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6 Lucrative Paths Up the Career Ladder

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Do you aspire to move up in life? Not content with camping out on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder? These careers offer potential upward movement along with a solid salary.

In fact, six particular degrees offer a clear upward path to graduates. With the right education and skills, you won't have to worry about being stuck in the same position for too long.

1. Marketing
Professionals in the marketing industry know how to sell everything from a line of clothing to an individual's reputation. The potential career path for those good at what they do is as impressive as the reported salary increase. A survey by PayScale Inc. showed the earnings for marketing degree graduates skyrocketing from $40,800 to $79,600 between starting and mid-career salaries. That's an increase of over 95 percent.

Recommended Coursework: Marketing majors earning bachelor's degrees may specialize in product management, sales, retailing, advertising, research, and more.
Potential Career Climb: Market analyst > assistant brand manager > brand manager > chief marketing officer > VP of marketing > CEO

2. Finance
In the world of finance, being good at what you do comes with substantial rewards. A college degree is necessary for entry into most careers in the financial sector, and you may consider targeted training in retail finance, accounting, or international business. Depending on your strengths, quick career growth is possible even in a bad economy.

Recommended Coursework: Finance majors typically take courses in financial management, global study, investments, risk management, and insurance.
Potential Career Climb: Financial services management intern > financial analyst > senior financial analyst > management consultant

3. Health Care Administration
An education is considered a big bonus in the world of health care administration. Entry level office jobs may be possible with an associate's degree, but with a bachelor's or master's degree in health care administration, you may find yourself moving up the ladder faster than you might think.

Recommended Coursework: A mix of business, communication, and technical coursework is typical, including training in accounting, medical terminology, and health care law.
Potential Career Climb: Medical receptionist > administrative assistant > office manager > practice administrator > director of operations

4. Management Information System
The IT world offers plenty of opportunities to those with the right level of training. Earning a management information system degree is one way to put yourself in charge of computer systems and networks alike. A bachelor's degree is generally required for entry level positions in the field, and an MBA is often recommended for growth.

Recommended Coursework: Database management systems, software engineering, and network and computer security.
Potential Career Climb: Systems intern > systems analyst > senior systems analyst > project manager > senior project manager > IT director

5. Engineering
Hailed as offering some of the most lucrative starting salaries among all bachelor's degrees, the engineering major offers a world of career growth for those with the right skills. A bachelor's degree is typically required for most entry level careers in the field.

Recommended Coursework: A vast amount of specialization can be found in the engineering discipline, with engineers varying their scope between civil, mechanical, computer, environmental engineering and more.
Potential Career Climb: Civil engineering intern > civil engineering technician > project engineer > civil engineering supervisor

6. MBA
Potentially the gold standard of the career ladder climber, the master's of business administration degree offers degree holders an education they can take to the bank. Many MBA students come to the degree after years in the field and combine their experience and education to continue their rise up the corporate ladder.

Recommended Coursework: MBA coursework varies on specialization and includes marketing, economics, operations management, and human resources.
Potential Career Climb: Administrative assistant > office manager > human resources manager > human resources director > executive director > VP of human resources

For many careers, a bachelor's degree is considered the entry level requirement, while a master's degree or higher is necessary for upper-level positions. Take a look at the degree options related to your dream job for more guidance and tackle that ladder of success one rung at a time.
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