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Emerging fields for post-graduate studies

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16th-Jul-2017       
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Alyssa Walker :
In the dynamic evolution of working and choosing a career, there's one constant: learning new skills that support emerging markets is critical to your success.  You can bet that all of them will involve-and inspire-new technologies and new uses of existing technologies to support healthy, safe spaces all over the world for humans to coexist with each other and the natural world, peacefully and with curiosity.
1. Biostatistics
A master's in biostatistics will earn you a median salary of about $113,400, according to Fortune, with at least a 20 percent projected job growth by 2022.
If those statistics aren't enough to motivate you, how about this: biostatisticians help save the world.  Your ability to make lasting, positive changes in public health, clinical medicine, genomics, health economics-and the raw field of mathematics is essentially limitless.  So: if you have the science and math savvy, want to save the world, and live a pretty comfortable life on top of that, consider biostatistics.
2. Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the study of how people interface with computers.  From algorithm science to information science, psychology to anthropology, you could work on anything from projects related to design guidelines for all types of software to academic research to figuring out the best interface for human-robot interaction.  With humans interacting with mobile and touch devices, you can also delve into the intricacies of human-computer interface.  
3. Homeland Security and Cyber Criminality
If current world events don't have your head spinning, imagine how experts in homeland security and cyber criminality feel.  Cybercrime is relatively new specialty-and one that will continue to see nearly exponential growth in the coming years.  Cybercrimes involve computers, networks, and the intent to harm individuals, systems, national security, and financial markets.  These crimes cover the spectrum of identity theft to election hacking.  Sounds relevant, doesn't it?
If you opt to study Homeland Security, you can bet that cyber warfare will be an intrinsic part of your training.  The graduate program in Homeland Security at San Diego State University, for example, focuses on prevention, deterrence, and response to instances of terror and espionage on national and international levels.  A cornerstone of their program?  Cyber security.
4. Urban Studies
A focus on making cities sustainable place to live and work-environmentally, socially, economically, politically, and financially-is the axis on which urban studies turns.  There's a need for on-the-ground specialists-and researchers who can help inform decisions for urban spaces.  What do urban communities of the future need?  What do they look like-and how can they evolve?  How do they accommodate human needs-and the needs of their unique ecosystems?
What do these fields have in common?  Technology.  Brilliance.  A common desire to improve lives-no matter who you are or where you live.   If you don't have the skills, interests, or abilities in these fields, do something that will help support them.  Learn to code.  Invent an app.  Learn how to use the technologies that these fields will require.  Innovate.  Educate yourself.  The possibilities are limitless.

(Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family).

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