On 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
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.
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
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:
About 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.