10 Quick Degrees That Pay Well [2020 Guide]
If you’re going to invest the time and money to get a college degree, your best bet may be to look for quick online degrees that pay well.
You can earn quick and easy degrees that pay well at the associate’s bachelor’s, master’s, or even doctoral level. Let’s start by looking at the most most common degree for college students, the baccalaureate, then discuss the others.
The Top 10 Quick and Easy Degrees that Pay Well
Depending on your interests, you may want to look into pursuing one of these bachelor’s degrees.
- Business Administration
- Healthcare Administration
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
- Management Information Systems
- Supply Chain Management
Degree holders enjoy a high placement rate with plenty of opportunities to advance after receiving a high wage to start.
#1 Business Administration
The business administration discipline is one of the most versatile and flexible fields to consider as you map out your accelerated learning program and professional trajectory.
With jobs ranging from hospitality management (up to $46,810 a year) to human resources management (up to $99,720 a year), there are plenty of options to fit your specific goals.
At the top end of a business administration degree spectrum is the marketing management position, which can earn up to $115,750 a year.
Communications is a broad field that opens doors in every single industry. Each company, non-profit, or government entity needs people who can help them communicate effectively.
You could be a professional staff writer composing business proposals, training documents, or social media messages. Becoming an author or freelance writer is another possibility.
You could write speeches for a politician or be a public spokesperson for an organization. Maybe you want to be a PR Manager. Whatever you do, you’ll ensure that a person or organization’s message is communicated and interpreted clearly and correctly.
For those of you who have a knack for balancing budgets and crunching numbers, a degree in finance definitely holds quite a bit of promise. As far as job opportunities go, securities and commodities sales agents can earn about $71,720 annually, while financial analysts average $76,950.
With multiple years of experience and a willingness to work your way up the financial ladder toward a higher management position, you have the potential to make $93,680 a year as an actuary or $109,740 as a financial manager.
#4 Healthcare Administration
Earning a degree in healthcare administration is all about fulfilling your desire to help others – and bringing in a pretty decent salary at the same time. Specifically, those who enter into this line of work have the chance to earn $65,750 a year as a social or community service manager, $87,862 as a healthcare practice manager, and $104,939 as a senior healthcare administrator.
It is important to note that there’s plenty of overlap in terms of professionals skills and daily job requirements between this field and related management opportunities that come with a degree in business administration, so keep those career paths in mind as well as you mull over this potential educational path.
#5 Human Resources
HR is the exciting field in which you get to recruit top talent for your company and manage their benefits. You might also be in charge of onboarding, training, paying, and disciplining employees.
Because your role could include so many responsibilities, you’ll gain an overview of most business areas, including accounting, management, and marketing. You’ll also study ethics and business law to ensure that your company is following best practices. Specific courses will include payroll and benefits management.
When you graduate, you could work in a division of the HR department at a large company or manage the entire department at a smaller business. You could also become a recruiter for a temp agency or a professional headhunter helping to match people with job opportunities.
#6 Information Technology
Information technology (IT) services professionals work toward optimizing and maintaining network systems and the software infrastructure that supports these data points and servers – a vital piece of the puzzle that keeps many businesses and organizations running smoothly.
As far as earning potential goes, the average salary for this field is $64,405, with systems administrators garnering $61,370, network engineers earning $64,000, and software engineers tipping the scales at $79,315.
A degree in Management prepares you for a wide variety of jobs. People usually think of managers as being in charge of a team of people, and that is one job type you might get. You might be a manager in charge of a team of employees at a retail store, restaurant, or production plant. You could certainly work your way up to a great salary in those industries.
But a manager is also in charge of other resources besides people. You might be a social media manager, for example, or a project manager for a government contractor. You could become a production manager for a manufacturing company.
When you study Management, you’ll gain an overview of the business world so that you can look at the big picture and manage your company or organization’s resources effectively. You’ll study, accounting and finance, human resources, and even marketing and sales. With all of these skills, you could also become an entrepreneur working for yourself.
#8 Management Information Systems
Various career paths open with a degree in management information systems (MIS.) For those that are considering this line of work, taking on a job as an information technology (IT) project manager, business systems analyst, or even a specialized software developer are opportunities that are rife with potential.
Average salaries for these positions can range from an entry-level $57,996 as an MIS software developer to a substantial yearly income of $128,222 collected by an IT project manager.
Much like business administration, receiving a degree in marketing ensures you’ll have a plethora of diverse and unique career paths to look forward to once you’re ready to enter the professional world.
Market research analysts may earn up to $60,300 annually, while brand managers, public relations experts, and advertising project managers have the potential to pull in salaries that range from $88,590 to $95,450.
#10 Supply Chain Management
A degree in supply chain management is the perfect fit for a person who enjoys coordinating large-scale projects and understands the need for rigorous quality control parameters in both the workplace and the end-user experience.
In terms of actual career paths, individuals who work in this field can earn yearly wages of $96,000 as a warehouse distribution manager, $111,000 as a senior manager of quality assurance, and $122,000 as a senior supply chain manager.
Quick Degrees that Pay Well: Our Methodology
What Is an Easy Bachelor’s Degree to Get?
By looking at the average GPA for students pursuing various college majors, we can determine which majors students are excelling in and likely consider easy. Here’s an entire article we wrote focusing on the easiest majors using a similar methodology.
But remember that easy is a relative term.
How well you do in a program will depend on your interests, aptitude and how much effort you put in.
Not everyone wants to spend 4 years in college to earn a degree that pays well.
If you don’t want to stick to a 4-year degree plan, your best option is to pick a major that lends itself to an accelerated pace.
Using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we compiled a list of corresponding careers and the bachelor’s degree required to gain entrance in these fields.
|Occupation||Median Annual Wage||Degree Required|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$139,220||Information Science|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||$129,380||Marketing or Business|
|Financial Managers||$125,080||Business (or related)|
|Compensation and Benefits Managers||$119,120||Business (or related)|
|Human Resources Managers||$110,120||Business (or related)|
|Top Executives||$104,700||Business (or related)|
|Software Developers||$103,560||Computer or Information Science|
|Information Security Analysts||$95,510||Computer or Information Science|
|Administrative Services Managers||$94,020||Business (or related)|
|Construction Managers||$91,370||Business (or related)|
|Management Analysts||$82,450||Business (or related)|
|Emergency Management Directors||$72,760||Business (or related)|
|Accountants and Auditors||$69,350||Accounting or Business|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$64,100||Human Services (or related)|
|Market Research Analysts||$63,230||Marketing or Business|
|Secondary school teachers||$57,200||Education|
|Middle school teachers||$55,860||Education|
|Career/technical education teachers, middle school||$55,190||Education|
|Elementary school teachers||$54,890||Education|
|Health Educators and Community Health Workers||$45,360||Human Services (or related)|
Don’t let money be your only motivation in deciding on a major. Try to find the balance between what you enjoy and what you can live off of.
Which Degree Should I Get?
Now that we’ve looked at the easiest and highest paying bachelor’s degrees specifically, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture or what types of degrees you could earn.
Although what you consider to be an easy degree may be different than what we consider to be easy, the average GPA for students in these fields of study are a B average or higher.
Scroll down for more information on each degree type.
By earning an easy associate degree, you could drastically change the course of your life in two years or less.
An associate degree will allow you to:
- Earn a degree faster
- Pay less / Accrue less debt
- Earn more money than with a high school diploma
- Easily transfer to a 4-year program later, if you choose
While earning potential is just one factor, it’s an important one to many. The BLS reports that individuals with associate degrees earn a median of $836 per week, whereas those with a high school diploma alone earn only $712 per week.
So, what are the best choices for easy associate degrees? Top picks include business, accounting, and criminal justice. These are all stable, growing fields that pay well, and studies show that most students who choose these majors are successful.
It’s safe to say you could do well in any of these fields, but which one is the best fit depends on your interests and abilities.
Earning your bachelor’s degree can open the door to many more career options and help you earn more money than you otherwise could.
In fact, according to CollegeBoard, bachelor’s degree recipients can expect to earn about 66% more over a 40-year working period than the typical high school graduate earns over that same time.
To choose an easy bachelor’s degree, you will need to take into consideration your personality, interests, and natural abilities. If you enjoy working with people, you could choose Education, Counseling, or Management, for example. If you have a way with words, English or Journalism may be easy degrees for you. And you will likely succeed in Accounting if you’re good with numbers.
It’s helpful to know which bachelor degree programs are easy for most students, but make sure to think about what would be easy for you personally!
An individual with a master’s degree will generally earn more than someone with an undergraduate degree, but how much more will depend on the discipline.
One study by Forbes looked at full-time MBA students’ salaries a year before starting the program, right after graduating, and five years later. Upon graduating, MBA students earned 50% more than they had prior, and five years later, their pay was up 80% from that.
As an example, if the student earned $50,000 per year before beginning the program, he or she earned $75,000 after earning an MBA, and $135,000 five years later.
If you’re concerned about how you can earn an advanced degree while still working and taking care of other responsibilities, look for easy master’s degrees online. Online programs offer the same high-quality education but with tremendous flexibility. And many programs can be completed in as little as one year!
A master’s degree program completed online can help you earn a promotion or secure a better job, so it’s an excellent investment in your future.
A doctorate is the highest academic degree, and as such, it will really set you apart from other candidates and open new doors for you professionally.
If you’re looking for easy doctorate programs, look for those that offer no dissertation programs. A doctoral dissertation is a substantial paper (think: hundreds of pages long, taking years to complete) that is required at the conclusion of most doctoral programs.
But more and more universities are allowing students to complete capstone or consulting projects instead. Dissertation alternatives like this can take some weight off your shoulders and make your doctorate program easier.
You can also find accelerated easy online doctorate programs that you could complete in as little as 18-24 months. You will need to be a full-time student working rigorously, but you will earn your doctoral degree and be closer to that promotion or new position in a fraction of the time!
Quick Degrees for Single Moms
As a single mom, you’re juggling diapers, dishes, dental appointments, and so much more 24 hours a day. There are more demands on you than almost anyone in any profession, so it’s hard to imagine voluntarily adding another.
But earning your degree could change everything. According to research published by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, for every dollar a single mom in college invests in her education, she gets back $8.50 in increased earnings if she earns an associate’s degree and $16.45 if she earns a bachelor’s degree.
And in addition to the paychecks, earning a degree could land you a more secure, less stressful job, help you earn promotions, and inspire your children to work hard.
So, how can you earn your college degree and still be an involved, available parent?
By earning your degree online!
Pursuing your degree online is the perfect solution, because:
- The schedule is flexible. You can fit your education in before breakfast or after bedtime. And when doctor’s appointments and dance recitals pop up, you won’t have to choose; just find another time to get your classwork done.
- You can work at your own pace. There are various seasons of parenting, and some are more challenging than others. Online learning allows you to scale back on your classes one semester, then amp up the following, as needed.
- The education is top-notch. Expect the same instructors and material you would receive in a traditional classroom, and rest assured that your degree will match the one given to students on campus.
- You will be surrounded by support. Online students can also receive financial assistance, connect with advisors, and access IT support, just like on-campus students.
Sound like something you can do? It is!
Choosing a major that you can succeed in quickly and earning your degree online can help put you on the fast-track to providing better for your family.
Here are a few college majors for single moms:
- Education degree. Helping kids comes easily to moms, making education a great fit. The schedule will also allow you to spend a lot of time with your children, particularly in the summers, and will be especially ideal when they are school-aged. Plus, whether you choose to specialize in Special Education, Early Childhood, or Elementary Education, the average GPA for most education majors is an “A,” suggesting that classes are relatively easy.
- Business degree. This field is remarkably diverse; you could work with people, products, technology, facts and figures, or have your hand in it all! Many of the best paying careers are business-related. For example, a Chief Executive who holds a bachelor’s degree earns a median annual salary of $183,270, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While still in school, students in business programs earn top grades, suggesting it’s a relatively easy major.
- Information Technology degree. Here’s a choice with job security! According to the BLS, employment in the computer and information technology field is projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average. Professionals in the field make excellent money, with a median salary of $84,580 in 2017. Students majoring in information technology are earning a 3.14 GPA, on average, which suggests that many students find the courses easy.
- Marketing degree. If you’re passionate and persuasive, this could be a great choice for you. You could plan events, write promotional copy, or handle social media accounts. Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers with bachelor’s degrees earn a median salary of $129,380, and the field is projected to grow 10%.
- Human Services degree. Students majoring in Human Services have impressive grades – an average GPA of 3.41 – which indicates that they find the classes easy. Once they’ve completed their degree program, one career option is to be a Social and Community Service Manager, with a median annual salary of $64,100, according to the BLS. This field is projected to grow 18%, much faster than average, from 2016-2026.
While online degree programs can be more affordable than on-campus programs, tuition is still a serious concern for most single mothers. Check out the many grants, scholarships and other assistance programs designed to help single moms go back to college.
Learning to Expedite Your Degree
Of course, simply telling you that it’s easy to earn a degree in a hurry isn’t quite the same as showing you how to go about this process the right way. To help you along this path, let’s spend a few minutes talking about what constitutes an accelerated degree program, as well as the different options available to you.
In terms of skipping out on the traditional collegiate time frame, it’s hard to go wrong with accelerated coursework and credit by exam programs. Accelerated courses work on a shorter schedule – usually having you take two classes every eight weeks – when compared to standard 16-week semesters.
Credit by exam opportunities, on the other hand, is all about showing your aptitude via a one-time testing session. The primary methods of “testing out” of a class or degree requirement include the DSST, CLEP, and Excelsior programs.
You will generally have to pay a small fee (less than $100 per exam) for the right to utilize this testing practice. However, this cost is generally far less of a hit on your bank account than the expense that comes with signing up for a full semester of classes and purchasing books, class supplies, and so on.
You can also rack up credits by showcasing your life and work experiences via a “credit for prior learning” portfolio or other similar submissions to an institution that accepts this type of alternative. Also, if you’ve already spent some time in these hallowed halls of learning, most of the credits from your previous time in school should transfer over to your new line of study.
But don’t be in such a hurry to earn these fast, high-paying degrees that you forget to check out the school you want to go to. Your degree won’t count for much unless the college or university is accredited, meaning they’ve submitted to checks by a third-party agency.
You can check if your school is accredited by searching its name on the U.S. Department of Education’s database. Generally, you’re looking to see if one of the following boards has granted the institution accreditation.
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
If you don’t see one of these agencies listed, think again about enrolling.
Single moms aren’t the only ones who could use a little (or a lot of) help paying for a college education. Whether you’re entering an associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral program, you may qualify for a wide variety of funding sources.
- Deferred Loans
- Tuition reimbursement
Your first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Then, seek out private organizations that might want to help you, speak with the school, and talk to your current employer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about how to earn the fastest degrees?
Are There Any Quick and Easy Online Master’s Degrees?
Yes! It’s common for individuals pursuing an advanced degree to have well-established careers, families, and other commitments, making it difficult to spend hours or days on a college campus.
To accommodate this, dozens of schools now offer quick and easy online master’s degree programs that you can complete at your convenience, day or night, from wherever you are. You can fit your master’s degree program around your other commitments. And what’s more, these programs can often be completed in as little as one year!
What Are the Easy Degrees that Make Good Money?
There are a lot of important factors to consider when looking for easy degrees that pay well, including:
- How well students generally do in the major
- Your own interests and abilities
- Degree level needed
- Median salary
As an example, most students pursuing a bachelor’s in Computer or Information Science earn a “B” average or better, indicating that the courses are relatively easy. If you’re a technology guru and interested in this field, you can anticipate good grades and a median annual salary of $139,200.
Notice that these aren’t all careers in technology or business; there’s a wide variety of fields with easy degrees that pay well! Find one that suits your interests and abilities!
Start Earning that Quick Degree!
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to chase after a fruitful – and profitable – career, all without having to mortgage away years of your life to reach these professionals goals. From a position as an IT project manager to a more hands-on career as an electronics engineer technician, the possibilities are virtually endless.
At this point, the only question left to answer now is whether or not you’re ready to get on the fast track toward a better professional future.