Fast Degrees That Pay Well

Looking for a degree that pays well but doesn't take forever to complete? This guide on high-paying, quick degrees has got you covered.
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Bennett Leckrone
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Bennett Leckrone is a news writer for BestColleges. Before joining BestColleges, Leckrone reported on state politics with the nonprofit news outlet Maryland Matters as a Report for America fellow. He previously interned for The Chronicle of Higher Ed...
Updated on May 10, 2024
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Valerie Black has over 12 years of experience as a professor and 10 years in journalism. She empowers students to leverage the resources that are available but not easily accessible. Her focus is in online education, rich content, and digital storyte...
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A college degree can lead to more job opportunities and higher earnings — but you might not want to wait the years it takes to get a traditional degree.

A growing number of schools offer accelerated programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels that let you take on higher course loads and finish your degree in less time than it typically takes.

Here are some degree pathways that can lead to various careers with decent pay.

Featured Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Top 15 Quick Degrees That Pay Well

Whether you want to complete a degree in history or healthcare administration, there's a program out there to help you earn more and graduate quickly.

Jump to one of these 15 popular degrees that pay well:

1. Business Administration

A bachelor of business administration is one of the most popular undergraduate degrees. It offers a broad understanding of foundational business topics. Alongside core business classes, you can tackle a specialization in accounting, finance, healthcare, or management.

Common careers for BBA graduates include sales development, project management, and financial analysis.

Business Careers That Pay Well

Project Management Specialist


Management Analyst


Budget Analyst


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

2. Communications

Pursuing a communications degree allows you to take classes on topics like social media, written and oral communication, and message design. Plus, with a bachelor's in communications, you can pursue an academic specialization in fields such as journalism, public relations, and advertising.

Communications Careers That Pay Well

Public Relations Specialist




Writer and Author


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

3. Criminal Justice

In your criminal justice program, you'll dive into studies about crime and how society addresses it. Throughout a criminal justice bachelor's degree, you'll tackle classes that explore U.S. law enforcement, the judicial system in the U.S., and how technology impacts the field. Common careers for criminal justice grads include police officers, forensic analysts, and paralegals.

Criminal Justice Careers That Pay Well

Fraud Investigator




Court Reporter


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

4. English

English degree graduates can work in an expansive set of careers. During your undergraduate experience, you'll take classes like introduction to creative writing, literary criticism, and Shakespeare. English grads can work in both public and private sectors, starting careers in technical writing, teaching, and grant writing.

English Graduate Careers That Pay Well

High School Teacher




Writer and Author


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

5. Finance

A bachelor's in finance can qualify you for in-demand, high-paying jobs in various business and financial arenas. As a finance student, you'll complete core classes while focusing on an academic concentration in financial accounting, international finance, risk management, or corporate finance. Common careers for finance grads include market research analyst, financial planner, and financial analyst.

Finance Careers That Pay Well

Financial Manager


Financial Analyst


Personal Financial Advisor


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

6. Healthcare Administration

Doctors and nurses might receive all the attention, but healthcare administrators help keep medical organizations running efficiently. A bachelor's in healthcare administration offers foundational coursework and specializations like organizational leadership, HR management, project management, and marketing.

Careers in healthcare admin include healthcare administration, medical marketing management, and health policy analytics.

Healthcare Administration Careers That Pay Well

Medical and Health Services Manager


Healthcare Financial Manager


Healthcare Information Manager


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS, Payscale

7. History

A history degree is more than simply studying the past. In fact, most students graduate with extensive and marketable research and writing skills. As a history student, you'll study topics such as American history, human geography, and American women's history. After graduation, you could work in schools, public service, or the nonprofit sector.

History Careers That Pay Well

High School Teacher






Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS, Payscale

8. Human Resources

A human resources bachelor's degree can give you career opportunities in many types of organizations and businesses. In addition to foundational topics in human resources (HR), you'll also master business fundamentals and develop the skills required to manage organizations effectively. After graduation, you can find job opportunities in HR administration, benefits management, and training and development.

Human Resources Careers That Pay Well

Human Resources Specialist


Training and Development Specialist


Benefits Manager


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: Payscale

9. Information Technology

We live in a digital world, and tech is full of high-paying, growing careers. And a bachelor's in information technology (IT) offers a path toward a variety of jobs in tech. You'll take core classes in IT in addition to classes in areas like systems administration, network administration, and mobile application development. Common jobs for IT grads include software developer, systems analyst, and database administrator.

Information Technology Careers That Pay Well

Computer Systems Analyst


Information Security Analyst


Computer Support Specialist


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

10. Management

If you're considering a business career, you can earn a degree in management, including a bachelor's in hospitality management. Academic requirements can vary between programs, but expect to build leadership skills while developing foundational business knowledge. Graduates go on to tackle a broad spectrum of careers in hospitality, marketing, and public relations.

Management Careers That Pay Well

Administrative Services and Facilities Manager


Property, Real Estate, or Community Association Manager


Sales Manager


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

11. Management Information Systems

A bachelor's in management information systems can help you qualify for careers in information security, operations research, and business management. In this program, you'll take courses in business and technology like business statistics, database management, cybersecurity, and project management.

Management Information Systems Careers That Pay Well

Information Security Analyst


Computer Network Architect


Software Developer


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

12. Marketing

A bachelor's in marketing helps you prepare for a career in marketing, public relations, and brand management. You'll take classes in marketing analytics, consumer behavior, and digital marketing. You can also choose a specialization area like business management, social media management, or international marketing.

Marketing Careers That Pay Well

Public Relations Specialist


Market Research Analyst


Social Media Specialist


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BestColleges, BLS

13. Psychology

If you're interested in studying psychology, you're not alone. In fact, a psychology degree is the most popular degree in the United States. As a psych major, you'll focus on core subjects like human development and research methods. You'll also have the chance to specialize in topics such as social and abnormal psychology. Common careers for psychology grads include social workers, research analysts, and market researchers.

Psychology Careers That Pay Well



Substance Use Counselor


Marriage and Family Therapist


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

14. Sociology

A bachelor's in sociology doesn't mean you have to become a sociologist. From social and community service manager to market research analyst to public relations specialist, there's a variety of careers for you to choose from. And while your coursework will center around research and sociological theory, you can specialize in topics like environmental sociology or social inequality.

Sociology Careers That Pay Well

Social and Community Services Manager


Market Research Analyst


Public Relations Specialist


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

15. Supply Chain Management

A global economy relies on effective supply chains. And a bachelor's in supply chain management can set you up to help them run smoothly. From procurement to management, you can work in logistician, transportation manager, or operations research analyst roles. In this program, you'll take core business classes, as well as courses in logistics, project management, and operations management.

Supply Chain Management Careers That Pay Well



Transportation, Storage, or Distribution Manager


Purchasing Manager


Median Annual Wages, 2023. Source: BLS

Which Type of Degree Should I Get?

Your prospective degree should align with your timeline, academic interests, and career goals. For some, an associate degree is sufficient, while others may want to pursue a doctorate degree. Keep reading to see which degree is right for you.

Associate Degree

Typically taking about two years to complete, an associate degree provides a solid option if you want to enter the workforce as quickly as possible. Plus, you can jumpstart various careers — in fields like healthcare, business, and law — with an associate degree.

If you're unsure about your academic and/or career path, an associate degree is also a great way to knock out general education classes while taking classes in areas that interest you.

Bachelor's Degree

Earning a bachelor's degree offers an array of benefits, including increased earning potential and expanded career options. An accelerated online format allows you to complete the degree faster and save time and money. Plus, an accelerated bachelor's makes it possible to start earning money more quickly.

Master's Degree

Whether you want to develop new skills, expand your competitiveness in the job market, or earn credentials for leadership positions, a master's degree can help. And because an accelerated master's allows you to secure your diploma more quickly, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor faster than the standard pathway.

Whether you're tackling an MBA or a master's in nursing, at some schools, you can complete your master's as a fifth year of your undergrad program.

Doctorate Degree

A doctoral degree can open up leadership roles, research positions, and teaching opportunities in higher education. An accelerated doctorate allows you to complete requirements in as few as two or three years, depending on the program.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fast Degrees That Pay Well

Can you make six figures with an associate degree?

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There are a few jobs that offer high-paying salaries with only an associate degree or even a professional certificate. For example, the top 10% of computer support specialists earn a median annual salary of $121,920.

What is the quickest and easiest degree to get?

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A number of colleges and universities offer degrees in an accelerated format, although those include higher course loads and aren't necessarily easier than a regular degree.

What's the quickest way to get a degree?

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Accelerated degree programs, transferable credits, and intensive study can lead to faster degree completion. Be wary of non-accredited programs and scams when looking for a fast degree program. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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