So You Want To Change Careers?


See how education could help smooth the transition from one career to the next.

By Chris Kyle

Hate your job and want out? Looking for a change in your day-to-day routine?

Before you start devising an exit strategy, take a deeper look at the root of your unhappiness.

"There's a big difference between not liking your boss and realizing that your career doesn't fit who you are as a person," says Curt Rosengren, a Seattle-based career coach. "But if you feel like an artist in accountant's clothing, or vice-versa, it's probably time to consider a change."

If you're ready to explore the path to a better career, check out these five transition-friendly careers with great average earning potentials. Just keep in mind that any big career change will likely require some preparation.

Transition-Friendly Career #1 - Accounting

Candidate Profile: Honest, organized professionals who enjoy working with numbers.

  • It's Transition-Friendly Because: It's a growing profession. Accounting is among the 10 fastest growing jobs in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Education: According to U.S. News & World Report, students graduating with a bachelor's in accounting in 2010 are getting heavily recruited on campuses throughout the country. If you already have a bachelor's, consider getting an MBA or an accounting certificate.
  • Average Starting Salary: $47,982*
  • Average Salary: $59,430**

Search for Accounting degree programs now.

Transition-Friendly Career #2 - Health Care

Candidate Profile: Compassionate, energetic, and consumer-minded professionals.

  • It's Transition-Friendly Because: The health care industry has added 244,000 jobs in the past year alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Education: Earning an associate's degree in allied health services is a greats step towards this career. This degree could help prepare you for many career opportunities in health care, which is the fastest growing industry in the country.
  • Average Starting Salary: $30,522*
  • Average Salary: Varies**

Find Health Care schools and programs now.

Transition-Friendly Career #3 - Business

Candidate Profile: Disciplined team-players with a knack for efficiency and productivity.

  • It's Transition-Friendly Because: It's a wide-ranging field. The business world has a hand in a multitude of industries, from health care and finance to the IT industry and non-profit sector, which could mean more opportunity for you.
  • Education: If you are looking to explore an entry-level career opportunities in business, an associate's in business administration could help get you there. A bachelor's in business could strengthen your position.
  • Average Starting Salary: $45,200*
  • Average Salary: Varies**

Search for local and online Business schools.

Transition-Friendly Career #4 - Nursing

Candidate Profile: Caring, detail-oriented practitioners who listen and communicate well with others.

  • It's Transition-Friendly Because: It's an in-demand profession. Did you know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects nearly one million new nurses and home health aides to be hired between 2008 and 2018?
  • Education: A nursing degree or diploma can help prepare you to pursue a career as a registered nurse.
  • Average Starting Salary: $47,217*
  • Average Salary: $62,450**

Find a Nursing school near you now!

Transition-Friendly Career #5 - Computer Network Administration

Candidate Profile: Computer-savvy problem-solvers.

Search for Computer and Information Technology degree programs now.

*All average starting salary information comes from the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Winter 2010 Salary Survey and represents average yearly salary offers for graduates with a bachelor's degree in accounting, health and related sciences, business administration/management, nursing, and network administration.

**All average salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and represents median annual wages in May 2008.

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