Returning to school can be a little scary and a little exciting. With more education, you can attain a higher standard of living and all that comes with it, including better schools for your kids, a better neighborhood, a nicer house, more reliable childcare and a job you can feel good about.
Workers with bachelor’s degrees have median earnings 67% higher than those with just a high school diploma. More education protects against unemployment and downsizing. Employment rates for the least educated workers still haven’t recovered to pre-Great-Recession rates. Conversely, the most educated workers continue to enjoy steady gains and a job market that increasingly prioritizes their needs.
The best degrees for adults returning to college offer higher earnings, a rapid path into a rewarding career and plenty of job options for adult students. If you’re weighing a return to higher education, consider these options.
Degrees in High Demand
Careers with high demand and high growth ensure you’ll always have a range of jobs to choose from. These high-growth options are some of the best degrees for adults returning to college:
A Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration prepares you for a career in healthcare—one of the fastest-growing fields. With a projected growth of 16% from 2020-2030, healthcare offers a myriad of career opportunities in a range of settings. At SNU, the strong focus on ethical leadership ensures you can shape this rapidly evolving industry for the better. Complete your degree in as few as 18 months, with 36 credit hours at $450 per hour.
A Master of Business Administration in Healthcare is ideal for people who want to compete at the top levels of healthcare leadership. Learn how to run hospitals and healthcare systems, prioritizing the needs of medical providers and patients while earning an exceptional living. Average earnings are around $73,000, but the highest-paid executives can earn well over six figures. At SNU, complete your degree in just 18 months, with 34 credit hours at $575 per hour.
With a rapidly aging population, the need for exceptional gerontologists is accelerating. Families are also navigating a complex world, with many parents caring for young children and aging parents at the same time. Your Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Gerontology can open the door to a master’s degree or prepare you for a career as a social worker or community health worker. Complete your degree in just 18 months, with 36 credit hours at $450 per hour.
A Master of Arts in Counseling can help you enter a career as a public health worker, therapist, substance abuse expert or social worker. As awareness of mental health grows, so does the need for quality mental health services. Caring, compassionate people can become part of the solution with the right training, working to end the opioid epidemic crisis and prevent suicide. Earn your Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology in as few as 28 months, completing 60 credit hours at $575 per hour.
A physical therapist assistant supports physical therapists as they help people recover from injuries and accidents. Whether you’re working with new mothers through pelvic floor physical therapy, supporting veterans to recover from their injuries or reminding spinal cord injury survivors that the seemingly impossible is within reach, you can make a lasting difference in people’s lives. Complete the program in as few as 23 months, with 72 credit hours at $299 per hour.
Degrees with a High Return on Investment
It’s no secret that returning to school costs money. Many students worry about repaying student loans. Secure your investment with a degree that offers higher earnings. Here are some excellent options for adults going back to school:
If you’re keen to enter the world of IT but not sure where to begin, an Associate of Science in Information Systems and Technology offers a great way to launch a lucrative career. Get on-the-job experience or return to school later for another degree and higher earnings. Finish your program in as few as 24 months, with 60 course hours at $299 per hour.
Cyber threats are everywhere, destroying businesses and lives. The typical data breach costs companies $4.24 million, and businesses are willing to pay employees well to prevent these catastrophes. An online cybersecurity degree prepares you to be a part of the solution, offering skills that will serve you well in a world in which cybersecurity is critical to everyone’s well-being. Complete your degree in 18 months, with just 39 credit hours at $450 per hour.
Turn your passion for exercise and health into a career you love. A Master of Science in Exercise Science prepares you for a range of careers. Become a cardiac rehabilitation therapist, a physical therapist, a coach or a fitness counselor. SNU empowers you to complete your training in just 20 months and 36 course hours at $575 per hour.
A career in education is a great way to translate the experience and wisdom you already have into a new job. You will have a hand in shaping the future and ensuring every learner gets the quality support and attention they deserve.
With median earnings of $57,220 in 2021, education careers offer a high return on your investment. And because you can complete a teaching certificate quickly, the risk is low. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth of 10% between 2020-2030 in this field, which means you’ll always be in demand. Check out these great programs:
Oklahoma offers an alternative certification pathway for educators moving to the state and people hoping to transition to a teaching career. Classes are completely online, allowing you to work through the alternative certification program on your own time. With 18 course hours available and at just $490 per hour, you can quickly become certified and begin an exciting new career.
Many veterans are already exceptional teachers who devoted years to supporting their colleagues. Soldiers have learned compassion and leadership—two traits that translate well to the classroom. Ensure your resume reflects your skills by becoming certified to teach. Our innovative Troops to Teachers program helps you make the transition while getting support for the new challenges of civilian life through our VETS Center.
Exceptional learners need exceptional teachers. Our Special Education Bootcamp equips you with the skills you need to ensure students get the accommodation and support they deserve. Complete the program in just one night a week over eight weeks. Take the right combination of courses for your needs at just $490 per hour.
Teachers seeking additional growth opportunities will find a myriad of options at SNU, including:
- Master of Arts in Teaching: Become an even more effective educator with a master’s degree. Graduate in as few as 18 months, completing 30 course hours at $490 per hour.
- Master of Arts in Educational Leadership: Ready to lead other teachers and ensure your school system truly serves every learner? Master the skills you need in as few as 20 months, completing 36 credit hours at $490 per hour.
- Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership: Become a creative academic leader with a doctorate that prepares you for the highest levels of leadership. Complete your program in as few as 32 months, completing 57 course hours at $699 per hour.
- Master of Arts in Administration of Special Education: Advocate for special education students from a leadership position with this master’s degree. Graduate in as few as 22 months, completing 36 credit hours at $490 per hour.
No matter who you are or what you’re passionate about, SNU has a program for you. SNU caters to the unique needs of adult learners, providing innovative programs that help you rapidly gain the skills you need so you can enter a career you love.