Get on Track to a New Career in Two Years or Less

Make a Career Change

See how the right education could prepare you to pursue a new gig in about two years or less.

By Yahoo! Education Staff

Do you want to want to change careers...quickly?

Good news: With the right preparation, it's definitely possible.

In fact, there are quite a few careers out there that only require a certificate or associate's degree, which generally take only one to two years of full-time study to complete.*

Keep reading to learn about five careers you could transition to with just a certificate or associate's degree.

Quick Career Change #1 - Medical Assistant

Want to help others in a fast-paced health care environment? Transitioning to a career as a medical assistant could be the right option for you.

About medical assisting: Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks that could include updating patients' medical records, filling out insurance forms, and recording vital signs.

Education options: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most medical assistants complete a one-year medical assisting certificate or two-year associate's degree in medical assisting program.*

Average Earning Potential: $29,760 per year**

Start Your Medical Assisting Education


Quick Career Change #2 - Paralegal

If you're detail orientated and intrigued by the law, take a closer look at the paralegal profession to see if it's the right career change for you.

About paralegals: Paralegals help lawyers prepare for hearings, trials, and meetings by preparing legal documents, among other things - making this a potentially perfect career fit for those who are passionate about the law.

Education options: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most paralegals have an associate's degree in paralegal studies, which generally takes about two years to complete. If you already have a bachelor's degree in another field, you can earn a certificate in paralegal studies in even less time.*

Average Earning Potential: $49,640 per year**

Start Your Paralegal Education


Quick Career Change #3 - Sales Representative

Are you a persuasive person? Want to prepare to move quickly into the corporate world? Consider studying to pursue career opportunities in sales.

About sales: Sales representatives are responsible for gaining public interest in a product or service, and then selling that product or service.

Education options: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many sales representatives have an associate's degree in sales or marketing, which can generally take about two years to complete.*

Average Earning Potential: $60,430 per year**

Start Your Sales and Marketing Education


Quick Career Change #4 - Computer Support Specialists

Do you often help your friends and acquaintances with their tech support needs? Then consider a quick switch to a career as a computer support specialist.

About computer support specialists: Computer support specialists provide technical assistance, support, and advice to those who need any kind of computer help.

Education options: Most computer support specialists have an associate's degree or certificate in IT and information systems or a related field, says the Department of Labor. An associate's degree takes generally takes two years to complete, while a certificate could take about one year.*

Average Earning Potential: $49,930 per year**

Start Your IT and Information Systems Education


Quick Career Change #5 - Medical Biller and Coder

Transitioning to the medical billing and coding field could be the right career change for you if you're interested in learning more about the ins and outs of the health care industry.

About medical billing and coding: Medical biller and coders are responsible for managing and organizing patients' health information, as well as communicating directly with health care professionals.

Education options: According to the Department of Labor, most people in this profession have an associate's degree or certificate in medical billing and coding. Both routes could prepare you for most entry-level positions in the profession and could take about two years or less to complete.*

Average Earning Potential: $35,010 per year**

Start Your Medical Billing and Coding Education


*Time to completion is never a guarantee and will depend on course load, program, and a variety of other factors.

**All average salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's May 2010 figures.

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