Top 10 Quick Degrees That Pay Well
Not everyone wants to spend 4 years in college to earn a degree that pays well.
If you don’t want to stick to a 4-year degree plan, your best option is to pick a major that lends itself to an accelerated pace.
I’ve handpicked the top 10 degrees that fit the bill.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the top paying degrees that you can earn at a significantly faster pace – even in the face of the busiest work and personal schedules.
The Top 10 Quick Degrees That Pay Well
Now that you’re up to speed with how to expedite the process of earning a degree, it’s time to jump into the specific programs of study that not only work well with this accelerated approach to the collegiate process, but also offer a hefty amount of earning potential once you have your diploma in hand.
All of the salary data listed below was retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale.com.
1. Management Information Systems
At the top of the list are the various career paths that come with a degree in management information systems (MIS.) For those that are considering this line of work, taking on a job as an information technology (IT) project manager, business systems analyst, and even a specialized software developer are opportunities that are rife with potential.
Average salaries for these positions can range from an entry-level $57,996 as an MIS software developer, to the substantial yearly income of $128,222 collected by an IT project manager.
2. Supply Chain Management
A degree in supply chain management is the perfect fit for a person who enjoys coordinating large scale projects and understands the need for rigorous quality control parameters in both the workplace and the end user experience.
In terms of actual career paths, individuals who work in this field can earn yearly wages of $96,000 as a warehouse distribution manager, $111,000 as a senior manager of quality assurance, and $122,000 as a senior supply chain manager.
3. Computer Science
If you’re more interested in working on the actual development of computer hardware, programs, and unique system functions, then dipping your toes into the world of computer science with a position as a web developer, programmer analyst, or software engineer could be the right call for your future career aspirations.
As far as earning potential goes, web developers can capture annual salaries up to $81,191, while programmer analysts and software engineers both lay claim to yearly wages that hover around the $84,668 and $111,002 marks, respectively.
4. Business Administration
The business administration discipline is one of the most versatile and flexible fields to consider as you map out your accelerated learning program and professional trajectory.
With jobs ranging from hospitality management (up to $46,810 a year) to human resources management (up to $99,720 a year), there are plenty of options to fit your specific goals. At the top end of the business administration degree spectrum is the marketing management position, which can earn up to $115,750 a year.
For those of you who have a knack for balancing budgets and crunching numbers, a degree in finance definitely holds quite a bit of promise. As far as job opportunities go, securities and commodities sales agents can earn about $71,720 annually, while financial analysts average $76,950 over the course of the same period.
With multiple years of experience and a willingness to work your way up the financial ladder toward a higher management position, you have the potential to make $93,680 a year as an actuary, or $109,740 as a financial manager.
6. Healthcare Administration
Earning a degree in healthcare administration is all about fulfilling your desire to help others – and bring in a pretty decent salary at the same time. Specifically, those who enter into this line of work have the chance to earn $65,750 a year as a social or community service manager, $87,862 as a healthcare practice manager, and $104,939 as a senior healthcare administrator.
It is important to note that there’s plenty of overlap in terms of professionals skills and daily job requirements between this field and related management opportunities that come with a degree in business administration, so keep those career paths in mind as well as you mull over this potential educational path.
Much like business administration, receiving a degree in marketing ensures that you’ll have a plethora of diverse and unique career paths to look forward to once you’re ready to enter the professional world.
Market research analysts may earn up to $60,300 annually, while brand managers, public relations experts, and advertising project managers have the potential to pull in salaries that range from $88,590 to $95,450.
8. Information Technology Services
Information technology (IT) services professionals work toward optimizing and maintaining network systems and the software infrastructure that supports these data points and servers – a vital piece of the puzzle that keeps many businesses and organizations running smoothly.
As far as earning potential goes, the average salary for this field sits at $64,405, with systems administrators garnering $61,370, Network engineers earning $64,000, and software engineers tipping the scales at $79,315.
9. Business Information Systems
If you’re interested in network systems management and the career paths offered via advanced education in IT services, but you also have a strong desire to apply this expertise to the business world, then seeking out a degree in business information systems could help you harness the best attributes of both of these worlds.
As a business systems telecommunications professional, you can earn $54,800, while standard business systems managers and management information systems consultants can end up making about $55,600 and $62,100 a year, respectively.
10. Electronics Engineering Technology
The final entry on the list – electronics engineering technology – is all about getting your hands dirty and designing, developing, and installing electronic equipment and solutions. Jobs that rely upon an education in this field include electronics engineering technicians and electronics engineers.
If you end up as an electronics engineering technician, you’ll have the chance to earn between $34,560 and $83,120 a year. Engineers earn a slightly higher rate, ranging from $40,336 and $82,470 in the same time span.
Learning to Expedite Your Degree
Of course, simply telling you that it’s easy to earn a degree in a hurry isn’t quite the same as showing you how to go about this process the right way. To help you along this path, let’s spend a few minutes talking about what constitutes an accelerated degree program, as well as the different options available to you on this front.
In terms of skipping out on the traditional collegiate time frame, it’s hard to go wrong with accelerated coursework and credit by exam programs. Accelerated courses work on a shorter schedule – usually having you take two classes every eight weeks – when compared to standard sixteen week semesters.
Credit by exam opportunities, on the other hand, are all about showing your aptitude via a one-time testing session. The primary methods of “testing out” of a class or degree requirement include the DSST, CLEP, and Excelsior programs. You will generally have to pay a small fee (less than $100 per exam) for the right to utilize this testing practice. However, this cost is generally far less of a hit on your bank account than the expense that comes with signing up for a full semester of classes and purchasing books, class supplies, and so on.
You can also rack up credits by showcasing your life and work experiences via a “credit for prior learning” portfolio or other similar submission to an institution that accepts this type of alternative. Also, if you’ve already spent some time in these hallowed halls of learning, it’s not a bad idea to see if any of the credits from your previous time in school transfer over to your new line of study.
If you want more tips to help you earn your degree at a faster pace, I go into greater detail in an article discussing 1 Year Bachelor Degree Programs.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to chase after a fruitful – and profitable – career, all without having to mortgage away years of your life to reach these professionals goals. From a position as an IT project manager, to a more hands-on career as an electronics engineer technician, the possibilities are virtually endless. At this point, the only question left to answer now is whether or not you’re ready to get on the fast track toward a better professional future.