Best Careers for Your Golden Years

Careers Fit for Seniors

Are you thinking of making your golden years shine a little brighter by going back to work? Learn more about these five careers that could be a good fit for older adults.

By Terence Loose
Have you reached your golden years, but find that retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be? Maybe you enjoy being productive and miss having a career. Or maybe your financial situation isn't as golden as you'd hoped, and a little extra income would be nice.
Whatever the reason, there are plenty of careers that could be a good choice for older adults.
And working during your golden years could also benefit your well-being, according to Susan Heathfield, a management consultant and About.com's Guide to Human Resources.
"I think a big benefit seniors get if they choose to work is they stay active and in contact with people of all ages," says Heathfield.
So if you want to go back to work, check out this list of careers that could make your golden years just a little more golden.

Career #1: Accountant

Have you always been good with numbers, but never got to use that passion in your former career? Your golden years could be the time to let your love of digits shine with a second career as an accountant.
As you'd expect, accountants generally deal with financial matters. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, common duties include examining financial records, putting together financial documentation, and preparing tax returns.
Why It's a Golden Choice: According to Heathfield, this career could be suited for seniors because it's not a physically demanding career.
And an even more enticing reason: you might be able to work a flexible schedule, says Heathfield.
"It's a job that can be done part time. Or you could work for a number of companies that need supplemental staff at various times of the month," says Heathfield. "That also means you don't have to sign up for the daily grind to and from the office, which I don't think many seniors want."
Click to Find the Right Accounting Program Now.
Education Options: Most accountant positions require a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, says the Department of Labor. But note that some employers look for candidates with master's degrees in accounting or business administration (MBA) with an emphasis in accounting.

Career #2: Elementary School Teacher

Are you the energetic type of retiree who wants to help guide the next generation? If so, a career as an elementary school teacher could be a good fit.
Just make sure you're ready to create lesson plans for subjects like math or reading. Or how about assessing student's strengths and abilities? Or preparing students for tests? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these are common job duties for elementary teachers.
Why It's a Golden Choice: If you're a senior with a lot of energy and patience, this is the type of job that could keep you young and lively, says Heathfield.
"It's a position in which you'd be mentoring the younger folks, and that's such a wonderful thing for an older adult to do: passing on all their life experience to the next generations," says Heathfield.
Click to Find the Right Education Program Now.
Education Options: Every state requires public elementary teachers to have a bachelor's degree in elementary education and be certified with a teaching license, according to the Department of Labor. And in certain states, elementary teachers are also required to major in a specific content area like math or science.

Career #3: Dental Assistant

Were you always good at making people feel relaxed? As a dental assistant, you could help patients feel more at ease while they're in the dental chair.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, dental assistants could do everything from scheduling patient appointments, keeping patients' records, instructing them on proper dental hygiene, and processing X-rays and other exams.
Why It's a Golden Choice: According to Heathfield, interacting with patients could make this a good career option for seniors.
"They do some of the hygienist's duties, and they are still the front desk greeters," says Heathfield. "So they have a lot of positive interaction with people, which I think is great for seniors."
Click to Find the Right Dental Assisting Program Now.
Education Options: According to the Department of Labor, there are several paths to prep for a dental assistant career. For example, some states don't have any educational requirements, while other states require dental assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. Accredited programs include certificate or associate's degree programs.

Career #4: Personal Financial Advisor

If you're good with numbers but also desire more personal contact with adults, a career as a personal financial advisor could really add up for your late-in-life career.
Just as the title implies, the duties for a personal financial advisor seem to have a healthy mix of personal interaction and studious financial work. How so? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these advisors could meet with clients to discuss financial goals, recommend investments or choose them for their clients, and research investment opportunities.
Why It's a Golden Choice: If given a choice, career expert and author Laurence Shatkin says that personal financial advisor would be a good option for a retiree who has a solid business background or a love for finance.
"It's one way a person can leverage business - especially financial - experience, and for those who want to cut back to part-time work," Shatkin says.
Another perk for older adults: it's a job that might offer a flexible schedule, so you could still keep up with your hobbies.
Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program Now.
Education Options: For this role, the Department of Labor says a degree in finance, mathematics, economics, law, accounting, or business is good preparation. Although advisors generally need a bachelor's degree, a master's degree in finance or business administration could help with advancement into a management position.

Career #5: Pharmacy Technician

Do you enjoy interaction with people and helping people stay healthy? And how do you feel about standing a majority of the time? If those are both thumbs up, a career as a pharmacy technician could be an easy pill to swallow.
Pharmacy technicians are those nice workers at the counter when you pick up your prescription. Working as a pharmacist's right-hand helper, they generally take information from customers for prescriptions, fill prescriptions, compound or mix medications, and accept payment for prescriptions, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It's a Golden Choice: This is a great option for older adults who don't want to retire anytime in the near future.
"I think [pharmacy technicians] can be employed until they're 90 if they want," says Heathfield. "Full time, part time, whatever; it's a field where there's not enough people to fill the spots because of all of the baby boomers who are becoming elderly and require more medication to stay healthy."
Click to Find the Right Pharmacy Technology Program Now.
Education Options: According to the Department, most pharmacy technicians learn their skills on the job, but requirements can vary by state. In fact, some states require technicians to pass an exam or earn a certificate through a formal education program.

Six Careers That Are Built to Last

High Growth Careers

Check out these six careers with staying power.

By Christine Trang
If you're looking for a stable career, you're probably not alone. While some careers are struggling, others are on the rise.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor projects many industries - including health care and education - to experience high growth between 2010 and 2020, according to a February 2012 economic news release.
And while there are quite a few careers that are on the rise, we've highlighted six of them - all from different industries. Keep reading to learn more...

Career #1 - Medical and Health Services Manager

Do you have good management skills? Think you might enjoy running a medical practice? If so, consider a career as a health services manager.
Job Details: Health services managers typically manage finances of a department or facility, organize records like the number of inpatient beds used, and communicate with other members of the medical staff, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Lasting Qualities: The Department of Labor projects employment in this field to grow 22 percent, which is equivalent to 68,000 jobs, from 2010 to 2020. The Department says managers will be needed to organize medical information and supervise health care staffs.
Click to Find the Right Health Administration Program.
Education Options: Most health services managers have at least a bachelor's degree in health administration. Master's degrees in health services, public health, public administration, or business administration are also common in the field, according to the Department.

Career #2 - Public Relations Specialist

If you're good at creating and maintaining relationships, a career as a public relations specialist might be for you.
Job Details: Most public relations specialists prepare information for publication in the media. It is also likely that some will develop and maintain their organization's corporate image and identity, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Lasting Qualities: Changes are taking place in the communications world, especially when it comes to the Internet and social media. New media - and the rapid spread of information on the Internet - will create more work for public relations workers, according to the Department of Labor. This could explain why the Department projects the field to see a 23 percent growth, or 58,200 new jobs, from 2010 to 2020.
Click to Find the Right Communications Program.
Education Options: Most employers require a bachelor's degree in public relations, communication, or journalism.

Career #3 - Personal Financial Advisor

Do you have good analytical skills? Is math your favorite subject? If you answered yes to either question, consider a career in personal financial advising.
Job Details: If this career is for you, you'd likely spend most of your time meeting with clients in person to discuss their financial plans. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, you'd monitor your clients' accounts, recommend investments, and help clients plan for specific circumstances.
Lasting Qualities: Just as the health care industry will benefit from baby boomer retirees, this industry will, too. Why? Because according to the Department of Labor, the aging population will likely seek financial planning advice as they reach retirement. As a result, the Department predicts a 32 percent job growth from 2010 to 2020. That's equivalent to 66,400 jobs.
Click to Find the Right Finance Program.
Education Options: The Department says most personal financial advisors typically need a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, accounting, or business.

Career #4 - Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher

Are you interested in working with children? Do you want to help shape their lives? Teachers can do both - and according to the U.S. Department of Labor, they could be doing so for quite awhile.
Job Details: Kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically plan lessons that teach particular skills like reading and math, prepare students for standardized tests, and enforce classroom rules to teach children proper behavior, the Department of Labor says.
Lasting Qualities: The Department says kindergarten and elementary school teachers will see a 17 percent increase in employment, or 281,500 jobs, from 2010 to 2020. This growth is due in large part to declines in student-teacher ratios and an increase in enrollment.
Click to Find the Right Education Program.
Education Options: The Department says all public kindergarten and elementary school teachers must have at least a bachelor's degree in elementary education and be state-certified or licensed.

Career #5 - Paralegal

If you don't want to pursue a career as a lawyer, but you're still fascinated by the legal field, consider a career as a paralegal.
Job Details: Paralegals typically do a variety of tasks to help lawyers prepare for trial. This includes investigating cases, conducting research, and drafting correspondence, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Lasting Qualities: As employers try to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of legal services, they are expected to hire more paralegals, the Department of Labor says. The Department predicts that paralegals will see an 18 percent job growth, or 46,900 jobs, adding that a paralegal's work is less likely to be offshored, which is great news for people who are looking for potential stability.
Click to Find the Right Paralegal Studies Program.
Education Options: There are a number of ways to pursue a paralegal career, including an associate's degree in paralegal studies, says the Department. If you already have a bachelor's or master's degree in another field, a certificate in paralegal studies is another route towards this career.

Career #6 - Software Developer

Would you enjoy designing different computer applications and systems? Do you want to propose, test, and develop software? This field might be for you.
Job Details: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, software developers generally recommend software upgrades for existing programs, ensure that software continues to function through testing and maintenance, and collaborate with other computer specialists.
Lasting Qualities: Because mobile technology requires new applications, and the health care industry is increasing its use of computer systems, the Department of Labor projects software developers to see a 30 percent job growth between 2010 and 2020, which is equal to 270,900 jobs.
Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Education Options: The Department says software developers usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field.

Jobs That Aren't Going Away

High-growth Careers

These careers are projected to experience high growth in the coming years.

By Amy Howell Hirt
Jobs can be hard to come by these days... which makes it all the more surprising that some fields are in desperate need of qualified applicants.
"Everyone thinks there are tons of great people ready to be hired, but there are many professions where we really see a dearth of candidates," says Penny Morey, managing director of RemarkAbleHR, an employment and recruiting firm in Boca Raton, Fla.
If you're looking to prepare for a career that's in demand, check out these seven jobs that are projected to experience strong growth from 2010 to 2020, per the U.S. Department of Labor.

Career #1: Accountant or Auditor


Number of new jobs added between 2010 and 2020: 190,700

2010-2020 job growth: 16 percent

Drama - and the resulting fall out - is a big factor at play in the demand for accountants and auditors. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, corporate scandals and recent financial crises - and the now stricter regulations will lead to the demand for accounting services.
More about the job: While there are various types of accountants and auditors, they all focus on one thing - money. That means working with financial records, financial statements, and accounting systems, per the Department of Labor.
Click to Find the Right Accounting Program Now.
Education options: If you think you have the aptitude for this career, keep in mind that a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field is required for most positions, according to the Department. Certification within a specific field of accounting also improves job prospects, says the Department.

Career #2: Medical Assistant


Number of new jobs added between 2010 and 2020: 162,900

2010-2020 job growth: 31 percent

Another booming career to consider: Medical assistant. Per the U.S. Department of Labor, part of the reason for the tremendous growth this career is projecting can be traced back to the aging baby boomer population, who will need more preventive services.
The need for more services will lead to the need for physicians to expand their practices. As a result, physicians will need to hire more assistants to take care of the more routine, clinical and administrative tasks.
More about the job: Speaking of clinical and administration tasks, a medical assistant's role could involve everything from taking patient histories and scheduling appointments to assisting with patient exams.
Click to Find the Right Medical Assisting Program Now.
Education options: Thinking about pursuing a career as a medical assistant? Keep in mind that while there are no formal education requirements, employers prefer applicants who have completed a postsecondary program, says the Department of Labor. Some states might require passing a test and graduating from an accredited program.

Career #3: Social Worker


Number of new jobs added between 2010 and 2020: 161,200

2010-2020 job growth: 25 percent

Because of an increased demand for health care and social services, the need for social workers is expected to climb from 2010 to 2020, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
More about the job: Direct-service social workers help people cope with particular challenges, such as illness, unemployment, or other crisis situations, according to the Department of Labor. They also might help clients work with government agencies to apply for and receive benefits, or evaluate services provided to ensure they are effective.
Click to Find the Right Psychology Program Now.
Education options: You'll need a bachelor's degree in social work or a related field, such as psychology or sociology, for most direct-service social work positions, according to the Department. Some positions and settings require a master's degree, notes the Department.

Career #4: Human Resources Specialist


Number of new jobs added between 2010 and 2020: 90,700

2010-2020 job growth: 21 percent

Another booming career: human resources (HR) specialist. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, growth for this career is due, in part, to an aging population and changing employment laws. For example, they say that companies may need human resources (HR) specialists to find replacements for workers leaving the workforce, and to handle increasingly complex health care options and employment laws.
More about the job: According to the Department of Labor, HR specialists could be responsible for anything that has to do with hiring processes - interviewing applicants, contacting references and performing background checks on applicants, and hiring qualified candidates.
Click to Find the Right Human Resources Program Now.
Education options: If you like the sound of this career, keep in mind that - per the Department - most positions require a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, or a related field. The Department also reports that some employers may hire applicants with several years of related work experience.

Career #5: Health Services Manager


Number of new jobs added between 2010 and 2020: 68,000

2010-2020 job growth: 22 percent

Thanks to the domino-effect of the aging baby-boom population and an increased demand for medical services, more medical and health services managers will be needed to manage staffing, policies, and procedures - particularly in nursing care facilities and medical group practices - says the U.S. Department of Labor.
More about the job: Health services managers are often responsible for a variety of administrative tasks like managing finances and organizing records for a health care facility, says the Department of Labor. They're also likely to study up on new laws and regulations and represent the facility at investor meetings.
Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program Now.
Education options: Think this might be the career path for you? According to the Department, "Prospective medical and health services managers have a bachelor's degree in health administration." Master's degrees in health services, public health, long-term care administration, public administration, or business administration are also common.

Career #6: Public Relations Specialist


Number of new jobs added between 2010 and 2020: 58,200

2010-2020 job growth: 23 percent

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, organizations are starting to realize the power of the Internet and how it can shape public opinion, which is partly why they're projecting 23 percent growth for public relations (PR) specialists.
More about the job: PR specialists juggle a variety of things to ensure their clients are presented in a favorable light. Typical duties may include identifying audiences, crafting press releases and executive speeches, and fielding media requests, according to the Department of Labor.
Click to Find the Right Communications Program Now.
Education options: If you want to pursue this career, you'll need a degree. According to the Department, these specialists usually need a bachelor's degree, with employers generally wanting applicants who have studied communications, public relations, journalism, English, or business.

Career #7: Paralegal


Number of new jobs added between 2010 and 2020: 46,900

2010-2020 job growth: 18 percent

Following staffing cutbacks during the recent recession, some law firms are rebuilding their support staff by hiring paralegals, who can perform many tasks once completed by higher-paid lawyers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
More about the job: Paralegals are like the detectives of law firms, corporations, or even non-profits. How so? Because they often help lawyers investigate cases. They also draft reports and maintain information in databases that support cases, according to the Department of Labor.
Click to Find the Right Paralegal Program Now.
Education options: If you're thinking of pursuing a career as a paralegal, consider this: Most paralegals have an associate's degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor's degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies, according to the Department.

High-Paying Jobs For Ambitious People

Jobs That Pay Commissions

If you like the idea of a job where the salary fluctuates, you might want to check out these go-getter careers that pay commissions.

By Terence Loose
Do you like the idea of a job that pays you based on your successes? If so, then you might be cut out to work on commission.
A commission - an amount or fee that your employer agrees to pay you for a certain amount of sales - is often in the form of a percentage, says Laura M. Labovich, president of The Career Strategy Group and co-author of "100 Conversations for Career Success: Learn to Network, Cold Call, and Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job."
And there are some advantages to this pay structure, says Labovich. "Often, people who are paid on commission can make more than those on salary if they're really good and motivated," she says.
But she warns that the wrong personality type will have a rough time with the lack of security created by not receiving a steady paycheck. "The people who do best in commission jobs tend to have a high sense of urgency, but also a low stress threshold. These are aggressive go-getters who are self-motivating and definitely not clock-watchers," says Labovich.
If that type of independence sounds good to you, check out these five careers that could pay you either entirely or partly on commission.

High-Commission Career #1: Personal Financial Advisor

If you like the sound of getting paid a commission to help people plan for their retirement, save for their kids' college tuition, or even just pick some good stocks, the career of personal financial advisor might be a smart choice for your personal financial plan.
Labovich says that personal financial advisor could be a lucrative career for those who are diligent and trustworthy. "Having someone to handle your money and someone you trust with your money? That's a high-value product," she says. Hence, it has the potential to pay well.
In addition, she says, many times people's retirement and other portfolios are worth a great deal, so the commission or fees to manage them are proportionally higher. Of course, the responsibility is higher as well, so be sure you take it seriously.
So what might these responsibilities include? Well, personal financial advisors help individual clients with financial decisions ranging from stocks or bonds, to retirement plans, to insurance, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Many also sell insurance and provide tax advice. Finally, the Department of Labor says these advisors also monitor the investments of their clients.
Commission and Pay Details*: Personal financial advisors get paid through salary, bonuses, fees, or commissions, depending on the company for which they work, or the products they sell, says the Department.
Median Annual Salary: $67,520
Lowest 10 Percent of Earners: $32,280
Highest 10 Percent of Earners: $187,199
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.
Education Needed: A bachelor's degree is typically needed for someone pursuing a career as a personal financial advisor, says the Department. And while employers usually don't require a specific major, the Department says a degree in business, finance, accounting, mathematics, or law is good preparation for the field.

High-Commission Career #2: Advertising Sales Agent

Do you love the fast pace of the media world but see yourself schmoozing clients more than tracking down leads? Maybe the advertising side of that world is a better fit for you. Advertising sales agent is a potentially lucrative commission-based career, but it's also fast-paced, says Labovich.
She says that because the product is a high value to businesses - advertising is seen as a way to solidify credibility and attain visibility - advertising agents can make a lot of money in a short time. "Especially if it's in a news outlet that's very reputable, like a Washington Post or New York Times," she says.
But regardless of who you actually work for, you'll want to make sure you're a people person for this position - as you'll be spending a lot of time meeting with current and prospective clients, and explaining how advertising will help promote their products and services, says the U.S. Department of Labor. This could also involve doing research on customers' products and clients, making presentations, and preparing promotional plans and sales literature.
Commission and Pay Details*: A large amount of advertising sales agents' pay can be performance-based, including commissions and bonuses, says the Department of Labor.
Median Annual Salary: $46,290
Lowest 10 Percent of Earners: $22,930
Highest 10 Percent of Earners: $103,170
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Marketing Program.
Education Needed: The Department of Labor says that typically, a high school diploma might be enough for entry-level sales positions, but some employers prefer a college degree. The Department highlights courses such as marketing, communications, business, and advertising and says these could be helpful in preparing for this career.

High-Commission Career #3: Insurance Agent

Don't let all the stereotypes about insurance agents fool you; this is a service that's appreciated by anyone who's ever needed it. That's why it has the potential to garner high commissions.
"Is there anything more important than your life, or your family's well-being?" asks Labovich. She says that whatever the type of insurance - car, home, life, medical - it's rooted in a very important facet of people's lives, and therefore it's a valuable product. So it can produce not only a high commission income, but one that lasts for years if you can build a loyal client list.
And because these agents typically sell one or many different kinds of insurance - according to the U.S. Department of Labor - as an insurance agent, you could have a few products up your sleeve to sell that loyal client list. In fact, some of the types of insurance they could sell include life, health, long-term care, and property and casualty insurance. The Department of Labor says insurance agents meet with clients to discuss their current insurance coverage, and then they analyze it and suggest products.
Commission and Pay Details*: Insurance agents can be paid by commission only, salary only, or any combination, says the Department.
Median Annual Salary: $48,150
Lowest 10 Percent of Earners: $26,120
Highest 10 Percent of Earners: $116,940
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Business Program.
Education Needed: The Department says that although a high school diploma is the typical requirement for these sales agents, more than one third of them have a bachelor's degree. The Department says that often agents have taken classes in finance, business, or economics. Insurance agents must also be licensed by the state where they sell products.

High-Commission Career #4: Real Estate Broker or Sales Agent

Does helping people attain the American dream of homeownership sound like a nice thing to get paid to do? If so, real estate broker or sales agent could be the career for you. And because it deals with such a big ticket item - a house - it can really pay off, says Labovich.
"Home ownership; how important is that? It's tied up into every emotion, your sense of worth, the feeling that you've accomplished something great, the feeling that you've provided for your family, your sense of autonomy - that's why it's a high value item," says Labovich. And high value items mean higher commissions, she says.
But buying or selling a home can be a complicated endeavor - so that's why people often seek the help of real estate brokers or sales agents (the difference between the two being that brokers are licensed to manage their own real estate business), says the U.S. Department of Labor. Brokers and agents help find buyers for sellers and help buyers find the perfect home, says the Department of Labor. Once they do, they make sure that the terms of the purchase contracts are met.
Commission and Pay Details*: Real estate brokers and sales agents get most of their income from commissions, says the Department.
Median Annual Salary for Brokers: $58,350
Lowest 10 Percent of Earners: $25,620
Highest 10 Percent of Earners: $176,950
Median Annual Salary for Sales Agents: $39,140
Lowest 10 Percent of Earners: $20,700
Highest 10 Percent of Earners: $95,540
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.
Education Needed: According to the Department, real estate brokers and agents need at least a high school diploma and must also be licensed. Licensing requires a certain amount of hours in real estate classes (it varies by state), and passing an exam.
However, as the market becomes more competitive, employers prefer to hire those candidates with a college degree or some college courses, the Department adds. Courses in finance, business administration, economics, and law can also be valuable, says the Department.

High-Commission Career #5: Sales Engineer

If you have a high-tech, scientific brain coupled with an outgoing, dynamic personality, perhaps the career of sales engineer would fit your job specs. It's a career that combines the understanding of high-tech equipment with good salesmanship. It's also a commission job that pays above average.
The reason this career pays well, says Labovich, is likely tied to the fact that the items being sold make your life or business run much more smoothly. "That's a valuable asset to any business," she says.
She adds that the technical nature of the item usually being sold, as well as its likely high price, drives up the commission. However, there is another price for this - the salesman needs to be that much more knowledgeable to justify his or her income.
Why is having the right knowledge so important to this position? Well, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, sales engineers are the people who "sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses." And to sell them, they not only need to know the scientific processes that make them work, says the Department of Labor, but they also need to be able to make presentations and explain how their products and services will help their clients.
Commission and Pay Details*: Sales engineers usually get a combination of salary and commission or bonus, says the Department.
Median Annual Salary: $91,830
Lowest 10 Percent of Earners: $55,660
Highest 10 Percent of Earners: $150,970
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.
Education Needed: Typically, the Department says that sales engineers are required to have a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field. Some sales engineers have a degree in areas such as science or business and little or no experience in sales. Also, some may have no degree but have previous sales experience coupled with technical experience or training.

Jerk perks: 5 secret benefits of having a difficult boss

A difficult relationship with your boss can make every aspect of your work more challenging. It's a tough situation, but it's not necessarily a hopeless one.
Yes, in cases of true ineptitude or incompatibility, it might be best to seek employment elsewhere. But in many others, learning to make the best of the predicament can be the smartest move. Whether your manager is inconsistent, authoritarian or simply doesn't mesh with your personality or work style, the characteristics that make him hard to work with are often the ones that can teach you the most.

Here are five valuable skills you can learn from having a difficult boss:

1. What not to do: Modeling yourself after someone you admire is useful, but there's nothing like a front-row seat on unproductive behavior to help you crystallize your own professional values and style.
Learning what not to do is especially helpful if you currently manage others or hope to do so in the future. Taking note of the effects of the behavior on staff can yield leadership lessons more memorable than any business school could provide.
2. Self-reliance: A manager who doesn't always provide you with adequate resources or direction can force you to become more resourceful and assertive. You may need to learn to gather the information or support you require from others or figure out how to move forward with a project when details are fuzzy.
Similarly, a boss who doesn't adequately recognize or appreciate your efforts can lead you to develop your own sense of the value of your contributions. The result can be a sturdier sense of satisfaction and confidence. 
3. How to choose your battles: When working for a challenging boss, everyday conversations can seem like combat. From requesting feedback to defending a decision you made to explaining why you think a certain course of action is the right one, you know to expect a tense and difficult discussion.
View these interactions as learning opportunities -- when it's worth bringing up an issue, when to push back and when to let a matter drop. Being able to distinguish between a garden-variety difference of opinion and a significant concern can help you establish effective working relationships with colleagues.
4. Diplomacy: Some of the most professionally valuable interpersonal skills, such as working toward compromise and building consensus, can be learned only by dealing with difficult people. That's why a little incompatibility with your manager can be a good thing. In an ever-shifting work environment, the ability to communicate with those who see things differently than you is indispensable.
5. Team building: When your supervisor isn't as supportive as you'd like, it can motivate you to seek out and cultivate nurturing professional relationships with others. A mentor, for example, can be especially valuable for those who don't find their boss to be role-model material. The situation might also spur you to form closer relationships with colleagues who may be struggling with some of the same issues you do.
None of this is to suggest that a contentious relationship with your manager is an enviable state of affairs. It's all too easy to let a difficult boss discourage you, cause you to question the value of your work or serve as an excuse not to deliver your best. But by treating the situation as a growth opportunity rather than a hardship, you give yourself a chance to emerge from the experience stronger and better prepared to meet the next challenges your career brings your way.
When that happens, don't be surprised if your opinion of your former boss changes. Years from now, you might realize that a manager who seemed hypercritical or overly demanding was simply trying to bring out your best or force you out of your comfort zone.
That's why it's worthwhile to take a step back from your situation and ask yourself if there are things you can appreciate about your boss now. If so, you might be inspired to work toward a more productive professional relationship. And even if the answer is a resounding "No," you'll know it's not the end of the world.

Flexible Degrees That Even Busy People Can Earn

Degrees To Earn Online

Wondering what degrees you could pursue online to accommodate your busy schedule? Here are six to consider.

By Andrea Duchon
You'd like to go back to school to earn a degree, but between your job, your kids, and life in general, time is something that is not on your side. Good news: online education may provide the flexibility you need to achieve your goals.
Not only that, but certain degree programs lend themselves to the online format and may offer added benefits that could round out your skill set. But it won't be easy. Attending school online will require discipline to balance work, life, and your education.
Up for the challenge? Keep reading to learn about six degrees that can prepare you to pursue a career while still leaving you with some "me" time.

Flexible Degree #1: Bachelor's in Business Administration

Want to learn the ins and outs of the business world while still tending to the needs of your family, friends, and other obligations?
According to the College Board, in a business administration and management program, you could take classes in subjects like operations management, accounting, business ethics and law, marketing, and economics.
Why Consider Online: "Key skills in business revolve around focus, prioritization, concentration, and deadlines. In other words, the ability to get things done and make decisions," says Tim Dugger, president and owner at Career Café, a career-coaching agency. "[E]arning an online degree builds these skills and allows someone to enhance them," he says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.
Potential Career Path: Human Resources Manager
A bachelor's degree in business administration - along with related work experience - is one way to prepare for a career as a human resources manager, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Some higher-level jobs may also require an MBA, or a master's degree in human resources or labor relations, the Department of Labor says.

Flexible Degree #2: Bachelor's in Health Care Administration

Interested in what it might take to one day run a successful health care facility? You should consider earning an online degree in health care administration.
Typical coursework in a health services administration program may include classes like accounting, health care administration, health care law, statistics, and human resources management, according to the College Board.
Why Consider Online: "Employers may appreciate that you've spent time learning the technical aspect of working across a digital landscape," Dugger says. "With so much of the health care system going digital, those comfortable using technology could have a competitive advantage."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program. 
Potential Career Path: Medical and Health Services Manager
You'll need at least a bachelor's degree in health care administration to pursue this career, as the U.S. Department of Labor says, "prospective medical and health services managers have a bachelor's degree in health administration." They also say that master's degrees in health services, public health, long-term care administration, public administration, and business administration are common.

Flexible Degree #3: Bachelor's in Computer Science

If you've always been the first one at the store buying the latest cutting edge technology, you may want to consider earning your degree online in computer science.
In a computer science program, you could take classes in subjects like software engineering, computer system organization, artificial intelligence, and digital system design, according to the College Board.
Why Consider Online: Dugger says computer science is one of the areas that most lends itself to the online platform. "The benefits of studying computer science online include flexibility in program concentration as well as the comfort of being able to work in a quiet, controlled environment," he says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Possible Career Path: Computer Programmer
Although some employers hire workers with associate's degrees, most computer programmers have a bachelor's degree, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. Most of these professionals pursue a degree in computer science or a related field.

Flexible Degree #4: Master's in Business Administration (MBA)

Already work in the business world and looking for a way to scale the corporate ladder without scaling back on family time? An online MBA program could be just what you need to get started toward a new career.
In an MBA program, you might take courses like decision sciences, organizational behavior, finance, and economics, says the Princeton Review, an organization that offers test preparation services.
Why Consider Online: "Take what I said in the business administration program about required skills and put those on steroids," Dugger notes. Additionally, Dugger sees online study as a possible proving ground for our global business world.
“With global teams becoming the norm, one of the challenges to leaders today is working with subordinates, peers, and managers who many times are located thousands of miles away,” he says. "If you can prove you can complete an intensive degree program online, employers may see you as a valuable asset to manage teams across the world."
Next step: Click to Find the Right MBA Program.
Possible Career Path: Management Analyst
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that while a bachelor's is typically the requirement for entry-level positions as a management analyst, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have an MBA.

Flexible Degree #5: Bachelor's in Accounting

Do you actually enjoy balancing that checkbook and figuring out who owes what on the restaurant bill? Earning an online degree in accounting could give you the opportunity to work with numbers day-to-day - while still leaving you with time to eat out at that favorite restaurant.
Intro, intermediate, and advanced accounting are all listed as typical courses in an accounting program, per the College Board. You may also take classes in business law, auditing, and cost accounting.
Why Consider Online: "Every organization needs an accountant, so someone that’s proven they’re able to get their work done without a supervisor hovering over their shoulder is valuable," Dugger says. "When you earn your degree online, self-motivation is the name of the game and an employer sees benefit in that."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
Possible Career Path: Accountant
A bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field is required for most accountant positions, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Flexible Degree #6: Associate's or Bachelor's in Nursing

If you're the nurturing type who likes to take care of people, earning a degree online in nursing could help you act on those instincts - without neglecting your other responsibilities.
As a nursing student, the College Board says you may take courses in adult nursing, health assessment, pharmacology, and nutrition.
Why Consider Online: "[T]he online nursing environment teaches students both the techniques of online learning as well as where to go to research information when they need it," Dugger notes.
The other benefit, Dugger says, is that an online nursing program allows you to work full-time while completing your degree on your own time. "A traditional nursing program can tie you up for 6-8 hours a day, or even more depending on the intensity of the program," he says. "The flexibility of an online degree offers the opportunity to pursue a nursing degree to someone who would normally not be able to do so."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
Possible Career Path: Registered Nurse
The U.S. Department of Labor says that usually registered nurses take one of three education paths: a bachelor's of science in nursing, an associate's in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. All states also require registered nurses to be licensed. The Department of Labor also notes that a bachelor's degree or higher is often required for positions in the areas of research, consulting, teaching, and administration.

College Majors With The Worst Employment Outlook

Worst Majors For Employment

These degree programs might not be worth the time and effort.

By Danielle Blundell
If you've got college on the brain, chances are you've thought for a moment or two about what you're going to major in. And that's a good thing, because earning a degree takes time, energy, and money. You'll want to choose what you're going to study wisely so you get your career off to a good start. Only problem is this: Do you know if the career world finds your major hot or not?
For Eric Stoller, an education expert and writer for InsideHigherEd.com, choosing a major is really a search for something that can offer both immediate career opportunity and long-term career satisfaction. "Ideally, it's a combination of job prospects and the joy of learning," says Stoller. But "realistically, students need to have a good understanding of the demand for certain majors and their connection to future careers."
To help you in your search, we've identified a few majors that might make finding a job tricky. These majors are associated with the highest unemployment rates among recent college graduates, according to a 2013 report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce titled "Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings."* And instead of leaving you hanging, we identified some related alternative majors that might speak to your natural interests and offer better employment opportunities.
So keep reading to get schooled on majors, before you even set foot in the classroom.

 

High-Unemployment Degree #1: Information Systems

Unemployment Rate: 14.7 percent

What exactly does studying information systems entail? Yeah, we're not so sure either. But according to Pamela T. Rambo, owner of career and college advising firm Rambo Research and Consulting of Williamsburg, VA, information systems majors learn how to teach and train others to use technology in their jobs or at home, ranging from sending an email to using a server to store and share documents.
Problem is, according to Rambo, many companies only need one or a couple people on staff to do this job, which means there aren't a ton of openings available.

What to Study Instead: Computer Science


Unemployment Rate: 8.7 percent

If you're a tech junkie interested in studying something computer-related, best to stick to computer science, which has an unemployment rate that is much lower than information systems.
What skills do computer science majors acquire? According to the College Board, students may study programming, software design, and how to read and write computer languages. They might take classes like software engineering, mathematics for computer science, and artificial intelligence.
"There are many reasons why computer science is a good bet," says Rambo. "We're all really getting used to consumer-intuitive, smart products that anticipate our needs and keep us coming back for more. So we'll need computer science majors to be developing the software and programs that run these things."
She also thinks the popularity of cyber security and data storage and cloud computing will create jobs that computer science majors will be able to pursue with their skill set.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Potential Careers**:
  • Software developers
  • Network and computer systems administrators

High-Unemployment Degree #2: Architecture

Unemployment Rate: 12.8 percent

Sprawling apartment complexes, cute bungalows, towering mansions - sure, it's fun looking at different buildings. But since the real estate bubble burst, we’ve been seeing far fewer new structures going up. That's why even if you love to build things, it may be better to hold off on this degree. It's actually the major with the second highest unemployment rate right out of school, according to the Georgetown report's findings.
"The housing market is what's killing architecture jobs right now," says Rambo. "For hiring to take place, we really need to catch up to where we were a few years ago in real estate."

What To Study Instead: Civil Engineering


Unemployment Rate: 7.6 percent

Instead of architecture, topping your list should be civil engineering. According to the College Board, this discipline approaches building from a problem-solving perspective, takes into account the natural environment, and covers projects as diverse as planning a clean water system to building a suspension bridge.
According to Rambo, civil engineering jobs are on the upswing. One potential reason may be the stress that our growing population is putting on structures like bridges and tunnels. "The number of bridges in this country that are structurally unsound is growing," says Rambo. "CE’s will be needed to fix or rebuild them."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Civil Engineering Program.
Potential Career:
  • Civil engineer

High-Unemployment Degree #3: Anthropology

Unemployment Rate: 12.6 percent

When's the last time you met an anthropologist outside of the college classroom? Never? We thought so. That's because jobs in anthropology - or the study of humans and primates, as defined by the College Board - aren't exactly in demand or easy to come by. There are only so many archaeological digs and excavations that can be funded and fully staffed, which is why "anthropology always gets knocked around as one of the majors that isn’t always clearly linked to a future career," says Stoller.
For Rambo, anthropology grads also face an issue of strict competition for what few positions there are in the field and in academia, which is where she says many anthropology majors seek employment. "There aren't that many anthropology teachers because there aren't that many students that take anthropology classes." She also notes that these teaching jobs require advanced degrees, too, so your undergrad major won’t be enough to even pursue this stream of employment.

What To Study Instead: Nursing


Unemployment Rate: 4.8 percent

You obviously find people fascinating, so why not take your interests toward charitable practices by studying a degree in nursing?
What will you learn in a nursing program? According to the College Board, you'll train to examine and care for the sick and disabled as well as advocate for better health. You might also expect to take classes like anatomy and physiology, health assessment, and pharmacology.
The good news for graduates from this major is that nursing positions are plentiful and aren't always just available in hospitals. "Nursing is so versatile that graduates who are flexible can go to work for insurance companies and businesses in addition to hospitals and doctors’ offices," says Rambo. "Their options to be administrators and consultants are numerous."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
Potential Career:
  • Registered nurse

High-Unemployment Degree #4: Film/Video/Photographic Arts

Unemployment Rate: 11.4 percent

You love television and movies and think it'd be great to study these media forms full-time and go all Hollywood post-grad. Might want to reconsider going down this path, because breaking into the entertainment industry and becoming the next Steven Spielberg is definitely easier said than done.
"When you're talking about film, video, and photography, it's a slow growth area with stiff competition and fewer salaried jobs than you'd imagine," says Rambo. "To stand any chance here you'd need experience and really have to be the best of the best."

What To Study Instead: Marketing and Marketing Research


Unemployment Rate: 6.6 percent

If you love different forms of media and communicating through art, consider pursuing a marketing degree. According to the College Board, you could learn about customers’ shopping habits, study advertising campaigns, and understand product pricing.
For Rambo, marketing is a really practical and versatile degree to earn because at its heart, you’re learning about people’s behavior and buying habits, which makes the world go round and touches so many different industries - from consumer products to services and even the drug industry. "Marketing can really be applied to any field," says Rambo. "The demand for marketing goods and services only gets bigger with globalization, which means more jobs across the globe."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Marketing Program.
Potential Careers:
  • Market research analyst
  • Event planner

High-Unemployment Degree #5: Political Science

Unemployment Rate: 11.1 percent

Working for the government in some capacity seems like an exciting prospect and perfect fit for a political science major. Well, better get a spot in line. Because the truth is, says Rambo, you won't be alone in pursuing a job as a civil servant or otherwise. That's because political science is a "low growth field with a high number of graduates," says Rambo.
"There's a very bad prognosis for political science graduates - you better be the best, or combine this major with another area that can make you more marketable for jobs," she says.

What to Study Instead: Business Management and Administration


Unemployment Rate: 7.8 percent

Business management and administration might seem like an unlikely substitute for political science, but consider the fact that both degrees prepare you for teamwork environments - though only one gives you more career options.
The College Board says business administration and management majors learn how to plan, organize, and direct an organization's activities. Students in the program may take classes like management information systems, economics, and business policy and strategy.
So instead of just being qualified to pursue government and think tank positions as with a political science degree, Rambo says business management offers flexibility for finding employment. Why? Virtually every company, big or small, needs someone to hold the reins and make important decisions about its operations on a daily basis.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.
Potential Careers:
  • Financial analyst
  • Human resources manager

Careers That Could Pay Upwards Of $30 An Hour

Jobs That Pay $30 An Hour

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? You may want to take a look at these professions that could give your bank account a little more padding.

By Lee Nelson
If your savings account looks like it needs some inflating, it may be time to find a higher-paying career that could help give your financial situation a boost.
Luckily, there are plenty of great careers in a variety of fields that pay an average of $30 or more an hour. But if you think that $30 an hour doesn't sound very impressive, in annual salary terms it translates to more than $60K - not too shabby after all.*
The reason for the good pay? High demand for the highly skilled, says Mike Palumbo, founder of The Palumbo Company, a professional recruiting and consulting company in Fairhope, Ala. "These careers all have training in a specific skill. It's not just any skill, but a skill that is in demand. Until we have computers that can take blood from your arm, hammer a nail, or consult with you on a complex tax issue, these positions will be in demand for the foreseeable future," he says.
Keep reading to learn more about which professions could add to your bank account, and how you might prepare to pursue them.

Career #1: Registered Nurse

Average Hourly Wage: $32.66
Average Annual Salary: $67,930
Do you enjoy being the caregiver to your aging grandmother, or comforting your friend suffering from a serious illness? Perhaps you have a calling as a registered nurse. You could earn a great salary - in addition to the reward of helping others.
Your responsibilities as a registered nurse could include setting up plans for patient care, performing diagnostic tests, and teaching patients and their families how to manage their illnesses or injuries, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "It's a tough job," says Palumbo. "A hospital is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so a registered nurse is required to work long hours under very stressful life-and-death situations." 
Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
Education Options: There are different paths to pursuing a career as a registered nurse. These include earning an associate's degree in nursing, a diploma from an approved nursing program, or a bachelor's of science in nursing, according to the Department of Labor. The Department also says that registered nurses must get licensed by passing a national exam.

Career #2: Accountant

Average Hourly Wage: $34.15
Average Annual Salary: $71,040
Money is probably quite an important element in your daily life, and chances are you want more of it. Why not consider pursuing a career as an accountant, where you can deal with money all the time - while you could earn a good living for yourself?
Besides organizing and maintaining financial records, your responsibilities as an accountant could include helping businesses and individuals find ways to reduce costs and enhance revenue. You could also inspect accounting systems for efficiency, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "Accountants get paid well because the need is so great," Palumbo says. "Most jobs are created by small businesses and with the complex nature of taxes, insurance, regulations, and the future health care expenses, the need for accountants will continue to grow."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
Education Options: To prepare to pursue a career as an accountant, you will need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or related field, the Department of Labor says. It adds that a certification within a specific field of accounting could enhance job prospects.

Career #3: Market Research Analyst

Average Hourly Wage: $32.39
Average Annual Salary: $67,380
You're intrigued by the difference between brand-name and generic products, and you constantly ask your friends where they bought this or that. That curiosity could be a great characteristic of a market research analyst - and one that could earn you good pay at that.
As a market research analyst, you might help a company understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department also says that you could be gathering data on consumer demographics, preferences, and buying habits.
Why It Pays Well: "The world is constantly changing, which is one of the big reasons why market research analysts get paid so well," said Palumbo. "Someone has to keep up with the changes in technology and trends on a daily basis."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Marketing Program.
Education Options: The Department of Labor says market research analysts need at least a bachelor's degree in market research or a related field. Many of these professionals pursue a degree in a field such as statistics, math, or computer science. Others may have a background in business administration, communications, or one of the social sciences, the Department says. Top research positions often require a master's degree.

Career #4: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Average Hourly Wage: $31.90
Average Annual Salary: $66,360
Seeing your first child's image on an ultrasound photo was life-changing. And if you can envision being a part of this moment in other people's lives - while potentially making a good living - you should consider a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer.
Your day-to-day duties as a diagnostic sonographer might be comprised of preparing patients for procedures, maintaining imaging equipment, checking those images for quality, and recording findings, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "Diagnostic medical sonographers get paid well because of the training and skills it takes to operate the technology," Palumbo says. "When you mix technology with medicine, it equals a great career position."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.
Education Options: The Department of Labor says that if you're interested in a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer, you will need formal education, such as an associate's or postsecondary certificate. You might also need to pursue professional certification, as the Department says many employers require it.

Career #5: Construction Manager

Average Hourly Wage: $43.73
Average Annual Salary: $90,960
You and your younger brother used to erect elaborate Lego structures day after day. Of course, being the oldest, you would be the one in charge and "lead the project". Why not put those skills of leadership and your love of building to good use in a career as a construction manager? The best part is, you could potentially see a great pay check as well.
As a construction manager, you might prepare and negotiate cost estimates and budgets; report on work progress and budget matters to clients; and select, hire, and instruct laborers and subcontractors, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "Construction managers get paid well because of the need to build construction projects on-time and under budget," Palumbo says. "Until the day where robots can build a building, bridge, or tunnel, we will need people to build projects. The construction manager will be needed to manage those projects."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.
Education Options: An associate's degree with work experience may be enough for some positions, but it is becoming more important for construction managers to earn a bachelor's degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering, says the Department of Labor.

Career #6: Computer Programmer

Average Hourly Wage: $37.63
Average Annual Salary: $78,260
When your family and friends run into computer problems, you are the first one they call. You could put those skills to use formally and pursue a career as a computer programmer. Besides, wouldn't it be nice to be compensated for your services for a change?
As a computer programmer, you might write programs in a variety of computer languages, debug programs, and build and use computer-assisted software engineering tools, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "Someone has to teach the computer what to do," says Palumbo. He explains that while computers are getting easier to operate, most people still don't understand how computers work. Hence, computer programmers get paid well because they are in demand, Palumbo says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Education Options: Many computer programmers earn a bachelor's degree, but some businesses do hire those with an associate's degree, according to the Department of Labor. Most programmers pursue a degree in computer science or a related subject, the Department says.

Five Great Career Switches That Could Boost Your Pay

Career Switches To Boost Pay

These five logical career switches could help you capitalize on your prior skills to earn better pay.

By Diana Bocco
You may think that clawing your way up the corporate ladder is the only way to advance to a better-paying, higher-level position. But you'd be wrong. In some cases, pursuing your ideal career may not require a climb, but a leap. And while altering your career path may not mean throwing away your prior skills and experience, it could mean going back to school. The good news is, you wouldn't be the first person to make this kind of career transition.
Many students change paths because they want to advance in their careers by pursuing leadership and management positions, says Michelle Stiles, Interim Dean at UCLA Extension. Those students "want to build on a set of skills that they have already developed and use the core knowledge they have gained as they have worked in their particular job sector," Stiles explains.
Want to know which new, higher-paying careers you could consider pursuing? Keep reading for five smart career switches that make a whole lot of sense.

Career Switch #1: Registered Nurse to Medical and Health Services Manager

Nursing careers are in great demand and often offer good salary and room for growth, says Samuel Rindell, professor of health care management at New England College of Business and Finance.
However, nurses may come to the midpoint of their career and find they have limited promotional opportunities available, says Rindell. "And they may wonder how they can still add new and diverse experiences to their resume without having to leave the health care field," Rindell says. The career of medical and health services manager may provide a way.
Why The Switch Makes Sense: Medical and health services management is a valuable opportunity for nurses looking for career advancement and a higher paycheck, according to Rindell.
Nurses who go on to get a degree in health care administration can remain heavily immersed in the health care industry but have the chance to work in new areas of for-profit and nonprofit health care, including health care delivery, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical devices, health care services, insurance, and investment firms, Rindell explains.
How the Salaries Compare*:
  • Registered Nurse: $65,470 vs. Medical and Health Services Manager: $88,580
Next step: Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.
Education Requirements: "Prospective medical and health services managers have a bachelor's degree in health administration," according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Master's degrees in health services, business administration, public health, public administration, and long-term care administration are common, too.

Career Switch #2: From Bookkeeper to Accountant

Bookkeepers are in charge of recording financial records using spreadsheets and software, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But professional growth may be limited in this job, and switching to accounting may prove more lucrative in the end.
Why The Switch Makes Sense: Bookkeepers might only be focusing on the numbers, whereas accountants "must be able to tell the story behind the data, often to audiences outside of finance," says DeLynn Senna, CPA and executive director at Robert Half Finance & Accounting.
Moving to accounting could also be wise because in recent years, accounting and finance professionals have taken on more prominent roles within business and been relied on to provide greater strategic insights, says Senna. So if that's something that sounds appealing to you and you don't mind going back to school, the career switch might be worth it, she says. And the salary bump isn't bad either...
How the Salaries Compare*:
  • Bookkeeper: $35,170 vs. Accountant: $63,550
Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
Education Requirements: Most accountants need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, according to the Department. However, some employers might prefer those with a master's degree in accounting or business administration with a specialization in accounting.

Career Switch #3: From Teacher to School Principal

Teaching might be one of the noblest careers out there, but the chances for advancement are pretty small. If you have the desire to lead or have a direct impact on education policies and curriculum, management might be a better fit than teaching, according to Eloise Lopez Metcalfe, interim department director for UCLA Extension's education department.
Why The Switch Makes Sense: If you're looking for growth opportunity, a career as a school principal might be the next logical step, says Lopez. As the head of the school "you will not only enjoy more responsibility and a better salary, but also the status and prestige that comes with a school management position," she adds.
How the Salaries Compare*:
  • Secondary School Teacher: $55,050 vs. School Principal: $87,760
Next step: Click to Find the Right Education Leadership Program.
Education Requirements: Most school principals have experience as teachers and are required to have a master's degree in education administration or leadership, according to the Department.

Career Switch #4: From Desktop Publisher to Graphic Designer

Desktop publishers usually gather graphics, text, and other existing materials in order to create page layouts of books, brochures, and other print or online items, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But since they don't create the art that goes in the finished product, the career is a bit limited.
Why The Switch Makes Sense: Desktop publishers often work behind the scenes (creating document layouts), while graphic designers get a chance to be more creative and come up with the actual designs, logos, and details that go on those documents, says Robin Elledge, chief administrative officer for Creative Circle, LLC, a staffing agency that represents creative professionals. For people with a desire to work on the creative side of publishing, graphic design can be an excellent career, she says.
And while potential earnings might only be slightly more promising for graphic designers, Elledge says demand is growing rapidly. Whether companies need business cards, a logo, brochure, website, packaging, or an entire branding campaign, they'll eventually interact with a graphic designer to get it done. Additionally, graphic designers who go back to school and view education as a continual endeavor have the upper hand, Elledge says, especially if they already have experience as desktop publishers and a portfolio of work to back them up.
How the Salaries Compare*:
  • Desktop Publisher: $37,040 vs. Graphic Designer: $44,150
Next step: Click to Find the Right Graphic Design Program.
Education Requirements: For graphic designer positions, a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required, the Department says. Candidates with a bachelor's degree in another subject may pursue "technical training" to meet hiring qualifications. Having a professional portfolio is also important, notes the Department.

Career Switch #5: From Product Promoter to Marketing Manager

While product promoters help create buzz for products, there isn't much buzz about the job itself.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, their daily tasks might include distributing samples, designing exhibits, and offering brochures.
Marketing managers, on the other hand, don't just promote one single product. According to the Department of Labor, they might gather information to plan entire advertising campaigns for new products and services.
Why The Switch Makes Sense: Those passionate about marketing and branding will find many better-paying opportunities in the field of marketing management, says Jamie Parks, director of marketing at Atrium Staffing, a boutique staffing agency that services small, mid-size, and Fortune 500 companies.
Parks says marketing managers are in charge of planning and designing promotional campaigns. And as consumers are continually exposed to new brands and to branding and advertising through digital media, the demand for those services can only get higher, she adds. Of course, with higher demand comes a higher paycheck, Parks explains.
How the Salaries Compare*:
  • Product Promoter: $23,860 vs. Marketing Manager: $119,480
Next step: Click to Find the Right Marketing Program.
Education Requirements: According to the Department, most marketing managers have a bachelor's degree, and while a specific field is not specified, the Department does note that courses in management, business law, accounting, finance, economics, mathematics, and statistics could be advantageous.

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