Best Online Degrees for 2024

Which degrees have the best career prospects for new professionals or career changers? Check out our 2024 ranking of 25 best online degree programs before you invest time, effort and money toward an online degree. Our analysis considered factors, including salary and job growth, to determine which online degrees offer the most promising outcomes for students. Read more
From the experts who also bring you:

Is An Online Degree Program Right for You?

It is easy to see why online degrees are gaining trust and value. Online education can give anyone, parents and working professionals, an opportunity to earn a degree at their own pace, on their own schedule by enrolling in a career-aligned degree program of their choice, from anywhere in the country.

According to a 2019 Online College Survey, 84 percent of online students interviewed found their online programs were worth the cost. More than 80 percent felt they found the knowledge and skills needed to compete confidently in the job market.

An online degree program can be right for any one wants to pursue an online degree in business, nursing, computer science, healthcare administration, or just about any academic field.

Top Reasons to Choose An Online Degree Program

Students who enroll in online degree programs can balance study, work, family and social life on their own terms. Here are five other benefits:

Convenient, flexible programs: Depending on the specific course of study, students can still pursue a part-time job or schedule their work around study hours.
Potentially faster completion times: Many schools offer accelerated courses, year-round scheduling, and transfer credit policies to allow students to earn their degree and enter the workforce more quickly.
Variety of programs: The large number of schools that offer online degree programs means that students can choose from many options.
No commute: Students who don’t live near the college of their choice can still earn a degree without having to travel miles every day or move to another city.
Cost-effectiveness: Transportation to and from school and campus parking fees are two expenses online students don’t need to worry about.

Types of Online Degrees

Our range of various online degree programs allows you to learn a subject in depth, have the flexibility to fit your studies around other commitments, enjoy high quality teaching and benefit from the convenience of finding a program that’s right for you. Browse through our five basic types of online degree programs to know more.

How to Select the Best Online Degree Program and School

Whether you're investing in a car or college degree, you probably want the maximum value for your money. While affordability is a critical factor, it's not the only one. Consider these points before choosing your online degree program and school.

Choice of degree: Does the degree have marketplace value? How quickly are you likely to find a job after you earn your degree, how much are you likely to earn and what are your future career prospects?
Quality of school and degree: How well does a school and their degree program rank when compared with others? What's the school overall reputation?
Accreditation: Is the school accredited and therefore meets specific standards for education quality?
Type of program: Will a fully online program or a hybrid one best suit your needs? Would you be able to attend classes at a specified time - a synchronous program - or does your personal schedule require more flexibility - an asynchronous program?
Affordability: Understand the full cost of tuition and fees for the program. Ask whether the school offers alternative payment plans or guaranteed tuition plans, as both of those options may make attending college more feasible.
Financial aid: See what might be available either through the school, federal programs or even privately funded scholarships and grants. Ask if the school accepts transfer credit or "life experience" credit - both of which can offset your cost.
Student services: Does the school offer career counseling and placement services? How about academic counseling?
Type of school: Is the school public or private? Is it a not-for-profit or for-profit institution? Consider how or whether these factors might impact your decision.

Degree & Career Match-Up Tool

Explore Online Degrees by Subject
Type the name of a degree program/subject into our Degree & Career Match-Up tool to see current data on related careers, such as salary, employment numbers, and projected job openings.
Explore Online Degrees by Occupation
Enter a job title into our Degree & Career Match-Up tool to see which degree subject is typically associated with it. You'll also find employment outlook info such as salary and projected job openings.

Find Online Degree Programs in Your State

Are you thinking of enrolling in an online degree program in your home state but don’t know where to begin? Our state pages are designed specifically to help you find the right school. Each state page includes featured online schools in your state, quality of online education, industrial and career prospects of the top metropolitan areas, financial aid, and more.

Before You Enroll

Consider financial aid options and entry-level tests

The cost of higher education continues to increase, so it's wise to learn about financial aid, grants and scholarship options before you enroll. Make sure you understand:

And depending on the degree and college you choose, you may be required to take entry-level tests. These are the most common ones:

SAT: This exam tests your skills in reading, writing, language and mathematics (with a calculator) and math (without a calculator).

ACT: This multiple-choice exam tests your knowledge of English, mathematics, reading and science.

AP: Held in May each year, a good score in this exam could entail college credit and advanced placement in college.

CLEP: Get a qualifying score on any of the 33 examinations and earn credit for subject matter you already know.

GED: This test is for those who have not completed high school. It measures proficiency in science, mathematics, social studies, reading and writing. While a high school diploma is the usual entry-level requirement for 4-year degree programs, most colleges consider passing the GED equivalent to having a high school diploma.

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