Oh, how things have changed since I was a naive young English major ten years ago. These days, degrees are getting ever more specialized, and increasingly tied to particular, useful jobs. Case in point: Johns Hopkins, where you can now get a degree that proves that you know how to build a robot, or parse a whole bunch of confusing data.

The new option to get a master’s degree in robotics is a no-brainer for Hopkins. The school already has one of the nation’s top robotics research labs. In many ways, the new degree is just a multi-disciplinary arrangement of other things Hopkins is good at; students will take classes in things like automation science, engineering, medical robotics, and cognitive systems.

The data degree — more formally, a master’s in government analytics — will prepare students to analyze data, draw conclusions, and explain their results to the public in a clear way. Students will draw on classes including statistics, programming, research design, and data visualization. “The new programs will prepare students to take on such challenges as predicting where crime is likely to occur, evaluating the effectiveness of new health care initiatives, identifying the best placement of a proposed public transportation route, and developing voter mobilization strategies,” the Hopkins Hub notes. Feel like going back to school?