Top-Entry Level Degrees

Top Degrees for the Highest Growing Fields

The past few decades have shown major changes in the U.S. labor force. Advances in technology, economic fluctuations, and the globalized marketplace have led employers to place a greater premium on educated workers than ever before.

If you’re looking for online associate degrees that lead to well-paying jobs with a history of being recession-proof, you’ve come to the right place. Serving as the foundation to build upon previous educational achievements, our associate degrees require fewer credit hours than traditional bachelor’s degree programs while still providing the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a rewarding career. Listed below are the fastest-growing fields; the educational programs we offer that are designed to meet these in-demand fields; as well as an overview of program coursework and possible career outcomes.

Why should I pursue an associate degree?

Earning your associate degree can increase your earning potential and make it easier to support yourself and your loved ones. It can also make you more attractive to employers, giving you a competitive edge — and more job opportunities — even in times of economic uncertainty.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with an associate degree were more likely to find a job and had median weekly earnings nearly 20% higher than workers with a high school diploma.

What professional fields currently have the highest growth projections, and what UC Online associate degree programs are related to these projections?

Business and Management 

Associate of Applied Business in Accounting

Through this program, you’ll gain the foundational knowledge and skills for a professional career in bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing fields. Potential job opportunities include:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounts receivable/payable clerk or manager
  • Credit/collection clerk, analyst, or manager
  • Payroll administrator or manager
  • Tax preparer
  • Auditing administrator
Associate of Applied Business in Marketing Management Technology

Designed to prepare you for an entry-level role in marketing, you’ll gain the skills you need to coordinate specific marketing functions like customer service, promotions, and public relations. Throughout the program, you’ll also enhance foundational skills that include communication, critical thinking, and teamwork. Potential job opportunities include:

  • Event coordinator
  • Customer service representative
  • Market research interviewer
Applied Business in Supply Chain Management

This degree provides a fundamental introduction to the field of supply chain management. Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared to manage and coordinate all logistical functions in an enterprise. You may pursue many different careers including:

  • Logistics and transportation
  • Warehouse/distribution
  • Production and inventory control
  • Purchasing, procurement, and sourcing
  • Supply Chain Management cost management
  • Supplier management

Computer and Engineering

Associate of Applied Business in Information Technology

This degree will help you gain a fundamental understanding of technology’s role in the workplace and grow the skills you need to advance in the field of IT. Opportunities for employment may include:

  • Information specialist
  • Health IT
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Computer programmer
  • Web developer
  • Database administrator
Associate of Applied Business in Business Applications Technology

If you prefer the business side of technology, this is the program for you. Unlike a traditional IT degree, rather than developing the technology, you’ll study how contemporary businesses use data and information in their operations — positioning yourself to pursue a broad spectrum of careers that may include:

  • Information coordinator/specialist
  • Technology coordinator/specialist
  • Digital Projects coordinator/specialist
  • Customer service coordinator/specialist
  • Digital and social media support specialist
Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Care & Education 

This program will prepare you to provide high-quality educational experiences for your community’s youngest children. Students are usually practitioners working in preschools and other child-care or educational settings. Graduates of this major pursue careers such as:

  • Head start teacher
  • Preschool teacher
  • Infant/toddler specialist
  • Family childcare provider
  • Program administrator
Associate of Science in Public Health 

This degree provides a foundation for a future career in health promotion, health education, and disease prevention — what’s more, it is an open access pathway to a bachelor’s degree in public health. Students who choose to earn their bachelor’s degree may work in roles that include community health educator, employee wellness coordinator, or environmental health educator. Professionals in public health work in a variety of settings such as:

  • Healthcare organizations
  • Health insurance companies
  • Retail organizations
  • Educational institutions
  • Government roles within the health department or in disaster readiness
Associate of Applied Business in Law and Paralegal 

This American Bar Association-approved program provides a curriculum designed to equip you with the skills you need to make an immediate impact in your professional career. Job opportunities for individuals with paralegal skills can be found in private practice as well as most areas of government, business, and nonprofit organizations. Potential careers may include:

  • Discovery liaison
  • Immigration paralegal
  • Legal administrator of business
  • Real estate paralegal
  • Litigation paralegal
  • Corporate paralegal

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Students must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction.


Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Systems

Health information management is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, protecting, and releasing electronic and paper health information that is vital to providing quality patient care. This degree will help you become a registered health information technician, which offers secure employment in a variety of settings that include:

  • Physician practices
  • Nursing homes
  • Mental health facilities
  • Public health agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical companies

What do UC Online students have to say?

“I was struggling to find a degree program that would allow me to attend school and still maintain a full-time job. After researching several programs, I chose UC Online because it’s CAHIIM Accredited and offers degrees in both Health Information Systems (HIS) and Health Information Management (HIM). After successfully completing both, I can say without a doubt that UC Online is the real deal. The professors are amazing, the programs offer real-world experience, and the classes can be scheduled in a way that’s best for you. After graduating with my associate in HIS, I received my RHIT credentials and landed my first medical coding job at a company I’ve always wanted to work for. I went on to complete my bachelor’s in HIM, which opened even more doors for me, not only with my current employer, but with companies all over the U.S.” – Cassandra B., Health Information Management

Why should I choose UC Online for my degree completion?

Since 1819, the University of Cincinnati has been dedicated to student success. It’s such a key part of who we are on-campus, that we created UC Online to bring that same dedication and success to students around the world.

What does this dedication mean? It means you’ll have the academic and technical support you need to be successful on your terms. It means you’ll have the tools to jumpstart your career through flexible and adaptive coursework. It means you’ll have access to a vast network of faculty and alumni who are helping each other grow personally and professionally, positively impacting the lives of others, and continuously celebrating our collective success as Bearcats.

What Are You Waiting For?

Are you ready to learn more? Explore our online programs to discover how you can achieve your goals with an associate degree from the University of Cincinnati Online; or take the first step in advancing your career by beginning your application today.

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