Growing Jobs That Need College Grads

Top Jobs That Need Grads

Earning the right bachelor's degree could be the key to qualifying for high-quality positions that need to be filled.

By Tony Moton
Are you a goal-oriented person? Do you have a need to achieve?
If you're a high achiever, now could be the right time to consider earning a college degree. In a 2012 report titled "A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education," the Lumina Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to helping improve the country's level of education attainment, states that the United States is lacking enough qualified workers to fill growing numbers of high-quality job openings.
Kathleen J. Cook, a general undergraduate academic advisor at Eastern Washington University, sees a bachelor's degree as the first step toward getting noticed by employers who are hiring for high-quality positions.
"Without a bachelor's degree in this world today, it's going to be hard to get an advanced job," Cook says. "It's getting to where you might not be able to work anywhere other than menial-type jobs without one."
Want to get noticed in the career world? Keep reading to learn about five growing occupations in need of educated professionals - and how you can prepare to pursue them.

Career #1 - Accountant

Do you take responsibility for balancing the family budget? Do you watch your spending down to the penny? If so, your interests might be right in line with the career responsibilities of an accountant.
Accountants help ensure the accuracy of financial records, compute and file taxes, and suggest ways for businesses to improve profits, the U.S. Department of Labor reports.
Why They're Needed: The Department of Labor projects the field of accounting and auditing will grow by 16 percent between 2010 and 2020, an increase of 190,700 new positions.
This demand is happening for a number of reasons, the Department reports. Due to numerous corporate scandals and the recent financial crises, accountants are needed to help deal with stricter laws - especially in the financial sector.
Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
How to Fill the Need: According to the Department, most accountant positions require at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field.
And here's why: "The accountant does all the hard work," Cook says. "Without the degree, you won't be allowed to do the kind of work they do. You might be able to do all the busy work as a junior accountant or clerk, but you're not going to do the actual work of an accountant."

Career #2 - Human Resources Specialist

Are you a people person looking for a professional career? Well, one career that puts you in constant contact with people in a business setting is human resources specialist.
The U.S. Department of Labor says these specialists generally are responsible for recruiting, interviewing, and training new employees. They also might be heavily involved in other areas, such as employee relations and payroll.
Why They're Needed: According to the Department of Labor, human resources specialists could experience a 21 percent growth in employment from 2010 to 2020. The growth accounts for a total of 90,700 new hires.
Not only that, but the employment services industry will see an increase of 55 percent between 2010 and 2020 because companies are outsourcing more of their human resources work to other firms, notes the Department. About 17 percent of human resources specialists work for employment firms, thus creating a need for workers with their skills.
Click to Find the Right Human Resources Program.
How to Fill the Need: Most positions for a human resources specialist require applicants to have at least a bachelor's degree, says the Department. It also says that employers prefer candidates who studied human resources, business, or a related field.
And the need for degree holders is high, says Cook. "Every major company, and most small companies, has an HR department," she says, "but without a degree, you won't be able to work in that area. They have to be on top of laws, like sick leave and retirement, so an HR person has to be knowledgeable about everything pertaining to their employer and employees."

Career #3 - K-12 Teacher

Are you looking for a place to share knowledge with others? If so, you could lead young people of all ages along the path of education by pursuing a career as a teacher.
K-12 educators are responsible for planning lessons, evaluating students' learning capabilities, and making sure parents are informed about their child's progress, the U.S. Department of Labor reports.
Why They're Needed: According to the Department of Labor, between 2010 and 2020 careers in kindergarten, elementary, and middle school teaching are projected to grow by 17 percent, while high school teachers could see 7 percent growth in the field. The Department projects that this growth could result in 461,700 new teaching jobs in K-12.
Cook adds that the need for teachers is also growing, in part, because "a lot of baby boomers out there are reaching retirement age, and the more they retire in droves, the more positions there are for others."
Click to Find the Right K-12 Education Program.
How to Fill the Need: To work as a K-12 teacher in public schools, a bachelor's degree in education is required, as well as a state-issued certification or license, according to the Department.
"Plain and simple, without the bachelor's degree, you are not teaching," Cook says. "You can be a teaching assistant, but without the degree, you're not a teacher."

Career #4 - Software Developer

Do you have a keen interest in computers and want to know what makes them tick? Do you have an idea for a gaming application that could appeal to millions? If so, maybe there's a chance you could find a professional outlet as a software developer.
Software developers are responsible for creating computer programs and applications found in mobile devices such as tablets and phones, the U.S. Department of Labor says. Others might develop the operating systems that run these devices.
Why They're Needed: The Department of Labor projects a tremendous increase in new software developer jobs between 2010 and 2020, causing a 30 percent jump in overall growth. That's a total of 270,900 jobs added.
Talk about overnight sensations. The Department says the rapid increase in need for software applications is creating a serious demand for developers who can brainstorm new products in the area of mobile technology. The need for more cyber security products is also contributing to a boom in this profession.
Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
How to Fill the Need: So how do you get a shot at this fast-expanding career? The Department reports that software developers usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. The Department also reports that it helps if software developers have strong computer-programming and teamwork skills.
"[I]t takes five people to make one game," Cook says, referring to the number of developers it might require to put together a video game. "They need people who are up-to-date with programs, and because changes in the industry are happening overnight, you are not going to get these kinds of jobs without a degree."

Career #5 - Medical and Health Services Manager

Does a management-level position in the health care field appeal to you? Working as a medical and health services manager might fulfill your aspirations quite well.
When it comes to delivering health care services, administrators in this position might manage the finances of a facility or department, stay informed on laws governing health services, and supervise assistant administrators, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why They're Needed: Careers in medical and health services management, according to the Department of Labor, are expected to increase by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, which could account for 68,000 new jobs over the ten-year period.
Part of this need is associated with the aging U.S. population, the Department reports. With more people in the baby-boom demographic requiring medical care, the health care industry as a whole will require more professionals to meet the demands of patient services.
Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.
How to Fill the Need: If you're interested in pursuing this career, the Department says a bachelor's degree in health administration is the typical level of education for medical and health services managers, although a master's in public health, business administration, and health services is also common.
Cook believes a bachelor's degree in this field is imperative for workers who want to lead others. "Health care administrators are the ones who run the office," Cook says. "They make decisions for the office and they're the boss. These are the people that doctors hire to handle all the daily functions of the office. Years ago, doctors were more involved with administration, but not as much anymore."

High-Growth, High-Pay Jobs In The Health Field

Source: Yahoo
High ROI Health Care Careers

Want to prep for an in-demand career that will return your investment? Consider these booming health care careers.

By Terence Loose
Are you thinking of going back to school to work toward a new career, but don't know exactly which careers will pay you back in the long run? Choose the wrong career, and you may have a hard time earning sufficient returns on the money and time you invested in a degree. But how do you find a career that will give you the best shot at making the most of your educational investment?
Well, a good place to start might be the health care industry. Why? Because according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the health care and social assistance industry is going to be the greatest driver of jobs in the near future - by far. Specifically, the Department of Labor says these fields are expected to grow by 33 percent, or 5.7 million new jobs from 2010 to 2020, providing millions more jobs than any other industry.
Of course, there's still the matter of which health care career to pursue. So we did a little digging and came up with six health care careers that offer pay above the national median (which, by the way, is $45,790, according to the Department's figures for 2012) and above average growth expectations (the average is 14 percent).
So read on for six health careers that could be worth investing in.

Payback Career #1: Registered Nurse

The U.S. Department of Labor publishes a chart titled "Occupations with the Largest Growth," and guess which job tops the list? Registered nurse - with more than 700,000 jobs expected to be added in the field from 2010 to 2020. That's a lot of jobs.
Why It Has a Future: A few things are leading to the increased demand for nurses, says Susan Heathfield, a management consultant and writer of About.com's Guide to Human Resources. "First, the baby boomer generation is living longer and is more focused on health. Second, nursing is a bedside health care occupation, and something that can't be done over the phone or via computer, so the jobs will stay here," she says. Information from the Department of Labor seems to back-up Heathfield's assessment. Because of technological advances in health care, increased emphasis on preventive care, and an active baby boomer generation, the Department expects a 26 percent growth rate in this occupation from 2010 to 2020.
Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
ROI Potential*: So just what do nurses make? According to the Department, the median annual income is $65,470, with the lowest paid 10 percent making $45,040, and the highest paid 10 percent pulling in $94,720. Not a bad ROI for helping people stay healthy.
Education Needed: The Department says there are three ways to pursue a career as a registered nurse: Earn an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. You will also need to be licensed.

Payback Career #2: Dental Hygienist

If you've ever thought that dentistry might be a good fit for your career ambitions, but aren't sure you want to spend the time - and money - to pursue the leading role of dentist, you might be interested in a supporting role in the same industry. Dental hygienists keep your smile bright and disease-free. And the job itself has a bright future.
Why It Has a Future: Heathfield says that dentists are relying on dental hygienists more and more because dentists are becoming busier thanks to that baby boomer generation. And as a result, "Because dentists are using them for more and more tasks, I see dental hygienist as a huge growth field," she says.
And again, the U.S. Department of Labor agrees. As research continues to find links between oral and general health, the demand for preventative dental services will increase. And the Department of Labor's projections for job growth? For dental hygienists, a whopping 38 percent growth is expected from 2010 to 2020. Translation: 68,500 jobs.
Click to Find the Right Dental Hygiene Program.
ROI Potential*: Keeping people smiling pays a median annual income of $70,210, with the lowest 10 percent of dental hygienists earning $46,540 and the highest 10 percent averaging at $96,280.
Education Needed: A minimum of an associate's degree or certificate in dental hygiene is usually required by most private dentists' offices, according to the Department of Labor. All states also require hygienists to have a license.

Payback Career #3: Dietitian

Do you read every label and count every calorie? Perhaps you enjoy sharing your health knowledge with friends and family? Well, in addition to paying you back with a svelte physique and high energy level, pursuing a career as a dietitian could also return that educational investment sooner than later.
Why It Has a Future: "I think most people put much more of an emphasis on diet as part of their health care than ever before," says Heathfield. She adds that doctors and hospitals also now respect diet more as part of a patient's overall recovery and preventative health care. "So I see this profession as being more in demand in the future," she says.
The U.S. Department of Labor says that there indeed has been an increased emphasis on the role of food in promoting health and wellness. For that reason, they see a very healthy 20 percent increase - or 12,700 new dietitian job opportunities, between 2010 and 2020. That's not bad considering there were only 64,000 dietitians in 2010.
Click to Find the Right Dietitian Program.
ROI Potential*: What's that saying about healthy, wealthy, and wise? According to the Department of Labor, dietitians earn an annual median salary of $55,240, with the lowest 10 percent earning $34,500, and the top 10 percent making $77,590.
Education Needed: The Department says that most dietitians have earned a bachelor's degree in dietetics, food service systems management, foods and nutrition, or a related field. They also usually go through many hours of supervised training and most states require dietitians to be licensed.

Payback Career #4: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Two reasons this career is a decent bet for the future: technology and health care. Yep, this occupation marries them both: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, diagnostic medical sonographers use sophisticated imaging equipment that sends sound waves into a patient's body. Then they read the echoes to assess and diagnose medical conditions - or to tell if it's a boy or a girl! Sound like the future calling?
Why It Has a Future: "Technology and equipment in hospitals is becoming so advanced and prevalent, so the people who can operate them are going to be more and more in demand," says Heathfield. She adds that preventative care is becoming more prevalent and seen as cost-saving to managed care, and so tests such as those performed by diagnostic medical sonographers are becoming more valued.
The Department of Labor makes the point that the use of sonography (commonly known as sonograms, ultrasounds, and echocardiograms) will become more desirable to patients than invasive techniques and ones that result in radiation. For this and other reasons, the Department sees the profession of diagnostic medical sonographer growing by 44 percent from 2010 to 2020 - or 23,400 new jobs. That's the kind of growth we like.
Click to Find the Right Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.
ROI Potential*: Apparently, firing sound waves into people pays. Specifically, the Department says diagnostic medical sonographers make an annual median salary of $65,860, with the lowest paid 10 percent making $44,990 and the highest 10 percent making $91,070.
Education Needed: Formal education, such as a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree, is needed for diagnostic medical sonographer positions. According to the Department, a lot of employers require certification and prefer that diagnostic medical sonographers have a certificate or degree from an accredited hospital program or institute.

Payback Career #5: Physical Therapy Assistant

Imagine the satisfaction you'd get from helping an accident victim walk again, or even just relieving a patient's pain through massage. If that sounds good, there's also good news for future physical therapy assistants: the occupation is expected to be in high demand and the pay isn't bad either.
Why It Has a Future: "I think this is an occupation that's going to be very big in the next decade or so thanks to our aging population needing more health care and, again, because it's a job that's impossible to outsource," says Heathfield. "The baby boomers are also leading more active lives and not only sustain injuries, but want to continue to be active, so they'll need physical therapy and other rehabilitation in the future."
If Heathfield sounds high on this occupation, try reading what the U.S. Department of Labor has to say: it projects a whopping 46 percent increase in physical therapy assistant opportunities between 2010 and 2020. In other words, 51,100 new jobs.
Click to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program.
ROI Potential*: It's nice to see important work get rewarded. According to the Department of Labor, the median annual wage for physical therapist assistants is $52,160. The lowest 10 percent make a respectable $32,420 and the top 10 percent make $72,720.
Education Needed: In most states, an associate's degree from an accredited physical therapy program is required, says the Department. Most states also require physical therapy assistants to be licensed, it adds.

Payback Career #6: Medical and Health Services Manager

There's a reason they call it "managed health care." Yes, the medical field is about curing and preventing illness, but anyone who's visited a doctor's office or filled out a hospital admittance form knows that treating illness takes a healthy amount of management. Hence, medical and health services managers might do everything from run doctors' practices to manage whole departments in health care facilities, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Has a Future: "Whatever you think of Obamacare, there's one thing for certain: More and more dollars are going into health care in the future. And that means administrative [management] jobs will be on the increase and probably pay pretty well," says Heathfield.
That certainly coincides with the Department of Labor's take on this profession. They project that the job opportunities for medical and health care services managers will increase by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020. That's about 68,000 new jobs being added.
Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.
ROI Potential*: You'll probably be pleased with the ROI here too. The Department says that the median annual pay for medical and health services managers is $88,580. The bottom 10 percent make $53,940 and the top 10 percent earn $150,560.
Education Needed: The Department says that hopeful medical and health services managers typically have a bachelor's degree in health administration. Also common, it adds, are master's degrees in health services, public administration, long-term care administration, public health, or business administration.

Seven Careers With Good Pay, Little School

Source: Yahoo
Paying, No-Bachelor's Jobs

No bachelor's degree? No problem. Here are seven careers that still pay and require little school.

By Andrea Duchon
Maybe life edged in or you realized along the way that you aren't cut out for higher education. But that's no reason to take a dead-end job or accept a career that doesn't pay a good wage.
Despite what you may have heard, it's just not true that earning a bachelor's degree is the only path to a great career that pays well. You might be able to qualify for some promising careers with only an associate's degree or the right certificate.
Interested in learning how to get yourself into a career that utilizes your strongest skills, pads your bank account, and doesn't require years of schooling? Keep reading to learn about seven careers that pay a respectable median salary - all without a bachelor's degree.

Career #1: Paralegal

Median Annual Salary*: $46,990
Top 10 Percent of Earners: $75,410
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $29,420

Paralegals could be called the lawyer's right-hand man (or woman) because they're working to keep things in check all day, every day. But because they don't have to go to law school to make it into the office, they can start earning a great paycheck without spending years hitting the books.
What They Do: The U.S. Department of Labor says that paralegals do various tasks to support lawyers and help them prepare for trials, like conducting research, maintaining files, and writing reports.
Why It Pays: Because you'll often be doing the grunt work that makes a lawyer's work possible, lawyers are quick to pay you well as a paralegal, says Nicole Williams, a career expert for the professional networking site LinkedIn. Another way to think of it is in terms of the phrase "time is money." The work you do as a paralegal frees up a lawyer's time to do other things - something they'll always find invaluable, says Williams.
Due to their integral role in law offices, paralegals need to be intelligent, have the ability to fill in the blanks and solve puzzles, be highly organized, and know how to prioritize, says Williams.
Click to Find the Right Paralegal Program.
Bachelor's-Free Path: "Most paralegals and legal assistants have an associate's degree in paralegal studies," says the Department of Labor. There is another route, however: Those who have a bachelor's degree in another field could pursue a certificate in paralegal studies.

Career #2: Physical Therapist Assistant

Median Annual Salary*: $52,160
Top 10 Percent of Earners: $72,720
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $32,420

If you're looking for a hands-on career that makes a real difference in the lives of others, physical therapist assistant could be right up your alley. And unlike licensed physical therapists, who need to spend years in school, physical therapist assistants don't need a bachelor's degree to pull in a solid paycheck.
What They Do: PT assistants are responsible for helping patients recovering from illnesses regain movement, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They might help patients do exercises, treat them using techniques like stretching and massage, and educate them about what to do after treatment.
Why It Pays: "The duties of a physical therapist assistant may not seem mentally challenging, but in fact, they are," says Williams. "Dealing with patients in different states of recovery is taxing and draining, which is one major reason that the job pays so well."
Click to Find the Right Patient Care and Therapy Program.
Bachelor's-Free Path: The pay sounds even better when you consider the schooling required to get there. The Department of Labor says, "Most states require physical therapist assistants have an associate's degree from an accredited physical therapist program." Physical therapist assistants must also obtain a license, typically by graduating from an accredited program and passing the National Physical Therapy Exam.

Career #3: Police Officer

Median Annual Salary*: $55,270
Top 10 Percent of Earners: $89,310
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $32,350

Are you courageous? Do you have a high level of integrity and self-restraint? If so, Williams says you could be cut out for a path as a police officer.
What They Do: Along with the qualities listed above, Williams lists empathy, the ability to preempt emergency, and a keen eye for preventing crime as some strengths of a good police officer. Police officers generally patrol the streets, enforce laws, respond to calls, and arrest suspects, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays: Police officers work long hours, often on nights and weekends, Williams adds. Because they constantly need to be prepared, work in dangerous situations, and perform in any type of weather, they are usually paid well, she says.
Click to Find the Right Criminal Justice Program.
Bachelor's-Free Path: The Department of Labor says police officers must usually have at least a high school diploma or GED, and graduate from an agency training academy. However, they also say that many agencies require candidates to have a college degree or some college coursework. You'll also need to be a U.S. citizen, be at least 21 years old, and meet "rigorous physical and personal qualifications," says the Department.

Career #4: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Median Annual Salary*: $65,860
Top 10 Percent of Earners: $91,070
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $44,990

Williams says you'll need to exhibit tact, understanding, composure, and patience if you wish to pursue a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer.
What They Do: Sonographers use imaging equipment to assess and diagnose medical issues in patients, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They're responsible for preparing the patients and machines for procedures, operating the equipment, and analyzing the images to provide preliminary findings for the physician.
Why It Pays: A major reason why it pays so well is because people in this position need to have excellent bedside manner. You'll have to assist patients - and keep them calm - when delivering negative news about their health, says Williams.
"When most people hear of sonography, they think of seeing a baby for the first time," she explains. "However, sonographers need to deal with cysts, tumors, and growths as well. And part of the job involves being on your feet 80 percent of the day, which can be tiring and contributes to why this career pays well."
Click to Find the Right Medical Sonography Program.
Bachelor's-Free Path: While you don't need a bachelor's degree, the Department of Labor says education in the form of an associate's degree or a postsecondary certificate is necessary. "Many employers also require professional certification," adds the Department.

Career #5: Dental Hygienist

Median Annual Salary*: $70,210
Top 10 Percent of Earners: $96,280
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $46,540

While it's true that you'd need to hit the books big time in medical school to get into a career as a dentist, the good news is you can still join the office ranks as a dental hygienist - without a bachelor's degree.
What They Do: Dental hygienists might spend their days cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, and applying fluoride to protect patients' teeth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays: "Dental hygienists tend to do a lot of the leg work at the office," says Williams. "The routine can get tedious, and let's not forget that they need to deal with bad breath the majority of the day."
No one enjoys getting their teeth cleaned and the hygienist knows it, Williams continues. But because they perform a job that people need but don't necessarily want, they're often paid well.
Click to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program.
Bachelor's-Free Path: Every state requires dental hygienists to be licensed, though exact requirements may vary, according to the Department of Labor. Additionally, you'll typically need an associate's degree in dental hygiene to pursue entry-level positions.

Career #6: Occupational Therapy Assistant

Median Annual Salary*: $53,240
Top 10 Percent of Earners: $73,120
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $32,970

Are you patient and compassionate? You'll need to be if you want to consider being an assistant to an occupational therapist. What you won't need, however, is a bachelor's degree to get yourself into this career.
What They Do: "Occupational therapy assistants help people tackle daily activities they can no longer do due to loss of limbs, a debilitating disease like multiple sclerosis, or developmental disabilities," says Williams.
Why It Pays: One reason occupational therapist assistants earn a decent salary is that the career can be strenuous and requires a great deal of determination, as many aspects of the job are repetitive teaching exercises, says Williams.
What's more, occupational therapy helps people regain the ability to take care of common tasks. "These activities are often things that are essential to functioning in society, which also makes this career essential and contributes to why it pays so well," she adds.
Click to Find the Right Patient Care and Therapy Program.
Bachelor's-Free Path: You'll need to be licensed in most states if you want to pursue a job as an occupational therapy assistant, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. An associate's degree is also required.

Career #7: Civil Engineering Technician

Median Annual Salary*: $47,560
Top 10 Percent of Earners: $71,800
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $30,430

Do you peg yourself as a tinkerer who's fascinated with the manmade world? Civil engineer techs get to flex their "always-on" brains and pair them with a well-paid career path, minus the bachelor's degree.
What They Do: Williams says that "these are people that help to plan and design roads, bridges, and tunnels. They determine the materials that are needed for a project and estimate the amount of money needed for its completion."
You'll need to have a solid set of analytical skills as well as amazing communication skills, she adds.
Why It Pays: Civil engineer assistants are often working on contracts worth millions of dollars, and their employers are often investing in them to move the project along, Williams says.
Along with those set of skills mentioned above, civil engineer techs are also paid well to be quick thinkers and excellent problem solvers, says Williams. She provides this illustrative example: "Let's say a water main breaks or a sewer leaks. The technician and his team need to have the answer as to why - and they need to have it fast."
Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.
Bachelor's-Free Path: An associate's degree in civil engineering technology is preferred for this career path, though the U.S. Department of Labor says that it's not always required. Prospective candidates should seek out programs that are certified by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

Prepare For A Career That Pays Over $85K

Prepare For An $85K Career

There are a lot of great-paying jobs out there - but if you're going after one, you'll need the right preparation.

By Jennifer Berry

The annual mean wage for workers in the U.S. is $45,790, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That's a decent figure, but what if your career paid almost double?  Good news: There are a number of jobs in the U.S. that pay over $85,000.
But what separates these high-salary jobs from the rest of the pack? "The technical expertise and industry-specific knowledge required," says Kathleen Brady, career coach and author of "Get a Job! 10 Steps to Career Success." "In some instances, advanced degrees and licensing is also required, thereby compelling employers to offer higher salaries," Brady adds.
Of course, a high-paying position may come only after years of experience or high-level promotions - but that doesn't mean these jobs are entirely out of reach.
If you're interested in following a career path that could lead to a salary over $85K per year, check out the list below. You might be surprised by how many of them don't require more than a bachelor's degree.

Career #1 - Actuary

Risk pays - quite literally. Believe it or not, there are professionals whose job it is, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, to assess all kinds of risks - mostly for the insurance industry. If you're the kind of person who's good at math and likes to figure out problems, you might make a good actuary yourself.
As an actuary, you might use math, statistics, and financial theory to figure out the risk of some event occurring - whether an accident, sickness, or even natural disaster, says the Department of Labor. With your assessment, you can help insurance companies develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.
But how much do these risk assessors make? According to the Department, the median annual wage for an actuary is $93,680, with the lowest paid ten percent still earning $55,780, and the highest paid ten percent earning $175,330.
"This career has a high salary because it is a specialized field that requires a bachelor's degree," says Barbara Safani, Owner of Career Solvers and author of "Happy About My Job Search: How to Conduct an Effective Job Search for a More Successful Career." "It is also necessary to pass a series of exams to become certified as an actuary."
Click to Find the Right Business Program.
Is This Career For You? "People drawn to this career path would likely prefer to deal with facts and data and enjoy a slower-paced environment that affords them time to examine detailed information to form effective policies," says Brady.
"The best candidates have a strong background in math, statistics, and business," Safani adds. "They should be critical thinkers with good deductive reasoning skills."
How To Prepare: If you're interested in this field, you'll need a bachelor's degree, according to the Department, and professionals typically major in business, mathematics, statistics, or actuarial science. You'll also need to pass a series of exams to obtain professional certification, the Department adds.

Career #2 - Medical and Health Services Manager

It takes great leadership and organizational skills to head up a health care facility - be it a hospital or a nursing home. But once you learn what medical and health services managers make, you may feel up for the task and want to pursue this career.
As a medical and health services manager, the U.S. Department of Labor says you might manage the finances of your facility, deal with patient fees and billing, create work schedules for your staff, and make sure your facility keeps up to date - and compliant - with new laws and regulations.
And for all those duties, the pay isn't bad at all. The Department of Labor says the median annual wage for medical and health services managers is $88,580, with the lowest paid ten percent making $53,940 a year and the highest paid ten percent making $150,560 a year.
Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.
Is This Career For You? Brady says "medical and health services mangers must be creative problem solvers with strong interpersonal skills."
Why? Safani offers some clues: "Managers will be needed to organize and manage medical information and health care staffs in all areas of the industry." Sounds like a tall order.
How To Prepare: Ready to get serious about a career as a medical and health services manager? The Department has this to say about how to prepare: "Prospective medical and health services managers have a bachelor's degree in health administration." Master's degrees in health services, long-term care administration, public health, public administration, or business administration are also common in field.

Career #3 - Sales Engineer

Are you fascinated by science and technology, but prefer being out in the world talking to people over being cooped up in a lab? You might want to consider preparing to pursue a career as a sales engineer. The best part? It pays really well.
As a sales engineer, you might sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses, reports the U.S. Department of Labor. That could entail having an extensive knowledge and understanding of the scientific processes that make these products work - and the ability to use your technical skills to explain the benefits of these products to potential customers, the Department of Labor says.
And now for the good part. According to the Department, the median annual wage for sales engineers is $91,830, with the lowest paid ten percent earning $55,660, while the top ten percent earns $150,970 a year.
Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.
Is This Career For You? "People with strong math skills, analytical tinkerers who like to fix things and understand how they work, and strong interpersonal skills tend to do well in this field," according to Safani. "Sales engineers need to be on the bleeding edge of technology and those with knowledge of the latest technologies will be highly compensated."
How To Prepare: You'll typically need a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field to get started, notes the Department. Those with a degree in business or in a science, such as chemistry, and little or no previous sales experience, may also be called sales engineers, notes the Department.

Career #4 - School Principal

Want to make an impact on future generations? It might be time to consider pursuing a high-paying career as a school principal, so you can help create a great educational environment for children to grow and learn in.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as an elementary, middle, or high school principal, you might manage the day-to-day operations of your school. That could include supervising teachers and other staff, making sure they have the tools and resources they need, and helping to maintain discipline and a safe environment for both students and staff.
Principals earn an excellent salary, too. The Department of Labor says the median annual wage for school principals is $87,760, with the lowest paid ten percent earning $58,530 a year, and the highest paid ten percent earning $130,810 a year.
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Is This Career For You? This could be one position that you work up to with experience. As Safani notes, "Generally principals start out as teachers and grow into more administrative positions such as department chairs, deans, or assistant principals before assuming a principal role. Most also hold a master's degree in education administration or leadership."
And you might need other credentials and skills. "Most states also have licensing requirements," says Brady. "Along with basic business administration knowledge such as budgeting, human resources, and strategic planning, principals must also have knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum design, public safety and security, applicable laws and government regulations, and psychology."
How To Prepare: According to the Department, most schools will require principals to have a master's degree in education administration or leadership. The Department also echoes Safani, saying that principals often gain experience in education by working as a teacher before entering a master's program or applying for a job as a school principal.

Career #5 - Physician Assistant

The prospect of years and years in medical school can scare many prospective doctors away - but there's an alternative. If you feel called to the medical profession, consider preparing to pursue a career as a physician assistant and potentially cut down on some years in school.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as a physician assistant (also called PA), you might practice medicine under the direction and supervision of a physician or surgeon. That could mean doing physical exams on patients, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests like x-rays, or even prescribing medicine.
And although they don't get paid like doctors, physician assistants are doing all right for themselves. According to the Department of Labor, the median annual wage for physician assistants is $90,930, with the lowest paid ten percent earning $62,430 a year, and the top paid ten percent earning $124,770 a year.
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Is This Career For You? "People with patience, empathy, and an interest in caring for others tend to do well in this field," says Safani.
And Brady agrees, adding "PAs are typically compassionate and service orientated professionals with keen diagnostic and analytical skills. They are active listeners with strong deductive and inductive reasoning skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, social perceptiveness and strong verbal communication skills."
How To Prepare: According to the Department of Labor, PAs typically need a master's degree, which is completed through an accredited educational program and typically requires two years of study at minimum. Most of those applying for a master's degree program already have some work experience and a bachelor's degree. All states also require physician assistants to be licensed, the Department says.

Career #6 - Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computers baffle some people - but not you. Which means it could be time for you to build on your computer-savvy and prepare for a high-paying career as a computer and information systems manager.
As a computer and information systems manager, you might analyze your company's computer needs, recommend and install upgrades to computer hardware and software, and negotiate with technology vendors to get the best service for your company, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
And who knew that all that time spent in front of a screen could pay off? The Department of Labor reports the median annual wage for computer and information systems managers is $120,950, with the lowest paid ten percent earning $74,940 a year, and the top paid ten percent earning $187,199 or greater a year.
Click to Find the Right Computer and Information Systems Program.
Is This Career For You? "Someone with strong analytical and organizational skills is likely to be drawn to an IT role," says Brady. "To advance to manager, they need to possess active listening skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills, social perceptiveness, strong written and verbal communication skills along with judgment, decision-making, and leadership skills," she adds.
How To Prepare: According to the Department, you'll typically be required to have a bachelor's degree in computer or information science as well as some related work experience to get started in this field. Many of computer and information systems managers have a graduate degree as well. In this case, says the Department, a master's in business administration (MBA) is common.

Best Careers for Empty Nesters

Source: Yahoo
Careers Fit for Empty Nesters

After their children move out of the house, empty nesters might want to consider going back to school to pursue a new career...

By Tony Moton
At some point, parents must face the inevitable: Their children will grow up, leave home, and start lives of their own.
But that's not necessarily a bad thing. "Time and energy that you directed toward your child can now be spent on different areas of your life," says the Psychology Today website.
In fact, this might present "an opportune time to explore or return to hobbies, leisure activities, or career pursuits," notes Psychology Today.
Think some career exploration could be just what the doctor ordered for your "empty nest" syndrome? Check out these seven career options now.

Career #1: Personal Financial Advisor

Instead of counting how much time is on your hands now that your kids have flown the coop, you might want to turn your efforts toward pursuing a career as a personal financial advisor.
These advisors typically spend their days meeting with clients to discuss financial goals, recommending investments and helping clients plan for retirement, notes the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why it's a good fit: According to Laurence Shatkin, co-author of the book "225 Best Jobs for Baby Boomers," empty nesters working as financial advisors might have an advantage when dealing with older clients.
"Your clientele tends to be an older group with money, and that group is trusting with someone that age instead of a (younger) whipper-snapper," Shatkin says. "Because of the trust favor, they might favor older workers."
Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
Education options: If this sounds like a career you'd be interested in pursuing, consider filling your newly acquired free time by going back to school. According to the Department of Labor, you can prep for a career as a personal financial advisor by earning a degree in accounting, economics, finance, mathematics, or business. And if you are already an advisor looking to advance into a management position, a master's degree in business administration or finance could help.

Career #2: K-12 Teacher

Interested in a career that could extend your involvement with mentoring young people? If so, teaching students somewhere at the kindergarten through high school level could be a satisfying career option for an empty nester.
As a teacher, your duties could include devising lesson plans, grading assignments, and working with individual students to improve their learning capabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why it's a good fit: Shatkin says teaching is an ideal career choice for empty nesters who still feel energetic enough to help children learn and grow.
"It might be draining on an older worker, but there are some variations," says Shatkin. "You can do this as a substitute teacher if you do not want to work full time, which might not be an energy drain."
And if you have expertise in a particular area of study, this career could be an even better fit. In fact, some middle school and high school teachers might focus on single subjects, such as history or biology, according to the Department of Labor.
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Education options: If you already have a bachelor's degree, you're off to a good start! According to the Department, all states provide an alternative certification program to earn a teaching certificate. Don't have a bachelor's? Look into earning a bachelor's in elementary education.

Career #3: Health Care Administrator

In this management role, you could find yourself in charge of directing and coordinating the daily operations of various types of health care facilities, clinical areas, or departments, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why it's a good fit: For empty nesters with medical backgrounds or an interest in the management side of the health field, pursuing a career as a health care administrator might be a step in the right direction, Shatkin says.
"Nurses often go into administration after they have experienced some achievement as a nurse, but [administration] isn't for everybody," Shatkin says. "You need to have some quantitative skills and interpersonal skills to be a successful manager."
Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.
Education options: Looking to use your past work experience in this health-related field? If you already have your bachelor's degree, consider earning one of these master's degrees: public administration, long-term care administration, public health, or health services. According to the Department of Labor, master's in these areas are common among medical and health services managers.

Career #4: Public Relations Specialist

Did you stress the importance of good communication, such as reading and writing, with your children? As a public relations (PR) specialist, you could practice good communication skills in a business setting.
In terms of job responsibilities, PR specialists might write press releases, help clients communicate with the public, and develop fundraising strategies for organizations, notes the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why it's a good fit: Are you an empty nester who wants to exercise your speaking and writing skills? Shatkin says that you can do just that as a PR specialist.
"Good writing ability is very important for PR specialists, and this is a skill that some more mature workers may have developed," Shatkin says.
Click to Find the Right Communications Program.
Education options: Interested in spending your extra time working in the communications field? If you already have a bachelor's degree, you could put your communication skills to use as a PR specialist. Don't have one? Keep in mind that employers typically look for candidates who have studied public relations, communications, English, journalism, or business, according to the Department of Labor.

Career #5: Human Resources Specialist

If you're an empty nester with some experience working in a business or corporate setting, consider pursuing a career as a human resources specialist.
In this people-oriented position, human resources specialists typically interview job applicants, hire potential employees, and conduct orientation programs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why it's a good fit: Adults who have been around the block, so to speak, could find working as a human resources specialist to be a suitable career option. Why? Because previous job experience can help specialists understand the qualification needs of new employees, according to Shatkin.
"If you work in an industry for a while, you are going to know who is successful, their backgrounds, and the personality types who might do well in that particular industry or job you would be hiring for," Shatkin says. "That's why a seasoned worker might be good in that position."
Click to Find the Right Human Resources Program.
Education options: Looking to put your past business skills to work in a new career? If so, note that HR specialists need at least a bachelor's degree. In fact, "most employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, or a related field," according to the Department of Labor.

Career #6: Computer Systems Analyst

Are you an empty nester who knows a thing or two about computers and likes keeping up with technological developments? You might want to consider pursuing a career as a computer systems analyst.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these analysts typically play a key role in an organization's information technology (IT) system. Common duties could include developing new ways to improve a computer system's efficiency or researching emerging technologies that could replace a system's old ones.
Why it's a good fit: In spite of their advanced years, Shatkin says that empty nesters can be quite capable of handling work as a computer systems analyst.
"It's a job they certainly can do," Shatkin says. "People think of it as a technology job, but it's really about understanding how information is being used and making raw information available to the end user."
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Education options: Ready to brush up your computer skills to prep for this tech-related field? In this type of role, a bachelor's degree in computer or information science field is a common credential, according to the Department of Labor. And for more technically complex positions, a master's degree in computer science may be needed.

Career #7: Management Consultant

Want to put your problem-solving skills to good use? If so, a career as a management consultant could be a good fit for your later-in-life career.
In the business world, these consultants generally gather information about problems, develop solutions, and make recommendations for changes to management, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why it's a good fit: If you're an empty nester with experience in a particular area of business, this could be a good career option for you.
In fact, organizations specializing in certain areas - like management or human resources - typically look for candidates with that type of work experience, notes the Department of Labor.
On top of that, Shatkin says consultants often find themselves traveling to meet clients, which "might appeal to empty nesters who have more freedom when the kids are not around."
Click to Find the Right MBA Program.
Education options: Looking to use your work experience in a business role? According to the Department, if you already have a bachelor's degree, note that some employers prefer to hire applicants with a master's degree in business administration. And keep in mind that other common areas of study include business, accounting, management, marketing, and economics.

Seven Careers That Are Sweeping The Nation

Source. Yahoo
Hot Careers Hiring Now

If you're looking to switch gears professionally, these seven hot careers are thriving.

By Lia Sestric
Let's face it: No one wants to be stuck in a lifeless, dead-end job. But if the outlook is grim in your chosen field, it might be time to move on. The good news? You aren't alone.
In fact, more than one-third of the U.S. labor force changes jobs every year, according to a study by the Georgetown University's Center for Workforce and Education titled "Help Wanted: Postsecondary Education and Training Required."
But before you shift your career focus, you might want to have a sense of which fields are thriving and adding jobs. So keep reading to learn about seven hot careers that are more than just a passing fad.

Career #1: Registered Nurse

If you want to help others and you're looking for a smoking hot career, nursing might just give you the best of both worlds.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care. They also educate patients about various health conditions while providing them emotional support.
Hot Factors: The Department of Labor says employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020. Doesn't sound like much? In this massive career field, 26 percent translates to over 700,000 jobs.
But where are all the jobs coming from? "With ACA (Affordable Care Act) we seem to have figured out a way to extend health-care coverage to a larger number of citizens," says Laurence Shatkin, career expert and author of "200 Best Jobs for Renewing America." "The reason this bodes well for nurses and not just doctors is that the effort to contain health care costs is shifting more health care duties to people with lower-level degrees."
Click Here to Find the Right Nursing Program.
Education Requirements: The Department says there are a few different paths to pursue the career of registered nurse: Earn a bachelor's degree in nursing, an associate's degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Nurses must also pass a national licensing examination.

Career #2: Market Research Analyst

Do people always comment that you're over-analyzing or reading into things too deeply? The red hot career of market research analyst might be a great place for you to exercise those traits.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, market research analysts study market conditions and examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products consumers want, who will buy these products, and predict what they'll pay for them. Sounds like it also involves a lot of chin rubbing, doesn't it?
Hot Factors: The Department of Labor projects careers in market research analysis to grow an impressive 41 percent from 2010 to 2020 - a total of 116,600 new positions.
What's driving all this growth? Data. "The sheer quantity of available data on consumers keeps exploding, thanks to Web surfing, customer loyalty programs, and in-store tracking of shoppers, among other data sources," says Shatkin.
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Education Requirements: Market research analysts need strong analytical and math skills and at least a bachelor's degree in market research or a related field, notes the Department. Quite a few have degrees in math, computer science, or statistics, while others have backgrounds in business administration, communications, or one of the social sciences. Top research positions often require a master's degree, adds the Department.

Career #3: Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

Wouldn't it be nice to throw a party at someone else's expense? Look into the hot career of event planner, and you might like what you see.
Meeting, convention, and event planners arrange all aspects of professional meetings and events, says the U.S. Department of Labor. This means planning every detail, from the location of the event, to the transportation for guests.
Hot Factors: The Department of Labor projects careers for meeting, convention, and event planners to grow by 44 percent from 2010 to 2020. That means the field could add 31,300 jobs - up from just 71,600 in 2010.
Shatkin says the growth could be caused by higher expectations for conferences and events. "Some of this happened because technology needs at meetings have become more complex. But also the increases in travel and in adventurous dining have caused conference-goers to be more interested in exotic locales and food choices that go beyond everyday fare," says Shatkin.
Click Here to Find the Right Event Planning Program.
Education Requirements: Does this career sound like a party? If you want to qualify for a job as a meeting, convention, or event planner, the Department says you should at least have a bachelor's degree and some related work experience in planning or hotels. Those who have a degree in hospitality management could start a career as a planner with more responsibility. The Department says that other related undergraduate majors may include marketing, communications, business, and public relations.

Career #4: Home Health and Personal Care Aides

Do you enjoy helping people or caring for elderly family members? You may want to steer your natural compassion toward a career as a home health or personal care aide, a field that is heating up across the country.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, home health and personal care aides help older adults or people who are chronically ill, disabled, or cognitively impaired execute day-to-day activities like bathing or light housekeeping.
Hot Factors: The Department of Labor says employment of home health and personal care aides is projected to grow by a staggering 70 percent from 2010 to 2020, resulting in a total increase of 1.3 million professionals.
Why such impressive growth? There is a huge cohort of baby boomers reaching the age of care, says Shatkin. Plus, he says, the preceding generation is already well into that age.
Shatkin also identifies a shift in how elderly care is performed today. "The practice has been to move toward caring for people at home as much as possible, partly to contain health care costs and partly because the outcomes are better when people are in their familiar environment," he says.
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Education Requirements: If you're interested in pursuing a career as a home health or personal care aide, here's some great news: According to the Department, there are no formal education requirements for this profession. However, most aides have a high school diploma and those working in home health or hospice agencies must have "formal training and pass a standardized test."

Career #5: Veterinarian Technologist and Technician

Would you find your career rewarding if it gave you the opportunity to save an animal's life? If so, you'll be happy to hear that your animal loving ways could find a home in the booming career of veterinary technologists and technicians.
Veterinary technologists and technicians work under the supervision of a veterinarian, performing medical tests in a private clinic, testing laboratory, or animal hospital, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But be warned that this career could test the limits of your compassion. The Department of Labor notes that it can be physically and emotionally demanding.
Hot Factors: Employment of veterinary technologists and technicians are projected to grow 52 percent from 2010 to 2020, says the Department, with excellent job opportunities in rural areas. This means 41,700 jobs could be added, which isn't bad considering the field started with only 80,000 in 2010. 
Why such a surge? Shatkin says it's simple: "People increasingly view their pets as part of the family and therefore are willing to pay for more extensive medical testing than used to be the norm."
Click Here to Find the Right Veterinary Technician Program.
Education Requirements: The Department says veterinary technologists and technicians must have postsecondary education in veterinary technology, take a credentialing exam, and, depending on state requirements, be licensed, registered, or certified. Technologists typically enter the field after a four-year program, while technicians can enter after a two-year program.

Career #6: Biomedical Engineer

Are you ready for a cutting-edge career where the research you do one day could lead to a breakthrough medical invention the next day? Pursue the hot career of biomedical engineer, and you could be the creative mind driving important innovation in the health care field.
Biomedical engineers design systems and products, from artificial organs to rehabilitative exercise equipment, says the U.S. Department of Labor. They might work at hospitals, universities, or even manufacturing facilities.
Hot Factors: The Department of Labor says employment of biomedical engineers will grow by 62 percent from 2010 to 2020, for a total of 9,700 jobs. That may not sound like much - until you consider that the field started with only 15,700 jobs in 2010.
Jiro Nagatomi, a faculty member in Clemson University's bioengineering department, sees a relatively simple cause for demand in the field: "There is always the need for better technology for health care and medicine," he says. "The aging population has increased the demand for better medical devices and equipment, [which] requires people to make it."
Click Here to Find the Right Engineering Program.
Education Requirements: Typically, biomedical engineers need a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from a program accredited by the ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), notes the Department. If you have a bachelor's degree in a different field of engineering, the Department says you could get a graduate degree or on-the-job training in biomedical engineering.

Career #7: Software Developer

Take a minute to consider the number of electronics you use on a daily basis. Guess what? All those gadgets you have at arm's length use software to run, which, in turn, requires software developers to create it. Hot enough for you?
More specifically, the U.S. Department of Labor says software developers create the applications on a computer or other device. They also "develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks."
Hot Factors: The Department of Labor projects that software developers should see 30 percent growth across the field from 2010 to 2020. That's a total of 270,900 new jobs.
Again, what's driving this growth is pretty straightforward. "You can't escape the 24/7/365 fact that we live in a world dominated by hardware that needs software to work," says Charley Polachi, founder and partner of Polachi Access Executive Search, a technology and venture capital recruiting firm. And Polachi points out that this demand could pay off in other ways for software developers. "Huge demand with limited supply means pricing/wages go up - it's basic economics 101!"
Click Here to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Education Requirements: If you're interested in preparing to pursue a career as a software developer, listen up. The Department says software developers usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. They also have strong computer-programming skills.

Flexible Degrees You Can Earn At Your Kitchen Table

Source: Yahoo
Flexible, After-Work Degrees

Want to put your career on track, but need to go back to school to do it? Why not earn a degree online and carry on with your busy life at the same time?

By Christy Clark
If you want to advance your career or are looking to get back into the job market, hitting the books might be the path to realizing your dreams.
And a flexible online degree program might be just the thing to help you realize your educational goals despite hectic work or family obligations.
What's more, some online programs could even offer unexpected benefits. For instance, faculty in any well-developed online program could provide the latest developments in their field, says Brian Cameron, professor in the College of Information Sciences and executive director at the Center for Enterprise Architecture and Technology at Pennsylvania State University.
Just keep in mind that while it may sound like the perfect way to go to school, studying from the comfort of your home isn't for everyone; it takes hard work and a lot of discipline.
Still interested? If you're ready to make an effort toward advancing your education, here are five flexible online degree programs to earn from home that education experts say offer great benefits.

Online Degree #1: Business Administration

Want to play an active role in the recovering economy? Why not channel your enthusiasm into pursuing a degree in business online, where you'll learn a wide range of business skills and study the issues affecting today's business climate - all on your own schedule.
How It Works Online: In addition to traditional lectures, online business courses often use experimentation and active learning to teach material, says Debra Barger, dean of the Center for Regional and Continuing Education at California State University, Chico.
For example, students might use online gaming to explore different simulations of business situations so various outcomes can be assessed, says Barger.
Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.
Potential Careers: If you get excited about stocks and bonds, a degree in business administration might help you pursue a career as a financial analyst. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many financial analyst positions require a bachelor's degree in a related field, which includes business administration, finance, and accounting, to name a few.
And as a financial analyst, you'd be doing a lot more than passing along stock tips, as the Department of Labor explains that these financial professionals offer direction to businesses and individuals making investment decisions.

Online Degree #2: Computer and Information Technology

Are you the go-to computer and technical guru with your friends and family? Then you may want to consider pursuing a computer and information technology degree online, so you can solve the technical problems faced by small and large companies.
How It Works Online: Online courses in computer and information technology offer practical and hands-on knowledge, which is especially attractive to working professionals who may be eager to apply knowledge directly to their current job, according to Cameron.
What kind of practical knowledge? In these online classes, case studies often focus on problems students face at work and discussions center around how the student might handle a real world experience, says Cameron.
Click to Find the Right Computer and Information Technology Program.
Potential Careers: If you would like to pursue a career as a network and computer systems administrator, consider what the U.S. Department of Labor has to say: "A bachelor's degree in fields related to computer or information science is most common." As a network and computer systems administrator, you would be tasked with running the computer networks for a company, which could entail setting up and providing daily support for local area networks, intranets, or wide area networks, says the Department of Labor.

Online Degree #3: Criminal Justice

Are you fascinated by criminal behavior and the justice system but too slammed by the injustices of your current employers to ever pursue such an interest? Why not earn a degree in criminal justice online and get an insider's view of how law enforcement agencies operate - all from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy?
How It Works Online: Online students in criminal justice programs often bring life and work experience to their courses, according to Shaun Gabbidon, distinguished professor of criminal justice at Penn State University in Harrisburg.
And if you want to learn about social order and public safety at the local, state, national, and international levels, then an online program in criminal justice might be what you're looking for. At Penn State, notes Gabbidon as an example, "we have students from all over the world. As such, our online program has a more national and international discourse."
Click to Find the Right Criminal Justice Program.
Potential Careers: With a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, you could be prepped to pursue a career as a probation officer. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, "A bachelor's degree in social work, criminal justice, psychology, or a related field is usually required."
Probation officers help rehabilitate offenders in order to keep them from committing more crimes, says the Department of Labor. They do this by holding meetings with offenders and their families, setting up treatment plans, and monitoring their progress.

Online Degree #4: Nursing

Do you find that despite a busy schedule and full life, you most value the moments when you teach, strengthen, and help others? If so, pursuing an online degree in nursing might provide you with fulfilling opportunities.
How It Works Online: If you already have experience in a clinical setting, an online nursing program may give you the opportunity to demonstrate and get credit for your competencies, says Barger.
Another advantage? Global reach. For example, online programs and certificates allow rural and international students to keep up with advancing technology, growth in science and medicine, and changing health care regulations, which is necessary to effectively function in the complex health care settings of today, says Madeline Fulcher Mattern, coordinator of outreach programs at the Penn State School of Nursing.
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Potential Careers: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a bachelor's in nursing is one avenue for pursuing a career as a registered nurse. The other two paths involve either an associate's in nursing or a diploma from an approved program, notes the Department of Labor. Registered nurses are also required to be licensed.
Registered nurses work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, physicians' offices, and patients' homes. They provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients, and provide advice and emotional support, says the Department.

Online Degree #5: Public Administration

Are you drawn to opportunities to making a positive difference in society, but feel you never have the time to pursue them? If you'd like to help transform your world for the better, you might start by earning a bachelor's degree in public administration online.
How It Works Online: A well-designed online public administration program will build its coursework around a very diverse learning environment, says Jeremy Plant, professor of public policy and administration at the School of Public Affairs at Penn State University, Harrisburg.
Why is a diverse learning environment so essential? Online courses in public administration often emphasize a social learning community, where students have ample opportunity to participate in group projects that allow them to interact with, form relationships, and learn from the varied experiences of peers in their program, says Plant.
Click to Find the Right Public Administration Program.
Related or Potential Careers: Ready to make a difference in your community? Consider pursuing a career as a social and community service manager, one of the potential careers with a bachelor's degree in public administration. A bachelor's degree in social work, public administration, urban studies, or a related field is typically a minimum requirement for this career, the Department of Labor notes.
Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs at organizations that may work with a wide variety of populations, such as homeless people, children, or veterans, the Department says.

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