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Get a job.


Sure, majoring in medieval French poetry sounds like a blast, but will it pay the bills after graduation? Here are some top-notch degree programs in fields that are cool and practical: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these nine industries are on a hiring spree and show no signs of stopping.



University at Albany-SUNY

Nanoparticles can make computers faster, electric cars more efficient, and diseases easier to detect. UAIbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering sends interns to firms like Intel and IBM. Back on campus, they can model minuscule molecules at a 3-D computer lab. Best bet for: People who sweat the small stuff Tuition: $4,970 in-state/$13,380 out-of-state

Renewable Energy

Oregon institute of Technology

This school pairs math and science with courses on energy history and how to measure greenhouse gas emissions. Grads are now power-system engineers at utilities and solar energy firms. Best bet for: Mathletes with a green streak Tuition: $6,376/$20,700


University of Maryland

Participants in this program, which offers online and on-site classes catered to working adults, learn how to trace electronic threats and block hackers. Conveniently, the National Security Agency's HO is just 30 minutes away. Best bet for: Phreaks who want to keep their noses clean Tuition: $7,320/$14,970

Video Game Design

DigiPen Institute of Technology

If you can handle the math-heavy courseload, this for-profit college in Redmond, Washington, could help your Angry Birds obsession take flight: DigiPen is a feeder for the likes of Nintendo and Microsoft. One group of recent grads made it big by turning a class project into the popular Half-Life spinoff Portal. Best bet for: Highly motivated couch potatoes Tuition: $25,000


Urban Planning

Portland State University

Students at this Oregon school's urban studies and planning program can choose from a wide range of classes on everything from poverty to pedestrians, but its coolest feature by far is a summer internship program in China, where many students work on green building projects. Best bet for: City mice with wanderlust Tuition: $10,584/$18,660

Elementary-School Education

Inner-City Teaching Corps

This two-year certification program trains recent college graduates to work in Chicago's toughest neighborhoods. Along with classroom experience, ICTC offers tuition discounts at Northwestern University's school of education. A tip for getting in to this competitive program: Your undergrad major matters less than the year you spent tutoring fourth-graders. Best bet for: Rugged idealists Tuition: $11,650 before scholarships, though students earn a salary of $48,631

Veterinary Science

University of Florida

Students in the College of Veterinary Medicine's marine animal health program in Gainesville learn about fish anatomy as well as how to rescue and rehabilitate dolphins, manatees, and other sea creatures--skills that could come in handy as climate change roils the oceans. One recent grad is studying the impact of the BP oil spill on sea turtles. Best bet for: Those who dream of the life aquatic Tuition: $23,573/$41,436

Orthotics and Prosthetics

Northwestern University

Many graduates of Northwestern's unique certificate program in prosthetics and orthotics--consisting of six months of online coursework followed by 11 weeks in a clinical setting working with amputees--go on to work with vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan at Veterans Affairs clinics. Best bet for: Hands-on healers Tuition: $22,000


University of California-Berkeley

A degree from Cal's molecular and cell biology department doesn't necessarily mean you'll be publishing, perishing, or shilling for Big Pharma. This top-rated Ph.D. program places graduates in biotechnology companies that are working on cutting-edge cancer treatments and cures for devastating genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Best bet for: Watson and Crick wannabes Doctoral stipend: $29,500
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Title Annotation:CAMPUS CONFIDENTIAL: OUR ANNUAL COLLEGE SURVIVAL GUIDE; best degrees to get a job post-graduation
Author:Aronsen, Gavin; Le, Jaeah
Publication:Mother Jones
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2011
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