Nursing programs at a bachelor and master’s level continue to grow at a fast pace according to the most recent awards data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Bachelor’s and Master’s level (see tree map left side blue growth area below) degrees for Registered Nurses (and related fields) both went up nearly 10% from 2014 to 2015. Employment projections for Registered Nurses is projected to increase 16% from 2014 to 2024 according to the most recent projections data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Skilled nursing is a train that has left the station and more and more medical diagnostic work will be pushed “downward” to nurses. I say that with some level of bias as my wife is a nurse. Interestingly, you just went to the CVS Minute Clinic this morning where a nurse practitioner diagnosed her with pneumonia and wrote a prescription for her care. Interestingly, Associate’s level degrees in nursing related programs actually declined 3.4% in 2015 perhaps reflective of the skill level needed.

 We looked at over 1,000 individual programs and screened out for only those that had a minimum of 1,000 degrees awarded in 2015. You can look at the programs yourself using the free Interactive.  At an Associate’s level, specific skilled programs such as culinary arts as a group went up 10%. What fascinated me however was a 31% increase in speech rhetoric and communication which is offered by 219 institutions. Finally, at a bachelor’s level, computer science was a clear winner with growth as well as health related professions. Criminal justice areas continue to show strong growth.


The Degree-to-Jobs Interactive provides program analysis as well as a look at the connected labor data from the BLS Employment Projections and Occupational Employment Statistics.

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