America’s fastest growing jobs

After the recession wiped out millions of jobs, the American labor market has at least partially recovered. So far this year, the United States has added roughly 1.6 million jobs. And in the 10 years through 2022, the BLS estimates that employment will grow by over 15 million jobs, or by 11%.
Some jobs are expected to better capitalize on economic, demographic, and workplace trends than others. For example, industrial-organizational psychologists are expected to grow 53.4%, the fastest in the nation, and occupations in the health sector are also anticipated to disproportionately grow. Based on estimated employment figures and projections for 2012 and 2022 published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for more than 1,000 occupations, 24/7 Wall St. identified the fastest growing jobs in America.

The jobs with the largest expected growth are often those that benefit from America’s changing demographics. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Martin Kohli, chief regional economist for the BLS, noted that the effects of an aging population, which has access to Medicare, “combined with innovations that provide new treatments” has led to increases in health care spending. In turn, more spending creates “a high demand for jobs to provide these services,” he added.
In fact, the average of all health support occupations is expected to grow 28% by 2022. Six jobs within the top 10 are in the health care sector.
Some of the fastest growing jobs are expected to receive a boost from economic trends. For example, the BLS expects that a continued economic rebound will lead to greater demand for construction and renovations. While construction laborers and helpers are expected to grow 25%, jobs such as masons' helpers are expected to grow at a considerably higher rate of 45%.

Government and private sector initiatives are also expected to contribute to growth in specific occupations. New federal health care legislation is expected to increase access to health care and, in turn, to the scale of the health care industry. Meanwhile, mechanical insulators are expected to benefit from an increased focus on environmental sustainability.
Most of the occupations with the highest estimated growth rates are not especially large. Only two occupations, home health aides and personal care aides, are estimated to be among the larger jobs by number of people employed in 2022.

There does not appear to be wage or educational trends among the jobs with the largest growth rates. These occupations all have various levels of median wage as well as differing educational requirements.
To determine the jobs with the highest forecast rate of employment growth, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed BLS Employment Projections program data for 2012 and 2022. In order to qualify, occupations needed to reference a specific job rather than a broader classification. Figures from the BLS for 2012 represent estimates, while figures for 2022 represent forecasts and may be revised. Further information on each occupation came from the BLS’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.

These are the fastest growing jobs in America.
10. Physical Therapist Assistants
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 41.0%
> Number employed, 2012: 71,400
> Number employed, 2022: 100,700
> Median annual income: $52,160
> Educational qualification: Associate’s degree

Physical therapist assistants work for physical therapists to facilitate patient treatment. The profession is expected to be among the fastest growing occupations in America. Typically, their job includes observing, stretching, monitoring, and educating the patients. According to the BLS, demand for physical therapy in general is expected to rise due to the greater needs of America’s aging population. Aging baby boomers may require more rehabilitation services as they grow old. Additionally, health conditions that are increasingly affecting the population, such as obesity and diabetes, are expected to require greater rehabilitation services.

9. Genetic Counselors
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 41.2%
> Number employed, 2012: 2,100
> Number employed, 2022: 3,000
> Median annual income: $56,800
> Educational qualification: Master’s degree

The BLS estimates a 41.2% growth in the number of genetic counselors between 2012 and 2022, more than double the rate of other health care practitioners. This growth is largely due to technological advancements in lab testing and genomics. Such development will allow genetic counselors to more accurately assess “individual or family risks for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders or birth defects,” the BLS noted. And yet, the field will remain relatively small. With only 2,100 people working as genetic counselors as of 2012, the extremely fast growth will result in just 900 new jobs.

8. Occupational Therapy Assistants
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 42.6%
> Number employed, 2012: 30,300
> Number employed, 2022: 43,200
> Median annual income: $53,240
> Educational qualification: Associate’s degree

Like other medical related occupations, the demand for occupational therapy assistants is expected to rise the population ages. As baby boomers become more prone to stroke or arthritis, they will require treatment from an increased number of occupational therapy assistants. Therapy assistants help their patients recover and maintain the skills needed for daily living. Additionally, occupational therapists assistants will be required to meet continued demand for the care of children and adults with disabilities. The BLS expects the growing demand will result in a nearly 43% job growth, well above the national job growth rate of 10.8%.

7. Masons’ Helpers
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 43.0%
> Number employed, 2012: 24,400
> Number employed, 2022: 34,900
> Median annual income: $28,220
> Educational qualification: Less than high school

Mason's helpers provide assistance to lead masons, who make plans, read blueprints, and lay out foundation patterns. As of 2012, there were only 24,400 people working as masons’ helpers. However, the BLS forecasts that a post-recession rebound in construction will result in a large increase in new schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, and other buildings. This new construction will require a large number of workers with training in building fences, walkways, and walls. The BLS estimates that the need for onsite mason helpers should grow by 43% between 2012 and 2022, almost twice the growth rate of construction sector employment as a whole. Despite the expected construction boom, the construction sector, including mason’s helpers, is highly dependent on cyclical factors.

6. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 46.0%
> Number employed, 2012: 58,800
> Number employed, 2022: 85,900
> Median annual income: $65,860
> Educational qualification: Associate’s degree

Diagnostic medical sonographers provide medical imaging of the human body’s organs and tissues. Like other health occupations, demand for diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow rapidly. As a large segment of the population ages and the health care industry grows, the need for diagnostic services will expand. Developments in medical imaging technology will make procedures less expensive and invasive, resulting in increased demand. The employment of medical sonographers is anticipated to grow by about 27,000, or 46%.

5. Interpreters and Translators
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 46.1%
> Number employed, 2012: 63,600
> Number employed, 2022: 92,900
> Median annual income: $45,430
> Educational qualification: Bachelor’s degree

The BLS pointed to increased globalization and greater diversity within the United States as the primary driver of growth for the profession. Although computers have greatly increased the efficiency and productivity of interpreters and translators, technology cannot provide the specific nuances of human translation. Demand will likely remain strong for frequently translated languages, but most growth will likely be due to greater need for translators in American Sign Language and emerging market languages. According to the BLS, “growing international trade and broadening global ties” will create new jobs for interpreters and translators.

4. Mechanical Insulation Workers
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 46.7%
> Number employed, 2012: 28,900
> Number employed, 2022: 42,400
> Median annual income: $39,170
> Educational qualification: High school diploma

While the BLS forecasts above average growth in construction employment, the estimated growth rate of mechanical insulation workers is projected to be more-than twice that, at 47%. Unlike other types of insulators, mechanical insulation workers require greater specialty given the challenges of applying insulation to pipes and ducts in all types of buildings. Increased emphasis on energy efficiency will result in growing demand for mechanical insulation workers instead of non-mechanical insulation workers.

3. Home Health Aides
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 48.5%
> Number employed, 2012: 875,100
> Number employed, 2022: 1,299,300
> Median annual income: $20,820
> Educational qualification: Less than high school

An aging population will likely result in a greater need for home health aides, who provide individualized daily client care. The number of such aides is expected to grow by over 48% in the 10 years from 2012 and become one of the most commonly-held jobs by 2022. Home health aides typically work for a medical institution and keep a record of services performed and the client’s conditions, in addition to providing home care and companionship. For elderly clients, home health care is increasingly popular because it offers a “less expensive alternative to nursing homes or hospitals,” the BLS notes.

2. Personal Care Aides
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 48.8%
> Number employed, 2012: 1,190,600
> Number employed, 2022: 1,771,400
> Median annual income: $19,190
> Educational qualification: Less than high school

Similar to home health aides, personal care aides provide individualized home health services to elderly clients living at home. However, personal care aids are restricted to providing only basic medical services and will often work in conjunction with nurses or social workers. The BLS expects that over 580,000 jobs for personal care aides will be created in the decade through 2022, the most out of any of America’s fastest growing jobs. Yet, the median annual wage for personal care aids was just $19,910 as of 2012, well below the nationwide median of $34,750 for all occupations.

1. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists
> Pct. change in employment 2012 - 2022: 53.4%
> Number employed, 2012: 1,600
> Number employed, 2022: 2,500
> Median annual income: $83,580
> Educational qualification: Master’s degree

Industrial organizational psychologists are anticipated to be the fastest growing job in the U.S. in the 10 years through 2022. The BLS estimates that in the 10-year period through 2022, employment of industrial-organizational psychologists will rise more than 53%, dramatically higher than the growth rates for all jobs and for other psychologist professions. The use of psychology is expected to increase across the nation as individuals and institutions look for help in solving or managing problems. Industrial-organizational psychologists address issues relating to workplace productivity, organizational developments, and employee screening. Becoming an industrial-organizational psychologist typically requires a master’s degree, as well as an internship or residency. Despite the forecast growth rate, the actual number of jobs expected to be added is very small -- just 900 by 2022.

Six Careers Where You Could Make $1,000 a Week


$1,000 a Week Careers

Consider these jobs with a healthy median salary of about $52,000 or more per year.

Are you making good money at your job? Even if you take home a decent salary, you could probably always use a little more. How does $1,000 a week sound?
Good news. While no salary amount can be guaranteed, the following jobs pay a median salary of $1,000 a week* or more. We've broken down the jobs, the salaries, why they can pay well, and how you can pursue them. The rest is up to you.

$1K-a-Week Job #1: Computer Programmer

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Turns out spending all your free time toying around on your laptop could actually pay off big one day. As a programmer, the U.S. Department of Labor says you could spend your days writing and testing code for software.
High-Pay Potential: Computer programmer jobs that were once outsourced to other countries are now returning to the United States in order to keep company files and classified information increasingly secure, says Sunil Sani, co-founder of, a website that offers insights into hundreds of careers to help guide career paths.
Sani adds that there are new areas within the industry with a need for programmers on the rise, so salaries have become increasingly competitive.
"Demand is on the rise for programmers with mobile application skills as more and more consumers conduct business from their mobile devices," says Sani.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Education Options: If you'd like to pursue a career as a computer programmer, you will have to have a bachelor's degree in either computer science or a related field, says the Department of Labor. Some employers will hire workers who have just associate's degrees, adds the Department, so that may be a viable option as well.

$1K-a-Week Job #2: Technical Writer

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Do you have a mind for detail? Are you also pretty good at stringing together a sentence? Then why not consider pursuing a career as a technical writer? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these wordsmiths put together instruction manuals, articles, and other necessary documentation to communicate complicated and technical information more easily.
High-Pay Potential: "Technical writers generally get paid more than journalists, bloggers or other content providers simply because they need a background in the technical intricacies of what they're writing on and they need to be able to translate that information into something palatable and easy-to-follow for the reader," says Sani. "It's a special talent and one that's not well-represented in the job marketplace, which is why its purveyors can command bigger bucks."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.
Education Options: If you plan to seek out a career in technical writing, the Department of Labor says a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or communications is preferred by employers, and some jobs may require a degree and knowledge of a particular field like medicine, engineering, or computer science.

$1K-a-Week Job #3: Network and Computer Systems Administrator

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Always fixing your friends and your family's computer problems? Are you the go-to guy or girl for troubleshooting smartphone issues? Then a position as a network and computer systems administrator might be a good career option for you to pursue.
These individuals install network software and hardware, make necessary upgrades and repairs, and ensure that all systems are working properly in a computer network, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
High-Pay Potential: The increase in use of technology like mobile devices and cloud computing will necessitate more people who can develop, maintain, and improve the networks and systems that let us make use of this technology ,according to Sani. That is where the network administrator comes in and can command a relatively high salary for their niche skill set, Sani adds.
Furthermore, the fact that this technology is constantly changing makes those who understand the latest developments even more valuable. "The network administrator must continually update their skills and keep tabs on industry changes, and those who hire them must pay for these up-to-date skills applications if they hope to stay competitive in the marketplace," explains Sani.
Next step: Click to Find the Right IT & Information Systems Program.
Education Options: While some employers may only require you to have a postsecondary certificate to pursue this career, the U.S. Department of Labor notes that most employers do require a bachelor's degree in a computer or information science-related field.

$1K-a-Week Job #4: Market Research Analyst

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Are you always on top of the latest trends and predicting new ones? Well, did you know that market research analysts actually do just that for a living, according to the U.S. Department of Labor? And because the in-depth analysis they perform can potentially help companies earn higher profits, this job can pay well.
High-Pay Potential: "Companies increasingly use big data to understand consumer behavior so they can market to them effectively," says Carreau. "Gone are the days of gut feel, as organizations are now relying on research to make decisions. This data is so critical to strategy that hiring and retaining the best talent in this area is driving up the wages of great analysts."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.
Education Options: According to the Department of Labor, you will typically need at least a bachelor's degree in market research or a related field, along with strong math and analytical skills, for a career as a market research analyst. The Department notes that many of these workers have degrees in math, computer science, or statistics, while others may have backgrounds in social sciences, communications, or business administration.

$1K-a-Week Job #5: Public Relations Manager

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If you're upbeat and can chat up anyone, public relations (PR) might be up your alley. Public relations managers help their clients effectively communicate with the public, develop an organization or individual's corporate image, devise promotion programs and write press releases for the media, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
High-Pay Potential: PR managers take home high salaries because of how important it is for companies to maintain positive public images, says Debby Carreau, CEO and founder of Inspired HR, a human resources support company.
"PR managers are vital to ensuring organizations have a solid strategy and are up-to-date with the latest media platforms (Twitter, Instagram) and how to effectively interact with social media influencers," says Carreau. "A good PR Manager is tech savvy, creative, able to direct a team, and comes with a large rolodex. All of these qualities in one person is a challenge to find."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Communications Program.
Education Options: If you wish to pursue a career in this field, you should know, per the Department of Labor, that public relations managers are generally required to have a bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or fundraising.

$1K-a-Week Job #6: Personal Financial Advisor

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Have a knack for making money grow? Or just know how to cut costs and scrimp and save? You might be cut out to pursue a job as a personal financial advisor. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, personal financial advisors explain financial services to clients, educate them about investment possibilities and risks, and research investment opportunities.
High-Pay Potential: As a large chunk of the population transitions from employment to retirement, Sani says money management becomes the responsibility of the retiree, and the demand for financial advisors has increased. People definitely need guidance in managing their money, he says, and they're willing to pay big for it.
In addition, the increasing complexity of financial rules and regulations make skilled personal financial advisors even more vital. "The demand for financial help is on the increase, thanks to disappearing pensions, 401k rollovers, and complicated estate planning laws," says Sani. "Personal financial advisors are being compensated for their expertise in portfolio management. Good ones with proven track records will be in demand and command higher hourly compensation for their expertise and efforts."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Program.
Education Options: If you're interested in a career as a personal financial advisor, the Department of Labor says you generally need a bachelor's degree, with finance, business, accounting, economics, law, and mathematics noted as good preparation to pursue this occupation.

$30-An-Hour Jobs That Are Short On School



If you're looking to get into a high-pay career, but not interested in spending years and years in school, keep reading.

Ready to make a career move that might add more cushion to your bank account?
Good news: You don't have to necessarily spend years upon years earning a bachelor's or master's degree to pursue a career with decent pay potential.
In fact, there are quite a few careers out there that pay upwards of $30 an hour - or $60,000 annually - that are relatively short on school.
Intrigued? Keep reading to learn more.

Career #1: Logistician

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Are you always on the ball with completing your tasks and naturally know how to get from point A to point B? Then you may want to consider a career as a logistician, which could be more within reach than you might think.
In this role, you would analyze and manage an organization's supply chain, which is the system that moves a product from supplier to consumer, says the U.S. Department of Labor. This means overseeing the product in its entirety until delivery.
Why It Pays Well: Logisticians can be highly valuable players in the field of supply chain management, says James Kling, chair of the management department at Niagara University in upstate New York. As the economy becomes more global, supply chains become more complicated and expensive, so the need for skilled logisticians is real and immediate, he explains.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Program.
How to Get Started: Don't want to be stuck in a classroom for years and years earning a bachelor's plus a grad degree? Well, a bachelor's degree is usually required for this job, especially as logistics becomes more complex, says the Department of Labor. However, an associate's degree is adequate for some positions. Many logisticians have earned a degree in business, industrial engineering, process engineering, or supply chain management.

Career #2: Computer Programmer

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If you love keeping up with the latest technology, but don't want to necessarily spend years and years of schooling to get into the field, computer programming might be a good field to consider.
As a computer programmer, you could use your knowledge of programming languages to write code to create software programs, says the U.S. Department of Labor. You also might find yourself writing in a variety of computer languages, such as C ++ and Java, as well as debugging programs.
Why It Pays Well: These professionals are highly compensated for their specialized skills, especially since we're experiencing rapid technology growth, says Bob Kustka, career coach and author of "The Hire Ground: An Insider's Guide to Finding a Career.
From smart TVs to e-book readers, "consider the impact of technology, not only on companies, but on entire industries," says Kustka. "All of these changes require the work of computer programmers."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Programming & Software Program.
How to Get Started: Would you like to get cracking in a job as soon as possible? Don't worry - according to the Department of Labor, while most computer programmers have a bachelor's degree, some employers hire workers who have an associate's degree. A common course of study is computer science or a related subject, notes the Department.

Career #3: Detective and Criminal Investigator

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Are you addicted to shows like CSI? Maybe you'd like to make cracking cases into an actual career? If it's just the intimidating amount of school you think you might have to go through that's stopping you... rest easy. This career could be more attainable than you think.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in this role you might spend your time gathering facts and collecting evidence of possible crimes in your career as a detective or criminal investigator. This may mean observing suspects, making arrests, and preparing cases for trial.
Why It Pays Well: "Employers are willing to pay these professionals more due to their skill set and the nature of protecting their business," says Stephanie Morris, assistant director of career services at Niagara University in upstate New York.
"Security personnel have the most important job of keeping assets and people safe. They are paid not only for their skills, but also for the responsibility they have," Morris says. Just keep in mind that pay can vary based on experience, she adds.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Criminal Justice Program.
How To Get Started: Not up for years in school? Not a problem. The Department of Labor says one must have at least a high school education or GED and graduate from their agency's police academy. Of course, you may want to get some schooling. According to the Department, many agencies and some police departments require some college coursework or degree.

Career #4: Accountant

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Don't feel intimidated by numbers and math? You may be mentally equipped for a career as an accountant. Boil it all down and much of an accountant's work is focused around financial records.
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, as an accountant, your role might involve verifying financial documents for accuracy and adherence to laws. You might also suggest ways to improve profits or reduce costs to an organization or client.
Why It Pays Well: "Accounting pays well, because the skills that an accounting career requires are diverse and somewhat challenging," says Mary Beth Goodrich, an accounting professor at University of Texas at Dallas who works closely with students in their job hunt.
And what are those valuable skills? Critical thinking, good communication, adherence to ethical guidelines, and certain certifications, says Goodrich.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
How to Get Started: Are you ready to break into this potentially high-paying profession? Then you'll be happy to know you won't need to sign up for grad school. The Department of Labor says most accountants only need a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field.

Career#5: Multimedia Artists and Animators

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Have you often been told you have a vivid imagination? Do you tend to doodle all day? If so, why not capitalize on your creativity by pursuing a career as a multimedia artist or animator.
What does this career look like? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, you might spend your days creating animation and visual graphics for all forms of media, from movies to video games. You might also have meetings with clients and other designers, research upcoming projects, and develop storyboards.
Why It Pays Well: Technology is what drives salary, as these individuals are "digital artists," says Jerome Solomon, academic dean at Cogswell, a small digital arts college in Sunnyvale, California.
"[Multimedia art] is a skill that requires people to be able to use computers in very technical ways," he says. "The software is very sophisticated," he adds.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Multimedia Art Program.
How to Get Started: Don't want to be stuck studying in a dusty campus library for years and years? Good news: While it's true that you'll probably need a bachelor's degree, it doesn't appear that you'll need much more education than that. According to the Department of Labor, most of these artists have a bachelor's in fine art, computer graphics, animation, or a related field, according to the Department of Labor. Employers also require a strong portfolio and solid technical skills for most positions.

Career#6: Market Research Analyst

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Are you an avid reviewer of businesses you visit or products you use? If so, you may enjoy a career as a market research analyst, which may pay fairly well, mind you. And on top of that, you don't need a graduate degree to enter the profession either.
If you choose this career path, you would analyze market conditions to figure out potential sales of a product or service, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Essentially, you'd be responsible for figuring out what products people want, who will buy, and at what price.
Why It Pays Well: "[These] jobs command attractive salaries, because these positions require a hard-to- find combination in candidates of strong quantitative skills, the ability to think critically, and the ability to connect the dots for management," says Alex Edsel, director of the master's in marketing program at the University of Texas in Dallas.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Marketing & Communications Program.
How to Get Started: No master's degree required for this career. You would commonly only need  a bachelor's degree in market research or a similar field, reports the Department of Labor. Many analysts have degrees in areas such as math, computer science, and statistics, while others have backgrounds in business administration, communications, or the social sciences.

Careers That Could Ruin Your Social Life


Don't bother with these overrated careers

If work-life balance is important to you, you may want to avoid some of these careers.

Do you work to live, or live to work? It's a question you may want to ask before signing up for a career, because some professions demand so much time that it can put a dent in your social life.
For instance, a career as an executive might demand a lot of traveling while a career in nursing may have you worrying about patients long after you finish your shift, says Ryan Himmel, career and personal finance expert and CEO of BIDaWIZ, which gives financial and business advice to individuals and businesses. Both of those can take a toll on your social life, he says.
Other careers offer a little more time for you - and your social life. And we're not talking party planner or matchmaker. We're talking common careers in a wide range of industries.
So, if you're interested in keeping your social life safe from your career, here are five jobs you may want to avoid. And in the interest of keeping things in balance, we've also included five that probably won't throw your life out of whack.

No Life Career #1: Surgeon

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You know all those shows where popular, Porsche-driving surgeons are saving patients every day and schmoozing at cocktail parties every night? Well, believe the saving part. And probably the Porsche part. But the nightly cocktail party part? Not so much.
Why You Might Have No Social Life: Even when surgeons are not in the hospital, they are often on call, says Tony Sorensen, CEO of the executive search and consulting firm Versique Search & Consulting.
"Depending on how many patients are in need of their particular skills, they could be spread incredibly thin with no one available to back them up in case of a non-work-related engagement," he says.
Plus, when your day-to-day experience is life and death, and you may have been up since 4 a.m., it can be difficult to make 'small talk,' points out Lyn O'Brien, a career advancement specialist, lecturer, and author based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Balanced Career #1: Web Developer

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If you have an eye for design, but also have some technical savvy, this career could be a good balance for your life. Web developers design and create websites, and are responsible for both the look and technical aspects of them, says the U.S. Department of Labor. But, say Himmel and Sorensen, it's not a profession that will take over your life.
Why It Could Be More Balanced: Although this career can be demanding, it can also give you room for a life outside of work, says Himmel, explaining that "if you're working for yourself or for a company with realistic deadlines, then it can provide a great work/life balance."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Web Design Program.
Often, web developers are private contractors, adds Sorensen, allowing them to choose their clients and their hours. That can go a long way toward easing the pressure on their social life.
Prepare for This Potentially Balanced Career: Web developers need knowledge of both computer programming and graphic design, says the Department of Labor. While the education requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree, the most common requirement would be an associate's degree in web design or a related field.

No Life Career #2: Registered Nurse

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Nursing is often a vocation taken up by people passionate about helping others. Admirable, for sure, but also often taxing on the social life.
Why You Might Have No Social Life: "As a registered nurse, you may need to work overnight hours or multiple shifts during a day to cover for another colleague, which will eat into your social life," says Himmel.
In addition, Himmel says there could be instances in which you become emotionally attached to a patient's prognosis. And although that's admirable, it can also be very draining on your social life, he says. He says that nurses can sometimes have a hard time leaving their work at the hospital, and that can lead to thinking about their patients when they should be enjoying an evening with friends or family.

Balanced Career #2: Dental Hygienist

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If you think the world could use more smiles, the career of dental hygienist could be for you. They work in Dentists' offices and not only clean teeth but check patients for signs of gum and tooth disease, says the U.S. Department of Labor. But apparently, they aren't too busy to put the whitening tools aside and enjoy a night out every once in a while.
Why It Could Be More Balanced: It's the structure of this job that allows for balance, according to Sorensen. Dentist's offices close at set times, after which the hygienist is free to enjoy the evening. They don't have to worry about working odd hours to keep the business going, Sorensen points out.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program.
Himmel adds that this career may allow you to separate out your social and professional life. "For instance, you're probably not going to take your work home with you and think about the patients' teeth that you cleaned," he says.
Prepare for This Potentially Balanced Career: Here's some info that might have you smiling. Although there are bachelor degrees in dental hygiene, the Department of Labor says typically these professionals have associate's degrees in dental hygiene. They must also be licensed, with requirements varying by state.

Balanced Career #3: Elementary School Teacher

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Remember when you were a kid and you got all summer off every year? That was pretty good for your social life, right? Well then, you may like the job of elementary school teacher, which entails teaching kids subjects like reading and math, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Could Be More Balanced: "Elementary school teachers have the rewarding opportunity of educating the future of our country while also working flexible hours. They have summers off and they don't typically work more than eight hour days," says Himmel.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Elementary Education Program.
That's a good recipe for a lot of free time and possibly a more balanced life, says Sorensen. "Since most schools don't go past about 3:00 pm in the afternoon, they have more flexibility in their schedules," he says.
Prepare for This Potentially Balanced Career: In order to teach the next generation, you will need some schooling of your own. All states require public elementary school teachers to have a bachelor's degree in elementary education and to be licensed, says the Department of Labor. And while private schools don't have the same requirements, the Department says they usually seek candidates with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.

No Life Career #4: Chief Executive

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They say life at the top can be lonely. It's not surprising, since the workers who run companies may find the lines often blurred between business and pleasure.
Why You Might Have No Social Life: "Top executives have a responsibility to their company and often deal with not only internal operations, but external relationships. Often, social dinners also have a business purpose making work-life balance more complicated," says Sorensen.
Himmel adds that most top executives, which includes chief executives, travel a lot, and that can dig deeper into your social life, as well as add to exhaustion - not the best recipe for balance.

"Balanced" Career #4: Human Resources Specialist

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Have great people people skills? This might be the job for you. As the U.S. Department of Labor says, these professionals do things like interviewing potential new employees and handling employee relations.
Why It Could Be More Balanced: "HR Specialists work in an operations role to keep companies moving forward. Generally, that requires them to work the hours of the company, so they are able to balance a social life with their work during the day," Sorensen says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Human Resources Program.
And O'Brien adds that since the job demands dealing with various personalities all day long, you may build social skills you can use in your off-time. "The hours are normal, so you'll have plenty of time after work to use your refined people skills bettering your social life. Everyone loves the matchmaker."
Prepare for This Potentially Balanced Career: Aside from showing off your people skills in your job interview, you might need some schooling. The Department of Labor says applicants must usually have a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, or a related field.

No Life Career #5: Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agent

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Ever get a peek at the New York Stock Exchange trading floor? Some days you might mistake it for an Mixed Martial Arts match. Not exactly conducive to relaxed social interaction. But even if you don't plan on being a screaming floor trader, this career can eat into your social life.
Why You Might Have No Social Life: These professionals often work around their clients' schedules, says Sorensen, and that can cut into their social life. "Whereas most people work 8 am to 5 pm, financial service individuals typically meet their clients outside of those hours, cutting into time with friends and family," he says.
And O'Brien says social occasions for these professionals might not always be so social. "In off hours, to generate new business, you'll need to be where people who have money to invest are gathered. Paying for the privilege of club memberships, certain social events, and special affairs before you have the business can really strain the budget," she says.

Balanced Career #5: Industrial Organizational Psychologist

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If you think understanding how people think and why they do what they do might be a good thing for relating to others, this career could be a good fit.
As an industrial organizational psychologist, you would work on solving problems and improving the quality of work life, and on increasing productivity at companies by applying psychological principles, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Could Be More Balanced: "Industrial organizational psychologists work with companies to identify patterns and behaviors of prospective hires, as well as current employees. Because they work within companies that have set hours, their roles can be similar to other operations roles, and they are able to leave when the office closes for the day," says Sorensen.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Psychology Program.
And, O'Brien says that a psychologist's training gives them people skills that could improve their social life. "When your career's purpose is to improve the performance, satisfaction, and the safety and well-being of employees, how can it help but rub off on you?" she says. As O'Brien sees it, those same skills that these professionals use to make employees happy and satisfied can be used to improve the quality of life of friends and family, which can make these workers very popular.
Prepare for This Potentially Balanced Career: You'll need more than a good understanding of people to work in this field. According to the Department of Labor, master's degree graduates are able to work as industrial-organizational psychologists.
If you're interested in pursuing one of these careers, but aren't sure how to get started because of your busy schedule, one option to consider is online education. According to, a comprehensive research site for students interested in online degrees and courses, there are online programs out there that could help you prepare to pursue a variety of careers that are known for having a high level of flexibility.

The Most Popular Online Degrees


The Most Popular Online Degrees

These online degrees are experiencing a lot of traction among college students.

Online education is here to stay, and it's quickly becoming the norm. In 2012, about 6.7 million college students, or 32 percent of the college student population, were enrolled in at least one online college course, according to Eduventures, a company that provides research, data, and consulting services for the higher education community.
But is online education worth it? According to a separate 2013 Online College Students survey, 12 months after completing their program of study, 66 percent of survey respondents felt that it was a good investment.
Many responded that they were already reaping such benefits as a new job, a raise, or a promotion, notes the survey, which was jointly conducted by the Learning House, Inc., and Aslanian Market Research.
If your interest has been piqued, keep reading for the most popular online degrees, according to the 2013 survey. You might just find the right degree for you to pursue, too.

Online Degree #1: Business Administration/Management

Find Degree Programs If you have natural leadership and organizational skills, you may want to consider pursing an online bachelor's degree in business administration.
You wouldn't be alone. In fact, business administration and management was ranked the most popular degree in the 2013 Online College Student survey.
Why It's Popular: Business administration is the most popular on-campus degree, so it's logical that it would be the most popular online as well, says Abraham Snell, an adjunct professor at a technical school in Birmingham, Alabama that offers both traditional and online courses.
A lot of interactions between businesses and consumers happens online, says Snell, who also earned an executive MBA in a program that combines distance learning with classroom attendance. "Learning in an online environment prepares students for these types of interactions," he explains.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Business Administration Program.
What You Might Learn: If you pursue an online degree in business administration and management, you'll take classes in business ethics and law, operations management, and business policy and strategy, reports the College Board.
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Online Degree #2: Accounting

Find Degree Programs Landing in the second spot of popular online degrees was accounting, according to the survey. You might want to pursue a bachelor's degree in this field, too, if you happen to love crunching numbers.
Why It's Popular: In general, accounting degrees are popular because it offers stability, says Snell. Companies will always need to hire employees with accounting skills, he explains.
He adds, "And since the degree involves web-based accounting information systems, it's perfect for an online education format."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Accounting Program.
What You Might Learn: According to the College Board, your coursework  as an accounting major might include business law, accounting information systems, and auditing.
Potential Careers:

Online Degree #3: Information Technology

Find Degree Programs If you're the person that everyone else calls to troubleshoot their computer problems, you might want to earn an online bachelor's in information technology.
And it seems that other students have the same good idea: According to the survey, this degree was ranked the third most popular online degree.
Why It's Popular: "Technology is booming, and students are attracted to the various high-paying jobs offered in this field," says Snell, who teaches information technology."
"Also, IT majors are usually online for hours at a time, conducting research, and writing computer programs, and the type of people who would enjoy working alone welcome the opportunity to learn in an online format versus a classroom setting," Snell says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Information Technology Program.
What You Might Learn: If you pursue an information technology degree, you might take classes such as C++ programming, computer networking, and database management, according to data from the College Board.
Potential Careers:

Online Degree #5: Finance

Find Degree Programs If you're intrigued by the inner workings of Wall Street or the bottom line of companies, a bachelor's in finance online might suit you. And you'd be joining many other students, as according to the survey, finance was the fifth most popular online degree.
Why It's Popular: "Many students are drawn by the lucrative salary potential [of this degree]," says Snell. "Also, an online format is conducive to working on complex computer programs, creating and managing budgets, and learning the dynamics of stocks and bonds."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Finance Program.
What You Might Learn: Ready to get started? If you pursue this major, your coursework may include investments, financial markets and institutions, and international finance, according to the College Board.
Potential Careers:

Online Degree #6: Psychology

Find Degree Programs Psychology came in at the sixth spot of most popular degrees in the Online College Student survey. If you enjoy analyzing what motivates people to act a certain way, you might want to delve deeper with an online bachelor's degree in psychology.
Why It's Popular: Psychology is a popular degree, because it teaches highly desirable job skills, including how to interpret, predict, understand, and control behavior, according to Susan Whitbourne, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of the Psych Today blog.
"The content of the subject area is appealing, and the online format allows the opportunity for colleges to reach students outside their geographical area to provide challenging, rigorous and content-rich classes, which can also include case studies on current events," says Dr. Robert Stokes, assistant vice president of academic affairs for part-time and continuing studies at Villanova University.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Psychology Program.
What You Might Learn: As a psych major, you would typically take neuroscience, general and abnormal psychology, and research methods in psychology, reports the College Board.
Potential Careers:

Online Degree #7: Health Care Administration

Find Degree Programs Rounding out the list as the seventh most popular online degree in the survey was health care administration. So if you're interested in health care but don't want to be hands-on, you might want to earn an online degree in health care administration, too.
Why It's Popular: "Online education is very popular with health care administration students because it can provide a comprehensive overview of the health care delivery system and prepare students for entry-level positions in the health care field," says William Riley who is a professor and the director of the School for the Science of Health Care Delivery at Arizona State University.
"Many of these learners work full-time, and the online format provides a means to receive a top education while continuing to work."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Health Care Administration Program.
What You Might Learn: Health services administration majors take a variety of classes including accounting, health care law, and anatomy and physiology, according to the College Board.

Six Degrees That Will Stop Your Career in its Tracks

Don't bother with these overrated careers

If you want to have a bevy of job options when you graduate, you might want to avoid these degree programs.

College is all about choices, and chief among them involves picking what to study. Yes, it's important to enjoy the major you choose. But it's also crucial that you select something that's versatile, so you can pursue different avenues with your degree once it's time for you to hunt for a job.
"Employers want to hire versatile workers who are able to learn quickly, write effectively, analyze large amounts of data, think critically, and are effective problem solvers," says Alane De Luca, executive director of the center for experiential learning at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH.
De Luca explains that it's not one course of study that illustrates these skills, but a more wide-ranging educational plan that challenges students over a variety of course disciplines. In other words, there are some majors that simply appear to potential employers as too limited.
So if you think you know exactly what you want to study and what you want to do, think again, and maybe consider leaving yourself some extra options. Here are five degrees that may limit your options, and five alternatives that are a bit more versatile.

Limiting Degree #1: Bachelor's in Fashion Design

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
Fashion Designer -3%
If you're trendy, confident, and have a flair for fashion, then you might be thinking fashion design all the way for your college degree choice. But if you choose this path, you might find yourself facing a lot of competition for very few jobs and possessing skills that don't really apply to much other than conceptualizing and creating garments.
Why It May Limit Your Options: Getting a fashion design degree doesn't really prepare you for anything other than pursuing a fashion designer job, according to Peter Berner, an executive coach, career advisor, and president of Pilot Workplace Advisors, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based human resources development firm.
Worse, he says often the actual degree isn't integral to landing a job. It's who you know, not what you know, so might not want to invest time and energy here unless you've got an "in" into the fashion industry already.
"Luck, creativity, connections often are more relevant than a fashion design degree," he says, adding that there is tremendous competition for the few jobs that do exist in this field.

Versatile Degree #1: Master's in Business Administration

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
Financial Analyst 16%
Computer and Information Systems Manager 15%
Securities, Commodities, Financial Services Sales Agent 11%
Possess strong leadership skills and have a solid understanding of business? Then you might be a great candidate for pursuing a master's in business administration (MBA). What's great about an MBA is that it enables you to go after a wide range of job opportunities, says Berner.
Why It May Be More Versatile: "MBA degrees are generic in that they can be applied in most business environments," Berner says, pointing out that not just financial industries, but liberal arts organizations, tech startups, and engineering firms seek MBAs to help build and strengthen their businesses.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.
Moreover, he adds that, "People with MBA's are often perceived to be better qualified."

Limiting Degree #2: Bachelor's in Journalism

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
Reporter, Correspondent, Broadcast News Analyst -13%
Editor  -2%
Writer or Author 3%
So you're a natural-born wordsmith and think earning a bachelor's in journalism is the way to snag a professional writing gig. But whether your preference is journalistic writing, editorial work, or even writing books or for movies or T.V., positions for those with this major are disappearing fast.
Why It May Limit Your Options: Berner identifies an alarming trend in the world of journalism - a journalism degree isn't necessary for the few jobs that still exist in this field.
"There are network news 'personalities' reporting on national newscasts who do so without journalism degrees," Berner says. "The anonymity of the online format makes degree-less reporting even more accessible." So what's the point if it won't set you apart or make you more competitive to do this type of work?
Berner adds, "While the need for professional journalism has never been greater in the arena of public discourse, news-as-entertainment is where the jobs are heading," he says. "A degree in personality, if there were such an animal, would probably open up more opportunity."

Versatile Degree #2: Bachelor's in Computer Science

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
Software Developer 22%
Computer Support Specialist 17%
Are you most comfortable when coding your own site, gaming, or just plain surfing the web to look at what's being done online in terms of video and animation? Then earning a bachelor's in computer science might seem more like play than work to you.
Since virtually all companies now need web presence and computer pros to both create and troubleshoot their sites, this degree offers a lot of appeal.
Why It May Be More Versatile: This once 'nerdy' field has become mainstream over the last decade, says Kate McKeon, CEO of, an educational consulting firm that helps students prepare for school admissions and plan career paths.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
She says the loss of stigma in this field just may have something to do with the bevy of careers out there that this degree will allow you to pursue, even outside of tech.
"Computer science can be used in many, many fields," says McKeon. "These students can also contribute to research teams that are not obviously technology-related such as water research. A comp-sci grad may find herself designing a process to crunch through a massive data set to identify sources of below surface water in sub-Saharan Africa."

Limiting Degree #3: Bachelor's in Philosophy

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
None Available N/A
Your friends and family might describe you as a thinker or the strong silent type that's always got a lot going on in your head. So earning a bachelor's degree in philosophy probably sounds like a slam dunk. Unfortunately, if you aren't prepared to pursue further schooling, this degree program might be a bust in terms of the breadth of post-grad career options.
Why It May Limit Your Options: According to Berner, a philosophy degree really only prepares you to teach, and there's not a lot of opportunity to do so, especially without an advanced degree.
As far as regular companies and businesses go, the skillset that goes hand in hand with studying philosophy, he says, isn't always well-understood by employers or directly applicable to an exact job or position. "Most organizations do not have a CPO (Chief Philosophy Officer)," he says.

Versatile Degree #3: Bachelor's in Engineering

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
Cost Estimator 26%
Petroleum Engineer 26%
Environmental Engineer 15%
Have you always loved figuring out how things are put together and how to make them work? You just might find pursuing a bachelor's degree in engineering both fun and rewarding.
On top of that, an engineering degree can open you up to a wide range of potential career pursuits.
Why It May Be More Versatile: For McKeon, engineering is a highly versatile degree because the problem solving skills taught in this major can be applied to so many industries.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.
"Engineering students are trained to think through problems systematically so they can create implementable solutions," she says. "The degree itself focuses on real world problem solving through a mix of coursework and in-field study."
McKeon points out that since some ideas that look good on paper tend to fall apart in practice, engineering students are trained for real-world situations, giving them skills that can appeal to a wide range of employers, even outside the engineering world. An engineering student's ability to assess and distill large amounts of data enhances their attractiveness to employers, McKeon adds.

Limiting Degree #4: Bachelor's in Agriculture

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
Farmer, Rancher -19%
The local and organic movement in the food and health industries may make you think the agriculture industry is booming. But the numbers tell a different story.
Why It May Limit Your Options: Berner thinks you might be more competitive for jobs in this sector by pursuing other avenues of study, especially if you want to branch out at all in your job search and qualify for more positions once you've earned your degree.
"As agribusiness continues to consolidate into mega-businesses, there will be a need for more specialized degrees and business orientations in this field," he says, rather than a bachelor's in agriculture.

Versatile Degree #4: Bachelor's in Elementary Education

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
Elementary School Teacher 12%
Kindergarten Teacher 13%
Do you like working with children and sharing your knowledge? Okay, a degree in elementary education is clearly preparing you for one thing, teaching kids. However, if there were ever a degree built for pursuing many opportunities in lots of different parts of the country, it just might be a bachelor's in elementary education.
Think about it, virtually every school age child needs a teacher, and according to the U.S. Department of Labor, in teacher education programs, students are taught to work with young students with a variety of backgrounds and abilities.
Why It May Be More Versatile: According to Berner, earning a bachelor's in elementary education can open up doors to lots of teaching professions such as kindergarten teacher, elementary school teacher, or even a middle school teacher.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Elementary Education Program.
Furthermore, once you've got the right foundation for teaching and meet the certification requirements, it's a job, he says, that you can take anywhere geographically, where you might pursue both public or private positions for a variety of age groups. "There are lots of different levels and environments for teaching jobs," says Berner.

Limiting Degree #5: Bachelor's in English Literature

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
None Available N/A
If you're a bookworm who's equally happy reading the classics alongside the "Divergent" series, then studying English Literature probably sounds like a good fit. But for all the critical thinking and idea generating you'll do in your classes, it may be difficult for you to find work after graduation with this degree.
Why It May Limit Your Options: Even though an English Lit degree can provide you with a well-rounded education, Berner says employers often look for degrees that are related to work a person will do, and there aren't really any jobs out there where you can get paid to read books and write about your reactions to them.
In essence, English Literature is a highly specific degree, and unfortunately, "the more specific the degree, the more limiting will be one's job options," Berner says.

Versatile Degree #5: Bachelor's in Criminal Justice

Career Options* Projected Job Growth 2012-2022**
Security Guard 12%
Private Detective 11%
How does learning the basic tenets of our justice system and how to uphold the law sound to you? If the answer is "good," then earning a bachelor's in criminal justice could be a great fit for your personality and interests.
Even better, once you graduate, you could be eligible to pursue a variety of correctional positions, as Berner points out.
Why It May Be More Versatile: Criminal justice degree holders can pursue a wide range of occupations with their diplomas, starting with security guard positions and up to police officer and detective jobs, says Berner.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Criminal Justice Program.
In addition, he says this field is also experiencing an uptick in jobs due to population growth. "The need for criminal justice services will always grow as a population increases," he says, and that means many more job opportunities for you to throw your hat in the ring for.

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