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8 Unique Pandemic-Inspired College Degrees to Consider

Discover eight professions that have helped to battle COVID, and the related college degrees you may want to rethink. Including major-specific scholarships that will help you pay for school.

Shawna Newman

February 11, 2021

8 Unique Pandemic-Inspired College Degrees to Consider
Your career can help you to become the best version of yourself—even better if it helps to save lives.
It’s been nearly a year since the U.S. was abruptly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and what we’ve learned from it could change the popularity of a variety of college degrees. In essence, the COVID pandemic has showcased once hidden—yet crucially important—professions that the United States economy and society needs in order to move forward. For many students, a career and college major choice that serves the greater good, brings meaning to your future. Your career can help you to become the best version of yourself—even better if it helps to save lives. Whether you’re a high school student deciding on a college major, a current college student looking for a marketable minor, or you’re considering graduate school, you might want to consider a degree program in one of the following fields.
Take a look at these unique professions, and the pandemic application that gives these careers a positive job outlook:

Medical School, Nursing

COVID-19 has placed a heavy demand upon the health care industry, as professionals are working around the clock to see Americans through the tremulous effects of an infectious outbreak. The importance of medical doctors and nurses has become clearer today more than ever. In December, CNN reported an 18 percent increase in the number of students applying to medical school for the current academic year. CNN added, some medical school administrators named the increase the “Fauci Effect.” Named after Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert and a White House partner, working to craft and facilitate a national strategy to conquer the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Health, Mass Communication, Cybersecurity

The world watched as governments communicated to citizens important public health protocols and information in order to prevent the spread of COVID. Public health departments from Federal and State to the county levels have been working to communicate necessary measures and protocols for citizens, including vaccine availability, location and delivery phases. A recent Washington Post article reveals just how important effective communication is to ensure no American citizen is underserved, “More needs to be done on the local and state levels to improve communication of vaccine eligibility and registration.”
Adding another layer of pandemic-inspired need lies in the field of cybersecurity. As COVID vaccines are rolling out across the U.S., malicious supply-chain hacking and phishing campaigns have prompted cybersecurity concerns from the Federal and state levels, according to a Washington Post article.

Supply Chain & Logistics, Systems Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering

Hospital ICU units were filling up and personal protective equipment (PPE) was becoming scarce during the onset of COVID. As a result, factories stepped up to reimage and reengineer manufacturing processes to produce PPE for America’s doctors and nurses. The importance of supply chain and logistics and manufacturing was first realized during the toilet paper shortage, and now the speedy delivery of COVID shots. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staff and state governments are now managing the logistics of vaccines, overseeing mass vaccination sites to ensure a smooth distribution process. A White House briefing reflects the importance of logistics and engineering from a vaccine site visit in Arizona, “On January 21st, we decided to deploy 25 FEMA staff, including logistics staff, traffic managers and runners, and administrative support — helping enable the site to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Chemistry, Biology, Virology

Chemists, biologists, and virologists banded together to find a vaccine in record time. The U.S. Government partnered with pharmaceutical companies to ensure vaccines could be produced and delivered quickly to Americans. Created at in an astonishing 10 months, USA Today reported the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, both approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December, 2020. Smithsonian Magazine detailed the third COVID shot from Johnson & Johnson applied for emergency use from the FDA of their vaccine the first week of February.

Pandemic-Inspired Degrees, Job Demand

While many of these degrees existed before, the Pandemic has showcased the eight unique, college degrees above. In fact, the job market reflects the demand for these professions—most of them STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) related. According to a Monster Data report from the Research and Insights team, “Jobs in fields such as supply chain and logistics, systems engineering, manufacturing engineering, cybersecurity, public health, communication, biology and chemistry have increased in proportion to all new jobs posted in 2020 vs. 2019.”

Scholarships for Pandemic-Inspired College Degrees

If one of the pandemic-inspired college degrees sparks an interest, you’ll be excited to hear there are a number of professional degree scholarships available just for students in these meaningful fields. Check out this list of undergraduate degree, graduate degree, and doctoral degree scholarships below: Medical School & Pre-Med Scholarships Nursing Scholarships Scholarships for Resident Programs Public Health & Social Sciences Scholarships Mass Communications Scholarships Communications Technology Scholarships Cybersecurity: Computer and Information Science Scholarships Supply Chain & Logistics: Transportation & Materials Moving Scholarships Systems Engineering Scholarships Manufacturing Engineering Scholarships Chemistry Scholarships Biology Scholarships Virology Scholarships

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