Many people are intimidated by the current state of the job market. In tough economic times, it’s hard to find jobs that pay well enough to live a comfortable life. Many jobs require an expensive four-year degree before you can even get your foot in the door. However, this is not always the case. Many jobs can be attained with only a two-year degree, and often pay more than several jobs requiring an expensive bachelor’s degree.
(All statistics are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)
The need for dental assistants is ever-present, with a projected job growth rate of 25%. These valuable healthcare providers play a crucial role in the day to day operations of a dental office including performing x-rays, caring for patients, assisting dentists during procedures, and performing dental cleanings. Practicing as a dental assistant requires only a two-year associate’s degree, and license from the state you wish to practice in. The median income for dental assistants in 2012 was over $34,500 a year, averaging out at around $16.50 per hour.
Just like dental assistants, the need for registered nurses is high and growing all the time. Registered nurses are employed through the healthcare industry in clinics, hospitals, out-patient care, and doctor’s offices. Working as a registered nurse also provides a variety of duties as well as locations. Registered nurses can be responsible for performing tests, assisting physicians, and providing basic healthcare to patients. Entry into this field requires only a two-year degree, with many employers offering assistance to provide further education after employment. In 2012, people working as registered nurses earned an average income of $65,000.
As the world becomes more and more interconnected and businesses fully embrace technology, the need arises for individuals to set up and maintain the systems upon which they rely. Network administrators perform this role by installing network hardware and providing support for any network or computer problems that may arise. A two- year degree in computer science or information technology is sufficient for entry into this field which nets individuals over $72,000 a year in pay.
Computer Support Specialist
Similar to network administrators, computer support specialists are an integral part of the modern business world. The typical day in the life of a support specialist can include troubleshooting network problems, installing software and hardware, and providing hands on technical support. The people who perform these jobs are employed in a wide range of industries, both public and private, with no shortage of demand. Work as a computer support specialist earned an average of $43,000 in 2012.
As you can see, tech jobs are in high demand right now, and not just support and administrator positions. The need for talented individuals to develop and support websites and web applications is great. The modern web is evolving every day, and companies everywhere are hiring web developers to perform a variety of development tasks including front-end development, database development, web application development, and more. A two-year degree in computer science can serve as a way into this this exciting and lucrative field, netting developers and average of $62,500 a year.