How to speed up a career switch

How to speed up a career switch

A hot career could be closer than you think. Check out these 5 careers you could start with an associate’s degree.

Associate’s Degree Career 1: Medical Assistant

Want to work in the growing health care field – without spending years and years in medical school? Look into earning an associate’s degree in medical assisting.

Medical assistants are indispensible to the operation of health practitioner offices, often handling a range of administrative tasks including obtaining patients’ medical history and scheduling appointments.

Career Growth: The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for medical assistants will grow 34 percent between 2008 and 2018.

Average Earning Potential: $29,760 per year.

Associate’s Degree Career 2: Computer Support Specialist

If you want a quick-prep career that will incorporate your love of technology, consider earning an associate’s degree in tech support or information technology, which could prepare you to pursue opportunities as a computer support specialist.

Computer support specialists help people with their computer problems. Some work out of call centers, where they try to help customers figure out what’s wrong with their computer. Others might be on the staff of a company or school.

Career Growth: The U.S. Department of Labor predicts the field will grow by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018.

Average Earning Potential: $49,930 per year.

Associate’s Degree Career 3: Paralegal

Love the law, but don’t want to spend years in law school? Consider studying to pursue paralegal career opportunities through an associate’s degree program.

If you’ve seen the Oscar-winning film “Erin Brockovich,” you know that a career as a paralegal can be far from boring. And while it’s not all Hollywood glamour and sticking it to the man, paralegals do perform many of the same exciting tasks as attorneys, such as researching cases and conducting interviews.

Career Growth: This exciting career is seeing equally exciting growth – the U.S. Department of Labor predicts the field will grow 28 percent between 2008 and 2018.

Average Earning Potential: $49,640 per year.

Associate’s Degree Career 4: Bookkeeper

Love to crunch numbers? Prepare to pursue bookkeeping opportunities by earning an associate’s degree in accounting.

Financial records are often the most important aspect for any business, and bookkeepers are the ones who make sure they are complete and accurate.

Career Growth: The U.S. Department of Labor calls this “one of the largest growth occupations in the economy,” and predicts that the field will add about 212,400 new jobs between 2008 and 2018.

Average Earning Potential: $35,340 per year.

Associate’s Degree Career 5: Real Estate Agent

If you want to pursue real estate opportunities, an associate’s degree in business is a great place to start, especially if the college or university you choose offers real estate-specific courses. Note: All states also require that real estate agents be licensed – and licensure requirements will vary by state.*

Real estate agents manage and negotiate the sale of homes, offices, and other buildings. They might help people who want to buy a house or help those who want to sell.

Career Growth: While it might seem like the housing market is still on the decline, job growth is projected to increase by 14-19 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Average Earning Potential: $52,490 per year.

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