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Online Degrees in Education

Make a difference in the lives of young people! Online degree programs in early childhood, K-12, higher education, or a specialized concentration can put you on the path to a satisfying career in teaching.

There is a great demand for teachers at all levels created by rising student enrollment in schools and colleges across the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). To meet the shortage of teachers, the Department of Education has introduced initiatives making it easier for aspiring teachers to earn their degree in teaching:

  • The Transition to Teaching initiative can help you prepare to teach middle or high school classes in two semesters and obtain the necessary teaching certifications.
  • For those with strong academic or professional qualifications can participate in the Teacher Quality Partnership Program (TQP). The program partners with several state agencies preparing teachers to serve in high needs' areas through residency programs, mentoring and stipends.
  • A number of grants, funding programs, and government-initiated loan forgiveness programs are designed to encourage more people to enter teaching professions.

Prospective students wanting to enter a teaching profession can look forward to emerging trends in technology that may change the way they teach and interact with students. While traditional learning methods are still being used, teachers are also learning to use virtual labs, virtual reality, games and simulations to teach students. Riveting trends such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the practical classroom may enable students to hold a 3D digital heart in their hands and watch a historic battle take place through immersive reality. This can be an exciting time for teachers to enter the field of education. If you have good communication skills, an online education degree may help you begin a career in teaching.

Whether you are a high school graduate, a teacher who already holds a job, or someone looking to switch careers and enter the teaching profession, an online education degree program, can offer the flexibility you need. Online education programs allow you to balance work, family and other commitments.

Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary
Job DescriptionPostsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.
Mean Annual Salary: $122K
Typical Degree Required: Doctoral or professional degree
Education Administrators, Postsecondary
Job DescriptionPostsecondary education administrators oversee student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities. Their job duties vary depending on the area of the college they manage, such as admissions, student life, or the office of the registrar.
Mean Annual Salary: $111K
Typical Degree Required: Master's degree
Instructional Coordinators
Job DescriptionInstructional coordinators oversee school curriculums and teaching standards. They develop instructional material, coordinate its implementation with teachers and principals, and assess its effectiveness.
Mean Annual Salary: $67K
Typical Degree Required: Master's degree
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education
Job DescriptionKindergarten and elementary school teachers prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects such as math and reading.
Mean Annual Salary: $62K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education
Job DescriptionPreschool teachers educate and care for children younger than age 5 who have not yet entered kindergarten. They teach reading, writing, science, and other subjects in a way that young children can understand.
Mean Annual Salary: $34K
Typical Degree Required: Associate's degree

Not all online degree programs are directed towards teaching in a classroom and can extend to include topics like curriculum design and educational administration. The sections below list some of the different online education programs you may be able to pursue.

Be sure to click on the buttons under each of the sections below and explore the range of online education degree programs.

Consider carefully our list of top online colleges for education presenting you with college options that can offer you the best online experience as a distance education student.

It is important to note here that due to the nature of the teaching profession, you may need to attend supervised teaching sessions before a group of students. Your college may arrange these events for you.

Online Education Degrees in Early Childhood

Early childhood teachers may play an important role in the lives of young children. According to studies by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the World Bank, children who receive a high quality early childhood education are more likely to reach higher educational attainment, make more money over their lifetimes and generally live healthier lives. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for early childhood educators and childcare workers is expected to grow as people realize how important the early years are.

Click on the buttons below to find jobs you may be eligible for after earning a degree, the career outlook, and salary information related to early childhood education degree programs.

Online Education Degrees in Specialized Concentration

Teachers are needed in various settings — from corporate offices to sports fields. The variety of online teaching degree programs may allow you to pursue any special interests you might have. For example, you may be able to help non-native English speakers learn English or teach children about the joys of sports and fitness.

Clicking on the buttons below allow you to explore data-driven information that can help guide you to a career path in education that is right for you.

Online Education Degrees in Administration and Curriculum Design

Just like any organization, how a school is run can have a direct bearing on its overall success. School administrators manage the various activities conducted in a school — from scheduling classes, developing curricula to coordinating budgets. Depending on the size of the school or educational institution, you may wear many hats or focus on one aspect of administration or a particular subject.

By clicking on the buttons below, you can find detailed information on jobs related to degrees in administration and curriculum design, including their job growth rates, salaries, as well as coursework you may need to take. 

Online Education Degrees in General Teaching

Online teaching degree programs can help you learn the many methods used to teach a variety of subjects to students of varying ages. Many online elementary teaching degree programs and nearly all secondary education programs require students to pick a secondary field in which to major or minor. Middle and high school teachers are typically required to specialize in teaching a particular subject. 

Explore online teaching degree programs and find answers to questions like: What jobs can I qualify for with this degree? What coursework would I need to take? What kind of salary can I expect with a degree in teaching? Click on the buttons below for such information and more.

Education degrees can range from associate to doctoral degrees with each level varying in length and depth of study. We ranked the top ten colleges offering online education programs by degree levels in order to present you with the best online college options. We've used criteria that are important for online students, in particular, as part of our methodology. You'll find factors like how many of the degrees awarded in a college were via distance education, financial aid available to students, career counseling and placement programs. Be sure to take a detailed look at our methodology listed at the bottom of the page.

Top Colleges for Online Associate Degrees in Education

An online associate degree in education can be the first stepping-stone toward a career as a teacher, program assistant or education administrator. An associate teaching degree may work well for individuals who want to explore the field of education before choosing a specialization. An associate degree may qualify you to work in as a preschool teacher or as a teacher's assistant in K-12 education. The employment of preschool teachers is expected to grow at 10 percent according to the BLS. Online students studying full-time can typically earn their associate degree in two years.

1
College of Southern Idaho(Twin Falls, ID)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,120
No. of online programs
18
% of students in distance education
24%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,892
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Grayson College(Denison, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,112
No. of online programs
5
% of students in distance education
50%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,753
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Arizona Western College(Yuma, AZ)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$1,968
No. of online programs
2
% of students in distance education
52%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,004
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Southwestern Community College(Sylva, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,128
No. of online programs
5
% of students in distance education
46%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,076
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Great Basin College(Elko, NV)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,820
No. of online programs
48
% of students in distance education
82%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,615
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
28%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Copiah-Lincoln Community College(Wesson, MS)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,800
No. of online programs
26
% of students in distance education
17%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,205
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
North Central Missouri College(Trenton, MO)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,350
No. of online programs
28
% of students in distance education
38%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,093
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
8
Richmond Community College(Hamlet, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
6
% of students in distance education
48%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,983
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Stanly Community College(Albemarle, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,432
No. of online programs
21
% of students in distance education
81%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,909
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Eastern Gateway Community College(Steubenville, OH)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,510
No. of online programs
4
% of students in distance education
80%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,180
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
Top Colleges for Online Bachelor's Degrees in Education

A bachelor's degree is the basic qualification for most jobs at the elementary through high school level. Students of online bachelor's degree programs in education can typically choose a concentration. This may be in the form of a subject they wish to teach or a particular aspect of education they want to specialize in. Bachelor's degree programs in education typically take full-time students four years to complete.

1
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College(Saint Mary of the Woods, IN)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$29,510
No. of online programs
20
% of students in distance education
27%
Avg. amount of Aid
$15,454
Admissions Rate
76%
Graduation Rate
57%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Great Basin College(Elko, NV)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,820
No. of online programs
48
% of students in distance education
82%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,615
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
28%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Wayland Baptist University(Plainview, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$14,520
No. of online programs
26
% of students in distance education
53%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,226
Admissions Rate
99%
Graduation Rate
20%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Midway University(Midway, KY)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$23,700
No. of online programs
25
% of students in distance education
77%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,573
Admissions Rate
57%
Graduation Rate
52%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Mayville State University(Mayville, ND)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,255
No. of online programs
12
% of students in distance education
64%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,413
Admissions Rate
48%
Graduation Rate
35%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Union Institute & University(Cincinnati, OH)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$12,720
No. of online programs
24
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$13,034
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
East Carolina University(Greenville, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,452
No. of online programs
55
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,681
Admissions Rate
79%
Graduation Rate
62%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Chaminade University of Honolulu(Honolulu, HI)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$24,400
No. of online programs
21
% of students in distance education
51%
Avg. amount of Aid
$12,689
Admissions Rate
92%
Graduation Rate
54%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Valley City State University(Valley City, ND)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,493
No. of online programs
13
% of students in distance education
72%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,376
Admissions Rate
76%
Graduation Rate
35%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
North Carolina Central University(Durham, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,728
No. of online programs
16
% of students in distance education
43%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,233
Admissions Rate
83%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
Top Colleges for Online Master's Degrees in Education

Students seeking online master's degrees in education usually choose at least one specialization and may focus on a particular level of education, such as adult education or elementary, middle or secondary school. Some states require middle and high school teachers to obtain a master's degree after earning their teaching certification and obtaining a job. Master's degrees in education often focus more on educational theory and can be available completely online. Master's degrees typically take between one to two years of full-time study to complete.

1
Liberty University(Lynchburg, VA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$15,734
No. of online programs
127
% of students in distance education
90%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,937
Admissions Rate
30%
Graduation Rate
47%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
University of the Cumberlands(Williamsburg, KY)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$22,640
No. of online programs
51
% of students in distance education
81%
Avg. amount of Aid
$16,275
Admissions Rate
74%
Graduation Rate
41%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
3
University of West Alabama(Livingston, AL)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$7,614
No. of online programs
28
% of students in distance education
53%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,447
Admissions Rate
28%
Graduation Rate
33%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
East Carolina University(Greenville, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,452
No. of online programs
55
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,681
Admissions Rate
79%
Graduation Rate
62%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Grand Canyon University(Phoenix, AZ)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$16,365
No. of online programs
94
% of students in distance education
90%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,736
Admissions Rate
67%
Graduation Rate
41%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
6
Nova Southeastern University(Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$28,980
No. of online programs
102
% of students in distance education
48%
Avg. amount of Aid
$15,289
Admissions Rate
58%
Graduation Rate
52%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Northwestern State University of Louisiana(Natchitoches, LA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,180
No. of online programs
55
% of students in distance education
78%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,161
Admissions Rate
80%
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Southern Arkansas University Main Campus(Magnolia, AR)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$6,840
No. of online programs
15
% of students in distance education
52%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,101
Admissions Rate
69%
Graduation Rate
36%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Arkansas State University-Main Campus(Jonesboro, AR)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$6,300
No. of online programs
25
% of students in distance education
55%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,517
Admissions Rate
66%
Graduation Rate
48%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Emporia State University(Emporia, KS)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,027
No. of online programs
27
% of students in distance education
50%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,240
Admissions Rate
83%
Graduation Rate
45%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
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While many individuals with education degrees end up in front of a classroom, that's not the only potential career path. To give you an idea of what you can do with an online education degree and see what jobs are projected to be in demand in the near future, we've listed the top occupations in education based on projected job openings, employment numbers and average wages based on data from the BLS in the table below.

Occupations In-Demand for Education
Job Openings (2016-26)
Average Salary (2016)
Typical Entry Level Education
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education112,800$62,200Bachelor's degree
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education79,500$64,340Bachelor's degree
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education53,600$34,410Associate's degree
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education50,500$62,030Bachelor's degree
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary25,800$122,320Doctoral or professional degree
Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School21,200$98,750Master's degree
Postsecondary Teachers, All Other20,700$76,990Doctoral or professional degree
Instructional Coordinators16,800$67,490Master's degree
Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education16,700$58,370Bachelor's degree
Education Administrators, Postsecondary15,700$111,210Master's degree
Source: 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.
Methodology and Sources
Methodology and Sources

Methodology

To be included in our rankings for the top colleges for online degrees in education by degree level all colleges had to meet the following 4 requirements:

  • Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  • Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  • Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
  • Have reported data for all 19 ranking variables for associate/bachelor’s and 11 ranking variables for master’s (listed below)

We then ranked colleges and universities in the United States that fit our criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified. The final totals were:

  • 152 colleges for online associate degree in education
  • 117 colleges for online bachelor’s degree in education
  • 495 colleges for online master’s degree in education

We then scored the final list of colleges by degree level on a 100-point scale using these specific data points:

Associate/Bachelor’s

  1. Associate’s/Bachelor’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
  2. Ratio of undergraduate students participating fully or partially in Distance Education to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Retention rate
  5. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  6. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
  7. Student-to-faculty ratio
  8. Variety of Programs, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level
  9. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  10. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Prepaid, Other)
  11. Services (Academic/Career Counseling, Placement for Completers)
  12. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)

Master’s

    1. Master’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
    2. Ratio of graduate students participating fully or partially in Distance Education to Total Enrollment
    3. Average in-state tuition for graduates
    4. Credit offerings (Life, Military)
    5. Services (Academic/Career Counseling, Placement for Completers)
    6. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Prepaid, Other)
    7. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media

Methodology Sources

        • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources

      • Adult Literacy and High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm, accessed October 2018
      • Are You Considering a Doctoral Degree?, Kappa Delta Pi, http://www.kdp.org/resources/pdf/careercenter/Considering_a_Doctoral_Degree.pdf accessed October 2018
      • Benefits of Early Childhood Education and Care and the conditions for obtaining them, European Expert Network on Economics of Education (EENEE), 2018, https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/14194adc-fc04-11e7-b8f5-01aa75ed71a1/language-en
      • Career: Education Administrators, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/management-education-administrators, accessed October 2018
      • Career: Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/education-museum-work-library-science-elementary-middle-high-school-teachers, accessed October 2018
      • Coaches and Scouts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/coaches-and-scouts.htm, accessed September 2018
      • Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm, accessed October 2018
      • High School Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm, accessed October 2018
      • High School Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm
      • Historical Trends and Emerging Issues in Teacher Education Programs in the United States, 2016, https://digitalcommons.sacredheart.edu/ced_fac/241/
      • Instructional Coordinators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm, accessed October 2018
      • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm, accessed October 2018
      • Middle School Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm, accessed October 2018
      • Preschool Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm, accessed October 2018
      • Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education, 2017, https://tech.ed.gov/files/2017/01/NETP17.pdf
      • Teacher Quality Partnership Grants, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), https://aacte.org/policy-and-advocacy/federal-policy-and-legislation/435-teacher-quality-partnership-grants, accessed October 2018
      • The changing landscape of early childhood education: Implications for policy and practice, Early Childhood Education Journal, 46(3), 249-264, 2018, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317758064_The_Changing_Landscape_of_Early_Childhood_Education_Implications_for_Policy_and_Practice
      • The Condition of Education 2018 (NCES 2018-144). U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, 2018, https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018144.pdf
      • Training and Development Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/training-and-development-specialists.htm, accessed October 2018
      • Transition to Teaching, Office of Innovation and Improvement, https://innovation.ed.gov/what-we-do/teacher-quality/transition-to-teaching/, accessed October 2018
      • Using new skills and technology to empower teachers and the future workforce, Microsoft, 2018, https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/industry-blog/en-gb/industry/education/using-new-skills-and-technology-to-empower-teachers-and-the-future-workforce/
      • World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education's Promise, World Bank, World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018, http://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2018
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