best degrees for flexible careers

Building a Flexible Career: The Degrees You Should Consider

Flexible…Work from home…Hybrid…Remote…

You may have heard these corporate buzzwords floating around your job or trending on social media — and with good reason — more people today are realizing the need for flexibility and (pardon the buzzword,) a better work-life balance.

Truly flexible or work-from-home job opportunities are difficult to come by, and the competition for these roles is steep. If you need flexibility in your career because you have a family, hobbies, or simply want time to yourself, there are flexible career options out there. That being said, you may need to rethink your idea of what “flexible” means. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 56% of wage and salary workers have a flexible schedule, meaning the time they start and stop working varies and often falls outside of traditional 9-5 hours.

Lucrative and meaningful career paths that fall outside of a typical 9-5 just might offer you the flexibility you need to enjoy your personal time a little bit more.

Here are a few careers that come to mind when considering an alternative work schedule and the degree paths that will lead you into these fields.


The healthcare field has built-in variability because people need medical attention at all hours of the day. Medical assistants, nurses (RNs), respiratory therapists (RRTs), and other healthcare professionals work daily to keep us safe and comfortable when we’re sick or injured. Healthcare professionals enjoy varied schedules, often working 12-hour shifts. Twelve-hours is a long for a single work shift, but there are advantages to fitting in your full-time schedule into fewer days per week.

Whether you’re working days, nights, or weekends, if you’re in the medical field, you’re likely to work fewer shifts per week. This opens the door to a thriving personal life or, when needed, a robust overtime schedule allowing you to earn more income.

Healthcare can also offer a typical 9-5 schedule since clinics and doctors’ offices follow the regular work week. But hospitals and other medical facilities that are open 24/7 need healthcare professionals working at all hours of the day and night to meet the needs of the public.

If you are passionate about helping others and like the idea of working an alternative schedule, including nights or weekends, healthcare might be the perfect fit for you! There are plenty of healthcare degree and certificate programs out there that can help you achieve your goals of a flexible schedule and a meaningful, well-paying career.

For greater job flexibility, you can study to become a:

  • Medical assistant
  • Registered nurse
  • Respiratory therapist


To meet the demands of consumers, manufacturers often keep their equipment operating 24/7, which means they need manufacturing professionals working 2nd or 3rd shifts and weekends to keep everything running smoothly. Many manufacturing professionals work 12-hour shifts, overnights, and weekends, leaving them with more time during the week to raise their families, develop hobbies, or take care of other responsibilities.

If you’re naturally a night owl, these alternative schedules and longer shifts might be an easy transition.

The field of manufacturing is growing and the demand for trained professionals is high. There are many manufacturing degree and certificate programs that can get you into a flexible manufacturing career in just a matter of months.


Learn more about Goodwin’s flexible degree and certificate programs!


For a career in manufacturing, you can study:

  • CNC Machining
  • CNC Machining, Metrology, and Manufacturing Technology
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
  • Industrial Service Technician
  • Mechatronics
  • Robotics and Automation
  • Welding


It’s well-recognized that teachers are hard at work leading future generations of change-makers and innovators through their K-12 experience. Teaching is a calling that involves working long hours and putting your energy into developing your students into leaders and kind human beings. Teaching is more than a career. It’s a passion. But that passion and drive to become an educator comes with a schedule typical 9-5ers envy. The teaching schedule is especially helpful for parents of school-aged children. With the same holidays, similar breaks, and summers off, you can spend time with your own family while working in a rewarding and meaningful field.

Earning your master’s degree in teacher leadership gives you the opportunity to position yourself to change the future of education while still enjoying a schedule with built-in flexibility and time off.

Medical Billing and Coding

Medical Billing and Coding is a growing field, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 7% growth (more than 12,000 jobs) by 2031. Even before remote work became as popular as it is today, medical billers and coders had some degree of flexibility in their work environment. Some medical billers and coders work in an office or medical practice, while others have been working from home for years. As a growing field that offers an average starting salary of more than $46,000 per year, Medical Billing and Coding is perfect for someone interested in a healthcare career in a non-patient-facing role.

Better still, you can study to become a medical biller and coder fully online — earning your certificate in as few as 12-18 months.

Public Safety and Security

Safety and security professionals work varied hours because emergencies don’t follow a 9-5 schedule. Communities need public safety professionals alert and ready even while everyone else is asleep. If you have a passion for keeping others safe and developing positive relationships in your community but need a flexible work schedule, a career in Public Safety and Security can give you both.

Public Safety and Security careers range from cyber security professionals to first responders. The career paths are endless, and many, if not all, security roles offer opportunities to work outside the traditional 9-5 schedule.

Your desire for a career that allows you to maintain a balanced personal life is achievable. Goodwin University can help you make it happen with the degree and certificate programs you need to fast-track your journey to a secure and rewarding career.

To learn more about Goodwin’s career-focused programs, contact us today!

Call: 800-889-3282

Text: 860-467-1511