Today, at the Board of Regents meeting, the UW System presented new programs it has added during the past year, highlighting those in the STEM, healthcare and entrepreneurship fields.  UW System graduates are an ongoing source of support for Wisconsin’s economy, and these additions in the academic program array are closely tied to Wisconsin’s workforce needs.

“Our institutions produce well-rounded individuals who contribute to our society and economy – they are informed, engaged citizens,” says UW System President Ray Cross.  “As we set forth in our 2020FWD strategic framework, we are committed to preparing our graduates with critical thinking and creative problem solving skills. It is also vitally important that we provide degree programs in the UW System that are aligned with the projected highest growth occupations in Wisconsin.”

Nationally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows significant projected growth for positions in the STEM and healthcare industries from 2014-2024.  Below are examples of job growth:

Projected Growth Between 2014-2024

Requires Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

Audiologist 28.6%
Biomedical engineer 23.1%
Forensic science technician 26.6%
Operations research analyst 30.2%
Nurse practitioner 35.2%
Personal financial advisor 29.6%
Physical therapist 34.0%
Physician assistant 30.4%

Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Occupational Outlook 2014-2024


Further, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development data, many of Wisconsin’s top 25 highest growth occupations will require a post-secondary degree.

Wisconsin’s 25 High-Growth Occupations 2014-2024

Requiring Post-Secondary Degree

#1 Operations Research Analysts #17 Market Research Analysts
#4 Computer Systems Analysts #18 Software Developers
#5 Personal Financial Advisors #20 Chemist
#9 Web Developers #21 Nurse Practitioners
#11 Biochemists & Biophysicists #22 Actuaries
#16 Real Estate Brokers
Source: WI DWD Wisconsin’s WORKnet


Twenty additional UW System degree programs were authorized in 2016, and these programs are aligned with state and national trends and demand.

20 UW System Degree Programs Authorized In 2016


Health Care

Entrepreneurial & Business


Social Sciences


Data Analytics


Computer Science




Natural Resources


Information Science and Technology

Health and Wellness Management


Nursing (accelerated)


Clinical Nutrition


Athletic Training (2)

Flex degree in Business


Sports management

Early Childhood


Special Education


Secondary Education


STEM Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence

Geospatial Analysis and Technology


Social Work


Urban Studies

Dairy Science


The UW System’s 2020FWD strategic framework builds on the feedback heard at listening sessions around the state to build stronger connections between the UW and the state’s communities and businesses.  It is focused on the University’s longstanding commitment to strengthen Wisconsin’s economy, develop the workforce of tomorrow, and keep college affordable for students and families.

Media Contact

University Relations UW System (608) 263-1700