Career Development

3 Big Bucks Paying Degrees That May Surprise You in Future


How often have your parents painted a rosy picture of you as a high flying lawyer or a doctor? Enough times for you to think that no other educational degree and career is worth it? Well, you’ve got it wrong.  It surely is time for you to broaden your horizons with the start of a new year. There are degrees out there that can enable future workers to earn a handsome salary! And they are the ones that may surprise you…

So without further ado, here is our list of 3 big bucks paying degrees in 2014!

1)     Makeup artists

Median annual wages in 2012 (O NET Online) = $64,450

Have you ever stared in awe at the characters in a movie, unearthly creatures that look so real? Or young actors who appear old and wizened (Benjamin Button anyone?) and catch you totally by surprise? Any guesses about who transforms these actors to create that magic onscreen? Yes, you guessed right! Makeup artists! These dedicated professionals work behind the scenes to create that magic onscreen. They enhance an actor’s appearance for a particular movie, television show or stage performance.

Degree for this career: Cosmetology

Many accredited schools and institutes offer accredited cosmetology programs. These offer comprehensive preparation for a career as a makeup artist. In the degree program, you could concentrate on various visual techniques pertaining to the visual arts such as wig application, synthetic mask making and period hairstyling.

Why the big bucks??

According to Feller, a counseling and career development professor at Colorado University, “Makeup artists that deal with high profile people are around high money environments. They need special education and high approval ratings, thus the greater pay when you get to that level.”

2)     Technical writers

Median annual wages in May 2012 (BLS): $67,910

Ever wondered who makes all that technical information and jargon easy for you to understand? Technical writers do. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), technical writers are responsible for producing instruction manuals and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more clearly. They develop, gather and publicize information among customers, designers and manufacturers.

Degrees for this career:

Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English, Communications, Engineering, Computer Science.

Many employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications for the post of a technical writer. However, some technical writing jobs require not just a degree but also knowledge of a specialized field such as engineering, computer science or medicine. Experience in web design also proves to be helpful.

Why the big bucks??

Employment of technical writers is expected to increase by 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to BLS. This high growth rate can be mainly attributed to the continuing expansion of scientific and technical products. Thus, there will be a great need for technical writers who could write instruction manuals and communicate information more clearly to users.

3)     Human Resource Managers

Median annual wages in May 2012 (BLS): $109,590

You think Human Resource managers just hire and fire? Well, no. They do a lot more than that and play a very important role in today’s companies; hence the reason for all those big bucks.

Human resource managers, besides recruiting new people, mediating disputes, firing people and directing disciplinary procedures, are also responsible for consulting with top executives on strategic planning. Seeing that the morale and spirits stay high and the employee turnover is not off the charts is part of their job description.

Degrees for this career:

Human Resource Management or Business Administration

A bachelor’s degree in the above mentioned subjects paves way for entry level jobs in this field. Some higher level jobs may require a master’s degree.

Why the big bucks??

With new businesses emerging every day and old organizations expanding their operations, there is a high demand for human resource managers to oversee and administer new programs.

Budding college students can easily benefit by pursuing the above degrees and ultimately stepping into lucrative careers. Even current professionals on the lookout for a career change can benefit tremendously from the above career paths. All thanks to online education!

E learning is truly a blessing, a phenomenon that has revolutionized the world of learning. Gone are the days when students despaired of commuting long distances and going to classes and working professionals found it hard to juggle higher education with their work commitments. With online education, you now have the option of studying at your own ease and convenience, whenever you want and wherever you want. Physical presence in a classroom is no longer a hindrance to achieving higher learning skills!

With online courses in cosmetology, human resource management, business management, English, communications and many other subjects being offered by accredited universities and colleges, there are absolutely no limits to your education. Students get to study from all the latest type of multimedia available such as podcasts, webcasts, online lectures, presentations and so on. Not only that, you also get to interact with a diverse student body, all from the comfort of your own home or work place! Moreover, online education tends to be more cost effective than full time on campus learning as you get to save on commuting costs!

Now the ball is in your court. Shed all those inhibitions and look into these 3 big bucks paying degrees. And don’t forget to consider online learning. After all, convenience comes first.



Kim Lee is an online education and career reporter in college and has been working as a freelance writer for Excite Education.

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