If you (or your child)are considering going into further education (or even planning GCSEs as a preparation) you have the task of choosing out of a vast range of subjects. Of course, you may already know what subject you want to take, or what you'll need for your chosen career, but not every student is in that position. One way of approaching this is to find out what are the most popular subjects among students around the world.
The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 not only show the most highly thought-of universities, but also the most popular subjects worldwide. One striking feature in the list below is that it contains no traditional academic subjects — all are vocational or technological. That doesn't mean, of course, that the traditional subjects aren't still relevant, but they're certainly not all you can study at university.
10. Accounting and Finance
It's hardly surprising that Accounting and Finance figure in the top 10, given the opportunities they open up. Besides the many career paths in the financial sector itself, these are skills which are likely to benefit anyone going in to business, especially as an entrepreneur.
9. Art and Design
Art and Design courses have been growing in popularity in recent years, perhaps reflecting the increasing emphasis of creativity in business, where opportunities for graphic design, in particular, are almost limitless.
The most popular of the arts and humanities subjects worldwide, Architecture offers career opportunities at all levels, from designing major iconic buildings right through to designing home extensions.
7. Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering
The most popular of the engineering subjects, this will give you an excellent grounding in a range of industry sectors, including automotive and aeronautical, as well as the booming aerospace sector.
Law has been a favourite subject for almost as long as there have been universities. A legal career, whether as a solicitor or a barrister, is unlikely ever to diminish in opportunity, while a legal qualification will also offer advantages in many industry roles.
5. Economics and Econometrics
The post-Covid world economy is likely to need to be rethought and redefined, whether at the global level or regarding each organisation's place in it. This will make highly qualified economists invaluable in a wide range of careers.
Another perennial favourite that's acquired a new level of importance over the past year or so, studying Medicine successfully will put your on a career path where your skills will be in high demand, whether to keep our health services running or to detect and fight the next wave of viruses.
3. Business and Management Studies
With the business world in flux after the changes the pandemic has forced on it, there are vast opportunities for someone with up-to-date knowledge. Whether you're looking to rise through a major organisation or become the next entrepreneurial success story, this will help.
2. Engineering and Technology
With branches ranging from Civil and Structural Engineering to Mineral and Mining Engineering, studying Engineering and Technology will equip you for a career path creating and preserving the infrastructure of our society.
1. Computer Science and Information Systems
IT is at the very heart of modern society and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Whether you're interested in a career in quantum computing, the Internet of Things or other technologies of the future, a degree in Computer Science and Information Systems will set you up perfectly. So what's the best subject to take at university? Obviously, the one you're passionate about, whether for academic or career purposes. If you're trying to decide, though, this list might give you an idea of where to look. Register with TutorExtra for more information about the subjects open to you.