Quick Degrees That Pay Well [2019 Edition]

You don't have to spend 4 years in college to land a decent salary anymore. We've assembled a list of the Top 10 Quick Degrees that Pay Well, including MIS...

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.

Quick and Easy Degrees That Pay Well

Quick Degrees That Pay Well

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.

Using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we compiled a list of corresponding careers and occupations and the degree required to gain entrance in these fields.

Occupation Median Annual Wage Degree Required
Computer and Information Systems Managers $139,220 Bachelor’s in Information Science
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $129,380 Bachelor’s in Marketing or Business
Financial Managers $125,080 Bachelor’s in Business (or related)
Compensation and Benefits Managers $119,120 Bachelor’s in Business (or related)
Human Resources Managers $110,120 Bachelor’s in Business (or related)
Top Executives $104,700 Bachelor’s in Business (or related)
Software Developers $103,560 Bachelor’s in Computer or Information Science
Information Security Analysts $95,510 Bachelor’s in Computer or Information Science
Administrative Services Managers $94,020 Bachelor’s in Business (or related)
Construction Managers $91,370 Bachelor’s in Business (or related)
Management Analysts $82,450 Bachelor’s in Business (or related)
Emergency Management Directors $72,760 Bachelor’s in Business (or related)
Accountants and Auditors $69,350 Bachelor’s in Accounting or Business
Social and Community Service Managers $64,100 Bachelor’s in Human Services or related
Market Research Analysts $63,230 Bachelor’s in Marketing or Business
Secondary school teachers $57,200 Bachelor’s in Education
Middle school teachers $55,860 Bachelor’s in Education
Career/technical education teachers, middle school $55,190 Bachelor’s in Education
Elementary school teachers $54,890 Bachelor’s in Education
Kindergarten teachers $51,640 Bachelor’s in Education
Health Educators and Community Health Workers $45,360 Bachelor’s in Human Services or related
Preschool teachers $28,570 Bachelor’s in Education

*Salary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median pay for each occupation is listed. Median wage data was collected from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

Associate’s Degree

student at a community college

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 just a high school diploma 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.

Bachelor’s Degrees

Earning your bachelor’s degree can open the door to many more career options, and help you earn more money than you could without.

student climbing on books to bachelors degree

In fact, according to CollegeBoard, bachelor’s degree recipients can expect to earn about 66% more during a 40-year working period than the typical high school graduate earns over that same time.

Choosing a bachelor’s degree can help you move quickly through college and get established in your career field sooner!

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!

Master’s Degree

selecting masters program on keyboard

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 like a family, 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.

Doctorate Programs

doctoral students walking on beautiful college campus

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, which can be completed in as little as 18 to 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 $16.45 in increased earnings if she earns an associate’s degree and $8.50 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 will 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 more challenging than others. Online learning allows you to scale back on your classes one semester, and 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 I.T. support, just like on-campus students.

Sound like something you can do? It is!

Earning your degree online, and choosing a major that you can succeed in quickly can help put you on the fast track to providing better for your brood.

Here are a few college majors for single moms:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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%.
  5. 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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 can be done 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, 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!

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. Based on this, some of the easy bachelor’s degrees include:

  • Education
  • Human Services
  • Counseling
  • Nutrition
  • Public Administration

Remember, though, 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.

Students sitting on campus talkingNot 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.

I’ve handpicked the top 10 degrees that fit the bill.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the top paying degrees that you can earn at a significantly faster pace – even in the face of the busiest work and personal schedules.

The Top 10 Quick and Easy Degrees That Pay Well

Now that you’re up to speed with how to expedite the process of earning a degree, it’s time to jump into the specific programs of study that not only work well with this accelerated approach to the collegiate process but also offer a hefty amount of earning potential once you have your diploma in hand.

All of the salary data listed below was retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale.com.

1.    Management Information Systems

At the top of the list are the various career paths that come with a degree in management information systems (MIS.) For those that are considering this line of work, taking on a job as information technology (IT) project manager, business systems analyst, and 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.

2.    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.

3.    Computer Science

If you’re more interested in working on the actual development of computer hardware, programs, and unique system functions, then dipping your toes into the world of computer science with a position as a web developer, programmer analyst, or software engineer could be the right call for your future career aspirations.

As far as earning potential goes, web developers can capture annual salaries up to $81,191, while programmer analysts and software engineers both lay claim to yearly wages that hover around the $84,668 and $111,002 marks, respectively.

4.    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.

5.    Finance

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 over the course of the same period.

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.

6.    Healthcare Administration

Earning a degree in healthcare administration is all about fulfilling your desire to help others – and bring 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.

Computer science students studying in classroom7.    Marketing

Much like business administration, receiving a degree in marketing ensures that 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.

8.    Information Technology Services

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 sits at $64,405, with systems administrators garnering $61,370, Network engineers earning $64,000, and software engineers tipping the scales at $79,315.

9.    Business Information Systems

If you’re interested in network systems management and the career paths offered via advanced education in IT services, but you also have a strong desire to apply this expertise to the business world, then seeking out a degree in business information systems could help you harness the best attributes of both of these worlds.

As a business systems telecommunications professional, you can earn $54,800, while standard business systems managers and management information systems consultants can end up making about $55,600 and $62,100 a year, respectively.

10.    Electronics Engineering Technology

The final entry on the list – electronics engineering technology – is all about getting your hands dirty and designing, developing, and installing electronic equipment and solutions. Jobs that rely upon education in this field include electronics engineering technicians and electronics engineers.

If you end up as an electronics engineering technician, you’ll have the chance to earn between $34,560 and $83,120 a year. Engineers earn a slightly higher rate, ranging from $40,336 and $82,470 in the same time span.

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 on this front.

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 sixteen 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, it’s not a bad idea to see if any of the credits from your previous time in school transfer over to your new line of study.

Summary

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.

Accelerated Degree logo
This article is brought to you by
Isaac Collins
Isaac Collins
Author
Joy Miller
Joy Miller
Founder
Hannah Davis
Hannah Davis
Editor
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *