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Degrees of the 21st Century

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The editors at Top Degrees Online decided to research the topic of:

Degrees of the 21st Century


Digital Forensics and Cyber Security

- Computer forensics is the use of investigation and analysis techniques to gather evidence from computers and devices to be presented in a court of law
- Computer forensics integrates the fields of computer science and law
- Computer forensics has been key in many criminal convictions
- Includes terrorists, sexual predators and murderers
- Terrorist organizations may use the Internet to recruit and communicate with members
- Sexual predators may use social networking to find potential victims
- Job demand has grown "tenfold over the last 10 years," says former information assurance technical director for the U.S. National Security Agency, Dickie George
- Students learn about protecting computer systems, networks and personal computers from viruses, worms, hackers, terrorist threats and corporate espionage
- They also learn how to plan, analyze, design and implement modern information systems
- The average annual salary for a computer security specialist is between $50,417 and $88,118
- Those working for consulting firms can earn over $100,000 by working for both corporations and law enforcement agencies

Homeland security

- The US Department of Homeland Security was formed in 2002, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
- Formed with the combination of 22 federal departments and agencies
- Agencies include:
- US Citizenship and Immigration services
- US Customs and Border Patrol
- Transportation Security Administration (or TSA)
- US Coast Guard
- US Secret Service
- Since 9/11, more than 300 Homeland Security programs have been created at universities across the US
- About 75 offer undergraduate degrees
- Students learn about critical infrastructure, criminal justice, emergency and disaster planning, weapons of mass destruction and constitutional issues in homeland security
- DHS has gained over 170,000 employees since its birth
- Analysts estimate another 80,000 will be hired in the next few years
- Among these positions are border patrol and airport security

Game Design

- The global computer game design industry is projected to reach $82.4 billion by 2015
- Jobs include game production, development, design, art, programming and computer graphics
- Other jobs include producing interactive simulations for architecture, medicine, law, and other industries
- Game designers plan how the story, characters, environments, rules and levels will work together to create gameplay
- The average salary for game designers is $75,065

The first video game may have been a cathode-ray missile simulation game

- It was patented in 1948, but may not have ever been built

Environmental Studies/Sustainability

- Environmental studies includes studies in health, food and agriculture, energy, biodiversity, climate, history and culture, land use, and policy
- Approximately 35 US colleges offer degrees in sustainability
- concentrates on keeping biological systems diverse and productive
- Jobs exist in sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy, lobbying, journalism, oceanography, manufacturing, consulting, geology, government agencies and city planning
- As technology and policy further integrate with environmental sustainability, the demand for environmental studies graduates will increase


- The industry is estimated to reach $2.4 trillion worldwide by 2015
- Estimated to employ 2 million workers in the United States by 2020
- Nanomaterials are currently used in:
- golf clubs
- skis
- car parts
- dental implants
- Nanomaterials are expected to:
- Be used in building and bridges
- They will make them lighter and more durable
- Be used in medicine
- Toxic drugs may be sent straight to tumors
- Make more energy-efficient fuel cells, solar panels and batteries
- Aid in environmental cleanup
- A degree in nanotechnology can lead to jobs in the physical sciences, materials science, physics, biophysics, chemistry or biochemistry.