What Degree Programs Fit the 5 Hottest Jobs of 2012?

Posted by Eric Sorrentino

May 29, 2012 8:45:00 AM

online degreeOn the list of many reasons adult learners attend college, landing a better career opportunity typically appears toward the top of the page.

The success stories of busy adult learners who balance their studies with working a full-time job and caring for a family remind us that dreams can be realized with the appropriate amount of hard work and persistence.

Before those dreams are achieved, however, the student must set up a plan. Questions such as, "What career would I like to pursue?" and "Is distance learning right for me?" must be asked and discussed among friends and family members.

I came across an article last week that reminded me of the many students in online degree programs who are looking to advance their careers. U.S. News & World Report recently released an online list of "The Best Jobs of 2012." I wanted to share the top 5 jobs on the list, with an appropriate degree program for each coveted job.

If you're thinking about going back to college and planning for a secure future, you might want to consider these five careers and corresponding degree programs:

5. Database Administrator

Suggested online degree: Information Systems, Master of Business Administration

Description: The demand for IT jobs is extremely high, and not expected to drop off in the immediate or distant future. The salary range listed for database administrators is $41,570-$115,660, so a secure financial future is well within reason, as well. Military members looking to make a civilian transition soon or in a couple of years should keep this occupation fresh in mind. This job would require a broad range of technical skills, which many military members already possess from the complex equipment they operate in training and/or from their service overseas.

4. Medical Assistant

Suggested online degree: Medical Coding and Billing

Description: No formal training is required to become a medical assistant, but don't let that stop you from separating yourself from the rest of the field. If you have looked for a job in the past five years, you're aware of the significant competition that exists within the job market. With a degree, you could start as a medical assistant, and advance up the ladder of command at a considerably quicker pace.

3. Pharmacist

Suggested online degree: Pharmacy, Business Management

Description: I'm not going to waste any time here: the low-end annual salary for pharmacists is $82,090. Students could do worse. The U.S. News article recommended students interested in pharmacy also take business courses because many pharmacies today work within retail establishments.

2. Software Developer

Suggested online degree: Computer Science, Information Technology

Description: Software consulting, for example, has proven to be a successful endeavor for Grantham University students who take computer science courses. Software developing is a constantly-evolving field that requires complex, technical thinking. The annual salary range for a software developer is listed at $54,360-$87,790.

1. Registered Nurse

Suggested online degree: Nursing

Description: The nursing profession is expected to grow at a rate of 26% between 2010-2020, faster than any other profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to gain 712,000 new jobs this decade. Not only does this profession scream opportunity, but it offers a competitive salary (range of $44,190-$95,130 per year) as well.

On a related note, Grantham University will host a Nursing Webinar, entitled "5 Ways to Advance Your Nursing Career," at 5:30 p.m. CDT this Thursday, May 31. If you haven't signed up for the complimentary webinar, please do so here or by clicking the image below:


describe the imageAbout the author: Eric Sorrentino joined Grantham University as Social Media Manager in October 2011. Prior to that, he blogged about Big 12 Conference athletics for KUsports.com and was a sports copy editor for the Lawrence Journal-World. Eric received his bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas.

Topics: online degree programs, nursing, current students, former students, Career Tips, adult learners

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