Despite popular belief, not every student sets out for college directly after high school graduation. Some have other priorities or to-dos to check off their lists. Some are not ready to spend money on a program they aren’t fully confident in or passionate about. Some enlist in the military. Some choose to travel the world. Some dive straight into the workforce, start families, and put their educations on hold. In other cases, students might try college out, but later decide it is not the right time or place to commit to a degree. They desire a different path then, but will consider going back to school later down the road. Does this sound familiar?
Whether you are looking to transition careers, advance in your current position, pick back up or further your education, know that you are not alone. Among the 20 million students currently pursuing a college degree, over 8 million are age 25 or older. And this number is only expected to increase. By 2025, the National Center for Education Statistics predicts that college enrollment among adult learners will grow by 18 percent.
The question remains, though, what are the best careers to go back to school for? What are the most in-demand professions that are worth the educational investment? As an adult, you want to pursue a growing field that offers good pay, but also a career in which you will enjoy the work you do. So, what do you choose?
As a leading career-focused college in Connecticut, Goodwin has outlined the four top-thriving, best careers to go back to school for today – career paths that can be started right here with one of our job-centric degree programs.
- Registered Nursing
Projected Employment Growth by 2024: 16% growth rate nationwide
Average Median Salary in Connecticut: $37.72/hour
Educational Requirements: Associate or Bachelor’s Degree (ADN or BSN)
Registered nursing (RN) is a career focused around helping and healing others. And because of these drives, it has been rated among the most rewarding careers today. It is also among the fastest growing careers, and continues to be the largest employment sector within the healthcare industry. There is no doubt, then, that this field is one brimming with opportunity – especially as baby boomers grow older and the demand for quality care increases.
To become a registered nurse in Connecticut, you must earn your degree from a state-approved nursing school. At Goodwin College, you can earn your associate’s degree in nursing in 20-months by taking part-time classes, and an additional 16-weeks part-time for your Bachelor’s degree – all while maintaining your current job. While registered nurses are qualified at both degree levels, most healthcare employers today prefer BSN graduates.
- Dental Hygiene
Projected Employment Growth by 2024: 19% growth rate in the U.S.
Average Median Salary in Connecticut: $39.43/hour
Educational Requirements: Associate Degree
Dental hygienists are typically the professionals you see every six-months for your bi-annual dental exams. They clean teeth, examine patients for dental conditions, and provide preventative dental care. With research and technologies both advancing, dental hygiene has progressively become a top-growing field today, outpacing the average growth of all other industries in the nation.
To become a dental hygienist in Connecticut, an Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene is required. Programs can take up to three years to complete, but at Goodwin College’s Dental School, can be done in only 24-months full-time. Here, there is also the option to take part-time classes.
Projected Employment Growth by 2024: 11% growth for accountants and auditors in the U.S.
Average Median Salary in Connecticut: $38.60/hour
Educational Requirements: Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s Degree
According to a recent survey by the National Associate of Colleges and Employers, 86 percent of employers stated that graduates holding a degree in accounting or finance will be among the most attractive job candidates in 2017. If you want to pursue an invaluable degree, one that will give you skills that can be applied to many aspects of life, accounting may be the way to go. Not to mention, there are many different paths you can take within the field.
We know what you’re thinking – accountants need big degrees under their belts. For several accounting positions, this is true. For a position as an accountant or auditor, you need at least a Bachelor’s degree. But if you are looking to gain a foothold in accounting and are less concerned about becoming a CPA, you may consider earning your associate’s accounting degree. This degree, available at Goodwin College, will prepare you for employment as a bookkeeper, accounting assistant, payroll professional, and more. Not to mention, the program can be completed in 7.5 to 15 weeks! Great for adults who already have commitments at home or work.
- Medical Records & Health Information
Projected Employment Growth by 2024: 15% growth rate across the U.S.
Average Median Salary in Connecticut: $22.23/hour
Educational Requirements: Certificate
Healthcare is by far the fastest growing industry in the U.S. today. Even if you are not interested in a direct patient care position, rest assured there are administrative jobs available within the field. Medical records specialists, health information technicians, and medical billers and coders are just some examples. These are the professionals that manage health information data such as insurance claims, patient medical histories, and other medical finances, records, or registries.
To enter this occupation, you typically need a postsecondary certificate. The medical billing and coding certificate available at Goodwin College, for example, is one gateway into the field. This collegiate-level certificate program will have you trained, certified, and working in the field in as few as 12-18 months. Like our other flexible degree programs, this is offered part-time or full-time, on-campus and online.
The best careers to go back to school for are the ones with the brightest job outlook, employee satisfaction, and a salary that can support you and your goals. Why wait?
The degree programs at Goodwin College are fitting for students from all backgrounds and walks of life, including adults who are interested in going back to school. If you are interested in furthering your education or are currently in the market for a new career in Connecticut, Goodwin may be the next step for you. Learn more by calling 800-889-3283 or by visiting Goodwin.edu/learnmore.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.