5 Degrees That Are Beneficial to Earn as An Adult Going Back to College
When you choose to go back to college as an adult it's usually not because you want to broaden your knowledge of classic literature. You're looking for a career that's stable and pays well, something that gives you security and can even be parlayed into further growth. With that in mind, it's important to look at the potential that different degrees offer. Here are five degree programs that lead to growing fields with big earning potential.
One of the best things about entering the nursing field is the variety of degrees you can pursue. If you're worried about taking on debt from student loans, you might want to look at an associate degree which is only a two-year program. You can also go to a four-year college to get a bachelor's in nursing. With either program under your belt, you'll be ready to pass the NCLEX and your state licensing requirements to become a Registered Nurse.
You'll have more opportunities and make more with a bachelor's but even the lowest-paid RNs average over $60,000 a year. As the nursing shortage deepens, new nurses can expect more opportunities and even higher pay. Nurses with associate degrees can go on to get a BSN and those with bachelor's degrees can move on to become nurse practitioners. NPs average $110,000 a year.
If taking care of people isn't in your wheelhouse, you might want to take care of their finances. To become a certified public accountant you'll need to complete a four-year degree in accounting along with fulfilling several state and federal requirements. With online certificate programs in accounting, you can be on your way to a career as an accountant or auditor. More businesses are asking their accountants to also have a master's degree which is an additional two years of education. After that four or six-year program though, you're likely to find a job with an average salary of $70,000. Whether you become an accountant or an auditor with your degree, you will find a job easily. It's a field that continues to grow and with the complex tax laws, accountants never go out of style.
- Web Developer
If you're tech-savvy there are many potential careers. The upside of becoming a web developer is that, like nursing, there are several ways to approach your education. You can get a two-year associate's degree or a four-year degree. Your classes will emphasize coding and graphic design. This is one career that you can come into naturally without going to school at all, but if you're starting from scratch and don't have unlimited time, going back to school will keep you focused and moving ahead without the trial and error of a DIY education. You'll also have a degree that will open the door to job interviews. Web developers make, on average, over $68,000 a year.
- Project Manager
Project managers are another growth sector. Many of the existing project managers are retiring and the need for the role is ever-expanding. If you're good at organizing, breaking down tasks and assigning roles, you could be a born project manager. You can get a four-year degree in many fields but there are also specific project management or business administration degrees. When you pick a more specific field you'll need to take project management courses or take additional courses through private educational providers to get a certificate in project management. No matter which path you take, you'll be entering a robust field that's used in every aspect of business. Salary depends in part on the industry in which you work, but you can expect to make between $60,00 and $70,000.
- Elementary Teacher
Finally, if you want to have more time to spend with your family, choose a career where you'll have parallel schedules. Becoming an elementary school teacher means you'll always be needed and if you already have a degree you may be able to complete your certification requirements in a few months or a year. Without a degree, you'll need to complete a four-year degree in elementary education. Salaries vary widely but average almost $60,000 a year.
No matter where your interests lie, you'll find a career path to fit you by returning to school.