What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? – Grad Degrees for Your Inner Child


By Justin Fischer 

What if you could score your dream job doing something you’re really passionate about? On top of that, you could even make a decent living doing what you love. For some of us, childhood dreams and ambitions have been perennial thoughts for years, with the occasional daydreaming about what could have been, or what might still be. What if I gave it a shot? Would I regret not going for it? Adulting is hard, and we get set in our ways and the rhythms of life. It may seem like nothing could drag you back to school. But continuing education can unlock one’s true potential through the development of new skills and earning new credentials. Maybe it’s time for a career change. Research shows that when it comes to happiness, jobs matter even more than marriage. A career pursuing work you love can lead to happiness and fulfillment. But how do you get the ball rolling? We’ll take a look at some very grown-up graduate degrees that unlock the careers you might have always wanted, but didn’t think were possible. Your dream job is within reach with these future-ready graduate pathways.  

Bring your inventions to market 

If you’re always coming up with genius inventions or ideas and you’re ready to funnel your spirit of innovation into a fulfilling career, you could earn a Master of Science in Product Innovation or Industrial Design. Learn how great ideas become valuable products from conception to reality. You’ll get plenty of hands-on training and even a solid business management education. This degree program educates future inventors and inspires breakthrough technologies across disciplines. You won’t just graduate with engineering know-how; graduates also become experts in the business world of innovation and bringing new products to market. What could be more fulfilling than getting paid to invent? It will feel great to get that first patent under your name. 

Create new worlds in the digital realm 

Are you a gamer, or even a drone enthusiast? Do you love getting lost in digital worlds? Maybe you’ve had a lifelong fascination with dinosaurs and fossil hunting. What one considers a pastime or hobby is another’s well-compensated job. Virtual reality design, drone-based services and mapping prehistoric finds are just a few examples of career callings rooted in real-world geography skills. All of this and more is possible with a graduate degree in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST). Also known as GIS, this pathway harnesses the quickly growing world of spatial information and everything that incorporates it. An online Master’s in GIS from the University of Southern California opens up diverse opportunities for geographically-minded creators. Tech start-ups and private sector corporations are seeking computer-savvy GIS team members, but it doesn’t stop there. Even video game creators are seeking geography and mapping expertise for their project development. Whether you find yourself content making purpose-driven digital maps, or designing the next generation of drones and autonomous vehicles, GIST graduates are adept at creating solutions to the world’s current and future challenges, all while making geography more engaging for the user.  

Vlog as a full-time influencer 

You’ve dreamed of sharing travel vlogs, cooking videos, car reviews, comedy sketches and more. Or maybe you see yourself as an independent film director. Regardless of your ambitions, get a head start with your online presence by learning all there is to know about communications and digital media. Competition is fierce, so if you’re aspiring to become a YouTuber or social media influencer, it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into and the ways of the industry. A Master of Arts in Communications and Digital Media provides a well-rounded but future-focused education rooted in both traditional and digital media. You’ll take classes about video editing, script writing, social networking, and even media law. 

Lead the computing revolution with artificial intelligence 

If self-driving cars and food delivery robots are your thing, explore a graduate degree focused on artificial intelligence. The computing revolution that brought us to where we are today is entering a new era as computers and machines become self-learning. The Master of Science in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence Specialization from Southern Methodist University is a practical degree that teaches students how to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions in their future endeavors. Terrified of a robot takeover? Students even learn about ethical design and mitigating risks when pioneering AI. Students of the online Artificial Intelligence Master’s Program at the award-winning Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are immersed in an advanced curriculum based in robotics, natural language processing, image processing and more.  

Become an author and get paid to write 

Are you a storyteller stuck in a day job? What if you could turn your passion for writing into a career? Whether you’re into science fiction, romance or young adult genres, you can take your skills to the next level with this Master of Fine Arts in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. This 100% online graduate program helps you hone your skill from anywhere in the world. Become a better writer and learn how to publish your work while connecting with like-minded creatives. Publishing your own book is a dream for many, plus you may receive royalties for life! 

It’s not too late to pursue your dream job 

It’s all over the news, and maybe you’re thinking about it. Economists call it the ‘Great Resignation.’ Roughly 55% of Americans are actively looking for a new job after a year of uncertainty and eye-opening life changes. Employers across the board are desperate for just about any specialized skill set, and now could be the perfect time to take advantage of the ongoing ‘career shuffle’ and transition to your dream job. And it usually pays to earn an advanced degree. Median pay for American workers with a master’s degree is 25% higher ($13,000) than with a bachelor’s degree alone. Higher levels of education are also associated with lower unemployment rates, and more overall career freedom. But not all degrees are created equal. Students pursuing graduate degrees should carefully consider the cost, student loan debt and the median earnings among graduates with similar degrees before commiting. If the numbers work out and you’re ready to hit the books (and computers), you could be landing your dream job in no time.  

Justin Fischer – Bio 

Justin Fischer is a writer, educator and environmental scientist from Bluefield, West Virginia. He enjoys writing about education, natural resources and renewable energy for clients around the world. At the core of Justin’s work is his belief that by promoting an appreciation for biodiversity, we can and must inspire a more sustainable future for all. 

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