Degrees That Could Hurt Your Kids' Career Prospects

Source: Yahoo

Don't bother with these overrated careers

Don't assume any degree will do as long your kids graduate. When it comes to unemployment rates among recent grads, all degrees are not created equal.

One of your jobs as a parent is preparing your child to face life on their own - and that includes preparing them to pursue a good career. The first step is picking the right major.
One of the problems is there often aren't enough opportunities for kids to learn about careers before it's time to choose a major. "Teenagers need help selecting college majors because they simply aren't exposed to many career fields or professions," explains Jolyn Brand, certified teacher and owner of Brand College Consulting, Inc. in Houston, Texas, helping students find, apply, and get accepted to colleges.
According to Brand, parents can be a crucial resource at this critical time. "Parents can help by taking a child's strengths, interests, and personality into account while researching degrees and careers," she advises.
How should you advise your kids? She suggests avoiding "fields that are too narrow or specific or simply have too low job growth to support all the college graduates coming out with those degrees." Instead, she suggests pursuing majors "that have high demand, tangible skills, and are prerequisites for a chosen field."
But how do you know which fields to avoid and which ones to steer your kids toward? One way is by looking at the research.
In Georgetown University's 2013 "Hard Times" study, several degrees were linked to dramatically higher unemployment rates for recent grads than others. These are the ones your kids might want to steer clear of when thinking about future career prospects. Fortunately, the study also lists some degrees linked to lower unemployment rates.
We've broken down some of the biggest degrees to avoid - as well as some great ones to pursue - for you to talk about with your kids. Remember, while no degree can guarantee employment, certain degrees may give your kids a leg up in the competitive job markets ahead.

Degree to Avoid #1: Bachelor's in Information Systems

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 14.7%*
It seems like any computer-related degree is a smart bet, right? And information systems might seem like it's at the top of the chain, since information is what computers thrive on.
After all, in a management information systems program, your kid could be learning about higher level computer issues like database design, systems analysis and design, and programming for systems development. That's according to the College Board, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students find success and opportunity in college. But even if your kid is technically inclined, this could actually be the worst "computer-related" degree to pursue.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: "Although there are a high volume of jobs employing information systems majors, the market has been relatively flooded with these majors since the 1990's," says Jason Hanold, Managing Partner of the HR executive search firm Hanold Associates in Evanston, Ill. "Technologies have evolved, more outsourcing occurs, and supply of talent is overweighting demand for this specific major, often in favor of computer science majors."

Degree to Consider #1: Bachelor's in Finance

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 5.9%*
Does your kid have a good head for numbers? One thing we can bank on - money is going to be part of our society for the foreseeable future, and that makes a degree in finance pretty appealing. According to the College Board, with this major, your child could learn about investments, financial management, and accounting and statistics for financial analysis.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: "All of business has room for graduates with business acumen and financial savvy," says Hanold. "This will continue to be a versatile degree that is viewed as practical and desirable by a wide range of industries, well beyond banking."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.
One of the reasons this degree is so sought after is the complex nature of the markets.
"Financial markets have become incredibly complex, almost impenetrable to the layman," explains Allan Jones, vice president of product for the recruiting firm ZipRecruiter. "Employers really want someone who can understand how the market works now, who can create models of future performance based on an incredible number of variables, and who can give sound business advice in an uncertain environment."
Even better news? "We've seen job growth in the financial industry stay relatively strong over the last few years, and all the signs we see point to it continuing to be a source of good jobs moving forward," Jones adds.
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Financial Analyst $78,380 > $152,420 < $48,100 39,300

Degree to Avoid #2: Bachelor's in Film, Video, & Photography Arts

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 11.4%*
You've told your child they can do anything they put their mind to, and with classes like digital photography, animation, and screenwriting on the menu, according to the College Board, it might seem like a degree in film, video, or photography is your child's first step to pursuing their dream - but the sad truth is, it isn't necessarily going to catapult them into their hoped-for career.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: With so many people graduating with film or photography degrees, only those with excellent skills can earn a living practicing their art, says Kate McKeon, CEO of Prepwise, an educational consulting firm helping students prepare for college admission and plan their career paths. Worse, even for those lucky few, it could take a very long time before starting to earn a decent living, she adds.
Another problem is that even with a degree, you're competing with other degree holders, plus those without that degree who have the necessary technical knowledge.
"The technology required to work in [the film] industry has become much more available. Therefore, it's easier to gain the skills, but there are a great number more people with those same skills entering the field," warns Jennifer Way, national speaker and HR consultant with over 20 years' experience. "If you aren't willing to build industry contacts and lack the wherewithal to gain entry, you will likely end up waiting tables post-graduation."

Degree to Consider #2: Bachelor's in Marketing and Marketing Research

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 6.6%*
If your child is plugged into trends in fashion, music, or technology, they might have what it takes to earn a degree in marketing or market research. According to the College Board, marketing majors might study consumer behavior and marketing strategy, while market research majors could learn how to research buying trends and conduct surveys.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: It's one thing to make something cool - it's another thing entirely to get people to want to buy it - which is where marketing and marketing research people come into play.
"If you are selling a product - any product - you're always going need someone to know what the consumer wants," says Jones. "Especially now, when companies can collect huge amounts of data on consumer behavior, analysts who can make sense of thousands of pieces of incoming information and make recommendations based on that information are extremely valuable to employers."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Marketing Program.
The people who can make sense of all this information, Jones adds, are going to be positioned to pursue steady employment for a long time to come.
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Market Research Analyst $60,800 >$114,250 <$33,490 131,500

Degree to Avoid #3: Bachelor's in Anthropology

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 12.6%*
This is a degree that might seem promising at first blush - a science-oriented degree that focuses on people and primates. However, classes like biological anthropology, human origins and evolution, and primate behavior - all typical courses for this major, according to the College Board - might not prepare your child for the larger job market.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: As exciting as studying anthropology might be in school, the reality of post-graduation life is that this degree just isn't useful to most businesses, says Way.
And if your child thinks they are committed to working as an anthropologist, make sure they understand the sacrifices necessary to pursue this field, she advises. You might have to move, pay for travel, and/or learn to speak multiple languages, for example. Many students may be disillusioned by the reality of pursuing a career with this degree, explains Way.

Degree to Consider #3: Bachelor's in Civil Engineering

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 7.6%*
You've always known your kid likes building things, from irrigation projects in your backyard to sound-proofing the garage for band practice. You might want to suggest they consider a degree in civil engineering. The College Board says they might learn about thermodynamics, structural analysis and design, and environmental awareness for engineers.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: "There's a shortage of civil engineers in this country," says Jones. "Employers are always looking for someone who can step in and start contributing immediately. Combine a shortage of civil engineers with a growing backlog of infrastructure projects which will need to be addressed sooner rather than later, and you've got a growth industry that shows few signs of slowing down."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Civil Engineering Program.
Even better, just earning the degree could speak volumes about your child to potential employers. "Even if the candidate does not practice as an engineer, a degree in civil engineering demonstrates discipline and ability to handle rigorous study. Practicing within the field of engineering provides long term professional credibility," says McKeon.
Want to know what else you could do with this degree? Well, according to McKeon, civil engineering students could end up in construction management, strategy consulting, or even investment banking. "The attraction for strategy and banking firms is the discipline, the ability to crank through massive amounts of data without losing the big picture," McKeon says. "The degree teaches systematic thought and design processes as well as subtle negotiation skills." All of this could make for a civil engineering grad an attractive candidate for a variety of jobs.
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Civil Engineer $80,770 >$126,190 <$51,810 53,700

Degree to Avoid #4: Bachelor's in Architecture

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 12.8%*
The housing market is bouncing back, so that means prospects for architects are brighter now, right? Not necessarily. After diligently studying things like architectural history, architectural theory, and structural design, classes typical of this major according to the College Board, your child might be eager to pursue an architecture career. However, your kid might find it challenging to find employment after graduating.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: It's all about supply exceeding demand. "There remains a steady demand for architects, yet more have entered the field, elevating the unemployment rates," says Hanold.
"This tends to be a feast or famine career," he explains, adding that many, many prospective architects enter the career, but only the best of the best thrive. "The others drift away into other careers, or work unsteadily, impacting unemployment rates," he adds.

Degree to Consider #4: Bachelor's in Elementary Education

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 5.0%*
Was your kid the most requested babysitter on the block? Maybe they should consider applying their ability to communicate with young children to a degree in elementary education. The College Board says some of the classes an education major might take include educational psychology, philosophy of education, and teaching methods.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: A bachelor's in elementary education can prepare you to pursue a career that will probably be around forever. "Teachers are always in demand," says Jones. "As long as there are children, there will be a need for teachers."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Elementary Education Program.
And if your kid is worried about whether this degree is "cool," they should talk to their peers about it. "The population entering this program has kept remarkable pace with the growth in opportunities given the population growth. Millennials are very thoughtful about making an impact, and this is a terrific place to start," says Hanold.
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Elementary School Teacher $53,590 >$83,600 <$35,760 167,900

Degree to Avoid #5: Bachelor's in Political Science and Government

Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 11.1%*
Did your child start to get interested in politics when they came of age to vote? You might want to warn them about the potential challenges they could face when it comes time to look for work in the "real world" after graduating with a political science degree.
Typical classes, according to the College Board, can include political theory, public policy analysis, and U.S. foreign policy. While interesting, these courses might not be applicable to the vast majority of jobs that will be hiring after your child graduates.
Why It Could Ruin Your Kid's Job Prospects: The problem with this degree, Hanold says, is that there aren't many opportunities for applying what your child learns in political science to general business positions, and if your child isn't interested in running for office, that could pose some problems when it comes time to look for a job.
"This degree has very few graduates who are actually planning to have a career in politics," says Hanold. Instead, he says, some students might "fall into" this major because the classes seem interesting, not because they have any passion or aspiration to make a career in politics after graduation.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor says that the small amount of job openings combined with how popular political science programs are in universities and colleges means that it's likely that there will be few positions relative to the number of qualified candidates.

Degree to Consider #5: Bachelor's in Nursing

Find Programs Unemployment Rate For Recent College Grads: 4.8%*
You've always admired your child's empathy. A degree in nursing might suit their caring nature to a T - and it could even prepare them to pursue a strong, stable career for years to come. In this degree program they could learn about health assessment, complex nursing, and anatomy and physiology, according to the College Board.
Why the Future Could Be Bright: "The health care industry has been and will remain one of the hottest areas of job growth, and employers are always looking for candidates to fill the more highly skilled nursing positions which require college degrees, especially as the population ages and the demand for health care professionals increases," says Jones. "Not only are registered nurses going to be in demand far into the foreseeable future, but this is one of the best-paying positions in health care."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
McKeon adds that the nursing degree itself indicates a certain level of professionalism to prospective employers. "This degree is popular with employers because it increasingly demonstrates ability to juggle multiple concurrent projects (patients/cases), make important clutch decisions, and improve business processes for improved results."
Potential Career** Median Annual Salary † 90th %ile of Annual Salary † 10th %ile of Annual Salary † Projected Number of New Jobs 2012-2022‡
Registered Nurse $66,220 >$96,320 <$45,630 526,800

Five of the Worst Degrees to Earn If You Want to Make a Lot of Money

Source: Yahoo


Worst Degrees for Making Money

If you're after a big pay day, you may want to steer clear of these degree duds and shift your focus to a more productive field.

There's no question that a college degree can help you pursue a higher-paying career. In fact, a 2013 Pew Research Center survey found that college graduates age 25-32 working full time earned about $17,500 more a year than those in that age group with just a high school diploma.
That being said, all degrees are not created equal when it comes to compensation. As the Georgetown University "What's it Worth" study on the economic values of common majors states, "different majors have different economic value. So, while going to college is a wise decision, what you take while you're there matters a lot, too." And degrees aren't equal when it comes to career options either.
For example, "A business degree is much more of an onramp into a particular set of careers than say, a psychology degree," says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs.com, a website that matches candidates with telecommuting jobs. Sutton Fell says not to rigidly connect a degree with a specific job in your mind. "The trick is to not think of X degree landing you X job, but as a gateway to a variety of career options," she says. So where to start?
Start right here. We've identified five degrees connected to some of the lowest median earnings* in Georgetown University's 2013 "Hard Times" study regarding the value of various college degrees. We've also provided alternative majors that the study found were linked to considerably higher median earnings.*
Read on for the possibly low-pay majors you may want to avoid and the potentially higher-paying possibilities you may want to consider.

Degree to Avoid #1: Bachelor's in Psychology

Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $30,000**
If the workings of the human mind interest you, you might be considering a degree in psychology. Just don't expect to be raking in the dough right away.
Low-Pay Factors: Simply put, Sutton Fell says psychology is one of the most popular majors out there, so the supply of graduates is pretty huge, but the demand from employers is less so. Essentially, a surplus of grads for few jobs drives salaries down and competition up.
AnnMarie McIlwain, CEO of CareerFuel.net, a destination site for job seekers and entrepreneurs, says high-paying positions in psychology typically require at least a master's degree, so recent grads typically won't qualify.

Degree to Consider #1: Finance

Find Programs Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $44,000**
Are you good with money and someone who thinks, if given the chance, you could help others make a bundle? Then finance could be a degree program that's right up your alley.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.
Why It's a Good Alternative: "A high value is placed on those responsible for handling money and making more money for individuals and corporations," says Sutton Fell, "there's a huge amount of trust and risk involved in hiring for finance-related careers, so they tend to pay higher."

Degree to Avoid #2:Bachelor's in Social Work

Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $29,000**
Helping people is your M.O. So maybe you're drawn to a degree program like social work. But you probably won't see your skill in handling all the emotional ups and downs of this field reflected in your paycheck.
Low-Pay Factors: "The human services industry tends to pay less across the board, including social work and counseling," says Sutton Fell. "It's definitely something that people should be drawn to because they're interested in helping others, not because they're looking for a big paycheck," she says, because often jobs are on the state level and susceptible to program downsizing and budget cuts.
As with many of these degrees, the need for further education is an issue when it comes to social work. "There are higher paying venues within the field," according to Gail McMeekin, the Massachusetts-based career counselor and author of the best-selling book "The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women," "but often the higher earning positions require a graduate degree."

Degree to Consider #2:Computer Science

Find Programs Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $50,000**
Interested in the intricacies of the technology behind your favorite video games, websites, and apps? Well, there's never been a better time to be a computer nerd, and computer science is a solid degree choice for anyone who identifies as one. And with technology always in demand, your interest in computers could translate into a career with healthy salary potential.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Why It's a Good Alternative: "Right now, technology skills such as computer science are in high demand and paying well," says McMeekin. Why? For Sutton Fell, computer science falls under the STEM degree umbrella and graduates will find higher paying jobs because they're required to have very specific knowledge, such as coding, programming, and familiarity with different operating systems.
Those skills are in high demand right now and relevant to lots of fields, which contributes to the higher average salaries, says Sutton Fell.

Degree to Avoid #3:Bachelor's in Film, Video and Photographic Arts

Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $30,000**
Are you a confirmed film or photography buff? You might enjoy a film studies or photography degree. However, once you graduate, you may have to shoot a lot of film waiting for any money to come in.
Low-Pay Factors: Sutton Fell attributes the low pay of film and video degree holders to the dearth of opportunities. Very few people get those Hollywood blockbuster, money-making producer and director gigs and instead wind up on smaller budget productions, if they can even find steady work.
"There are limited opportunities for people to reach the top of this career field, so while the potential to make big bucks is there, it's an extremely competitive field," she says.

Degree To Consider #3:Accounting

Find Programs Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $43,000**
Have a nose for numbers? Can you run calculations without a calculator? If so, you just might have what it takes to succeed in an accounting degree program. And with accountants always in need, you should have no trouble calculating how this degree can help with your personal cash flow.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
Why It's a Good Alternative: As McMeekin points out, "All businesses, small and large, need accounting," so demand for this field is high. She also adds that the fact that the tax code is so complex that people and organizations are willing to pay for expertise in this field.
For Sutton Fell, it's once again about supply and demand. "The old adage that 'nothing is certain but death and taxes' makes it clear that accounting is a tried-and-true career where the demand for workers and the amount of work steadily increases over the years," says Sutton Fell. What's also increased alongside demand is salaries, she says.

Degree to Avoid #4:Bachelor's in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $29,000**
If truly understanding the logic behind phrases like "I think, therefore I am" sounds like your cup of tea, then philosophy and religious studies may seem like the ultimate subject for you to study. But after you graduate, you might feel like you wasted your time when you see what the job market looks like for these grads.
Low-Pay Factors: According to McMeekin, right now there's an increased interest in this culture about spiritual issues, but to actually get a philosophy teaching job you need further education than just a bachelor's. So whatever position you'd be able to get with a bachelor's, she says, is going to be low-level and likely low-paying.

Degree to Consider #4:Mechanical Engineering

Find Programs Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $57,000**
If you've ever stopped to think about what our lives would be like without the convenience of automation and machinery, then you probably already appreciate mechanical engineers. You might be the type of person who would be happy to tinker around with machines for free, but you'll probably still appreciate the healthy paycheck that someone with a mechanical engineering degree can pursue.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Mechanical Engineering Program.
Why It's a Good Alternative: Demand is the name of the game for mechanical engineering degree holders, which makes this a good field to consider studying for those who are mechanically-inclined. "These jobs are also in demand as every field that manufactures [anything in a factory or plant] needs this skill set," says McMeekin.

Degree to Avoid #5:Fine Arts

Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $29,000**
Always been the artsy type and feel like you express your ideas best through painting, sculpting, or another artistic medium?
Spending your class time indulging your artistic side sounds fun, but it may not be too much fun after you graduate when you see your first paycheck.
Low-Pay Factors: Everybody in the arts seems to be searching for that big break, but few get it, says McMeekin, who explains the only way you can make a lot of money with a bachelor of fine arts degree is by marketing your work continuously and learning business skills, which aren't always taught as part of your degree coursework.
Or you'd have to hire an agent or manager, she says, which will cut into your earnings and decrease your year-end take home pay.

Degree to Consider #5:Nursing

Find Programs Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $48,000**
Ever think that your empathy for others could point you towards a degree and career path? Well, if you're the type to put the people around you before yourself, nursing could be just the right major choice for you.
And while your nursing degree helps you learn to bring smiles to others, it might bring you some smiles as well, as this degree was linked by the "Hard Times" report to a pretty healthy salary.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
Why It's a Good Alternative: According to McMeekin, nursing is a hot field right now and will be into the future. There are also a lot of outlets in which to seek employment, from hospitals and doctor's offices to schools and homes for the elderly.
To that point, Sutton Fell sees nursing as a strong major for those scientifically inclined and good with people now because of the need for care as people grow older and continue to live longer lives. "The aging population and huge number of baby boomers reaching retirement over the next decade make nursing, especially geriatric nursing and any sort of elder-care career incredibly important," she says.

Degree to Avoid #6:Journalism

Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $32,000**
Maybe you've been told you have a way with the written word. But if you think an education in journalism will help you write your way to a great salary out of college, you may be in for a surprise.
Low-Pay Factors: For McMeekin, traditional media like newspapers and news shows are fading in popularity, which is causing jobs to disappear and salaries to drop.
For those who still want to get into the field, she advises students to get work experience in online media to be successful and follow the new trends for how and where people get their information.

Degree To Consider #6:Information Systems

Find Programs Median Annual Earnings for Recent Grads: $44,000**
Computer databases, networks, computer security. Sound like subjects you could get into? If so, you'd be at home as an information systems major.  And according to "Hard Times," median annual earnings for recent grads with this degree aren't bad.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Information Systems Program.
Why It's a Good Alternative: For McMeekin, information systems and technology is a solid degree option right now because the computer concepts taught are needed across all fields and continue to change constantly. Graduates with information technology may be in a better position than other fields, she says, because a company "needs fresh talents and ideas all the time" to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to processing their sensitive data and keeping it under wraps.

White Collar Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

Source: Yahoo
White Collar Jobs Without a Degree

These six professional careers don't ask for a big educational commitment.

Many people believe that non-manual labor office jobs, also known as white collar jobs, are only for the well-educated, and are unattainable by those who haven't had the time, desire, or resources to obtain a degree. However, this is not always the case.
"Many white collar jobs require exceptional communication, logistics, and problem solving skills, and often, these are skills that can be tweaked with time and experience, but not studied in a degree program," says Steve Langerud, who owns the career counseling firm, Steve Langerud and Associates.
And we're not talking about jobs that nobody wants. "Most of these jobs are in high demand today and are expected to see significant growth over the next few years," says Trish Thomas, founder of the Resume Resource and the assistant director of the center for internships and career development at Eastern Connecticut State University.
So keep reading to discover six white collar jobs that don't necessarily require a college degree, although you may want to pursue additional education to maximize your options in these fields.

White Collar Career #1: Computer User Support Specialist

Find Degree Programs
Median
Annual Salary*
$46,620
Top 10% of
Annual Salaries**
>$78,410
Bottom 10% of
Annual Salaries**
<$27,780
If you're interested in working in a comfortable office environment, maybe even from an office in your own home, consider pursuing a professional career as a computer support specialist.
"Computer support specialists are white collar workers who oversee the daily performance of computer networks or provide technical assistance to end users, either on-site or remotely," says Thomas.
Computer user support specialists are also known as help-desk technicians, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They usually field questions from non-IT staff workers regarding using printers, working with email, and installing software.
Why You Don't Need a Degree: "There are a variety of classes and certificate programs that provide training in monitoring and troubleshooting system performance, setting up equipment for employee use, installation, operation, and minor repairs to hardware, software and peripheral equipment," says Thomas.
"Although a bachelor's degree is sometimes required for this position, it's really not necessary for a computer user support specialist," says Abraham Snell, an adjunct professor at ITT Technical Institute in Birmingham, Ala. "Their role is 1st tier support, which means they are the first line of contact with clients who are having system issues." Snell says that computer user support specialists do very basic troubleshooting, "but if the issue is too in-depth, they pass it on to the next level of support."
What You DO Need: The Department says that computer user support specialist jobs require some knowledge of computers, but not necessarily a bachelor's degree. Computer-related classes or an associate's degree may be sufficient.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
That being said, if you're looking to work with a large software company that supports business users, a bachelor's degree is frequently required, and more technical jobs will probably require a degree in a field like computer science, information science or engineering.

White Collar Career #2: Medical Records and Health Information Technician

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Median
Annual Salary*
$34,970
Top 10% of
Annual Salaries**
>$57,320
Bottom 10% of
Annual Salaries**
<$22,700
Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists aren't the only white collar options in the health care industry. Medical records and health information technicians are another option for those who want to be health care professionals.
"Medical records and health information technicians enter patient medical records, insurance information, and treatment data into computer databases," says Thomas.
Most of their work is performed while seated at a desk, although they may meet with nurses and other healthcare professionals to clarify diagnoses or get more information, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why You Don't Need a Degree: "Certificate programs for this growing profession provide ample training in medical coding and billing, as well as the legal, ethical and healthcare regulatory requirements," says Thomas.
Important qualities for medical records and health information technicians include the ability to be detail-oriented and analytical. They also need technical skills to use coding and classification software, according to the Department of Labor.
What You DO Need: The Department states that a postsecondary certificate is typically needed, but workers may have an associate's degree. An associate's in health information technology usually includes courses in classification and coding systems, anatomy and physiology, health care statistics, and more.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Health Information Systems & Technology Program.
The Department also notes that professional certification is required by many employers. Technicians who want to pursue a career as a medical or health services manager usually have bachelor's or master's degrees.

White Collar Career #3: Web Developer

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Median
Annual Salary*
$63,160
Top 10% of
Annual Salaries**
>$110,350
Bottom 10% of
Annual Salaries**
<$33,320
If you possess both creative and technical skills, you may be able to parlay these talents into a white collar web developer job.
"Web developers design, build, and maintain web sites, frequently incorporating e-commerce capabilities, multimedia content and analytics," says Thomas. These computer professionals may create content and convert text, graphic, audio and video components to compatible digital formats.
Why You Don't Need a Degree: "For this position, coding and design expertise are more important than a college degree," says Thomas.
"Post-secondary certificate programs provide advanced training in authoring and scripting languages, user experience methodologies, testing, data backup and recovery and performance analytics," she adds.
What You DO Need: Depending upon the type of work and setting, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that anything from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree may be required to pursue a career as a web developer.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Web Design Program.
That being said, the most common requirement is an associate's degree in web design or a related field, the Department of Labor reports, and for more technical developer positions like web architect, some employers may prefer workers with at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, programming, or a related field.

White Collar Career # 4: Construction Manager

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Median
Annual Salary*
$84,410
Top 10% of
Annual Salaries**
>$146,340
Bottom 10% of
Annual Salaries**
<$50,220
If you like the construction industry, but prefer to collaborate and manage projects than to be hands-on, consider pursuing a white collar career as a construction manager.
Construction is an industry that places a lot of value on "getting it done," says Scott Barlow, career coach and founder of HappenToYourCareer.com. "If you are a practiced problem solver, have a bias for action, and don't mind learning from folks who are rough around the edges, you can excel in the construction industry."
Why You Don't Need a Degree: This job requires experience more than education, says Barlow. "Typically, you need experience balancing projects that have lots of moving parts, people, and short time frames."
According to Langerud, it's the intangibles that make these workers special, not the degree. "Overall, top construction managers have a sixth sense about how to get the best performance from vendors, workers, and clients," says Langerud.
What You DO Need: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, self-employed general contractors can qualify as construction managers with a high school diploma plus many years of construction experience.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Construction Management Program.
The Department does note that a bachelor's degree in construction management, construction science, engineering, or architecture is becoming increasingly important as construction processes become more complicated.

White Collar Career # 6: Insurance Underwriter

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Median
Annual Salary*
$63,780
Top 10% of
Annual Salaries**
>$111,750
Bottom 10% of
Annual Salaries**
<$39,410
If you possess analytical and math skills combined with an attention to detail, consider making your mark in the insurance industry as an insurance underwriter.
"The responsibility of an insurance underwriter is to assess the risk associated with insuring an individual or account and then set insurance premiums appropriately," according to Mark Sieverkropp, a consultant and director of happen-ings at HappenToYourCareer.com.
"An underwriter will review information provided by the applicant, obtain additional information as necessary and compare it to the past performance of similar risks in order to establish a premium that is appropriate for the amount of risk that the insurance company is assuming," explains Sieverkropp.
Why You Don't Need a Degree: "An underwriter can have several different disciplines within underwriting, such as personal lines underwriting, commercial underwriting, and production underwriting," says Sieverkropp, who is also a commercial underwriter. "Because of this, training is often provided on the job and experience or a degree is not required for entry level positions."
Sieverkropp also says the skills that are necessary for an underwriter to possess are attention to detail, the ability to assess and analyze information, and an ability to make decisions based on the data provided.
What You DO Need: The U.S. Department of Labor tells us that strong computer skills and insurance-related work experience may be enough.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.
However, the Department of Labor also points out that employers prefer hiring applicants with a bachelor's degree, with particularly helpful courses including finance, economics, business, and mathematics.

Six High-Pay Careers that Older People Can Pursue

Source: Yahoo

High-Pay Jobs for Older Workers

In these high-paying jobs, age can be an asset rather than a barrier to entry.

Once upon a time, 65 was a magic number: It was the age where you put aside the trials of the 9-to-5 working world and got to enjoy a comfortable retirement. But with people living longer, retirement isn't the obvious choice it once was, says Roy Cohen, an executive coach and career counselor in New York City, N.Y.
"It just may be impractical to retire," says Cohen, who notes that it is now realistic for people who retire early to have as many retirement years in their life as working years. But those who want to make sure that they have enough money to fund a comfortable retirement when the time finally comes have challenges to face when seeking employment at an older age.
"There are still some biases," says Cohen. People often think when you are older you are less agile both physically and with respect to skills." But this is not the case, continues Cohen, unless you allow your skill set to erode.
Whether you're looking to change jobs or just trying to get back into the workforce, here are six jobs where older individuals can not only survive, but thrive. In addition, all of these jobs have a median annual salary* of more than $50K; in some cases, a lot more.

Career #1: School Principal (Education Administrator, Elementary and Secondary School)

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Median Annual Salary:
$88,380*
90th Percentile of Earners:
>$128,110*
10th Percentile of Earners:
<$59,010*
Are you a former teacher who is now ready to put your knowledge to use helping a new generation of educators? If so, a career as a principal may be just what you're looking for.
No matter if it is elementary or high school, you'll be the public face of the school, says the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition to meeting with parents, superintendents and legislators, you'll oversee the school's daily activities. This may mean coordinating curricula, counseling students, (and yes even disciplining), and evaluating teachers.
How Your Age Could Be an Advantage: "School principals deal with a lot of issues, not only with the children, but the parents. So there are all sorts of generational issues they have to be aware of," says Cohen. "The more experience you have, the greater the potential to deal with those sensitivities."
Additionally, a school principal needs to be able to demonstrate leadership in a broad range of circumstances, says Joe Weinlick, vice president of marketing at Beyond.com, a career network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally. "This is where experience is invaluable. A school needs a leader who can remain calm by drawing upon a broad range of experience, which is why these positions are usually offered to more seasoned professionals."
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Education Leadership Program.
How to Get Started: There's some schooling required for this one, but if you are or have been a teacher, you've probably got much of what you need already. According to the Department of Labor, most schools do require that elementary, middle, and high school principals have a master's degree in education administration or leadership. If you've got a bachelor's degree in education, school counseling, or a related field, you have what is typically needed to pursue that master's. Candidates usually need teaching work experience, and most states will require public school principals get licensed as school administrators.

Career #2: Medical and Health Services Managers

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Median Annual Salary:
$90,940*
90th Percentile of Earners:
>$155,130*
10th Percentile of Earners:
<$55,470*
Do you want to help your fellow baby boomers by making health services run more efficiently? Your conscientiousness and attention to detail may be valued in a medical and health services management career.
Continuously working on the quality and efficiency in delivery of health care services is a typical responsibility for these professionals, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Medical and health services managers may be also be responsible for managing billing, work schedules, and service records.
How Your Age Could Be an Advantage: "As we get older, we don't get as easily flustered," says Cohen. There is a lot of movement in health care, and Cohen says often people want immediate action even if is not an urgent medical matter. He says older adults tend to have the patience to deal with these concerns and sort out the actual emergencies.
Cohen also says there are many complexities to the job that may be better handled by an older adult. "As you mature you are able to manage projects that may be very detail-oriented, with a lot of moving parts, like medical billing, which can be tedious."
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.
How to Get Started: If you've got an undergraduate degree, you're already on your way. The Department of Labor says that potential medical and health services managers should hold a bachelor's degree in health administration. The Department adds that master's degrees, in health services, public health, long-term care administration, public administration, or business administration are common.

Career #3: Psychologist (Industrial-Organizational)

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Median Annual Salary:
$80,330*
90th Percentile of Earners:
>$140,390*
10th Percentile of Earners:
<$49,570*
Chances are you have realized over the years that humans are far from perfect. If you feel you have a good understanding of people and a willingness to get to the bottom of issues they face, you may want to consider a career as a psychologist.
Industrial-organizational psychologists use psychology in the workplace to improve work life quality and solve problems, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They may also work with management on things like employee training, organizational development, and policy planning.
How Your Age Could Be an Advantage: "Age offers many benefits. With maturity comes generational insight, an appreciation of different communication styles, and the knowledge of how to align individual interests with organizational goals," says Cohen. "Over time, there is also exposure to a wider range of industries, companies, and roles as well as people from different backgrounds and cultures," he adds.
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Psychology Program.
How to Get Started: According to the Department of Labor, graduates can work as industrial-organizational psychologists with a master's degree in psychology.

Career #4: Applications Software Developer

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Median Annual Salary:
$92,660*
90th Percentile of Earners:
>$143,540*
10th Percentile of Earners:
<$55,770*
Being older doesn't necessarily mean being out of touch with modern technology. Applications software developer is a job where your tech savvy skills speak for themselves, regardless of age. If those tech skills are strong enough, the year you were born should not be a barrier to you earning a solid paycheck.
The U.S. Department of Labor says applications software developers develop applications that allow users to do specific tasks on a computer or related device.
How Your Age Could Be an Advantage: "Software developers tend to be more focused on software capabilities over age," says Cohen, who observes that part of the tech geek culture is to be visually unbiased. "They don't care what they wear, what you wear, color of hair, how many piercings, it is really about knowing your stuff."
Beth Bryce, director of career services at Northwood University in Midland, Mich., says that since younger workers are more likely to jump from job to job in a short amount of time, an older applicant who seems likely to stick around may be more appealing. "Older workers are more marketable than they think, since job hopping is the new normal for millennials," explains Bryce. Employers want stability, especially if there are training costs, she adds.
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
How to Get Started: You may already have the educational requirements to pursue an applications software developer career. Usually they have a bachelor's degree, typically in software engineering, computer science, or a related field, with mathematics also acceptable, according to the Department of Labor. Along with the bachelor's degree, software developers usually have strong computer programming skills.

Career #5: Special Education Teacher (Preschool, Kindergarten, and Elementary School)

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Median Annual Salary:
$53,440*
90th Percentile of Earners:
>$84,320*
10th Percentile of Earners:
<$35,170*
As the saying goes, patience is a virtue. Not everyone has mastered this ability, but maybe you have now in your later years. This is a skill that can be highly beneficial while working as a special education teacher. In addition to how rewarding you may find this job, you may be surprised to learn that the median annual salary for these educators is well above the national median.
Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of disabilities, from learning to physical, says the U.S. Department of Labor. In this role, you may have to adjust lessons from child-to-child to fit the student's specialized need.
How Your Age Could Be an Advantage: Cohen says a special education teacher must have compassion and patience, which often comes naturally with age and experience. "As we get older there tends to not be so much of a rush." Cohen says this is an important attribute, as learning new subjects or concepts may take considerable time and repetition for these students.
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Education Program.
How to Get Started: If you already have teaching experience, you may be well on your way to preparing to pursue a special education career. The Department of Labor says that a bachelor's degree is required for special education teachers in public schools, along with a state license or certification. Private schools typically require the bachelor's degree but not the license or certification. Some special education teachers in public schools major in elementary education, or a specific content area like chemistry or math, with a minor in special education. Others may get a purely special education degree.

Career #6: Web Developer

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Median Annual Salary:
$63,160*
90th Percentile of Earners:
>$110,350*
10th Percentile of Earners:
<$33,320*
Have you perused a lot of websites in search for your next career leap? Maybe your next job is looking at you square in the eyes. No matter how old your noggin is, if your creativity is sharp, a web developer career may be a good fit for you.
The U.S. Department of Labor says web developers are responsible for the look and technical aspects of websites. Other duties might include monitoring the website's speed and how much traffic the site can handle, and creating web content.
How Your Age Could Be an Advantage: "Web developers typically work on a solitary basis," says Cohen. "They tend to be less group-oriented and it is essential for web developers to be creative, which is rarely defined by age. In fact it is enhanced by age," he says.
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Web Design Program.
How to Get Started: If you have been considering seriously studying web design for some time, then you may already be heading down the right path to pursue a web developer career. The Department of Labor says an associate's degree in web design or a related field is the most common requirement for web developers. The Department adds that for some other, more technical positions, such as web architect or similar positions, some employers do prefer workers with at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or programming, or a related field.

$50K Jobs for People Who Don't Want to Sit Behind a Monitor All Day

Source: Yahoo

High-Pay, Computer-Light Jobs

These jobs pay well and won't turn you into a screen zombie.

Do you have eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, or neck or back pain? You might be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), a condition caused by staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time.
You might think that being stuck behind a computer is inevitable in this high-technology age, but there are jobs out there that aren't computer-heavy, and some of them pay pretty well, too.
Read on to discover six careers that have median salaries of over $50K a year and won't have you glued to a computer screen all day long.

Computer-Light Career #1: Art Director

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Median Annual Salary*
$83,000
Top 10% of Annual Salaries*
>$169,450
Bottom 10% of Annual Salaries*
<$44,500
If you're the creative type that prefers looking at storyboards to typing on keyboards, an art director position may appeal to your artistic side.
An art director typically works with a variety of artists and other people in specific roles to pull together an overall art concept, advertisement, film, or other type of project, says Scott Barlow, career coach and co-founder of HappenToYourCareer.com in Moses Lake, Washington.
How You'll Escape the Computer Screen:"To become an art director, I actually had to move away from the computer and stop being the actual hands-on designer," says Roanne Adams, chief creative director/founder of RoAndCo and one of the New York Times' "six most outstanding up-and-coming design professionals."
"If I'm not on set art directing a fashion shoot, I'm at my studio discussing and critiquing design ideas and photo shoot concepts with my design team," says Adams.
Additionally, "The job consists of everything from hand-drawn set design, to prop shopping, to running a crew, to building and painting sets and doing this on a weekly basis, especially for serial TV shows," says David Murdico, executive creative director and managing partner of Supercool Creative in Los Angeles, CA.
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Graphic Design Program.
Prepare for a Computer-Light Career: If you like the idea of being on your feet coordinating all the moving parts of a design project, here's what you need to know. At least a bachelor's degree in art or a design subject is what art directors need, in addition to previous work experience, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Many start out as industrial, set, or graphic designers in an art-related occupation like photographer or fine artist, and earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of fine arts as the appropriate education for that occupation.

Computer-Light Career #2: Elementary School Teacher

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Median Annual Salary*
$53,590
Top 10% of Annual Salaries*
>$83,600
Bottom 10% of Annual Salaries*
<$35,760
If you would rather see the inquisitive faces of excited children than the computer-generated emoticons used in email communication, you might enjoy pursuing a career as an elementary school teacher.
How You'll Escape the Computer Screen: "Most of the day, I am on my feet delivering lessons and supporting students," says Brian Duggan, a first grade lead teacher at Excellence Boys Charter School in Brooklyn, NY."
And when he is not teaching, Duggan says, "I am meeting with my grade level team to collaborate on upcoming lessons and share best-practice teaching techniques."
And there are benefits to getting out from behind that computer in a classroom. "Instead of being behind a computer all day, teachers get the satisfaction of seeing firsthand the impact they're making on the next generation,"says career counselor Ben Fanning.
Fanning adds that elementary school teachers get to experience the smile on a child's face when they learn something new, "and that kind of feedback is priceless and only happens in the flesh."
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Education Program.
Prepare for a Computer-Light Career: If a career as a teacher appeals to you, be aware that a bachelor's degree in elementary education is required in all states for public elementary school teachers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In some states, teachers may be required to major in a content area, such as science or math.
Teachers will usually enroll in the teacher preparation program of their university as well as taking child psychology, education, and other classes as required by their major, the Department of Labor adds. Public school teachers are required to be licensed or certified in all states.

Computer-Light Career #3: Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers

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Median Annual Salary*
$56,130
Top 10% of Annual Salaries*
>$90,700
Bottom 10% of Annual Salaries*
<$32,670*
If high-speed chases sound more appealing than high-speed Internet, and entering potentially dangerous situations sounds more exciting than opening potentially dangerous email attachments, consider pursuing a career as a police officer.
How You'll Escape the Computer Screen: "The majority of their time is spent interacting with the public, so this is an ideal job for someone who doesn't want to spend a significant portion of their work day sitting behind a computer screen," says Clarissa Lester-Kenty, a life coach with 15 years of expertise in career training in Birmingham, Ala.
"Police officers perform a variety of duties, which can range from responding to domestic disputes to stopping a robbery in progress to negotiating a hostage situation." Lester-Kenty adds.
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Criminal Justice Program.
Prepare for a Computer-Light Career: If you want to get started in this field, keep in mind that police and detectives need at least a high school diploma or equivalent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Some police departments and many agencies require a college degree or some college coursework.
Many entry-level police job applicants have taken some college classes while a significant number have graduated from college. Many colleges, universities, and even junior colleges provide programs in criminal justice and law enforcement, the Department of Labor states.

Computer-Light Career #4: Registered Nurse

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Median Annual Salary*
$66,220
Top 10% of Annual Salaries*
>$96,320
Bottom 10% of Annual Salaries*
<$45,630
If you are more concerned with the temperature of a patient who may be running a fever than the possibility of your computer overheating, perhaps nursing is your calling.
How You'll Escape the Computer Screen: While digital devices are definitely in use, "the bulk of our time is spent managing symptoms, supporting the family and communicating with other members of the care team, whether social workers, creative arts therapists, spiritual care coordinators, physicians or bereavement counselors," says Sandra Davis, a registered nurse with the Metropolitan Jewish Health System who specializes in hospice and palliative care.
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
Prepare for a Computer-Light Career: If you're looking to pursue a career in nursing, there are usually three paths to a nursing career, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Students obtain a diploma from an approved nursing program, an associate's degree in nursing, or a bachelor's of science degree in nursing. Registered nurses need to be licensed as well.

Computer-Light Career #5: Claims Adjuster

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Median Annual Salary*
$61,190
Top 10% of Annual Salaries*
>$90,570
Bottom 10% of Annual Salaries*
<$37,220
If you'd rather adjust the amounts of insurance claims than spend your day adjusting your computer monitor display options, you might like the idea of working as a claims adjuster.
"The job of a claims adjuster is to review claims that are made by either the insured party or a third party against the insured party," says Mark Sieverkropp, consultant and co-director of happen-ings at career coaching website HappenToYourCareer.com. "They compare the incident with the insurance policy and determine whether the insurance coverage applies."
How You'll Escape the Computer Screen: Although computers are used to capture insurance information, "claims adjusters spend a large amount of their time meeting with the claimant (person filing the claim), or other involved parties, and reviewing the scene of the incident (in cases of property damage, auto accidents, etc.)," explains Sieverkropp, who adds that they may also take part in settlement negotiations, trials and other aspects of the process of resolving and closing a claim.
"Claims adjusters work with the claimant to fulfill the requirements of the insurance contract and also negotiate settlements as need be," says Sieverkropp.
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
Prepare for a Computer-Light Career: A high school diploma or its equivalent is typically required for those workers looking to be hired by employers as entry-level investigators, examiners, or claims adjusters, reports the U.S. Department of Labor. For higher positions, a bachelor's degree or insurance-related work experience may be required.
Different types of college coursework or different backgrounds are best for different types of work in these types of occupations. For example, a business or accounting background might be more appropriate for specializing in damage to merchandise or breakdowns of equipment, according to the Department of Labor.

Computer-Light Career #6: Computer Network Architect

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Median Annual Salary*
$95,380
Top 10% of Annual Salaries*
>$145,700
Bottom 10% of Annual Salaries*
<$53,920
You can like computers and still not want to stare at a monitor all day. Pursuing a career as a computer network architect could give you the best of both worlds.
How You'll Escape the Computer Screen: These professionals do plenty of work that doesn't require sitting in front of a monitor, including (according to the U.S. Department of Labor):
  • Presenting a data communication network layout to management
  • Determining how cables and other hardware will be laid out in the building
  • Deciding what hardware is needed to support the network.
Additionally, these workers spend time away from the computer in planning meetings trying to project the network load and determine the most efficient way to handle that load, according to Abraham Snell, adjunct information technology professor at ITT Technical Institute.
They also "determine what new segments of the network they will need to design, and decide what current segments of the network will need to be repaired or replaced," Snell says.
Next Step: Click to Find the Right Computer Engineering Program.
Prepare for a Computer-Light Career: The Department of Labor states that a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, information systems, or some related field is usually needed by computer network architects. They usually need some experience in a related occupation as well. The Department points out that employers of these workers sometimes would prefer that applicants have a master's of business administration in information systems.

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