Investing in your education has the potential to pay off in spades, but with the growing number of individuals graduating with crippling student loan debt, it's important that you make the right educational decision for you.
These days, pursuing a two-year degree can be extremely beneficial as it can potentially put you on the path of earning six figures in just a couple of years. Of course, you'll need some basic know-how about running a business to manage some of these, but a two-year degree from a community college or experience in the workforce may just be enough to transition into some of these particular jobs.
HVAC Installer / Technician
The first job that is perfect for individuals who want to get a two-year degree or less, is an HVAC installer or technician. With an associate's degree from a community college, you can launch into the business relatively quickly and become successful. Additionally, you may be eligible to take that HVAC certificate and turn it into a six-figure salary within 5 to 10 years.
With the right training and company behind you, you can either start your own business or partner with someone who already has an extensive marketing network. This is an excellent way to reap that return on investment from your educational experience.
Freelance Court Reporter / Deposition Reporter
The second career that is an ideal fit for individuals who want to make six figures with a two-year degree or less is a freelance court reporter. Most people have the perspective that the court reporter is the quiet person in the corner of the city or the county courthouse. Court reporter job openings are expected to surge to more than five thousand in the coming year.
There is a growing number of litigation cases filed every day. Freelance court reporters are starting their own businesses to manage court reporting in depositions or to provide legal videography or captioning services. This is a great way to set your own hours and work with a variety of attorneys and law firms.
Court reporters can make up to six figures a year after receiving an associate's degree and getting experience in the field. If you have a knack for listening and want to learn stenographic court reporting, this could be a great way to tap into the growing demand for captioning services.
Bear in mind: Court reporting takes a lot of work and focus. It’s not for the faint of heart! But, the National Court Reporters Association is expecting 5,800 job openings in the next few decades. That’s to say nothing of the freelance opportunity to work for yourself.
Freelance Writer / SEO Writer
Another bubbling industry is that of freelance writing or content creation. Content is king on the internet these days and becoming a freelance writer holds a tremendous amount of potential for you, even if you do not have extensive educational experience.
Writing skills combined with the desire to conduct proper research and craft meaningful copy goes a long way with clients today. Most people don't have the time, energy or know-how to craft compelling content, but a little bit of self-education on your part can make the difference.
There are plenty of different online courses developed to teach you copywriting or SEO writing. This could allow you to make money extremely quickly with just a two-year degree or even while you're still in college. My only regret about becoming a freelance writer is that I didn't do it sooner. It could've helped me pay my bills in graduate school.
The fourth way in which you can make six figures with a two-year degree or less is by becoming a virtual assistant and transitioning into the role of online business manager.
A virtual assistant might start out handling a variety of tasks such as social media, e-mail management, calendar assistance or even personal tasks. Over time, however, this person may grow into a more strategic role, handling other team members or making sure that projects are completed on time.
An online business manager is a strategist or a second-in-command for a busy entrepreneur or company who needs help keeping multiple balls in the air. Online business managers charge anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000+ a month for working with individual clients.
Bring on just a couple of clients with these recurring contracts and you'll easily be handling administrative and strategic work that doesn’t require a specific amount of education to get started.
Likewise, you can take online business management training programs that will take you 18 months to two years to complete and increase your chances of being successfully being hired.