Best Degrees for Adults Returning to College: Top Programs to Consider

Are you an adult considering going back to college to advance your career or pursue a new one? It’s never too late to return to school and earn a degree that can help you achieve your goals. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which degree program is right for you.

Fortunately, there are several degrees that are particularly well-suited for adults returning to college. For example, a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration prepares you for a career in one of the fastest-growing fields, with a projected growth of 16% from 2020-2030. Or, if you’re interested in business, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) can provide you with the skills and knowledge needed for a range of careers in the business world. Whatever your interests and career goals, there are degree programs that can help you achieve them.

In-Demand Degrees

If you’re an adult returning to college, you want to make sure that the degree you earn will be in-demand in the job market. Here are some of the most in-demand degrees for 2023, broken down by industry.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry is growing rapidly, and there is a high demand for workers in a variety of roles. Some of the most in-demand healthcare degrees for adults returning to college include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: This degree prepares you for a career as a registered nurse, a role that is consistently in high demand.
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration: A degree in healthcare administration prepares you for a leadership role in the healthcare industry, which is a field that is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
  • Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies: Physician assistants are in high demand, and this degree can prepare you for a career in this field.

Technology

The technology industry is constantly evolving, and there is a high demand for workers with the skills to keep up with the changes. Some of the most in-demand technology degrees for adults returning to college include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: This degree prepares you for a career in software development, a field that is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology: A degree in information technology can prepare you for a variety of roles in the tech industry, including cybersecurity, data analysis, and network administration.
  • Master of Science in Data Science: Data science is a rapidly growing field, and a degree in this area can prepare you for a career as a data analyst, data scientist, or other related roles.

Business

The business industry is always in need of skilled workers who can help companies grow and succeed. Some of the most in-demand business degrees for adults returning to college include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting: This degree prepares you for a career as an accountant, a role that is consistently in high demand.
  • Bachelor of Science in Management: A degree in management can prepare you for a leadership role in a variety of industries, including healthcare, finance, and technology.
  • Master of Business Administration: An MBA is a versatile degree that can prepare you for a variety of roles in the business world, including management, finance, and marketing.

By earning one of these in-demand degrees, you can position yourself for a successful career in a growing industry.

Flexible Programs

Returning to college as an adult is a big decision that can come with many challenges. One of the biggest challenges is often finding a program that can work around your busy schedule. Luckily, there are many flexible programs available that can help you earn your degree without sacrificing your other responsibilities.

Online Programs

Online programs are a popular choice for many adult learners. They offer the flexibility to complete coursework on your own schedule from anywhere with an internet connection. Many online programs also offer asynchronous learning, which means you can access course materials and lectures at any time, rather than being required to attend live classes.

When considering an online program, it’s important to research the school’s accreditation and reputation. Look for programs that are accredited by recognized accrediting bodies, such as the Higher Learning Commission or the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Additionally, read reviews from current and former students to get an idea of the program’s quality and level of support.

Evening/Weekend Classes

If you prefer a more structured learning environment, evening and weekend classes may be a good option. These classes are typically held outside of regular business hours, making them ideal for students who work during the day or have other daytime responsibilities.

When researching evening and weekend classes, consider the location of the school and the availability of public transportation or parking. Additionally, look for programs that offer a variety of course times and formats, such as hybrid classes that combine online and in-person learning.

Overall, there are many flexible programs available for adults returning to college. By considering your schedule and learning preferences, you can find a program that works for you and helps you achieve your educational goals.

Career-Focused Degrees

If you are an adult returning to college, you may be looking for a degree that can help you advance your career. Here are some career-focused degrees that you may want to consider:

Applied Sciences

A degree in applied sciences can prepare you for a variety of careers in fields such as healthcare, technology, and engineering. Some popular applied sciences degrees for adults returning to college include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration: This degree can prepare you for a career in healthcare management, which can be a lucrative and rewarding field.
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology: This degree can prepare you for a career in IT, which is a rapidly growing field with many job opportunities.
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology: This degree can prepare you for a career as an engineering technician, which can be a good fit if you enjoy working with your hands and solving practical problems.

Education

If you are interested in a career in education, there are many degree options available for adults returning to college. Some popular education degrees include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Education: This degree can prepare you for a career as a teacher, which can be a rewarding and fulfilling profession.
  • Master of Education: This degree can help you advance your career in education and may qualify you for higher-paying positions such as principal or superintendent.

Criminal Justice

If you are interested in a career in law enforcement or criminal justice, there are many degree options available for adults returning to college. Some popular criminal justice degrees include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: This degree can prepare you for a career as a police officer, detective, or other law enforcement professional.
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice: This degree can help you advance your career in criminal justice and may qualify you for higher-paying positions such as FBI agent or criminologist.

No matter what career you are interested in, there are many degree options available for adults returning to college. Consider your interests and career goals when choosing a degree program, and don’t be afraid to reach out to academic advisors or career counselors for guidance.

Affordable Options

Returning to college as an adult can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to finances. However, there are affordable options available for those looking to further their education. Here are two options to consider:

Community College Programs

Community colleges offer a variety of programs at a fraction of the cost of a traditional four-year university. These programs often have flexible schedules, making it easier for working adults to attend classes. Additionally, community colleges often have transfer agreements with four-year universities, allowing students to complete their general education requirements before transferring to a university to complete their degree.

Many community college programs also offer certifications in high-demand fields, such as healthcare, information technology, and skilled trades. These certifications can lead to well-paying jobs without the need for a four-year degree.

Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are a great way to offset the cost of tuition. Many scholarships are available specifically for adult learners who are returning to college. Some scholarships are based on academic merit, while others are based on financial need or specific demographic criteria.

To find scholarships, start by checking with the financial aid office at your school. They may have information on scholarships available specifically for students in your program. Additionally, there are many online resources for finding scholarships, such as Fastweb and Scholarships.com.

When applying for scholarships, be sure to read the eligibility requirements carefully and submit all required materials on time. With a little effort, you may be able to secure funding to help you achieve your educational goals.

In conclusion, returning to college as an adult can be affordable with the right options. Consider community college programs and scholarship opportunities to help make your education more accessible and affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some top degree programs for adults returning to college?

If you are an adult returning to college, it is important to choose a degree program that aligns with your career goals. Some top degree programs for adults include business administration, healthcare administration, computer science, and education. These programs offer practical skills and knowledge that can be applied to a variety of industries.

What degrees are in high demand for working adults?

Working adults should consider degree programs that are in high demand in their industry or in the job market. Some degrees that are in high demand include nursing, cybersecurity, data science, and accounting. These fields are expected to grow in the coming years, and professionals with these degrees are likely to have many job opportunities.

What are the best degree options for late starters?

Late starters, or adults who are returning to college after a long break, should consider degree programs that offer flexible schedules and online coursework. Some good options include business administration, healthcare administration, and social work. These programs offer the opportunity to gain valuable skills and knowledge while accommodating busy schedules.

Which degrees offer the highest return on investment?

Degrees that offer the highest return on investment are those that lead to high-paying jobs. Some of the top degrees in terms of ROI include engineering, computer science, nursing, and finance. These fields offer high salaries and job security, making them a good investment for adults returning to college.

What degree programs are available for busy, working adults?

Many degree programs are designed specifically for busy, working adults. These programs often offer flexible schedules, online coursework, and accelerated programs. Some good options include business administration, healthcare administration, and education. These programs allow working adults to balance their education with their work and personal life.

What are some good college degrees for adults over 40?

Adults over 40 should consider degree programs that offer practical skills and knowledge that can be applied to their current or desired career. Some good options include healthcare administration, education, social work, and business administration. These programs offer the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge while advancing in your career.

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