Masters DegreeWith unemployment rates high in countries worldwide right now, many workers are wondering what the best study options are to help their job prospects both in the short term and in the future. Indeed, for a lot of employees, the lack of available progressive, better paid, or more enjoyable roles is leading to increased thoughts of pursuing a graduate degree to increase one’s qualifications.

However, with soaring costs of graduate degrees and many industries in decline, it can be tough to decide what type of advanced degrees are worth the money, and actually provide a real option for long-term career opportunity. If you’re keen to increase your job prospects through a master’s degree, read on for some of the top choices to consider for future career stability.

1. Economics

Economics has always been a popular area of the FAME studies (finance, accountancy, management and economics), with good job prospects and high rates of pay. This area is set to grow more though, for a variety of reasons. For starters, a master’s degree sees students constantly working with and analyzing big data sets.

Due to the rise in digital information and technology functionality, companies around the world are now dealing with huge amounts of data on a constant basis. However, they often don’t have much of an idea what to do with all that information, and how to best utilize it. Luckily though, the new breed of economists possess the skills to examine and process data in a beneficial (and often strategic) way.

In addition, the explosion in the world population growth, combined with the financial and banking turmoil of the last decade and major debt issues of some developed economies, has led people around the globe to question the current approach to economics. Students completing a master’s degree in this area are set to enter the economics arena in an exciting time where fresh ideas are being welcomed.

2. Physician Assistants

Due to aging populations worldwide, and necessary health care reforms, physician assistants are also going to be much needed medical professionals in the future. Physician assistants (PAs) are health care workers who provide clinical diagnostic and preventative health care services under the supervision of medical practitioners. They practice medicine alongside doctors and other personnel, and can prescribe medication and provide a variety of other medical services.

With too few doctors available to service both the growing populations and increasing numbers of elderly people, physician assistants will play a key role in alleviating the pressure. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for these workers are likely to grow a whopping 30 percent by 2020, from the 2010 employment figures.

3. Computer Science

With such a technology-driven world, it’s no surprise that the need for computer savvy job candidates will continue to rise. Computer science graduates can enter a booming industry with a constant growth rate — and one in which employment opportunities are likely to grow by about 22 percent in the lead up to 2020, according to information released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Businesses in every industry rely upon technology to some degree, so job applicants with a thorough understanding of computer science, and its best use, will stay in demand. Similarly, with cybercrime continually on the rise, security specialists who are trained in computer science will constantly be needed by both government and private organizations.

4. Engineering

Although there are many different areas of engineering to specialize in, a master’s degree in any of these fields is likely to be a strong career choice for the long term. Whether studying chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering or electrical engineering, the additional technical knowledge and skills learnt from a master’s degree can only improve the future safety record of graduates.

The extra courses completed during a master’s degree help to create more cautious, reasoned, and experienced engineers. They also provide workers with the chance to jump straight into more interesting and intellectually challenging projects. In such a competitive field as engineering, the more qualifications a job applicant has, the better.

5. MBA (Master’s in Business Administration)

Already a popular choice, the Master in Business Administration will be another degree that continues to reward students. As a highly flexible degree, an MBA is perfect for people who want to acquire new skills in their own particular field, whether it be business, finance, accounting, or marketing, to name a few.

Although many students only weigh up the potential income increases from completing a master’s degree, it’s also important to consider the job opportunities such studies will bring over the long term. The additional skills, experience and knowledge that come from more in-depth studies can provide career stability, as well as the chance to work in more interesting fields and diverse geographical locations.