doctoral degrees for career

Doctoral Degrees That Allow You to Do More Good

Most people want to be good people, but some people want to do the most possible good they can during their time on Earth. If you fall into that latter category — and you aspire to earn a PhD during your lifetime, you might be interested in any of the following doctoral programs, which equip you with the knowledge, skill and credentials to improve the world in many impactful ways.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering blends biology, medicine, engineering, computer science and other STEM fields to deliver more powerful solutions to healthcare providers. Biomedical engineers tackle complex research problems through the careful application of science and technology, helping healthcare providers understand and overcome some of society’s most pressing diseases.

With a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, you can lead research that provides valuable insights and innovations — and through your efforts, you could cause countless lives to be saved. Often, biomedical engineers work for medical device companies, helping to develop and install products that improve outcomes for healthcare providers and patients. However, you might also dedicate your career to university research, publishing findings to help other related professionals achieve greater success.

Human Services

Human services are a set of social assistance programs that help individuals, groups and communities find stability and success. Human services tend to be interdisciplinary, combining healthcare and counseling with access to food and shelter and even career support. Human services professionals work tirelessly to improve circumstances for some of the most vulnerable members of society, which helps to strengthen society as a whole.

A PhD in Human Services equips you with advanced knowledge about the policies and procedures that have the most impact on vulnerable individuals and communities. With a doctorate degree in this field, you can help lawmakers devise more effective programs for eliminating poverty and elevating productivity, or you can operate non-profit organizations to provide direct services to people in need.

Instructional Design

Education is arguably among the most important industries, as it directly contributes to the progress and success of the next generation. Though there have been professional educators for thousands of years, research continues to uncover better ways of imparting information to students — largely through the field of instructional design. Instructional designers, who more often identify as educators, are responsible for researching and developing improved instructional materials and systems to improve outcomes for students.

The field of education is vast, and there are many doctoral degrees related to education that can help you do good. However, instructional design is a growing field with incredible potential to positively impact education systems around the world, especially if you are willing to work for online education institutions.


Though most people might experience cybersecurity as the occasional malware infection, the truth is that cybersecurity threats are intensifying at a frightening rate. Not only are hundreds of millions of types of malware infesting the web and scamming individuals out of their life savings, but malicious hackers are targeting some of the world’s most sensitive and dangerous resources, like healthcare databases, nuclear power plants and military weapons silos. It is more important than ever to improve cybersecurity methods with advanced strategies and techniques.

Because cybersecurity is a relatively new field, there are precious few experts with high levels of education. Focusing your doctoral studies on cybersecurity could amplify your voice in cybersecurity discourse and ensure that you become a prominent figure in this field as its importance grows.


The climate crisis is real, and there is precious little time remaining for humankind to understand its causes and alter our behavior to reduce harm. Sustainability is a broad and multidisciplinary field; some sustainability experts focus on investigating the progress of the changing climate, while others dedicate their careers to devising actionable solutions that keep humans and the natural environment as safe as possible.

A PhD in Sustainability is a good choice if you feel passionate about preserving and protecting the environment. Because the field is so vast, you should be able to explore different aspects of sustainability to find an area of research or activity that moves you, such as ecology, engineering, land management, agriculture or something else.

In truth, any high level of education can give you the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on the world. Knowledge is power, and with that power, you can work to change available technology, cultural perceptions, legal policies and other aspects of society for the better. If you want to do good with your career, you cannot go wrong with pursuing a doctoral degree and putting that degree to use in the field. 

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.

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