning master’s degrees in that same field. Perhaps this reflects the fact that teaching jobs are becoming harder to find.

Maybe we liked the Trends in Higher Education website so much because it is so well designed. Maybe we enjoyed it because we love statistics about education. We’re not sure, but we do know that if you start clicking around on this site, you are going to learn something surprising about where American higher education is going.

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