Degrees That Could Be Worth It


Learn more about 6 hot degrees that could help lead to a good return on your investment.

By Chris Kyle

Considering the cost of college? Well, consider this too...

Different degrees could potentially help lead to very different results.

Many specialty degrees geared at career-minded students have flexible enrollment dates and the potential to help graduates reach high earning potential.

If you're thinking of going back to school, check out this list of six red-hot degrees that could potentially offer students a lot of bang for their buck.

#1 - Associate's Degree in Medical Assisting

A medical assisting associate's degree could potentially open up the door to opportunities in the health care industry, which boasts 10 of America's 20 fastest growing careers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This degree could possibly lead to positions as an assistant, specialist, or technician. Find a Medical Assisting program now.

Potential average earnings: Medical assistants have a mean annual wage of $28,300, with the top 10 percent averaging at nearly $40,000.*

Other degrees to consider: Patient care and therapy and dental assisting.

Search for Medical Assisting schools near you.

#2 - Associate's Degree in Database Technology

If you want a degree that's versatile and can lead to high earning potential and job security, one option is an associate's degree in database technology. This type of preparation could provide a skill-set that is relevant in many industries, including IT. While in school, you'll likely take IT courses and learn how to design, maintain, and repair databases. Find local and online Technology schools!

Potential average earnings: Database administrators had an average annual salary of $72,900 in May 2008, though that number jumped to $81,050 for those working at companies that design computer systems. Note: Some employers require a bachelor's degree.*

Other degrees to consider: Information technology and systems and computer science.

Check out these Information Technology degree programs today.

#3 - Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies

Highly-motivated professionals could pursue the legal profession by earning an associate's degree in paralegal studies. In fact, it's the most common entry-point into the paralegal profession, according to the Department of Labor, which forecasts rapidly expanding opportunities.

Potential average earnings: Paralegals and legal assistants have an average salary of $46,120. Paralegals working for the feds average at $58,540.*

Other degrees to consider: Bachelor's in paralegal studies and court reporting programs.

Find the perfect Paralegal program.

#4 - Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration

Earning a business degree could be a real game changer for career seekers in today's global economy. Whether you want to start your own business or prefer to work for an established multi-national corporation, mastering the basics of business can be an excellent place to start. Research top Business schools.

Potential average earnings: Students graduating with a bachelor's in business administration in 2010 have an average starting salary of $45,200, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Winter 2010 Salary Survey. It's the kind of career track that could potentially eventually- lead to a marketing manager position, which could have an average earning potential of $108,580.*

Other degrees to consider: International business, marketing, and accounting.

Search for Business schools now.

#5 - Associate's Degree in Technology Support

Employers are likely prepared to hire professionals with an associate's degree in technology support because more computers could mean more computer problem-solvers are needed... now. Preparation programs often cover the latest software and computer systems and teach students how to convey technical terms in simple, easy-to-use language.

Potential average earnings: Computer support specialists have an average yearly salary of $46,370.*

Other degrees to consider: Computer science and basic computer skills and applications.

Search for local and online Computer Science and Technology schools.

#6 - Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

Whether you want to wear a uniform and a badge or if you prefer a more low-profile, behind-the-scenes gig, a bachelor's degree in criminal justice could potentially open up the door to a wide variety of career opportunities, ranging from juvenile justice to homeland security.

Potential average earnings: A bachelor's in criminal justice can potentially help qualify you for a variety of employment opportunities. The average annual salary for customs and border protection agents was $92,558 in May 2008.*

Other degrees to consider: Police & law enforcement and forensics/crime scene.

Search for Criminal Justice schools now.

*Unless otherwise noted, all salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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