Alternatives To A Four-Year Degree

Alternatives To A Four-Year Degree

Associate's degree and certificate programs could be great alternatives to the four-year degree.

By Yahoo! Education Staff

Do you want to start a fulfilling career, but can't invest in a bachelor's degree?

Not to worry.

Associate's degree and certificate programs could be great alternatives.

Think a certificate or associate's degree program might be right for you? Check out this list of growing four-year bachelor's degree required.

Career #1 - Dental Assistant

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of dental assisting positions may grow 36 percent between 2008 and 2018!

Education: Consider a dental assistant certificate or diploma program. Some states require dental assistants to be licensed.

Average Salary: $32,380*

Find a Dental Assisting certificate program near you now.

Career #2 - Office Manager

If you're organized and good with people, this may be the career for you. As office manager, you might be responsible for making sure day-to-day business operations go smoothly, supervising support staff and temporary workers, and more.

Education: An associate's degree in business administration can prepare you to pursue opportunities.

Average Salary: $45,790*

Search for online and local Business schools now.

Career #3 - Graphic Designer

Graphic designers need to be creative, artistic, and computer-savvy. They also need to understand how people perceive and accumulate visual information as they create the look of publications, packaging, and web sites.

Education:Look into a graphic design associate's degree program.

Average Salary: $42,400*

Search for a Graphic Design school near you.

Career #4 - Medical Assistant

As a medical assistant, you might assist doctors and nurses with all aspects of medical care, including taking vital signs and keeping office records organized. If you want a rewarding career - that doesn't require spending four years preparation - this might be a good option for you.

Education: A certificate or diploma program in medical assisting could be great place to start.

Average Salary: $28,300*

Search for a Medical Assisting program near you.

Career #4 - Paralegal

It's a good time to be performing legal research as a paralegal. According to the Department of Labor, the demand for paralegals is projected to grow 28 percent from 2008-2018.

Education: Most paralegals start out with an associate's degree in paralegal studies.

Average Salary: $46,120*

Find a Paralegal associate's degree program in your area.

Career #5 - Medical Coder

Making sure health care providers and insurance companies can work together smoothly by assigning codes to health information is another fast-growing career.

Education: Certificate programs are available in medical coding. Another option: an associate's degree.

Average Salary: $30,610*

Search for Medical Billing & Coding schools near you.

Career #6 - Registered Nurse

This rewarding career is in-demand, versatile...and can often be pursued without a four-year degree.

Education: You can prepare for a career as a registered nurse through an associate's degree or certificate program in nursing.

Average Salary: $62,450*

Check out your Nursing school options now.

Career #7 - Webmaster

These days almost everything can be done online, including shopping, event planning...and earning a degree. That makes creating and maintaining websites challenging.

Education: A two-year associate's degree in web design or computer programming can help prepare you for this career.

Average Salary: $65,320*

Find IT programs now.

*Salary for Webmaster is from All other salary data is from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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