Let’s face it, most people don’t go to college because they enjoy the academic life – they do it because they want a great career that pays a good salary, is reliable, and will ensure their financial comfort for years to come. That’s right, if you remove the sugar coating, it’s plain to see that we all go to school to become wealthier. You might have additional motivating factors involved like the desire for a collegiate social life, prestige, pride, and pressure from family and friends, but ultimately when it comes to choosing which degree you’re going to pursue, for most of us it comes down to two questions: “will I have a high chance of earning a respectable salary if I pursue this career” and “will I enjoy doing it?” If you’re looking for a career that fits that bill but you don’t have the time or willingness to attend a local university, check out the following four online degree options:
1. Master of Business Administration
If you had to choose between going for a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) or a bachelor’s degree in the same field of study, and you chose a bachelor’s degree, we all genuinely feel sorry for you. Why? Because, on average, graduates with an AACSB online MBA earn $45,000 more per year than those with a bachelor’s degree. For example, graduates from the online MBA program at Northeastern University earn an average salary of about $138,000 within three years of graduation.
2. Master of Engineering
Depending on the industry you choose to specialize in, you’re probably going to be earning about $100,000 per year or more at mid-career as an engineer. Starting wages are decent at around $70,000 and as you gain experience you could eventually be making as much as $180,000 per year as a petroleum engineer. A survey of the world’s richest people found that 22% had an engineering degree.
3. Arts and Architecture Degrees
On the same survey from Approved Index, 9% of the world’s richest people were found to have a degree in the Arts, while 12% had a business degree. Thus, if a degree in business or engineering doesn’t sound appealing, an art or architectural degree might suit you well. Fields like animation pay generous wages starting at $20-$25 per hour, and most experienced architects make about $75,000-$100,000 annually.
4. Master of Computer Science
On average, graduates with computer science degrees earn the second-highest starting salaries behind only engineers. Depending on the field and how much experience you have, it’s not unreasonable to expect a job with a $100,000+ salary within just a few years of graduating.
Searching for the Get Rich Quick Degree
In conclusion, don’t get caught up searching for that one degree that is going to get you rich quick. That’s not to say that you should give up your dreams of becoming a millionaire or billionaire, but at the same time you should build your career upon a realistic and practical foundation with stability and a moderately high salary set as your reasonable expectations. If you’re able to go beyond that and invest some of your salary into endeavors that pay off, then great, but don’t base all of your actions around the pursuit of that ideal scenario.