If you think that a bachelor’s or master’s degree is the only way to get ahead in your career, you need to reconsider.
Whether this is the first time you are enrolling in a college, or are looking to switch your career to a new field of work, an associate’s degree is a great option. These degrees are much cheaper, their entry requirements are not that steep, and they can generally be completed within two years.
Also, associate’s degrees are offered by many community colleges, and most of them offer part-time, weekend, online or flexible timing courses, which make them extremely convenient.
So which is the best two-year degree for you to go after? Let us take a look at some of the best options:
1. Physical therapist assistant.
Healthcare is the only field that added nearly 400,000 jobs in 2008, at a time where almost every other work industry cut down on their staff. A good thing about this profession is that people will continually keep getting older, which means a steady flow of clients for physical therapists.
Average salary: $46,111 a year.
2. Web designer.
Almost every business, regardless of their size or nature of work, has a website. This means that there is a huge demand for people who can design, develop and maintain websites.
Average salary: $48,785 a year.
3. Electrical or electronic engineering technician.
Almost 33% of all engineering jobs comprise of electrical technicians. Their jobs involve making complex calculations, running assessments, modifying electrical equipment and so on. They generally work in industrial or commercial plants and labs, assisting senior engineers.
Average salary: $47,163 a year.
4. Registered nurse.
Registered nursing is a booming field with high growth potential. At 2.5 million jobs, registered nurses comprise the largest occupation in medicine and healthcare field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects about 587,000 new jobs to open up in this field by 2016.
Average salary: $55,276 a year.
5. Computer support specialist.
Computer support specialists are technicians who provide assistance to customers and end-users facing issues with their computer hardware or software. Technical expertise in field of computers is required in order to succeed at this work.
Average salary: $46,111 a year.
6. Executive or administrative assistant.
Almost every industry has a host of administrative tasks that need to be worked upon. This includes everything from basic and simple scheduling work to high-end, complex project management. Again, growth projections in this field look promising, with a quarter million jobs every year.
Average salary: $37,669 a year.
7. Dental hygienist.
Dental hygiene is one of the fastest growing occupations today, and many professionals in this field work part-time, flexible hours. In order to practice, aspiring dental hygienists are required to obtain a state license to go with their associate degree.
Average salary: $57,148 a year.
8. Surveying or mapping technician.
Surveying and mapping technicians are tasked with the on-field work of data collection, calculations and computer-aided drafting assistance. Although this field saw a rough patch in 2008, high growth has been projected in this field in the coming years.
Average salary: $42,104 a year.
9. Veterinary technician.
Veterinary technicians perform laboratory tests and clinical procedures, often working in a private vet practice. These professionals are required to pass a state exam in order to gain a practice license. Apart from the statutory requirements, a genuine passion for saving animals is vital to succeed in this field.
Average salary: $33,363 a year.
10. Camera operator.
Television and film broadcasting is a field that has seen severe competition over the years. Thankfully, the rise of web content has created many new opportunities and opened up new avenues for camera operators. Many camera operators are turning to the corporate video and commercial advertising field, as they offer better working hours as compared to film or TV work. Skills with multiple computer software can be a huge boon for professionals from this field.
Average salary: $42,558 a year.