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5 In-Demand College Degrees for Tweens and Teens to Consider

When it comes to helping your college-bound student choose a major, experts say the best approach is one that encourages your student to embrace their curiosity, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and weigh the advice of guidance counselors, teachers and mentors.

But it’s also important to apply a healthy dose of practicality — about tuition costs, the time it takes to graduate and the ultimate return on their investment. College is expensive, and going into debt to pay for a four-year degree can have long-lasting financial implications for a young person. The bottom line? The world is changing fast, and it pays off to help your student understand current and future job market trends, the income potential of specific jobs and the academic requirements for their personal career goals.

To help you out, we did the legwork to find five in-demand college majors that have loads of potential and strong course offerings among Florida universities:

  • Nursing. A national shortage has left hospitals, doctors’ offices and other health care outlets in critical need of professional nurses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects almost 200,000 openings for nursing jobs annually through 2032. USF in Tampa is using $33 million allocated by state lawmakers in 2023 to fund an expansion of its Health College of Nursing that includes new infrastructure, training spaces and staff and faculty.
  • Gaming Design. Could your kid’s video game obsession be the start of a lucrative career? With this major — available at UF and UCF — students explore the technologies and skills necessary to create compelling game content and operational systems. These programs emphasize collaboration, communication and critical thinking, and career opportunities include game designer, cinematographer, motion graphics animator, digital storyteller and character modeler. And with companies like EA Sports in Orlando on the hunt for talent, these gaming graduates are sought after.
  • Entrepreneurship. Being your own boss is more popular than ever — and now it’s a legit college major. FSU has the nation’s first standalone College of Entrepreneurship where students can concentrate on commercial, STEM or retail entrepreneurship. This program features an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum that teaches students to plan, launch and generate income from a business venture.
  • Cybersecurity. Cyberattacks are growing more common, and the private and public sectors have a critical need for highly trained analysts. UWF offers a bachelor of science in cybersecurity that allows students to study everything from malware analysis to database security to Linux system administration. Career opportunities include system administrator, penetration tester, security architect and information technology auditor.
  • Agriculture Science. This broad field is expected to grow as climate change and human migration continue to challenge global resources, food systems and public health. At UF — where the state has launched an innovative program to cultivate hemp as an emerging crop — relevant majors include plant science, food and resource economics, agriculture operations management, food science, and agriculture education and communication. Career opportunities include everything from farmer and food inspector to park manager and landscape designer.

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