Friday, February 5, 2010

5 Careers You Can Start at Any Age

In-demand jobs often require specific degrees or career training, but you shouldn't feel discouraged if you lack the necessary education.

Today's abundance of online education options means you're never too old to go back to school, and many online degree programs cater specifically to the busy lives of working adults. By working and attending school online, you can prepare for your next job without sacrificing your current income. The following jobs are expected to grow faster than average from 2008 to 2018, and each requires training that can be achieved at any age.

1. Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapist assistants help physical therapists rehabilitate patients, including accident victims and sufferers of debilitating diseases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to grow 33 percent thru 2018, much faster than the national average. In 2008, these assistants earned an average of $46,140.

Physical therapist assistants must earn an associate's degree in physical therapy from an accredited program. These programs generally last two years and prepare students for state licensing. If you're interested in becoming a physical therapist assistant, career training and online education can help you make the transition.

2. Registered Nurse

Registered nurses help doctors treat, diagnose, and care for patients in hospitals, doctors' offices, and care centers. Nurses make up the largest employment group within health care, and their numbers are expected to grow by another 22 percent from 2008 to 2018.

To prepare for licensing, nurses must earn at least an associate's degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program. Associate's degree programs take approximately two years to complete, while programs offering a bachelor's degree in nursing take about four years. Online degree programs can help you train for a career in nursing without leaving your current job.

3. Elementary School Teacher

If you have a passion for learning and enjoy working with kids, a career as an elementary school teacher may be a good fit. Elementary school teachers teach multiple subjects to students from kindergarten through sixth grade, emphasizing understanding, responsibility, and consideration. According to the BLS, the field is expected to grow by 16 percent from 2008 to 2018.

To teach in public schools, elementary school teachers must earn a bachelor's degree and graduate from a teacher education program. With online classes available, it's never too late to return to school and qualify to become a teacher.

4. Computer Software Engineer

Computer software engineers use principles of computer science and mathematics to design and develop software. From computer games to networking systems, the programs developed by computer software engineers help computers function in our everyday lives. The BLS expects employment of computer software engineers to increase by 34 percent thru 2018, which means plenty of opportunities to enter the field.

To become a computer software engineer, you need to earn a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, mathematics, or a related field. Some positions require a master's degree in computer science, and all expect employees to be up-to-date with new technologies and computer systems. Online degree programs in computer science and software engineering can prepare you for a career in this innovative field, regardless of your age or schedule.

5. Management Analyst

Management analysts (also called management consultants) are business experts that help companies solve problems to remain competitive. Management analysts must think strategically and come up with innovative, effective solutions for their clients.

Competition for management analyst positions is intense, and often a master's of business administration (MBA) degree is required. Online business degrees are increasingly common, so it's possible to enhance your industry knowledge with a formal degree.

Taking the Next Step

These five careers prove that opportunities exist across industries, and it's not too late to transition into a field you're passionate about. With online degree programs and career training options, you can reach your education goals without giving up your current job and lifestyle.

source:yahoo hot job