BYU Idaho Online has created a great approach to career preparation and higher education that I think makes a ton of sense. Instead of slogging through general education courses hoping to one day take classes related to your desired major, you jump right into taking classes for your career and earn a certificate that you can show to your potential employer.
They have 40+ certificates to chose from, each one is 12-15 credits and can be completed in less than a year. What is different about these certificate programs than many of the others I have seen is that these certificates build together with some general courses and electives into an Associates degree and a Bachelor’s degree vs. Certificates and Associate Degrees that are “not designed to meet the needs of students who wish to transfer to a four-year institution.” As one of those potential employers I can actually see how I could take someone who has earned 3-4 specific certificates and hire them.