Great Jobs With an Associate Degree
• Web Developer
• Radiation Therapist
• Dental Hygienist
• Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
• Computer Programmer
When people hear the word “college,” they generally think in terms of a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree is probably one of the most popular or well-known degrees. However, the associate’s degree can be a great alternative to the 4-year bachelor’s degree. It requires less time in college, can get the individual in the workforce quicker and is much less expensive. What’s even greater news is that there are many great jobs that can be found with an associate’s degree. Here are five careers candidates might choose when considering an associate’s degree.
Web developers are the creative geniuses behind every website we visit while browsing the web. Web developers put together the graphics, fonts and designs that make a website complete and functional. Typically, a web designer creates the designs while the web developer puts the website together. However, web developers often have learned enough through an associate’s degree program to do it all. Their job often consists of two parts: putting together a website and ensuring it remains functional. The web developer also keeps up with updates.
Radiation therapists are trained medical professionals who administer radiation to cancer patients. They work alongside oncology nurses and oncology doctors assisting them in their work. They prepare the radiation equipment; speak with patients and family members regarding treatment; document the patient’s medical history, and monitor the patient during and after treatment. To become a radiation therapist requires completing at least an associate’s degree program in radiation therapy and obtaining certification and licensure. Radiation therapists may work in hospitals, clinics, outpatient clinics, cancer centers and physician’s offices.
Dental hygienists are medical professionals who work alongside dentists as well as independently with dental patients. Their duties include cleaning teeth; removing tartar and plaque; educating patients on dental care; taking dental x-rays and documenting patient care. Dental hygienists can have an associate degree but are typically required to complete three years of school, which includes classroom assignments, clinical education and laboratory studies. All the states require dental hygienists be licensed, which generally requires passing a state exam. Dental Hygienists are expected to see job growth of 15 percent from 2016-2026 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries, and qualified diagnostic medical sonographers are always in demand. Diagnostic medical sonographers are technicians or technologists who operate imaging equipment in a medical or healthcare facility. They take images, such as sonograms or ultrasounds, of the human body to assist physicians in diagnosing illnesses or injuries. In addition to earning an associate degree, a diagnostic medical sonographer must also obtain certification. Diagnostics medical sonography offers various areas of specialization, such as breast sonography, MRIs, CT scans, obstetric sonography, vascular sonography and abdominal sonography, among others. The more certifications the sonographer earns, the better career opportunities the individual should find.
As long as computers are part of our daily lives, computer programmers will be needed to write and test the code that makes computers and software operate correctly. They generally are familiar with several programming languages, making them valuable assets to many companies. Although some computer programmers have bachelor’s degrees, many companies hire programmers with an associate’s degree. Computer programmers are ranked No. 10 among Best Technology Jobs by U.S. News & World Reports. Because computers are constantly changing and advancing, computer programmers must complete continuing education to be able to keep up with technology and new programming languages.
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Earning an associate’s degree can be a good decision for the reasons listed above, but it also has other perks. The associate’s degree can act as a stepping to stone to get a high-paying job and obtaining work experience, which is often a requirement in advanced-education programs.