Revealing trends in education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that demand for post-secondary degrees has increased dramatically over the last 30 years, with the amount of business-related degrees more than tripling and health-related degrees increasing by over 600 percent by 2009.
Across all college degree levels, business-related degrees are currently in the highest demand, rising from just 142,660 in 1970 to more than half a million degrees granted in 2009. This growth was driven by sharp increases in the demand for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Notable trends in education from the NCES data indicate that business-related bachelor’s degrees grew by 232,589 since 1970. The rate of growth for business-related master’s degrees was even greater, growing more than six times since 1970 to 168,375 degrees granted in 2009.
Stressing the importance of education, demand for health-related degrees has also experienced rapid growth over the last 30 years, increasing by 628 percent since 1970. This growth was driven by a sharp uptick in the amount of health-related bachelor’s degrees awarded over the last ten years, which nearly doubled during that period to 120,488 degrees granted in 2009.
Further Trends in Higher Education
Other trends in education revealed by the NCES include:
- Demand for visual arts degrees of all levels has doubled over the last 20 years
- Mathematics degrees have decreased by approximately one-third over the last 30 years
- Computer science degrees peaked in 2003, growing more than 20 times since 1970 but decreased in the last six years to 57,481
Figure 1: Overall Trends in Higher Education (1970 – 2009)
Figure 2: Trends in Higher Education – Bachelors Degree (1970 – 2009)
Figure 3: Trends in Higher Education – Masters Degrees (1970 – 2009)
Figure 4: Trends in Higher Education – Doctors Degrees (1970 – 2009)