Find out about fast-growing jobs that only require an associate degree
Whether you are just leaving high school, returning to the workforce after family leave, or want to put yourself on firmer footing during the current downturn, starting out on a new career path can be a daunting prospect.
It’s estimated, however, that most people under fifty will change careers at least three times before retiring, so you’re not alone. It isn’t always necessary to spend four years rebooting yourself with a bachelor’s degree, though. Many careers only require a two-year associate degree. And with the availability of flexible learning options, such as online degrees, earning your associate has never been easier. Here’s a quick look at four career fields with jobs that you can pursue with as few as two years of training.
Healthcare Jobs That Require an Associate Degree
You don’t need twelve years of schooling to be a healthcare professional. The most recent career outlook report from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which projects growth in jobs through 2016, indicates that demand is steadily growing for workers in patient care, laboratory work, and medical administration. Registered nurses, physical therapy assistants, and nursing home care workers in many states only need an associate degree and training to qualify.
Other medical assistants, such as dental hygienists, sonogram technicians, and surgical technologists, have steady, rewarding careers thanks to their associate degrees or certificates. Laboratory technicians who collect samples and do prep work are also in demand, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 25% growth for some specialties.
On the administrative end, billers, coders, and other back-office workers need specific knowledge of medical procedures and laws, but not a bachelor’s degree. While the medical assistant degrees will require site-based education, you can train for medical administration jobs online, by earning an associate in business administration with a healthcare focus.
Criminal Justice Jobs That Require an Associate Degree
Many jobs within the criminal justice system are within your reach if you earn an associate degree. An associate degree in criminal justice can give you a broad base of knowledge that can qualify you for entry-level positions with courts, jails, prisons, police and sheriff’s departments. Private investigation or security firms might also hire you.
Specific job titles for those holding an associate in criminal justice include court reporter, county clerk, and police dispatcher. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, court reporters especially are in demand, with the number of positions expected to grow by 25% by 2016.
Marketing and Design Jobs That Require an Associate Degree
It’s possible to train for a job in design or marketing in as few as two years. An associate degree in visual communication, interior design, digital media, or marketing can help get your foot in the door of the studio. All of these degrees should offer project-based teaching and hands-on training that are relevant to the modern workplace. You could be prepared to work as a web design assistant, gallery assistant, production assistant, or marketing specialist.
If you’re interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree at some point, an associate in these fields will satisfy most core requirements and allow you to pursue your bachelor’s without losing any time.
This article is presented by AIU Online, the online campus of AIU, offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.