The Fastest-Growing Academic Programs of 2015

Four of these five have no business being called “academic programs” since they teach a Vocational – Technical degree and not education (how to think; how to learn). 

In the ever-changing landscape of higher education, programs come and go. Using the 2015 IPEDS completions data in Analyst, we identified the fastest-growing programs of 2015.

We looked at the top programs based on the year-over-year growth of completions within two distinct groups: those between 1,000-20,000 completions in 2015 and those with more than 20,000. Doing so allows us to identify emerging programs and analyze the growth of well-known programs.

Fastest-Growing Programs: More Than 20,000 Completions

These well-known programs grew at an impressive clip. With 23% growth, computer science added more than 5,000 graduates to reach a total of 28,188 completions. Each of these programs saw at least 10% growth, meaning thousands more graduates year-over-year.

This growth isn’t a fluke. Aside from one down year in welding, the top three programs have grown every year since 2009. Each of them have nearly doubled their completions since then and there’s little indication that growth will slow. Numbers four and five also experienced steady growth since 2009 (about 30% each), but it’s not as dramatic as the top three.

  1. Computer Science—23% Growth
  2. Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other—18% Growth
  3. Welding Technology/Welder—17% Growth
  4. Computer and Information Sciences, General—13% Growth
  5. Electrical and Electronics Engineering—10% Growth