See how you could get into a hot career with just 1-2 years of education.
By Jennifer Berry
Are you feeling stuck in a job you hate? Floundering in a job search that isn't going anywhere?
Don't despair: a quick education program could provide the jolt you need to find the right career.
There is no time like the present to explore your options for going
back to school. With many schools offering rolling admissions and even
online instruction, it's never been easier to get started.
[Search for career preparation programs now]
With the right education, you could be prepared for a new career in
just one to two years. That's a small investment in time that could reap
big rewards over the length of your career.
Check out these six solid careers - and learn how you can prepare for them.
Career #1 - Human Resources Assistant
For a stable, rewarding career that you can prepare for quickly,
consider a career in human resources. As a human resources assistant,
you'll be responsible for maintaining important information about your
organization's employees - like their earnings, health and life
insurance plans, and tax withholdings.
Quick education: You can earn your associate's
degree in human resources in two years. If you already have a bachelor's
degree in another field, you can earn a certificate in human resources
in just one year.
Good compensation: The average annual income for human resources assistants is $37,840. The top ten percent average at $53,160 a year.*
[Search for HR programs near you now]
Career #2 - Paralegal
Intrigued by the law? Prepare for an in-demand career as a paralegal
in less than a year. The U.S. Department of Labor expects paralegal jobs
to grow 28 percent from 2008 to 2018. As a paralegal, you may prepare
arguments, obtain affidavits, and help lawyers prepare for cases.
Quick education: Do you already have a bachelor's
degree? If so, you might be able to earn a certificate in paralegal
studies in just a few months. If not, consider earning your associate's
degree in two years.
Good compensation: Paralegals have an average annual income of $50,080. The highest ten percent earn more than $75,000.
[Search for Paralegal programs near you now]
Career #3 - Medical Assistant
The U.S. Department of Labor lists health care as one of the
fastest-growing industries in our country. Take part in this boom by
completing a medical assistant program in two years or less. As a
medical assistant, you'll handle office tasks, take patient medical
histories...you might even perform basic laboratory tests.
Quick education: You can earn a certificate or
diploma in about one year. Another quick education option is an
associate's degree in medical assisting, which you can complete in about
two years. Even in quick programs, you'll build a variety of skills to
help you in your new career, including transcription and insurance
Good compensation: Medical assistants have an average annual income of $29,450. The top ten percent have an average annual wage of $39,970.
[Search for Medical Assistant programs near you now]
Career #4 - Bookkeeper
Join the 2.1 million bookkeepers who are working today with an
accounting education program. The U.S. Department of Labor projects a 10
percent jump in opportunities through 2018. As a bookkeeper, you'll
handle financial records like taxes, accounts payable and receivable,
Quick education: Prepare to step into this field by
earning an associate's degree in just two years. You'll study subjects
like accounting and familiarize yourself with the latest computer
software that the job requires.
Good compensation: Bookkeepers, who work in every
industry imaginable, have an average annual income of $34,750. The top
ten percent can make more than $50,450 a year.
[Search for Accounting or Business programs near you now]
Career #5 - Dental Assistant
Want to get hired as a dental assistant? Well, what are you waiting
for? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs for dental
assistants are expected to grow 36 percent through 2018. As a dental
assistant, you'll make appointments, sterilize equipment, and help
dentists during procedures.
Quick education: You could earn a certificate in
dental assisting in just one year, or an associate's degree in two
years. Many education programs focus on a dental assistant's daily
duties, including how to interact with patients and how to help keep the
dental office running smoothly.
Good compensation: Dental assistants have an average annual income of $34,000. The top ten percent can average at more than $47,070 a year.
[Search for Dental Assisting programs near you now]
Career #6 - Registered Nurse
If you feel the calling to pursue a registered nursing career, you
can prepare for this rewarding profession in two years or less. It's a
smart career move too...the U.S. Department of Labor expects job
opportunities to soar 22 percent through 2018. As a nurse, you would
work with patients, run diagnostic tests, and administer medications.
Quick education: Earn an associate's degree or
certificate in nursing in a few years. If you already have a bachelor's
degree in another field, you could enroll in an accelerated Bachelor of
Science in Nursing (BSN) program to earn your degree in less time.
Good compensation: Registered nurses have an average annual income of $66,530. The top ten percent average at $93,700 a year.
[Search for Nursing programs near you now]
*Compensation info comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009.
See which degrees can lead to high-income careers.
By Chris Kyle
When it comes to making money, having the right education can make all the difference.
In fact, according to PayScale's 2010-2011 College Salary Report,
$100,000 in annual income separates a petroleum engineering major
($157,000) from the average music major ($57,000) at the mid-career
Don't like engineering? Don't despair. There are plenty of degrees to choose from.
[Click here to find the right college degree for you]
Using PayScale's 2010-2011 College Salary Report, we've identified 8 money-making college degrees:
- Business Administration
- Health Care Administration
- Information Systems
- Paralegal Studies
- Criminal Justice
- Information Technology
Keep reading to learn more about these money-making degrees...
Degree #1: Bachelor's in Business Administration
Mid-Career Income: $70,600*
As a whole, business-related majors enjoyed the biggest paycheck
increase over the past year, according to Andrea Koncz, employment
information manager for the National Association of Colleges and
Employers (NACE). Current business administration majors are seeing an
average starting offer of $44,171. Market research analyst and
advertising sales agent positions are typical career paths for business
administration majors. According to the U.S. Department of Labor,
research analysts had an average annual income of $67,500 in 2009, while
sales agents averaged at $53,190.
[Search Business Administration degree programs]
Degree #2: Bachelor's in Health Care Administration
Mid-Career Income: $60,800
Health care is the biggest and fastest growing sector of the economy.
While you might start out as an office manager in a doctor's office,
earning roughly $40,000, some grads use work experience and sometimes a
master's to help them transition into medical services managers.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average income for this
job was $90,970 in 2009.
[Find Health Care degree programs]
Degree #3: Bachelor's in Finance
Mid-Career Income: $91,500
Want to make money? It helps to study it. According to NACE's Winter
2011 Salary Survey report, starting salary offers for finance grads rose
nearly two percent this year to $50,535. Typical careers for finance
grads include personal financial advisors and budget analysts. According
to the U.S. Department of Labor, financial advisors had an average
income of $94,180 in 2009, while budget analysts averaged at $69,240.
[Search for Finance degree programs]
Degree #4: Bachelor's in Information Systems
Mid-Career Income: $87,100
Many information systems majors find careers in business and
technology, two potentially lucrative options to say the least.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the top ten percent of
computer systems analysts earned $119,170 in 2009. The agency lists a
bachelor's degree as the most common qualification for the job.
[Search for Information Systems degree programs]
Degree #5: Bachelor's in Paralegal Studies
Mid-Career Income: $51,300
Paychecks are growing for paralegals, who are taking on many
responsibilities that lawyers used to handle. According to the U.S.
Department of Labor, the top ten percent of paralegals earned $75,700 in
2009. For an even quicker entry into the field, consider earning an
associate's degree or certificate in paralegal studies.
[Find Paralegal programs now]
Degree #6: Bachelor's in Criminal Justice
Mid-Career Income: $58,000
The war on terror has increased our need for criminal justice majors
to fill positions at home and abroad. To use just one example, the top
ten percent of police supervisors earned $116,340 in 2009, according to
the U.S. Department of Labor.
[Search for Criminal Justice career programs]
Degree #7: Bachelor's in Accounting
Mid-Career Income: $77,500
What recession? In the past year alone, accounting majors have seen
their average starting salary offer rise 2.2 percent to $49,022,
according to NACE's Winter 2011 Salary Survey report. What's more, 47
percent of accounting majors received a job offer prior to graduation in
2010, according to a separate NACE study. Getting an accounting degree
is a great first step for those interested in pursuing a financial
manager position. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, finance
managers had an average income of $113,730 in 2009.
[Find Accounting degree programs near you]
Degree #8: Bachelor's in Information Technology (IT)
Mid-Career Income: $79,300
Studying IT is a great way to prepare for a potentially profitable
job in today's digital age. Typical careers include computer programmers
and database administrators. Computer programmers had a average income
of $74,690 in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, while
database administrators averaged at $74,290.
[Find IT degree programs]
*Unless otherwise noted, salary info comes from PayScale's
2010-2011 College Salary Report, which tracks full-time employees in the
U.S. who possess a bachelor's degree and no higher.