What Are The Top Courses For Higher Education At Universities In The Us?

In the 2020-21 academic year, U.S. colleges and universities handed out 2.1 million bachelor’s degrees, with the most popular courses falling in six key areas. Over half of these degrees were from business and health programs. These majors are popular because they lead to many job opportunities after you graduate.

When looking at the most picked majors, we see a variety. The leading ones are business, health professions, social sciences and history, engineering, biological and biomedical sciences, psychology, communication and journalism, visual and performing arts, computer and information sciences, and education. Each of these fields offers different specializations, from financial work to nursing, and from computer science to leading in education. These majors are known to have lots of job openings, making them good choices for students who want to move up through more education.

Key Takeaways

  • Over 2.1 million bachelor’s degrees were given out in 2020-21, with the top six sectors claiming more than half.
  • Business and health degrees top the list, thanks to many job openings.
  • The top 10 popular college majors offer various career paths, from business to psychology and computer science.
  • These well-liked disciplines have many specialization options, making them good choices for careers.
  • The demand for experts in these fields is likely to stay high, highlighting the appeal of these top programs in higher education.

Business and Management Courses

Business majors are very popular today. Nearly 1 in 5 bachelor’s degrees in the U.S. were in business in 2020-21. This equals 391,300 degrees.

These programs teach essential business skills. This includes how to make a company work well. Students learn to communicate, lead, and think critically. Popular areas to specialize in are business administration, accounting, finance, and marketing. Many who start with a bachelor’s degree then get an online MBA. This helps them move up in management and leadership positions. The median annual salary for these jobs is $76,850. Also, the job growth rate is expected to be 5.5% from 2022 to 2032.

Business Administration

Business administration studies cover many vital business aspects. This includes operations, HR, marketing, and planning. By learning these, students understand how organizations run. They improve their problem-solving, decision-making, and communication.

This degree is very versatile. It prepares graduates for various roles. These include working in healthcare administration, starting their own business, or managing a company.


Accounting courses lay a strong financial groundwork. Students learn about budgeting and tax. They’re trained to analyze financial information and ensure everything is legal. These skills are in high demand by businesses, governments, and accounting companies. Thus, accounting is a great career choice.


Finance studies dive into investment tactics, the financial market, and managing finances. Students learn about portfolio analysis, risk management, and financial models. These help them offer advice to companies, handle investments, and make smart financial choices. This field leads to jobs in banking, wealth management, or corporate finance.


Marketing classes teach how people choose products. They also focus on making products known through various channels. Students become skilled in market research, managing brands, and using digital marketing. This prepares them for roles in advertising, sales, or managing products.

Health and Medical Courses

People are getting older, so they need more healthcare. This means a higher need for health professionals. In 2020-21, colleges gave out 268,100 health-related bachelor’s degrees. This was about 13% of all degrees. Every healthcare job needs its own kind of education. But, they all usually include things like wellness, anatomy, and physiology.


Nursing is a top choice in health sciences. Programs get students ready to be registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and more. Students learn about patient care, how to work in clinics, and what medicines do. This prepares them to offer quality healthcare in many places.

Public Health

Public health is all about keeping communities healthy. Students study things like diseases, health policies, and how to teach people about health. This learning prepares them for jobs like preventing diseases, promoting health, and helping communities.

Health Sciences

Health sciences cover many areas like nutrition and sport medicine. Students also learn about the human body and how to stay healthy. This education helps them find work in health management, healthcare administration, and more.

Healthcare jobs pay well, with annual salaries from $77,760 to $74,330. These jobs are expected to grow by 16% from 2022 to 2032. This growth is much faster than for other jobs. It shows how much we need healthcare workers.

health sciences

Social Sciences and Liberal Arts Courses

More students are choosing majors in social sciences to meet the job market’s needs. In the last academic year, colleges awarded 160,800 degrees in social sciences and history. This accounted for about one in every ten degrees given out. These majors cover various topics like economics and sociology. They help students improve their critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills.


Students can specialize in fields like psychology, economics, or political science. A career as a clinical psychologist often needs a doctorate. But, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, grads can work in business or education too. Psychology programs focus on human behavior and thinking, preparing students well for these roles.


In economics classes, students learn about making, sharing, and using goods and services. This knowledge helps them develop strong analytical and problem-solving skills. These are handy in many industries, such as business and government, and in areas like public policy.

Political Science

Political science studies focus on government, policies, and international relations. In these programs, students learn about the factors that shape societies. This can lead to jobs in various fields, including government, diplomacy, and nonprofit work.

The average yearly pay for jobs in life, physical, and social sciences is $74,330. These fields are expected to grow by 8% over the next decade. So, there will be more job opportunities for those studying these subjects.

Engineering and Technology Courses

In the 2020-21 school year, about 126,000 students got a bachelor’s in engineering. This number is set to grow. The job market needs more engineers. Especially in areas like renewable energy and other alternative energy methods. Every engineering degree is a bit different. But they all teach students things like project management, graphical communication, and ways to solve problems. They use math and other methods to solve complex issues.

There are many types of engineering you can study. These include chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and more.

The middle salary for jobs in architecture and engineering is $83,700 a year. It’s expected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032. This shows there are a lot of jobs for people who are skilled in engineering and technology.

Engineering Specialization Median Annual Salary Projected Job Growth Rate (2022-2032)
Chemical Engineering $108,540 6%
Civil Engineering $88,050 7%
Electrical Engineering $103,390 7%
Industrial Engineering $88,950 5%
Mechanical Engineering $90,160 7%
Nuclear Engineering $119,172 3%

Universities in the US offer many different engineering and technology courses. These courses prepare students for career paths like creating renewable energy systems. Or making computer programming and data science better. With growing job opportunities and good pay, more and more students are choosing these fields.


Biological and Life Sciences Courses

In the past decade, there’s been a big jump in people earning degrees in biological and life sciences in the U.S. That includes 131,500 bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2020-21. It’s a 46% rise from 2010-11. The increase in popularity is due to the good job opportunities and growth in biology-related fields.


College biology programs cover topics like ecology, cell biology, and genetics. Students often get to pick a subject to specialize in. This choice helps shape their future career options. So, if you’re thinking about biology, there are many different paths you can take.

Environmental Science

Environmental science looks at the natural world and how humans affect it. It uses ideas from chemistry, biology, and ecology to solve environmental problems. These include issues like climate change, using up natural resources, and loss of biodiversity.


Biochemistry is the bridge between biology and chemistry. It studies the chemical processes in living things. This includes molecular biology, how proteins work, and the metabolism in cells. If you find these topics interesting, you might enjoy a career in biochemistry or biophysics.

Occupation Median Annual Salary Projected Job Growth (2022-2032)
Biochemists and Biophysicists $103,810 7%
Biological Scientists (All Other) $95,920 N/A

biological sciences

Communication and Journalism Courses

In 2020-21, around 90,775 students got bachelor’s degrees in communication or journalism. These fields are key for jobs in business, marketing, and writing. They teach valuable skills like writing, editing, and critical thinking. For example, journalism courses focus on improving reporting and writing. They cover topics such as media law and ethics, modern journalism philosophies, and storytelling.

Communication programs have courses in public speaking, public relations, and broadcasting. They offer a broad education in liberal arts. The average yearly pay for jobs in communication and journalism is $66,240. This field is predicted to grow by 2% from 2022 to 2032.

Visual and Performing Arts Courses

A massive 90,022 bachelor’s degrees were awarded in visual and performing arts in the last academic year. Choosing a path in the arts means valuing personal growth over financial rewards. These art courses help students develop key skills like creative, collaborative, and time-management skills.

Students can choose to focus on art theory and practice or art administration and design. They can pick specializations such as animation, fine arts, graphic design, interior design, music, and photography. Even though a profession in art and design occupations earns a median of $51,150 each year, an art degree teaches universal skills.

Specialization Focus Areas Potential Careers
Animation Principles of animation, digital animation techniques, 2D and 3D animation, storyboarding Animator, character designer, special effects artist, video game designer
Fine Arts Drawing, painting, sculpture, art history, art theory, art criticism Painter, sculptor, illustrator, curator, art teacher
Graphic Design Typography, layout design, color theory, digital imaging, branding Graphic designer, web designer, art director, brand manager
Interior Design Space planning, color and lighting design, furniture selection, building codes Interior designer, set designer, exhibition designer, event planner
Music Music theory, performance, composition, music history, music technology Musician, music producer, music teacher, sound engineer
Photography Camera operation, lighting, composition, digital imaging, photojournalism Photographer, photojournalist, commercial photographer, fine art photographer

Courses in Computer Science and Information Technology

In the 2020-21 school year, colleges awarded 104,874 bachelor’s degrees in computer and information sciences. This field is growing because technology is everywhere. Companies need skilled computer experts to fix problems and make things run smoother. Students in these programs learn about information theory, programming, and how operating systems work. This knowledge lets them use many different programming languages and tackle tough coding issues.

Computer Programming

Specializing in computer programming means you get to create and keep up software. You might work with languages like Python, Java, or C++. Students study algorithms, data structures, and software design. This gets them ready for jobs in making software, building websites, or analyzing computer systems.

Data Science

Data science is all about working with large sets of data. Students in this field learn how to analyze and find insights in big datasets. They study statistics, machine learning, and ways to show data visually. This prep is for careers as data analysts, scientists, or in business intelligence.


Cybersecurity programs teach how to keep digital systems safe. Students learn about information security, how to encrypt data, and ways to protect networks. They also learn ethical hacking. This helps them find jobs in securing information, designing networks, or running computer systems.

People working in computer and information technology jobs make a median salary of $100,530 each year. The field is also growing fast, with an 11% increase in jobs predicted from 2022-2032. This is much faster than most other job fields.

Education Courses and Teacher Training Programs

In the U.S., becoming a teacher often means getting a postgraduate degree and a specific state license. But education can take you further. It mixes sociology, politics, history, and psychology to study many big issues in education. This includes looking at how people move up the social ladder and what the world does about education. You can start with education courses in college and later pursue full degrees. These can be master’s or doctoral programs focusing on things like how to lead in education or how minds develop.

The annual pay for jobs in education, training, and libraries is around $57,490. And from 2022 to 2032, these jobs should grow by 8%. This shows there will continue to be a need for education workers like college professors, middle school teachers, and preschool teachers. For those interested in teaching in early childhood, elementary, middle school, or special education, there are many courses and programs to choose from. They help you gain the knowledge, skills, and certification to succeed in the world of education.

Also Read: Explore Top University Study Abroad Programs


The top courses at US universities cover many areas. These fields range from business and health sciences to engineering and computer science.

These programs give students great knowledge and skills. Plus, they help students find good jobs and make more money. This makes going to university a solid choice for many students.

US universities help students in many ways. They offer a lot of resources and chances to grow. Whether you study online, get a certification, or go to a campus, there are many options.

Major subjects like business, health, and computers are popular. And, there are many opportunities in areas like engineering, data science, and healthcare.

US universities prepare students well for their careers. They focus on gaining skills, getting certified, and offering online learning. By choosing these paths, students can move forward in their education and careers.


Q: What types of courses are offered for higher education at universities in the US?

A: Universities in the US offer a wide range of courses including online courses, certificate programs, free online courses, data analysis, professional development, college courses, and more.

Q: How can I take the next step in my new career?

A: To take the next step in your career, you can enroll in courses at different universities, take free courses on platforms like Coursera, or participate in professional development programs.

Q: What skills do I need to advance my career?

A: Skills such as SQL, data analysis, data visualization, Excel, JavaScript, and machine learning algorithms are in high demand in many industries for career advancement.

Q: What is the course numbering system at universities in the US?

A: The course numbering system at US universities typically indicates the level and department of the course. The digit of the course number often signifies the level of the course.

Q: Are there free courses available for learners?

A: Yes, learners can access free online courses on platforms like Coursera to enhance their skills and knowledge in various fields.

Q: Which top universities offer courses for professional development?

A: Top universities in the US offer courses for professional development in areas such as data analysis, programming, Excel, and more to help individuals advance their careers.

Q: Are prep courses available for learners preparing for a new career?

A: Yes, prep courses are available to help learners acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in a new career path.

Source Links