5 Happy Career Options for You


See how the right education could help you find a career you love.

By University.com Staff

Fifty percent of American workers are unhappy with their current job, according to a 2010 survey conducted by the consulting firm, Mercer.

Do you fall into this half? If so, it might be time to make a career change.

While no career is a bed of roses every day, there are some careers known for satisfaction. In fact, in March 2011, career site CareerBliss.com recently released a survey about the happiest professions in the country.

If you're ready to make a change to improve your job satisfaction, keep reading to see some career change options - and how the right education could potentially help prepare you to pursue them.

Option #1: Administrative Assistant

Think you've got the organizational skills to keep top business executives on schedule? Consider studying to pursue opportunities in administrative support.

Administrative assistants, who do research, manage schedules, and organize meetings and events, were ranked fourth in CareerBliss' survey of happiest jobs, in great part due to job growth and the potential for advancement.

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Education options: The Department of Labor, who notes that administrative assistants have an average annual salary of $45,860 as of May 2010, reports that a business degree could give candidates for these jobs an edge. An associate's degree in business could take two years; a bachelor's degree in business could be completed in four years.*

Option #2: Human Resources Manager

If you consider yourself a "people person", you might be well-suited to studying for a career in human resources.

With tasks ranging from handling the recruitment and retention of employees to managing their compensation and benefits, human resource managers have an average annual salary of $108,600, according to May 2010 statistics from the Department of Labor.

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Education options: A master's degree in human resources, labor relations, or business administration is recommended for those seeking management positions in human resources, according to the Department of Labor.*

Option #3: Accountant

Do you have a knack for numbers and spreadsheets? If so, studying accounting might be the key to helping you prepare to pursue a new career that could excite you.

Businesses employ accountants to manage and keep records of payroll, financial transactions, and taxes. Also included in CareerBliss' happiest jobs list, accountants have an average annual salary of $68,960, according to May 2010 statistics from the Department of Labor. USA Today also noted in "Are You Proud of Your Job", that accountants tend to report feeling pride in their work.

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Education options: To be competitive for jobs in accounting, you should hold a bachelor's degree in accounting, according to the Department of Labor. Getting certified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) might also serve you well in the job market, as any accountant who deals with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must hold this certification.*

Option #4: Medical Assistant

Want to transition to a career in the health care field? Consider medical assisting.

Medical assistants perform a range of clinical and administrative duties that include basic tests, as well as preparing patients for procedures. CareerBliss lists this and other health care jobs as ninth in their survey of happiest jobs in America, in large part due to its rapid job growth.

The Department of Labor projects medical assistants to have a job growth of 34 percent from 2008 to 2018, and notes that this career has an average annual salary of $29,760 as of May 2010.

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Education Options: Many medical assistants complete a medical assisting program, according to the Department of Labor. A medical assistant certificate, as one example, could take between one to two years to complete, depending on your course load.*  

Option #5: Computer Support Specialist

Are you a tech-savvy person? You might enjoy studying to pursue as career as a computer support specialist.

Computer support specialists provide technical assistance, support, and advice on information technology, according to the Department of Labor, who also notes that this career has an average annual salary of $49,930 as of May 2010. U.S. News and World Report also includes computer support specialist in their list of best careers for 2011.

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Education Options: According to the Department of Labor, a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, or information systems is a prerequisite for some jobs. However, some may require only a computer-related associate's degree or certificate.*

*All education information is from the U.S. Department of Labor. Completion times are never a guarantee and could depend on program, course load, a student's commitment, and other factors.

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