The United States is home to more than half of the top 10 leading universities in the world. Its universities are top-notch in terms of being equipped with state-of-the-art technology; having a highly accomplished academic staff and student community that is diverse and inspiring.

With over 4,000 higher education institutions in the US offering a breadth of programs and courses, figuring out what and where to study can be a daunting task. To help you with your decision, we have listed the top 10 most sought-after degrees and programs in the US, their career prospects, and a list of the top 5 universities in each discipline.

1. Economic, Business Studies, Management and Entrepreneurship Courses

Fields of specialisation include Accounting, Finance, Insurance, Banking, Marketing, Business Administration, Business Management and Business Entrepreneurship among others.

Career Prospects:

The US has the most diverse and advanced business enterprises.  Exposure to such enterprises during the course of your study could help your learn a lot and many valuable lessons that could also help you reach the topmost most positions in your fields either as Chief Executive, Administrator, Supervisor, marketer or one the many other positions in a business environment.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Harvard University

ii)  Stanford University

iii) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

iv) University of Pennsylvania

v) University of Chicago

2. Engineering

Major specialisations include Mechanical Engineering, Electrical, Civil and Biomedical among many others.

Career Prospects:

The United States engineering field is advanced and sophisticated. Studying Engineering in the US and eventually taking up a career there will make you unrivalled in the world thus increasing your prospects for career advancement and better pay.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Massachusetts Institute of Technology

ii)  Stanford University

iii) University of California – Berkeley

iv) Georgia Institute of Technology

v)  University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

3. Healthcare/Clinical Medicine

Areas of specialisation include Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy among others.

Career Prospects:

The United States has one of the most advanced clinical medicine and healthcare practices in the world. Specialties offered are quite diverse giving you an opportunity to be well-grounded in your specialty. Demand for healthcare services are on the rise across the globe with the demand outstripping supply in most places. This means that as a health professional you will have a bright future in a highly-rewarding career.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Harvard University

ii)  John Hopkins University

iii) University of California – San Francisco

iv) Duke University

v)  University of Washington

4. IT and Computer Science

This is a wide field encompassing various specialties such as computer science, management informatics, computer programming, computer software development, networks management, database administration and general programs.

Career Prospects:

Computer technology drives the world. From a simple calculator, smart phone, personal computer to advanced meteorological, military, robotics, aeronautic and space programs, computers drive it all. The United States is a powerhouse in computer technology. Getting a degree in this field from the US grants you unrivalled knowledge, skills, exposure and career opportunities.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Massachusetts Institute of Technology

ii)  Stanford University

iii) Harvard University

iv) University of California – Berkeley

v) University of Texas – Austin

5. Education

Specialties in education include elementary, middle school, high school teachers, special education teachers, instructional coordinators and education administrators among others.

Career Prospects:

In any well-focused country, education ranks amongst peoples’ top five budget allocations. Together with health, they are the top-most priorities. Thus, taking a career in Education means that you are a priority in a field with almost unlimited career opportunities.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Harvard University

ii)  Stanford University

iii) University of California, Los Angeles 

iv) University of California, Berkeley

v) Columbia University

6. Law and Criminal Justice

Specialties in this field include law, criminology, forensics, crime prevention and law enforcement among others. Professionals in this field include police, investigators, prosecutors, security experts, crime-prevention experts, forensic experts and detectives among many others.

Career Prospects:

Security and justice ranks amongst the most basic of human needs. Thus, every society requires professionals in this field. The law and criminal justice system is increasingly becoming complex thus pushing demand for practitioners in this field. Career prospects for professionals in this field are extremely high.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Harvard University

ii)  Yale University

iii) New York University 

iv) Stanford University

v) University of California – Berkeley 

7. Psychology and Psychiatry

Specialties in this field include clinical psychology (or psychiatry), counseling psychology, criminal psychology and child psychology among others.

Career Prospects:

Human psychology has become critical in many services that involve human interaction such as education, law enforcement, crime prevention, human crisis, international diplomacy and military among others. Thus, psychologists are required as consultants and advisors, making career opportunities widely available.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Harvard University

ii)  University of California – Los Angeles

iii) Yale University

iv) Stanford University

v) Columbia University

8. General Science

Specialties in this field include physicists, biologists, chemists, specialised researchers and laboratory technologists, among others.

Career Prospects:

Career opportunities in this field are constantly increasing as science continues to dominate the way we live and work.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

ii)  Stanford University

iii) Harvard University

iv) University of California – Berkeley 

v) California Institute of Technology

9. Social Sciences and Human Service

Areas of specialisation in this field include community work, community development, community sensitisation, advocacy and campaign programs, among many others.

Career Prospects:

Demand for social and human services continues to increase. Specialists are required to handle increasing complexities in human situations. Opportunities exist in areas such as handling refugee crisis’, disaster handling, community sensitisation, advocacy and campaigns.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Harvard University

ii)  John Hopkins University

iii) University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

iv) Columbia University

v) Stanford University

10. Arts and Humanities

Specialties in this area include creative arts, liberal arts and humanities.

Career Prospects:

The arts and humanities help to advance freedom, meaning, understanding and dignity to life. There is no organisation that can effectively meet its human needs without specialists and support from the arts and humanities. Opportunities keep on expanding as recognition for the hitherto ignored soft skills continue to take center-stage in organisations and career advancement.

Top 5 American Universities:

i)   Harvard University

ii)  Stanford University

iii) Yale University

iv) University of California – Berkeley

v) University of California – Los Angeles

Getting an opportunity to study in one of the top five universities in United States in your respective field is the most solid foundation you can have for your career. You not only rank amongst the best in the world but also put yourself at a higher acceleration on your career lane.

If you have decided that the US is where you want to study, check out our blogs on some of the breathtaking campuses here, the application documents you require to study in the US, tips on acing your (F1) student visa interview and lots more.