This is a college review site, but let’s be honest – most people go to school so they can move up from their current job or to change to a new career. With that in mind we’ve put together some information that will help with deciding what types of careers to pursue. Some people worry that they’ll have to go to college for years in order to complete their education, but that isn’t always the case. In general you have a few different options available to you.

Certificate Programs

Certificates are relatively easy to complete and require the least amount of time. An accredited certificate program requires between 12-33 credit hours. They are a step below an associates degree. Most people will pursue a specific certificate program either to help with career advancement in a field they are already working in, or possibly to get their foot in the door with a new career. Here are some of the fields you can pursue a certificate to get a career in:

Early Childhood Education
Business Education
Human Resources (HR)
Health Care
Food Science
Organizational Leadership (supervisor)
Weather Forecasting
Family Services (social work)
Family Literacy
Hospitality Management
Various Trades and Vocational Certificates

Some certificates can be pursued at your local community college, but you’ll find a much wider variety of available educational certificates online.

Associate’s Degrees

An Associate’s Degree takes a little longer to complete than a certificate, but it will open up more career opportunities to the student after graduation. An accredited associates degree requires at least 60 credit hours and can also be completed at your local community college. However, you have far more options available to you if you would like to pursue your associates degree online. Some of the more in-demand associate degrees include:

Law and Paralegal
Health Sciences
Criminal Justice
Graphic Design
Business Management

For more information on other associate degrees, including which ones will earn you the highest salary, be sure to read our guide on associate degrees. Thanks to technology you can now complete most associate’s degrees online.

Bachelor’s Degrees

A Bachelor’s Degree is a wise choice for someone that wishes to have far more options than a person with an associate’s degree. Most estimates put the amount of money you’ll earn with a bachelor’s degree at approximately 30% more than you’ll earn with an associate’s degree. An accredited bachelor’s degree requires between 120-128 credits depending on your field of study. This generally requires 4-5 years at a traditional university, or you can often complete an accredited bachelor’s degree online more quickly.

Depending on your field of study, you will either pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). A Bachelor of Arts generally has more classes in the arts and humanities whereas a Bachelor of Science will have more of an emphasis on science and math. Either way, you will be required to complete a certain number of classes in your major field of study. There are countless different fields of study which you can obtain a bachelor’s degree in, but the ones that always seem to be the most in demand and highest paying are:


If you want more information on the various types of bachelor degrees available, as well as future earning potential – be sure to read or guide on obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree significantly increases your earning potential – depending on your field of study and the career you go into, you could earn anywhere form 10%-50% more of a starting salary with a master’s degree. Additionally, your lifetime earning potential is significantly higher and you can often make extra income teaching or consulting. Depending on your field of study, you can obtain either a Master’s of Arts (MA) or a Master’s of Science (MS). An accredited master’s degree generally requires 30-60 credit hours beyond a bachelor’s degree and will also require that you pass a relevant entrance exam for your field of study. Some of the most popular master’s degrees are in:

Business Administration (MBA)
Social Work
Nursing (RN)
Accounting (CPA)
Computer Science

Some of these fields require you to pass certification and gain licensing by the state or other licensing board in addition to completing your master’s degree.

Doctorate Degree

A Doctoral Degree is the highest academic credential that a person can earn, and they can only be granted by accredited institutions. A doctoral degree will require 90 credits or more beyond a bachelor’s degree and include a dissertation and directed research with an adviser. Having a doctorate degree significantly increases your earning potential and demand for your services in all fields. Many people think of the medical field when they think of a doctor, but there are many doctoral degrees beyond the Medical Doctor (MD), including:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Doctor of Public Health (DPH)

Generally, a person will pursue a doctorate degree if they intend on teaching at the university level, performing groundbreaking research in their chosen field of study, writing textbooks or other informational books, working in government to change policy or working in any manner of influence in their field of study.


In the end, you should want to be in a rewarding career that interests you. Don’t waste precious time and money on a college degree that isn’t going to put you in the position you would like to be in. Think about what you want to do in life and pursue the best degree for your situation. Everybody would love to be called

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