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Top 20 Highest-Paying Online Bachelor’s Degrees in 2019

Methodologies and Sources

Methodology

For this analysis, we ranked 511 online bachelor’s degrees. To be included in the ranking, each major had to:

  • Match to a corresponding code in the Classification of Instructional Programs
  • Be offered online at the bachelor’s level at five or more institutions

We scored each major on the following data points, using a 10-point scale and the weights specified:

  1. Annual median salary of each occupation matched to the major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
  2. Annual 25th percentile wage of each occupation matched to the major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
  3. No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016-17
  4. Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016-26
  5. Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016-26

Sources

  • 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2016-26 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • 10 Biggest Changes Expected in the World of Finance In 2018, Forbes, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2018/03/08/10-biggest-changes-expected-in-the-world-of-finance-in-2018/#41a3a9414a3c
  • 3 Trends Fueling the Future of the Fashion Business, Inc, 2018, https://www.inc.com/rebekah-iliff/3-trends-fueling-future-of-fashion-business.html
  • Agile project management: A comprehensive guide, CIO, 2018 https://www.cio.com/article/3156998/agile-development/agile-project-management-a-beginners-guide.html
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Business, Ashford University, https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/business/bachelor-of-arts-international-business,accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Online, University of Texas, https://degree.utpb.edu/programs/online-degree-bachelor-business-administration-management.aspx , accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Florida Online, https://ufonline.ufl.edu/degrees/undergraduate/computer-science/ , accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of the People, https://www.uopeople.edu/programs/cs/degrees/computer-science-bachelor-degree-2/overview/ , accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Science, University of North Texas, https://online.unt.edu/undergraduate-programs/bsinformationscience , accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Ashford University, https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/information-technology/bachelor-of-science-information-technology , accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Capella University, https://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/bachelors-project-management-technology/ , accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Purdue Global University, https://catalog.purdueglobal.edu/undergraduate/business-information-technology/information-technology-bs/?_ga=2.192499043.874015701.1546064018-1523115093.1540123088 , accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Business, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, https://www.mcphs.edu/academics/school-of-pharmacy/pharmaceutical-business/pharmaceutical-and-healthcare-business-bs# , accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Harold Abel School of Psychology, Capella University, https://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/bachelors-general-psychology/#outcomes , accessed December 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, Penn State World Campus, https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/penn-state-online-software-engineering-bachelors-degree/overview , accessed December 2018
  • Browne, C., The Reasons for Studying Business Ethics, Small Business - Chron.com, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/reasons-studying-business-ethics-18877.html , accessed December 2018
  • BS in Computer and Information Systems (CIS), Champlain College Online, https://www.champlain.edu/champlain-college-online/degrees-and-certificates/bachelors-degrees/bs-in-computer-and-information-systems-(cis)/computer-and-information-systems-overview , accessed January 2019
  • BS Information Systems Management, Amridge University, http://www.amridgeuniversity.edu/academics/business/bsinformationsystemsmanagement/#1482987821981-b8cfecbb-39d6 , accessed January 2019
  • Build a Digital Portfolio to Land a Job: Marketing Portfolios in Madison Area Technical College, https://libguides.madisoncollege.edu/digitalportolio/marketing , accessed February 2019
  • Bureau of Information Resource Management, U.S. Department of State, https://www.state.gov/m/irm/ , accessed February, 2019
  • Careers in Computer Science: 5 Facts on this Flourishing Field You Can No Longer Ignore, Rasmussen College, 2018, https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/careers-in-computer-science-face-the-facts/
  • Carnevale AP, Strohl J, Ridley N, Gulish A. Three Educational Pathways to Good Jobs: High School, Middle Skills, and Bachelor's Degree, by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, 2018, https://1gyhoq479ufd3yna29x7ubjn-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/3ways-FR.pdf
  • Computer Support Specialists, of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm , April 13, 2018
  • Computer Systems Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm , accessed January 2019
  • Database Administrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm , accessed January 2019
  • Developer Survey Results in Stack Overflow, https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2017 , accessed February 2019
  • Difference between a Computer Science & Information Technology Degree, King University, 2017, https://online.king.edu/information-technology/difference-between-a-computer-science-information-technology-degree/
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronics-engineers.htm , accessed December 2018
  • Electronics Engineering Technology (Bachelor of Science), Grantham University, https://www.grantham.edu/online-degrees/electronics-engineering-technology/ , accessed December 2018
  • Emerging Career Trends for Information Professionals: A Snapshot of Job Titles, San José State University School of Information, http://ischool.sjsu.edu/about/publications/emerging-career-trends-information-professionals-snapshot-job-titles , accessed December 2018
  • Engineering Management, BSE, Arizona State University Online, https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/engineering-engineering-management-bse , accessed December 2018
  • Entrepreneurship Degree Online, Ashford University, https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/business/bachelor-of-arts-entrepreneurship , accessed December 2018
  • Entrepreneurship Degree, Herzing University, https://www.herzing.edu/business/entrepreneurial-studies-degree , accessed December 2018
  • Fashion Marketing, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree, Academy of Art University, https://www.academyart.edu/degree/fashion-marketing/?degree=bfa , accessed December 2018
  • Finance Specialization, Bachelor of Science in Business, Capella University, https://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/bachelors-finance/ , accessed December 2018
  • History of the Department, Department of Computer Science, Purdue University, https://www.cs.purdue.edu/history/ , accessed February 2019
  • Informatics, BS, Indiana University, https://online.iu.edu/program/indiana-informatics-bs-undergraduate-1515523342826 , accessed December 2018
  • Information Resources Management, IPEDS, https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=87716 , accessed January 2019
  • Information Systems (Bachelor of Science), Grantham University, https://www.grantham.edu/online-degrees/information-systems/?tab-overview , accessed January 2019
  • Magda, A. J. and Aslanian, C. B., Online college students 2018: Comprehensive data on demands and preferences. The Learning House, Inc., 2018
  • Major: Apparel and Textile Marketing, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/family-consumer-sciences-apparel-textiles-apparel-textile-marketing , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Business Administration and Management, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-business-management-administration-business-administration-management , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Clothing and Textiles Studies, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/family-consumer-sciences-apparel-textiles-clothing-textiles-studies , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Computer and Information Sciences, General, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-information-sciences-general , accessed January 2019
  • Major: Computer Engineering, General, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-engineering-general , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Computer Science, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-science , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Computer Software Engineering, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-computer-engineering-computer-software-engineering , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Electrical and Electronics Drafting, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-technologies-drafting-design-electrical-electronics-drafting , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Electrical Engineering, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-electrical-electronics-communications-engineering-electrical-engineering , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Engineering and Industrial Management, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-technologies-engineering-industrial-management , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Entrepreneurial Studies, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-entrepreneurial-studies , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Finance, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-accounting-finance-finance , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Informatics, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-informatics , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Information Science, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-information-science , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Information Technology, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-information-technology , accessed December 2018
  • Major: International Business, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-international-business , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Management Science, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-management-science , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Marketing, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-sales-marketing-marketing , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/health-professions-related-clinical-sciences-pharmaceutical-marketing-management , accessed December 2018
  • Major: Psychology, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/psychology-psychology , accessed December 2018
  • Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University, https://exploredegrees.stanford.edu/schoolofengineering/managementscienceandengineering/#text , accessed December 2018
  • Management: BS in Business Administration, Walden University,https://www.waldenu.edu/online-bachelors-programs/bs-in-business-administration/curriculum/management , accessed December 2018
  • NACE: National Association of Colleges and Employers, accessed February 2019, https://www.naceweb.org/about-us/press/2018/computer-science-was-class-of-2017s-top-paid-masters-major/
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Information Systems: IT Project Management, Strayer University, https://www.strayer.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/information-systems/it-project-management , accessed December 2018
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Arizona State University Online, https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/bachelor-science-marketing , accessed December 2018
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, Arizona State University Online, https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/bachelor-science-software-engineering , accessed December 2018
  • Online Bachelor of Science: Computer Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing, Florida International University,https://fiuonline.fiu.edu/programs/online-undergraduate-degrees/bachelor-of-science-in-computer-engineering.php , accessed December 2018
  • Online Bachelor of Science: Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing, Florida International University Online, https://fiuonline.fiu.edu/programs/online-undergraduate-degrees/bachelor-of-science-in-electrical-engineering.php , accessed December 2018
  • Online Bachelor's in Business Administration: International Business Degree, Southern New Hampshire University, https://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-business-administration/international , accessed December 2018
  • Online Business Management ??Strand??, University of Findlay, https://www.findlay.edu/online-degrees/business-management/online-dcp-bus-mgmt , accessed December 2018
  • Pharma marketing trends 2019: what to expect and how to evolve, ViSeven, 2018,https://viseven.com/news/pharma-marketing-trends-2019-expect-evolve
  • PMI's Pulse of the Profession: 9th Global Project Management Survey, https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/thought-leadership/pulse/pulse-of-the-profession-2017.pdf , accessed February 2019
  • Pridham, D., Entrepreneurs: Here's Good News For 2018, Forbes.com, January 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidpridham/2018/01/10/entrepreneurs-heres-good-news-for-2018/#5669dc906659
  • Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020 State Report, accessed May 2018, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, https://cew-7632.kxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/StateProjections_6.1.15_agc_v2.pdf
  • Summary Report for: 15-1111.00 - Computer and Information Research Scientists,https://www.onetonline.org/link/details/15-1111.00 , accessed February 2019
  • The 5 Biggest Project Management Trends Shaping 2018, Capterra, 2017, https://blog.capterra.com/the-5-biggest-project-management-trends-shaping-2018/
  • The Entrepreneur, accessed January 2019, http://josephakins.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-college-degrees-that-get-most-job
  • Undergraduate Minor in Cognitive Science, Georgia Tech College of Computing, https://www.cc.gatech.edu/aimosaic/cogsci/undergraduate-minor.html , accessed December 2018
  • What is MIS?, University of Arizona,https://mis.eller.arizona.edu/what-is-mis , accessed January 2019
  • What to Do with An International Business Degree: 5 Benefits, Ashford University, 2016,https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/business/what-to-do-with-an-international-business-degree-5-benefits
X

There are plenty of bachelor's degree programs to choose from but when you're looking to maximize the ROI on your education investment, you may want to choose a bachelor's degree program that has the potential to yield the highest pay.

To help you find such programs, we've listed the top online bachelor's degree programs with the highest earning potential using a methodology that takes into account factors like median salaries, projected job openings and the number of schools offering these degrees online. Please take some time to look at our methodology at the bottom of the page.

By 2020, 23 percent of jobs are predicted to need a bachelor's degree, according to a Georgetown University study. For those who are already working, have part- or full-time jobs, or a family to take care of, online programs might offer you the flexibility you need to balance your commitments and earn a bachelor's degree to help advance your career.

It is important to remember, however, that not all degree programs are offered completely online. Depending on the field of study, some may have a practical component that would require you to visit your school's campus or a nearby facility.

Starting from the 20th position, scroll down to discover the online bachelor’s degree program that tops the list for the highest earning potential.  Drumrolls, please!
20
Computer and Information Sciences 
Computer and information sciences

As organizations grow and increasingly rely on technology to store and access their data, so does the need for computer scientists who are able to find better ways to manage, store and access this information. A computer and information sciences degree gives students an overview of computer sciences with a focus on information sciences. A creative mindset and strong communication skills are essential for individuals wanting to enter this field according to the BLS.

Coursework covers topics from networking and computer and information systems to programming and scripting.

Nice to know: On average, jobs in the field of computer science pay more than twice the national average.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $98,128
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 2,099,500
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 8.95%
19
Engineering/Industrial Management
Industrial management

Planning and managing engineering projects requires knowledge of both engineering and management. Engineering industrial management degree programs allow individuals learn to ensure projects are completed on-time and within budget. Individuals interested in these degrees should like working with people, have leadership abilities and be good with numbers.

Coursework can include engineering administration, project management and systems engineering. Understanding finance can also be important while managing a project and you may find that online engineering management programs include courses to help you understand how financial markets can influence your project.

Nice to know: The Internet of Things (IoT) has been playing a big role in project management with industrial sensors that continue to grow smarter and more capable of collecting enormous amount of data.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $119,150
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 360,300
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 2.65%
18
Apparel and Textile Marketing Management
Apparel and textile management

Online degrees in apparel and textile marketing management combine the fields of business and fashion. These degrees can suit individuals who are creative, good communicators and have leadership skills. Students can learn to gain insights into the workings of the fashion industry and how to create marketing strategies for fashion brands and products. Students also learn how to analyze consumer behavior and apply this knowledge to identify trends.

Topics you may study include color concepts, fabric and fiber technology, retailing and management and fashion marketing. Careers include purchasing managers, wholesale and retail buyers and brand marketing managers.

Nice to know: Augmented reality, where customers can see how products look on them before purchasing them online, is going to be a big part of how fashion brands market their products.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $132,230
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 361,100
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 4.05%
17
Psychology 
Psychology

Psychology has many applications apart from helping people in distress. An online degree in psychology can be applied toward a myriad of careers in settings like businesses, schools and even technology. Individuals who wish to pursue a career in psychology should be interested in math and science and be ready to develop their critical reading and writing skills.

Typical coursework includes abnormal psychology, social psychology, human development and psychological research methods. A general psychology degree can lead to careers in mental health counseling, industrial counseling and more.

Nice to know: Child psychology is an increasingly popular choice for online students, according to a 2017 survey of online students by the Learning House.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $105,610
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 1,068,000
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 7.60%
16
Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Electronics engineering

Online electrical and electronic engineering degree programs combine the two fields of electrical engineering and electronics to give students a broad field of study. Electrical engineers look at powering entire mechanical bodies with electricity while electronics involves the circuitry within an electrical system.

Individuals interested in pursuing one or both of these fields should have an innate curiosity of how things work, be creative and enjoy using math and science to make things work. Coursework can include topics like circuit analysis, fields and waves, power systems and calculus.

Nice to know: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for electrical and electronic engineers, particularly in research and development, is likely to go up with rapid technological advances.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $111,998
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 609,600
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 5.98%
15
Informatics
Informatics

Informatics is a field that combines IT and programming knowledge with information management systems. Informatics professionals are the minds behind the programs that help businesses, healthcare facilities and research institutions manage their data. Individuals interested in an online informatics degree program should have an interest in learning about how humans and computers interact, information architecture and telecommunications structure.

Course topics can include programming and databases, social informatics and system design. Some occupations associated with an informatics degree include digital library specialist, system administrator and information security professional.

Nice to know: Health information technician jobs are some of the highest-paying positions in this field with a faster-than-average job growth rate.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $104,695
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 1,555,600
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 20.65%
14
Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management
Pharmaceutical mangement

Pharmaceutical marketing and management professionals serve as the link between pharmaceutical companies and medical health professionals like doctors and clinicians. Online degree programs in pharmaceutical marketing and management typically combine business studies and pharmaceutical sciences to give students an understanding of the products for marketing.

Course topics typically include fundamentals of drug development, FDA regulations and healthcare finance alongside business topics like management and marketing.

Nice to know: It can help to be tech-minded as the pharma sales and marketing industry is increasingly using digital channels of marketing, big data and artificial intelligence.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $126,645
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 654,000
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 8.70%
13
Information Resources Management
Information Resources management

Businesses need individuals who can set up and maintain information service systems as well as train employees on how to use them. Also known as information systems management, management information systems or simply information systems, this degree program teaches students how to manage and evaluate information systems and come up with solutions to any issues that may occur.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that individuals interested in working in this field should be detail-oriented and good communicators. Coursework usually covers a range of topics from business and management to network systems, data communications systems, wireless technologies, and voice-over-IP systems along with programming.

Nice to know: Even the U.S. Government has a Bureau of Information Resource Management to successfully carry out its foreign policy mission by applying modern IT tools, approaches, systems, and information products.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $139,220
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 411,400
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 11.90%
12
Finance and Financial Management Services 
Finance and financial management

Financial management professionals can work for businesses or individuals and families in order to help them manage their money better. Finance professionals working for companies can be instrumental in ensuring employees get a raise while still keeping the firm profitable. Financial advisors, on the other hand, can help individuals invest the money from their raises to meet their financial goals.

Individuals interested in earning a finance degree should be good with math, team players and be able communicate complex financial information clearly. Coursework can include topics like financial markets and institutions, portfolio management and financial market analysis.

Nice to know: Automation software is making financial management processes easier by taking over many of the repetitive daily tasks (like filling in forms), allowing financial managers to concentrate on more interesting tasks, like actual portfolio management.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $125,080
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 688,800
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 18.70%
11
Marketing/Marketing Management 
Marketing management

Marketing professionals are responsible for ensuring potential clients learn about a business' products and services as well as retaining their old customers. They use their creativity and communication skills to reach out to people in order to engage them and their research and analytical skills to understand what's trending in the marketplace.

Topics in an online marketing degree program can include consumer behavior, competitive marketing strategy and marketing management and leadership.

Nice to know: You can start building your professional portfolio highlighting your unique skills and abilities to potential employers, while still in college. Your portfolio can show how well you have combined classroom learning with professional experience.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $105,663
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 1,418,500
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 11.50%
10
Information Technology Project Management
Information technology project management

As the IT profession grows, so does the need for competent managers who can lead their teams to deliver projects on time and within budget. Online IT project management degree programs can equip with you with the knowledge to take a project from start to finish - from conceptualization to the delivery of the final product.

Students of these degree programs can learn IT based topics as well as topics designed to develop their leadership skills through courses like principles of project management, scheduling, cost, and quality management, and networking.

Nice to know: According to PMI's Pulse of the profession report, since 2018, more offices are seeing a need for a department to standardize project management within a company.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $107,213
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 1,921,000
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 14.23%
9
Computer Science
Computer Science

While both computer science and information technology degree programs take into account how humans interact with computers, the main difference is that computer scientists focus on the theoretical side of developing computer applications and IT professionals look at how to apply them in a user-friendly manner.

Students of online computer science degree programs study topics like computer organization, data structures and algorithms and programming. These degree programs can suit individuals who have a mathematical bend of mind but also have the ability to think abstractly.

Nice to know: The first computer science degree program was introduced in 1962 at Purdue University and the discipline continues to grow extensively with applications in artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and more.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $102,478
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 2,680,900
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 13.83%
8
Information Science/Studies
Information Science

The digital revolution has meant that people and organizations are producing data and documents like never before. We need to be able to store and navigate through this information in order to put it to use. This is where information science majors step in to design efficient, secure and user-friendly systems that guide us through to the information we need. Online information science degree programs can suit individuals who are organized, have a keen interest in human behavior and are good communicators.

Course topics like information science and knowledge organization can equip you to organize information in a variety of digital and analogue settings. Graduates of these degree programs may find employment as computer and information systems managers, database administrators and librarians to name a few.

Nice to know: A 2018 survey of employers of information science graduates found that they prized interpersonal and communication skills in candidates over other soft skills. This makes electives, like technical writing or business communication, a good choice.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $111,777
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 1,195,500
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 10.57%
7
Business Administration and Management 
Business administration and management

Business managers often need to tend to client needs, manage staff and ensure that the goods and services offered are of a high quality while still keeping an eye on profitability. This means they need to have great communication, planning as well as problem-solving skills. Students of online business administration and management degree programs can learn to develop these skills through topics like organizational behavior, marketing, human resource management and finance.

Graduates of these programs can be prepared for a range of careers, from entry-level managers to chief executives in local and multinational industries.

Nice to know: Business administration and management is one of the most popular online degree programs because concepts and skills taught in these programs are highly transferrable.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $100,598
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 6,493,500
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 8.02%
6
Computer Software Engineering
Computer software engineering

Like many computing professionals, software engineers are needed across a large number of industries - from designing highly-specialized medical or military software to general computing software. Software programs are often built by a team which means individuals interested in careers as software engineers should be able to able to work well with other people toward a common goal.

Typical coursework includes topics like computer programming languages, software engineering design and software verification, validation, and testing.

Nice to know: A survey conducted by Stack Overflow in 2017 reveals that 11.3 percent of the developers got their first coding jobs within a year of first learning how to write a program.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $115,703
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 1,745,600
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 15.60%
5
Computer Engineering 
Computer engineering, General

Computer technology is growing by leaps and bounds. With new tech emerging every day, there is a growing need for professionals who understand how to design and build innovative, new hardware and software systems to serve across a variety of industries. Online computer engineering degree programs can suit individuals who are creative and can work in teams, as well as on their own.

Coursework can help you build your creative skills thorough topics like computer design and practical skills through subjects like programming and embedded computer systems.

Nice to know: Many programs require you to build your own systems in an area of your interest using the knowledge and skills you have gained before graduating.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $113,376
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 1,996,300
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 11.74%
4
Information Technology 
Information Technology

Technological advances mean that business processes are increasingly digitized — from how information is stored to how people communicate giving rise to the demand for qualified IT professionals. IT professionals not have to understand how computers work and can be used to make business processes more efficient. They also have to have a feel for how people interact with computers. This can make it important for IT professionals to be technologically-minded problem-solvers with people skills.

Coursework can include topics like human-computer interaction, IT project management and emerging technologies.

Nice to know: As IT professionals are needed in virtually every industry, choosing a concentration or a minor can help you focus on your interests. For example, if you are interested in artificial intelligence, a minor in cognitive science can be an asset.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $106,173
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 2,922,100
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 16.13%
3
Management Science
Management Science

Organizations need knowledgeable and competent staff to lead teams, make informed decisions, design new and efficient systems and solve problems. Management science degree programs can suit individuals who are math-oriented, analytical and like working in a team.

Courses can help you develop your communication and leadership skills to help you learn about how high-level strategies are designed, manage human resources as well as the more day-to-day operations of a business. Some typical topics of study are business decision-making, operations management, business policy and strategy and finance.

Nice to know: Graduates of management science programs can follow careers as management consultants, operations research analysts and general and operations managers across a variety of industries in private and public sectors.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $121,690
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 2,912,500
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 11%
2
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies
Entrepreneurship

Have you ever had an idea you think might turn into a booming business? An online entrepreneurial studies degree program can help you turn your idea into a reality. Individuals who are creative, good communicators, organized and aren't afraid of working long hours can learn to launch their own business or take an existing one to new heights.

Courses can teach you how to organize and set up a business through topics like finance and accounting, business strategy, business plan development and more.

Nice to know: Venture capital investment in startups surged to its highest level ever — $148 billion in 2017.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $129,763
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 3,835,200
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 4.40%
1
International Business
International Business

With global trade becoming easier than ever there is an increase in the need for professionals who understand how business is conducted in different parts of the world, particularly in terms of culture and communication. Online international business degree programs may suit individuals who have an interest in learning about other cultures, travelling as well as business.

Students can learn how to make business decisions that have a multinational impact through courses in foreign trade, international marketing, business laws, management and finance.

Nice to know: Learning a foreign language can boost your career potential in the field.

Data Points:

  • Mean annual wage, 2017: $141,840
  • Projected employment, 2016-26: 2,767,200
  • Average projected job growth rate, 2016-26: 2.80%
Methodologies and Sources