3 Year Bachelor Degree Programs Online

3 Year Bachelor Degree Programs Online

A 3 year bachelor’s degree program online may be a good choice for those who wish to complete their education quickly. Some schools might offer these programs to help students complete necessary education to get into the workforce faster. Also known as an accelerated bachelor’s degree, a student may complete the necessary coursework to earn their degree within 3 years. Most often, a traditional bachelor’s degree takes 4 years to complete.

This is often a rigorous program. It typically requires a lot of focus and hard work to complete. Students do not necessarily learn less. They are typically taught the same level and type of information as a 4 year program. It is often condensed into just 3 years, though. For some, this may help them complete their studies faster.

What Are Accelerated Degree Programs?

An accelerated college degree is simply a program designed to be completed in 3 years instead of 4. Many bachelor’s degree programs often require 120 credit hours of study. This is spread across 4 years of education. How does all of that education get wrapped into a 3 year program?

Some schools may condense the education into a 3 year program by requiring a higher number of credits per semester. Others may incorporate summer studies in the program, reducing the overall length of time but creating a year-round schedule. Some may offer an internship as a way to make up some of the credit or education. Work experience may also play a role.

Another way to achieve this could be through early start programs. In some areas, high school students may earn college credit for the higher level courses they take. These transfer credits from high school may help to meet some of the curriculum credit hours necessary to earn a degree. Often, this type of program is done with the support of a community college. Students may take one or two courses in at a local community college while in high school. Other times, students may take these courses through advanced placement (AP) programs. International Baccalaureate curriculum may also help some students qualify.

Adult learners may be able to apply for transfer credits, too. This may come from military service or previous education completed. The College Level Examination Program, or CLEP, may help some students test out of  programs.

Whenever possible, courses might be available online. This is not available fully for all bachelor’s degree programs. Some programs may still require in-person clinicals or labs. However, many programs may be completed fully online. Full time learning may allow students to earn this type of degree through online learning.

The goal is to help students earn their degree sooner. Yet, it is up to the student, the school, and the course selected to determine if that is possible.

How Quickly Can I Get a Bachelor’s Degree?

Most often, online bachelor’s degree programs take 3 years to complete. Online students may be able to speed this up somewhat if they have previous education and credit hours from coursework completed prior to enrollment. However, many programs take at least three years to complete.

Keep in mind that some career positions may require more than a bachelor’s degree. Some students may need to continue their education. That may include a master’s degree. Or, if a graduate degree is not enough, a PhD or doctoral degree may be another level of education. Each of these paths could require an additional two years to complete. Degree completion programs may range widely from one school to the next. Be sure to check into what is expected at the school you are considering.

Students who wish to take a part time path may not qualify for a bachelor’s degree at the accelerated level. That’s because a 3 year program tends to include more summer studies and longer classes. Some may require full time attendance. Others may offer more flexibility to meet student needs. A short term, eight-week course, for example, may require a larger number of study hours with limited time for completion.

Admission Requirements for a 3 Year Bachelor Degree Program Online

Admission into a 3 year program often starts with an application. Students often need a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll. Some programs have prerequisites. As a bachelor’s degree, this is less common, though.

Each school sets their own admission rules. Online degree completion programs may allow for transfer credits. Students with previous higher education studies should let the school know this. Some schools may also have specific grade point average requirements. It’s a good idea to compare several schools to determine if you meet all admission requirements. Look for these areas:

  • Minimum GPA requirements
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses, if any
  • Completion of application to the program
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Letters of recommendation

A student with an associate degree may wish to share that information with the school as well. It may help with transfer credits. Any higher education study may help students reduce the coursework they take during this program. Students with life experience may also want to report this information to the school. That may include working in the field.

Cost of 3 Year Bachelor Degree Program Online

The cost of a 3 year bachelor degree program typically differs between schools. Most often, attending school for a shorter amount of time reduces the costs paid. However, this depends on multiple factors.

Does an accelerated bachelor’s degree program cost less than a traditional four-year program?

Some accelerated programs may cost less. That is because they may require fewer credit hours. They may offer more flexible schedules for students. These programs often reduce the amount of time a student needs to complete courses. That sometimes means paying less.

Not all programs are less expensive, however. Some may cost the same if they maintain the same credit hour requirement.

Also consider the options in online education. Distance education may cost less as a whole. It requires a lot of hard work. Students may spend more time on their own with less teacher direction. Yet, the costs may be significantly lower.

One key concern may be financial aid. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. However, it may also not be available. Some programs may be inaccessible if they do not meet specific requirements. Be sure to look into scholarships, too. Some may require enrollment in a 4 year program instead. That may impact costs for school, too.

Tuition rates differ between schools. Be sure to consider this alongside other qualifications for the school and program.

Choosing 3 Year Bachelors Degree Program Online

There’s a lot to think about when choosing a degree program. Start with accreditation. Be sure the school is accredited by any association in your field of study. This may be very important in areas such as nursing, for example. Not all bachelor’s degrees online have the same type of accreditation.

Think about the type of work desired. Consider the type of electives available. It may also help to choose coursework that’s interesting to you.

Also choose a delivery method. Online programs offer a range of options. This includes synchronous or asynchronous. Some programs may require students to follow along and meet deadlines throughout the year. Others may let students learn at their own pace with a target completion date. Either option may work for your situation but require a different type of learning. Invest a few minutes in comparing options in schools and programs based on this information.

Also think about the cost of tuition. Factor in the cost of books. Learning online could help reduce some costs related to living on campus or commuting to campus each day.

Most often, students should choose a bachelor’s degree program that fits with their long-term career goals. Learn as much as possible about the program. Also learn as much as possible about the school itself. Also think long term. Is an online master in your future? Look for a school that offers long term education goals after a bachelor’s degree, too.

Fast Online Degree Options

Prospective students should consider a wide range of opportunities available to them. Keep in mind these are just some examples to consider for enrollment in online bachelor’s degree programs. Prior college, professional studies, and general studies may help to make these programs more accessible to some.

Earning potential depends on many factors. College students should consider their location as well as the specific type of bachelor’s degree they take. Completing electives may change the course of some studies, too. Here is a look at some examples for prospective students. Some programs offer fully online education. Others require online with some in person learning.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers some guidance on salary in these fields.

Business Administration Programs

A Bachelor of Business Administration is typically a versatile degree that may help students work in a range of fields after completion. Some may take courses to work in the area of human resource management. Others may focus on entrepreneurship or political science. The areas of study could be numerous. Many programs are a Bachelor of Arts and allow for fully online classes or distance learning.

Positions and 2020 median annual salary:

  • Political Scientist: $125,350 per the BLS
  • Sales Managers: $132,290 per the BLS

Organizational Leadership Programs

Organizational leadership may be an opportunity for students to learn about leadership. A bachelor’s degree here may incorporate various class options. That could include human resources, corporate communications, human resources behavioral science, and sociology. This type of education may also include computer science skills. This may help a student work as a corporate development manager or human resource manager.

Positions and 2020 median annual salary:

  • Human Resource Manager: $121,220 per the BLS
  • Corporate Executive: $107,680 per the BLS

Supply Chain Management Programs

Online schools often offer a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management. This field may incorporate online courses in areas of logistics, distribution, and transportation. Some programs may provide students with the ability to complete key certifications in their coursework. Students completing a program like this may work in positions such as operations manager, supply chain manager, or logistics manager.

Positions and 2020 median annual salary:

  • Distribution manager: $96,390 per the BLS
  • Logistics manager: $76,270 per the BLS

Early Childhood Education Programs

An early childhood program may allow a student to complete a Bachelor of Science to teach children at the preschool and lower levels. Those completing this program may be eligible to work in management and leadership positions with younger children. Some states may require early education students to complete an assessment or certification after completion of the program. Others may not require licensing. Students may study child development and psychology.

Positions and 2020 median annual salary:

  • Childcare center director: $49,160 per the BLS
  • Preschool teacher: $31,930 per the BLS

Computer Information Systems Programs

Technology is another area of interest for some. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology may be available. This type of program aims to enable students to learn about databases, computer hardware, security, and problem solving. Cybersecurity is another potential option for study. This type of program may allow students to work in many areas of technology. That includes development, management of systems, and research.

Positions and potential salary:

  • Computer programmer: $898,190 per the BLS
  • Computer systems analyst: $93,730 per the BLS

Law Enforcement Programs

Some bachelor’s degrees completed in 3 years may fall into the area of law enforcement. Criminal justice degrees may be completed online or in a hybrid format. Many times, these programs aim to support people currently working as a police officer to further their education. The focus is often public safety. That may include more study into social justice or law. Those working as an officer may wish to complete this degree online so they do not have to stop working.

Positions and potential salary:

  • Private investigator: $53,320 per the BLS
  • Corrections officer: $47,440 per the BLS

Liberal Arts Studies

For those who want to earn a Bachelor of Liberal Studies, that’s another potential option for a 3 year program. Students may be able to complete this online. Students may study the arts as well as areas such as humanities and social sciences. Some programs may include computer science in them. This may help students qualify for careers in areas such as journalist or policy analyst. The coursework selected might play a big role in determining the type of job a person qualifies for here. There may be ample versatility.

Positions and potential salary:

  • Reporter: $49,300 per the BLS
  • Radio announcer: $41,950 per the BLS

Health Sciences Studies

Choose a bachelor’s in health sciences to study a range of topics. That may include healthcare management. Healthcare administration may fit here, too. Some nursing programs might be available for completion in 3 years. Online colleges may also offer paths for students to advance existing nursing degrees. That may include earning a BSN. Some work in social work. Others in public health. Those with undergraduate degrees, such as an associates degree, may benefit, too.

Positions and potential salary:

  • Healthcare management: $104,280 per the BLS
  • Registered nurse: $75,330 per the BLS

What is a 3 Year BSN Program?

3 Year BSN Programs

What is a 3 Year BSN Program?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) often provides students with education enabling them to sit for the state required certification exams. That often includes the NCLEX-RN exam. This may lead to licensure. Students taking this degree program from an accredited school may then be able to work in a nursing position. The 3 year BSN programs may allow student to complete this in just three years. Typically, it is a 4 year education plan.

Each school sets the rules for enrolling in this degree program. Some schools may not require pre-requisites. Students with a high school diploma or the equivalent may be able to apply. The coursework is often advanced. That means more learning in each course. It also typically focuses on more hands-on learning. Students that want to work in a nursing position may be able to do so faster through this degree program.

Accelerated BSN

An accelerated BSN is a fast paced education track. It may help students prepare for a professional nursing practice. This is an undergraduate program. That means students may not have to have a previous degree to enter into the program. However, they may also be a good option for students who have some previous education but did not finish school. Transfer credits from an associate’s degree or community college may apply depending on the school’s requirements.

Typically, a BSN enables students to gain the education they need to sit for the nursing license exam. From there, students may obtain licensure to provide nursing services in the state. The BSN’s goal is often to help prepare students to work as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Students looking to enter entry level positions may find this BSN option to be ideal because of how fast it may be.

BSN admission requirements:

  • Minimum GPA requirements
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses, if any
  • Completion of application to the program
  • High school diploma or equivalent

BSN sample classes:

Some coursework students may expect to see includes courses such as these:

  • Fundamentals of Nursing – This course may introduce students to the field of nursing. It often has a design to be broad range and covers multiple areas of the field to provide a solid foundation for the student.
  • Health Care in the Community – This course often focuses on the delivery of healthcare to the community. Students may be going out for field experience to see how the program works and what all is entailed in the profession.
  • Applied Nutrition in Health and Disease – This course may cover the nutrition aspect that nurses are going to deal with. Knowing how to understand different diet restrictions and what to allow patients to consume based on the orders from a doctor.
  • Introduction to Pharmacology – This course typically introduces students to the study of different medications. In this course, students may gain a base knowledge of different drug purposes. Items such as interactions, dosages, and administering of the drugs may all be covered.
  • Aging in Health and Illness – This course often covers dealing with patients who are advanced in age. The course may go over dealing with illnesses and health issues that affect members of this age group and how to treat them appropriately.

MSN Program

An MSN is a Master of Science in Nursing program. It’s often the next step for many students after completing a BSN. Students with an accelerated BSN may be able to apply for this program as well. MSN studies often take 2 years to complete. Some faster paced options may also be available.

The MSN post graduate plan may help students work as a Nurse Educator. It may also enable students to take on positions such as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) or a Certified Registered Nursing Anesthetist (CRNA). Some may work as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) or a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

MSN admission requirements:

  • Completion of a BSN program
  • Minimum GPA
  • Completion of application for program
  • Resume
  • Letters of recommendation
  • RN experience
  • GRE

MSN sample classes:

Below are some sample classes students may expect for this degree program:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology – In this course the students may analyze and apply responses to pathophysiologic mechanisms and the corresponding conditions. This may include responses that are both abnormal and normal. The student may also look at evaluations of the responses.
  • Advanced Physical Assessment – In this course, the student often gains a broader knowledge of health assessment. The student may develop techniques for assessing by using medical history and medical exams in order to make determinations.
  • Advanced Pharmacology Fundamentals – In this course, students may learn about common prescription drugs. Parts of the class may cover the analysis and application of these drugs as well expanding the student’s overall knowledge of the principles of pharmacology.
  • Population Health, Epidemiology, and Statistical Principles – In this course, students may look into population health, statistics and epidemiology. These principles may be analyzed and evaluated to help in drawing conclusions. The use of data and statistics to help with decision making and how to best treat patients are also skills taught in this class.
  • Advanced Health Care Policy – The purpose of this course is often to teach students about the American healthcare system. The class often looks at the making of policies and their effectiveness. This class may also look at how the healthcare system is affected both politically and economically.


A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a third layer of education. It typically takes 2 years to complete. It may help a student to complete education towards working in advanced leadership positions. It may also help some students to work in areas of research in the field. This advanced nursing degree often occurs after completing a MSN degree.

PhD in nursing admission requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Minimum GRE score
  • Letters of recommendation
  • College transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Nursing license
  • Resume

PhD in nursing sample classes:

Some coursework a student in a PhD program may take include the following:

  • Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology – This course often covers topics regarding technological advances in medicine. Application, use and availability of these items as well as how to use and interpret the data provided from these advances.
  • Research Theory, Design and Methods – This course aims to prepare students fort a number of aspects of the program. Including a dissertation as well as the ability to deal with patients and or students when preparing presentations. Applying the data gathered and using it to prepare and defend the theory developed.
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis – This course often covers how to quantitatively research and present a project on the doctoral level. In this course students may design and carry out quantitative research.
  • Healthcare Policy and Advocacy – This course aims to cover not only what healthcare policy is but hope to apply it. Working with both patients as well as the care provider to provide the best knowledge and to protect the rights and interests of both.
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis – This course often focuses on the qualitative aspect of research. Students may perform and present a qualitative research project. This course typically puts a lot of emphasis towards preparing for a dissertation.

Accelerated Nursing Online Programs

Completing a bachelor’s degree online may be an option for some students. Many BSN programs may require clinical experiences. That may mean some courses are completed locally rather than online. However, much of the general education requirements a student needs to obtain to earn a BSN degree may be available through strictly online courses.

These nursing courses may allow some students to take classes when they want to do so. It may offer more flexibility for working or other responsibilities in life. It is important to keep in mind limitations, though. An online accelerated nursing program may require a lot of dedication and time spent working towards the degree. These courses typically pack a lot of information into each class period. Students may earn everything from community health concerns to mental health, pediatric medicine, and high level patient care.

For those considering a nursing career, online programs may be a good option if a student may focus on their education and devote enough time to it. That may increase the difficulty in the program. Mentorship from fellow students and professors may be a bit harder to obtain, too. Before enrollment, consider how well this type of course fits into your daily life. Still, for many, it could be optimal.

How long does an Accelerated Nursing Program Take?

The goal of this type of program is to get through the education sooner. An accelerated BSN typically takes 2 years to complete. Students enrolling part time may spend more time completing the program. These programs typically have a set number of credit hours a student must complete to earn the BSN degree. However, the college of nursing may choose to speed up the process through an accelerated program. To do this, more is often packed into the courses. The courses may require more extensive hands-on experience. Students completing an accelerated course should still learn the core information and skills necessary to do well in the field.

Accreditation for Accelerated Nursing Programs

When obtaining a bachelor’s degree, going to a school with accreditation may be important, no matter the degree. An accredited school is one that meets specific requirements set by the accrediting organization. Accreditation applies for bachelor’s programs, master’s degree programs, and other areas of education.

Several organizations may provide accreditation. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is one of them. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is another. These are the two most common organizations providing accreditation for students in the nursing field.

The National Council Licensure Exam, NCLEX) is a critical tool in the nursing field. The NCLEX is a licensure test. It aims to determine a person’s nursing competence against a set of skills and demonstrations of education. This exam is critical in most states. Students may need to complete it to obtain their nursing license. That license is critical for working in the state in a nursing field, such as a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

A school of nursing may aim to teach material to help students do well on this exam. When choosing a college to attend, then, many students may want to ensure the school is accredited. That may help ensure BSN students have access to the information they need to do well on the NCLEX exam.

Scholarships for Accelerated Nursing Programs

For many students attending a BSN degree program, costs may be a factor. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.

Some students may also qualify for scholarships. Many organizations may offer scholarships for nursing programs. Here is a small number of them. Consider doing some additional work to find options for nursing programs.

WiseGeek Nurse Appreciation Scholarship

Value: This is a $500 one time non renewable scholarship.
Deadline: December 31

  • Application form
  • Official transcript
  • Personal statement

This scholarship is for current or prospective nursing students. This is open to all levels of secondary students. The purpose of this scholarship is to help offset loans and tuition.

CastleBranch – GNSA Scholarship

Value: There are four scholarships awarded per your in increments of $2,500 per semester. This scholarship is non renewable.
Deadline: December 30

  • Application form
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Essay

This scholarship is for students in a graduate nursing program that is an AACN member institution. In order to be eligible the student must have at least a 3.5 GPA. If not a member already winners must join the AACN Graduate Student Nursing Academy (GNSA) and make a post summarizing their essay.

ENA Foundation Graduate Scholarship Program

Value: $3,909
Deadline: April 28

  • Acceptance letter
  • Statement of goals
  • Copy of nursing license
  • Official transcript
  • Verification of tuition costs
  • Application form
  • Two letters of recommendation

This award is for students who are in good standing as a member of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). Students must be pursuing an MSN and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA as well.

Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

Value: There are a total of 40 scholarships that are awarded. There are ten for $10,000 and 30 for $5,000. These scholarships are for one year, and they are non renewable.
Deadline: June 27

  • Two essays
  • Application form

This scholarship program is designed to help those students who have already completed at least one year of school in a healthcare program. The primary basis for this award is the  demonstration of leadership as well as academic performance.

A Nurse I Am Scholarship

Value: This is a $2,000 non renewable scholarship. There may be up to seven recipients for this award.
Deadline: March 31

  • Application form
  • Essay

This award is for any student who is in nursing school anywhere in the US. The applicant for the award needs to watch the “A Nurse I Am” documentary in either the 32 or 62 minute version. It is recommended that the applicant watch both videos.

Children’s National Hospital Pediatric Nursing Student Scholarship

Value: This is a $500 one time non renewable scholarship
Deadline: June 30

  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Pursuing career in pediatrics

This scholarship is for nursing students working towards a BSN. The student should have an interest in pediatrics and a minimum of 3.0 GPA.

Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship

Value: This is a $5,000 scholarship. It is non renewable.
Deadline: April 30

  • US student
  • US citizen or resident
  • Full time student
  • Non traditional student
  • Current undergraduate
  • Major in Nursing
  • Essay
  • Application
  • Two letters of recommendation

This is a scholarship designed for students who did not immediately enroll in college after high school. It is a one time scholarship and requires the completion of a 500 word essay in order to qualify.

What Can I Do With A Degree In Marketing?

Marketing careers span the range of industries and employers, from public or private corporations, government entities, and nonprofit organizations. Specializations can be equally wide ranging, from fashion and food to pharmaceuticals and sports. Marketers may focus on topics like brand management, product development, social media, technology or global markets. Marketing campaigns typically depend on product, price, place and promotion; similarly, marketing careers and opportunities can vary by industry and location.

Most management positions in marketing require a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Advertising positions may require a bachelor’s degree in advertising or journalism. Marketing professionals usually work for corporates, manufacturing companies, wholesale traders as well as advertising and public relations services. Having skills in creativity and communication as well as the ability to think analytically can be a good fit for those seeking a career in this field.

Here are a few career options you have as a marketing professional:

Advertising managers create advertising campaigns within a stipulated budget in order to generate interest among consumers. In larger companies advertising managers may handle several in-house accounts and have oversight on the creatives and media department.

Promotions managers design advertising campaigns that offer consumers an incentive to purchase. These incentives may include discounts, coupons, samples, in order to promote sales.

Marketing managers help to maximize profits for the company and ensure customers are satisfied. They often work with other departments, including sales, public relations and product development, to identify competitors and potential markets for growth.

Career Outlook for Marketing Professionals

The job outlook in marketing is strong, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job outlook for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers from 2016 to 2026 is 10 percent (faster than the average for all other occupations), while the job outlook for marketing research analysts is 23 percent (much faster than average).

Wages for Marketing Professionals

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May, 2017), the following are the mean annual wages for marketing professionals:

  • Advertising and Promotions Manager: $123,880
  • Marketing Managers: $145,620

Online Degrees in Marketing

Prospective students interested in earning a degree in this field — but who don’t have the time to become a full-time on-campus student — can consider earning an online degree in marketing. Online degree programs in marketing are just as rigorous and comparable to on-campus programs.

An online degree in marketing can teach students the fundamental lessons needed to begin a marketing career in any industry. Depending on the program you choose, coursework may include:

  • Consumer behavior
  • Communication methods and technology
  • Business law
  • Finance
  • Computer science
  • Visual arts and statistics

The professors that teach marketing generally have industry-specific experience that students can benefit from. Potential employers tend to value candidates who have a degree in marketing as it shows them that you are serious about this profession and come with the credentials needed to learn and grow in your profession.

Learn more about the field of marketing, as well as related career paths, in our infographic below. We examine popular careers and major employers as well as some thriving industries and hot locations for marketing pursuits.


  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm
  • Advertising and Promotions Managers, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, Occupational Employment Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112011.htm#st
  • Marketing Managers, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, Occupational Employment Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112021.htm#st
  • For a complete list of sources, please view the infographic.

Embed in your site:

Online Degree Programs

Today’s workforce looks drastically different than ever before. In fact, automation is replacing so many jobs that higher-level skills, such as decision-making and problem-solving, are needed for individuals to remain competitive in the workplace, according to the Lumina Foundation, a non-profit organization.

Considering higher education. One strategy for staying competitive in the workforce is to develop the higher-thinking skills that can result from a college education. Why do that? The Lumina Foundation reports that about 60 percent of jobs now require some type of college education, whether that’s from a vocational school, community college, four-year institution or university.

Access to a variety of students. Of course, this variety of institutional choice allows a range of people to seek higher education – including career changers, stay-at-home parents, high school graduates, lifetime lovers of learning and even retirees. Online access to education is changing the face of education, too, giving even vaster numbers of students the opportunity to complete a degree from home or from another state or some unimagined location.

Did you say something about higher pay? In fact, the Lumina Foundation reports that higher annual pay can result from higher education. Its studies show that adults with an associate degree generally earned $12,168 more annually than those with just a high school education and that those with a bachelor’s degree generally earned about $32,112 more annually that those with a high school education. The next step to your higher education may simply be to take a look at the different types of online degree programs that are available.

If you want to know how to earn a degree online, you would need to consider whether an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree is right for you. If you have no prior college education, then an associate or bachelor’s degree could be your first step. Accredited online degree programs at the master’s and doctoral levels are typically appropriate for people who already have an undergraduate education. Take a quick look at the degree types below:

Associate degrees:

These degrees generally take about two years to complete. They may be completed at a vocational or community college and, in some cases, a four-year school. Many, although not every online degree program at this level, can prepare students for entry-level positions in careers, like veterinary technology, phlebotomy or licensed vocational nursing. Other associate degree programs can be used to transfer into four-year programs in areas like criminal justice, history and sociology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11 percent of the U.S. workforce holds an associate degree.

Bachelor’s degrees:

A student seeking a four-year education at a college or university traditionally completes a bachelor’s degree. These degrees include a broad education in core courses, primarily during the first two years, and then upper-level classes in the student’s major in the final two years. More people have bachelor’s degrees now than in the early 1990s. In fact, about 25 percent of the adult workforce now holds a bachelor’s degree.

Master’s degrees:

This graduate-level degree typically takes two years to complete and can require completion of a thesis or capstone project. Master’s degrees are necessary in some fields, such as school counseling or becoming a nurse practitioner. Online master’s degrees also can be useful to those want to change careers – for example, from a career in journalism to a career as an elementary education teacher. The BLS reports that 11 percent of the workforce holds a master’s degree.

Doctoral degrees:

These top-tier degrees come in many forms including the PhD, EdD and PharmD. These degrees are designed for people pursing professional career paths or who want to work in higher levels of administration or research. A dissertation can be required as part of a doctoral level program, requiring a serious commitment to degree completion. Only 2 percent of the adult workforce holds a doctoral degree, according to the BLS.

You can explore many different online college degree options by clicking on the various buttons below. The disciplines that can be studied through online degrees are diverse, including computers, criminal justice, healthcare, nursing, science and more. In fact, online programs are more diversified now than ever before, according to LearningHouse, a provider of education services and solutions.

Students pursue accredited online degree programs for many different reasons, but one of the most obvious is the flexibility available in scheduling and studying. Of course, questions about the rigor of online coursework may arise for students who have never taken an online course before.

However, a 2019 LearningHouse study shows that 81 percent of online students who were surveyed felt that their instructors were effective teachers. An equal percentage of students felt confident that their online program was equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Yet, what are the specific reasons for you to think about your online college degree options? Here are three compelling considerations.

  1. Improving earning potential.Individuals with more education generally take home more in pay and earnings. In 2017, for example, adults with an associate degree earned weekly median wages of $836 while those with a bachelor’s degree earned $1,173 and those with a master’s degree earned $1,401, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  2. Increasing job security. Similarly, the chances for unemployment decrease with more education. The BLS reports that associate degree holders had an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent in 2017, while those with bachelor’s or master’s degrees had lower unemployment rates of 2.5 and 2.2, respectively. Furthermore, the Lumina Foundation reports that the probability for employment for people with a bachelor’s degree is 24 percent higher than the probability for high school graduates.
  3. Career competitiveness. With automation replacing many manufacturing jobs, people now need to be more qualified than ever to be competitive in the workplace. In fact, more and more jobs are requiring collaborative work and decision-making skills. A degree can be an indicator than graduates have obtained some of these desirable skills, reports the Lumina Foundation.

Online degree programs are typically delivered through a learning management system, such as Blackboard, Canvas, D2L or Moodle, according to data from the 4th Annual LMS Data Update, issued by edutechnia.com. In fact, Blackboard is the most commonly used among these four, but students of popular online degrees could find these or others in use when investigating online college degree options. Generally, content is delivered in accredited online degree programs in one of two ways:

  • Asynchronous classes are in use in many different online degree programs. These classes allow students to access and complete homework and assignments as a time convenient to them, even if this is the middle of the night. It’s not a free-standing schedule, however. Students still do have deadlines to meet and typically submit assignments or post questions by certain due dates.
  • Synchronous classes provide live learning opportunities, in the sense that instruction occurs in real-time. Students learn much as they would in a real classroom, but access that content electronically. Video conferencing, live lectures and instant chat boards form the knowledge-building and instructional loop of synchronous coursework.

Before enrolling for a higher education degree, be sure to put accredited online degree programs on your consideration list. Accreditation indicates that an institution of higher learning or a program at a school has been reviewed by an outside agency — with no affiliated interest — and found to feature quality learning. Generally, accreditation can be one of two types, or even both:

  • Regional accreditation: Accreditation is granted from a regional agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. There are six regional accreditation agencies in the U.S., and they provide accreditation to schools within certain regions, as the name suggests. Regional accreditation can be important when a student wants to transfer credits from one school to another.
  • Programmatic accreditation: This type of accreditation is granted to programs at a school which may already be regionally accredited. Program accreditation is specific to a degree or degrees within a discipline or department. It can be granted in areas as diverse as nursing, veterinary technology, social work and more.

There are many different online college degree options, but you may want to learn more about potential job openings in a field before enrolling. Workforce information can help you to make more informed decisions about accredited online degree programs and their potential employment outcomes. Below is information on programs of study, number of occupations, total employment and forecasted job openings.

Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

  • Closing the Skills Gaps: Companies and Colleges Collaborating for Change, The Lumina Foundations, Accessed November 2018, https://www.luminafoundation.org/files/publications/Closing_the_skills_gap.pdf
  • Employment Projects, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed November 2018, https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm
  • 4th Annual LMS Update, Edutechnia, Accessed November 2018, http://edutechnica.com/2016/10/03/4th-annual-lms-data-update/
  • “It’s not just the money; The benefits of college education to individuals and to society,” Lumina Foundation, Accessed November 2018, https://www.luminafoundation.org/files/resources/its-not-just-the-money.pdf
  • Online College Students 2018, LearningHouse, Accessed November 2018, https://www.learninghouse.com/knowledge-center/research-reports/ocs2018/
  • Online College Students 2019, LearningHouse, Accessed June 2019, https://www.learninghouse.com/thank-you-ocs2019-research-report/
  • “Profile of the Labor Force by Educational Attainment,” Vernon Brundage, Jr., August 2017, https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2017/educational-attainment-of-the-labor-force/pdf/educational-attainment-of-the-labor-force.pdf
  • Programmatic Accrediting Organizations, Council for Higher Education Organization, Accessed November 2018, https://www.chea.org/programmatic-accrediting-organizations-accreditor-type

10 Fast Growing Jobs Robots Can’t Do

Technology has helped us to improve our lives in ways we never thought imaginable fifty years ago. It has driven communication forward by leaps and bounds, making the world a smaller place, allowing us to have conversations from one end of the world to the other and to learn about different cultures without having to leave home. It has also opened up higher education opportunities such as paving the way for busy people to earn a degree of their choice through online degree programs.

Technology also has its downside. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), automation is expected to replace 800 million “human” jobs worldwide by 2030, affecting one-fifth of the global workforce. A 2017 McKinsey study states that 375 million people may need to switch occupations and learn new skills due to automation.

But here’s the good news.

The McKinsey study also shows that technology can actually create new jobs. Consider these examples:

  • The introduction of ATMs actually led to a 43 percent increase in the opening of new bank branches in urban areas; and the hiring of more tellers in each new branch.
  • The advent of personal computers created 15.8 million new jobs in non-technology-related sectors like call centers and finance.

While some of the more mundane or repetitive tasks can be replaced by technology, humanness is unique. It’s found in everyday things like telling a joke to lighten the mood or a sympathetic pat on the back. These (not-so) simple things we take for granted all require that special undefinable factor that makes us human.

While technology can create new jobs, plenty of occupations already exist that technology is not likely to replace. Here’s a range of 10 interesting occupations that require the human factor. And what’s more … these jobs have a higher than average demand in the job market.

#1 Physical Therapists 

In 2016, researchers at Georgia Tech tested Darwin, a robot designed to help physical therapy patients meet their fitness goals. While some may see this as a cause for worry in terms of job replacement, Darwin’s function as an aide doesn’t replace the customized recommendations by a physical therapist for the types of exercises a patient needs to perform. Physical therapists need to take into account each individual’s different pain threshold and response to treatment. It is doubtful that a robot would be able to make a diagnosis with a nonspecific description from a patient like, “It isn’t exactly hurting now but my knees twinge when it rains.”

The need for physical therapists is increasing partly due to the aging baby boomers who are more active than previous generations, but may need help recovering from strains or injuries or in maintaining an acceptable level of flexibility, strength, and mobility.

See how an online degree program in physical therapy can help you join this growing healthcare profession.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 239,800
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $88,080 per year
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 28 percent

#2 Civil Engineers 

While artificial intelligence can, and does, aid civil engineers in their jobs by making calculations and organizing data, innovation itself is a human trait. Civil engineers also need to be able to manage a large number of variables from governmental bodies, funding agencies, contractors to labor. Projects may also come across hiccups that need to be dealt with in an innovative manner in order to meet deadlines. Managing a civil engineering project involves managing people, something robots, in all probability, are unlikely to be able to do in the near future.

The field of civil engineering is expected to grow as old infrastructure needs replacement or repair and to meet the infrastructural needs of a growing population. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that renewable-energy projects will likely require the services of civil engineers.

Find out how you can become a civil engineer through an online degree program.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 239,800
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $91,790 per year
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 11 percent

#3 Meeting, Convention and Event Planners 

Event planners need a large amount of creativity and interpersonal skills — skills robots do not yet possess. They also need to coordinate with a vast number of vendors and contractors in order to put together various aspects of an event. The organizational skills needed for coordinating the large number of variables that go with event planning makes it highly unlikely that robots will be taking over the event planning industry anytime soon.

The event planning industry is huge. According to a 2018 study by the Events Industry Council, it supported more direct jobs in 2016 than many large manufacturing industries. This trend is expected to continue. For example, industry-focused conventions can still provide valuable opportunities for geographically separate people to get together in person. And nonprofit organizations are likely to continue to host fundraising galas to help them meet their financial goals.

Get behind the scenes and learn how you can become a part of this exciting industry with an online degree in event planning.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 116,700
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $52,630 per year
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 11 percent

#4 Chefs and Head Cooks 

While there are several robots in the culinary world, two of the most famous examples being Flippy — the burger flipping robot and the robotic kitchen making waves in Spyce, Boston, they still need human chefs to feed them recipes and give them the flavor combinations that a human palate can enjoy. Chefs are the creative minds behind some of our most memorable culinary experiences — whether it’s the diner down the road or the latest fine dining establishment. Not only do they add their own spin on existing recipes, but chefs often come up with exciting new ones of their own.

The demand for chefs is expected to rise for several different reasons: there’s greater consumer interest in eating healthier but still flavorful meals, and the trend to dine out continues to grow as work and family schedules can mean that people have less time to prepare their own meals.

Learn how you can take some of your culinary coursework online.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 146,500
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $49,650 per year
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 10 percent

#5 Mental Health Counselors 

A large part of the therapeutic process is the attention counselors are able to give each individual patient, whether the patient is dealing with substance abuse, a behavioral disorder, or other mental health issue. While one may argue that computers are nonjudgmental, John Nuttall, Professor of Integrative Psychotherapy at Regent’s University, London and Chair of the third sector service West London Centre for Counselling (WLCC) is firm on the fact that therapy requires human involvement, stating “Research shows that psychotherapy effectiveness is about the relationship that builds between two people.” People may also relate to counselors who have overcome situations similar to their own, drawing inspiration from their experiences – something that make the human connection extremely important in their recovery.

The BLS predicts that the demand for counselors is expected to be good especially in rural areas where communities are underserved by mental health practitioners.

Find out about how you can become a counselor through an online degree program.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 260,200
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $46,560 per year
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: Educational requirements vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 23 percent

#6 Computer and Information Systems Managers 

This technology-based occupation is one that cannot be replaced by robots. Also known as IT (Information Technology) managers, computer and information systems managers need complex skills like coding, designing websites and writing flows for new applications that require creative approaches to provide solutions. IT managers need to discuss organizational needs with their clients and design systems to suit them – all of this within a set budget. Programming a robot to write code or to account for all the variables involved in designing information systems is extremely difficult, not mention akin to programing yourself out of a job.

Firms across most industries are expanding their digital operations, and cloud computing and cybersecurity are amongst the hottest trends in business, so IT managers can rest assured that they will likely be needed for a long time to come.

If you are considering a career in IT, have a look at how online degrees in IT and technology can help you get there.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 367,600
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $ 149,730 per year
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 12 percent

#7 Preschool Teachers 

While robots have been proven to be wonderful teachers’ aides in helping children learn, especially in the case of autistic children, we are a far cry off from Rosie, the robot nanny from the Jetsons. While robots may make wonderful educational aides, they cannot help young children develop socio-emotional skills that children learn by imitating adults around them. Robots also do not have the manual dexterity needed to pick up a child that has fallen, nor do they have the empathy needed to soothe a crying child. Taking all this into consideration, it is fairly safe to say that preschool teachers are here to stay.

A rise in the population of young children and an increasing importance given to early childhood education are among the reasons why this profession is expected to grow.

Learn how you can play a vital role in the development of young children through online degrees in early childhood education.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 478,500
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $ 33,590 per year
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: Associate degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 10 percent

#8 Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers 

Robots are a good tool to analyze trends in the market or to send out mass emails. However, robots lack the creativity and human instinct needed to design a campaign that will likely resonate well with target audiences. A computer may be programmed to analyze data trends and patterns to come up with ideas for a campaign; however it cannot be programmed to design campaigns to elicit the appropriate emotions from consumers. Advertisers can use technology and data to aid how they craft and deliver messages, but it is unlikely that they will be replaced by it.

As organizations continue to market their products and services, in order to maintain their foothold and expand their business, especially in the digital world, the need for marketing professionals is expected to grow.

Find out how you can become a part of this growing field with online degrees in marketing or communications and media.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 249,600
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $ 123,880 per year
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 10 percent

#9 Actors 

Actors have the artistry to play characters we fall in love with, who repel us, make us want to be them, or who just simply fascinate us. What do they all have in common? They are distinctly human. Granted there have been on-screen robots that make us invest in them emotionally — think R2-D2 and C-3PO – but it is because they show distinctly human feelings. People want to be able to relate to on-screen or on-stage characters and draw parallels to their own lives and experiences. Unless you can imagine associating your life, emotions and feelings with those of a robot, it’s fairly safe to say that actors will most likely be needed to entertain us.

The employment for actors is expected to grow due a continued demand for new movies and television shows along with the growth of internet streaming platforms.

Find out how an online degree in theater arts can help you become a part of the magical world of film and television.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 63,800
  • Mean hourly wage in 2017: $32.89 per hour (The BLS calculates wages for this profession as hourly wages since actors generally work on contract)
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: Some college, no degree
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 12 percent

#10 Fitness Trainers and Instructors 

Fitness trainers and instructors not only help people achieve their fitness goals through exercise and nutrition, they also can provide the motivation they need to do so. Whether they work with individuals as personal trainers or with groups, fitness instructors need to keep an eye out and adjust planned routines to cater to different levels of fitness and skills within the group. They need to project high levels of enthusiasm and energy to keep their clients engaged – emotions that a robot would not be able to show. Trainers of professional athletes can also act as life coaches helping athletes cope with the highs and lows of competitive sports and the fame that can come along with it.

The growth in the fitness industry is expected to come from an increasing awareness of the benefits of exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Learn how online degrees in sports and fitness can help you aid people to live an active lifestyle.

Featured data points:

  • Number of jobs in 2016: 299,200
  • Mean annual wage in 2017: $ 43,720 per year per year
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Projected job growth, 2016-26: 10 percent


  • Actors, Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes272011.htm, accessed December 2018
  • Actors, Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,https://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/actors.htm, accessed October 2018
  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm, accessed September 2018
  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes112011.htm, accessed December 2018
  • Can software ever replace the therapist?, Therapy Today,: Volume 27, Issue 5, 2016,https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/therapy-today/2016/june-2016/can-software-ever-replace-the-therapist/
  • Chefs and Head Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-and-head-cooks.htm, accessed September 2018
  • Chefs and Head Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes351011.htm, accessed December 2018
  • Civil Engineers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/civil-engineers.htm, accessed September 2018
  • Civil Engineers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017,https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes172051.htm, accessed December 2018
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm, accessed September 2018
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017,https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes113021.htm, accessed December 2018
  • Economic Significance of Meetings to the US Economy Report, Events Industry Council, February 2018,https://www.eventscouncil.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/oe-eic-meetings-significance — -2018-february.pdf?sfvrsn=0
  • Fitness Trainers and Instructors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017,https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes399031.htm, accessed December 2018
  • Fitness Trainers and Instructors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm, accessed October
  • Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation, McKinsey Global Institute, 2017,https://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/overview/2017-in-review/automation-and-the-future-of-work/jobs-lost-jobs-gained-workforce-transitions-in-a-time-of-automation
  • Mapping the extended frontiers of escapism: binge-watching and hyperdiegetic exploration, Journal of Marketing Management, 34(5-6), 497-508, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2018.1477818
  • Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm, accessed September 2018
  • Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017,https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes131121.htm, accessed December 2018
  • Physical Therapist Helps Kids with Cerebral Palsy, MIT Technology Review, 2017,https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603614/a-robot-physical-therapist-helps-kids-with-cerebral-palsy/
  • Physical Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes291123.htm, accessed December 2018
  • Physical Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm, accessed September 2018
  • Preschool Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017,https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes252011.htm, accessed December 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 September 2018
  • Robot automation will ‘take 800 million jobs by 2030’ – report, BBC News, November 2017,https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42170100
  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-behavioral-disorder-and-mental-health-counselors.htm, accessed September 2018
  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes211018.htm, accessed December 2018
  • Tellers, toil and technology, ATM Marketplace, March 2015,https://www.atmmarketplace.com/articles/tellers-technology-and-atms/
  • The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?” Oxford University paper, 2013 https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf
  • The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries: A Comparative Analysis, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 189, OECD Publishing, Paris, 2016, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/the-risk-of-automation-for-jobs-in-oecd-countries_5jlz9h56dvq7-en
  • Use of technology in interventions for children with autism. Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention, 1(2), 166-178, 2004,http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0100287
  • Will AI Replace Creative Jobs?, Forbes, 2017,https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/10/11/will-ai-replace-creative-jobs/#33edf94d96a2
  • Will Robots Take My Job?,https://www.replacedbyrobot.info/, accessed September 2018
  • Will Technology Replace The Traditional Chef?, Market News, Chef Pass,http://www.chefspass.co.uk/news/will-technology-replace-the-traditional-chef, accessed September 2018

15 Best Online Business Degrees 2020

best business degrees

Did you know that individuals with a bachelor’s degree earned $468 more per week on average than those with only a high school diploma in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)? And if you’re considering earning a business degree online, in 2019 the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that three of its top 10 most in-demand majors fall under the category of business — mainly finance, accounting and business administration.

But how do you know which online business degree programs can offer the best return on your investment? That’s where we come in. Using data from the BLS and the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (NCES IPEDS), we’ve ranked 30 online bachelor’s degrees in business to determine the 15 best online business degrees. Our methodology considers such factors as salary, number of schools offering the major online, job growth and more. Note that not all programs or specializations may be available in your area or offered 100 percent online.

The following 15 online business degree programs topped our list. Keep reading to discover what you can expect from these majors.

1. Business Administration and Management

With a potent combination of high salaries, the highest number of schools offering this major and the highest projected employment numbers, this major tops our list.

Online business administration programs typically cover traditional business subjects such as sales, marketing, management, project management, human resource management, finance and accounting as well as modern topics such as organizational behavior and the social environment of business. Many schools offer optional concentrations, such as supply chain management, operations management or marketing. Graduates can expect to be equipped with a broad understanding of business operations that can be applied in most industries.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
  • Offering over 200 online degree programs

2. Business/Commerce, General

The second major on our list ties with No. 1 in every factor except its number of programs. Typically offered as a bachelor of science, this major focuses on the nuts and bolts of operating a business, as opposed to its more theoretical or philosophical concepts. Courses taken in this program are similar to those taken in an online business administration degree program. However, the curricula typically has a stronger focus on commerce related topics like accounting, economics, finance and marketing.

Some programs may offer students a glimpse into specific industries, such as agribusiness, healthcare administration or running a small business.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

3. International Business/Trade/Commerce

Today’s global economy has created a demand for professionals who are well-versed in international trade and finance, global markets, and the influence of culture on business practices. A degree in international business can prepare graduates to meet that need. With one of the highest salaries on our list and roughly two-thirds of industries employing professionals with this major, a bachelor’s degree in international business rightfully maintains its place on our list of top online business degrees for the second year in a row.

Although grounded in traditional business coursework, this degree program focuses on international trade, import/export, foreign business practices, international banking and finance, and the link between international relations and business. The College Board advises prospective students of online international business degree programs to be prepared to travel and learn new languages to better their job prospects.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

4. Marketing/Marketing Management, General

Online marketing and marketing management degrees have climbed up one step to number four on our list this year with an increase in associated wages, schools offering the degree online and the percentage of industries employing grads.

Students who pursue a marketing degree online typically learn about new product development, design and pricing, market research, consumer behavior, marketing strategy, data collection and analysis, sales, advertising, promotion, brand management, public relations, and marketing communications (including digital and social media). All of this is typically grounded with a foundation in general business principles. After all, great marketing teams can be crucial to the success of a business.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

5. Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies

There are entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Entrepreneurs are the business gurus behind start-ups and small businesses while intrapreneurs are the wizards behind innovative new products or services within larger companies. Both roles require good communication skills and the ability to lead people, according to the College Board. Online entrepreneurship degree programs can help you gain the business know-how and leadership skills to run your own (or someone else’s) business.

The BLS states that self-employment is on the rise in our country with the number of self-employed people expected to reach 10.3 million by 2026 and one in every four millennial reports wanting to own a business or work as an entrepreneur. This degree program can lay the groundwork for achieving those dreams. Entrepreneur-focused coursework may include new venture finance, strategic entrepreneurship, innovation, idea generation, opportunity analysis, new product development, and business plan development. Some schools offer this degree program as a specialization within in a business administration degree.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

6. Management Science

How many times has a manager made the difference for you between loving a job and hating it? The importance of good management to a business cannot be overstated. Good managers are vital to most industries, and good managers command high salaries, which is why this major has moved up our list from number seven last year.

Management science encompasses the knowledge, insights, and tools successful managers use to organize, lead, and control organizations. This degree may be appropriate for anyone who wants to both understand and practice organizational management skills. Students pursuing this degree can expect to learn about management decision-making at all levels of an organization, from high-level strategy to human resources matters to daily operations.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

7. Finance, General

This major makes our list for its high salaries, high rate of employment growth and high projected number of jobs for the 2018-28 decade. Finance majors learn about various concepts like the time value of money, including budgets, stocks and bonds, and interest rates that allow them to advise individuals and businesses on how to make sound financial decisions.

Students pursuing this online degree typically study corporate finance, investment risk analysis, banking, insurance, business development, financial markets, portfolio management, financial planning and management, international finance and the basics of accounting and economics. Students of online finance degrees may be able to choose a concentration in topics like investment analysis, corporate finance, or real estate.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

8. Accounting and Business/Management

This degree has stayed resolutely at the eighth position for the second year in a row with the highest job growth in our rankings and the second highest number of industries employing graduates of this major. Students pursuing online accounting and business degree programs usually study financial and managerial accounting, auditing, taxation, and accounting law. To give additional context to the accounting role, these programs also teach business concepts like business law, marketing, and supply chain management. They also give students a chance to develop essential practical skills like working with ledgers, financial statements, budgets, accruals, and reporting.

Some programs may prepare you to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and/or the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exams and become a licensed accounting professionals.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

9. Accounting and Finance

Online accounting and finance degrees are another type of accounting degree that have maintained their position in this year’s rankings. Unlike an accounting and business degree which can focus on business and management topics, this online degree program focuses on the relationship between accounting and financial markets.

This degree combines the strategic investment and budgeting of finance with the recordkeeping and compliance involved in the details of accounting. Students would learn how to apply the principles of budgeting and forecasting to the work of accounting. Graduates may work in auditing, tax preparation or planning, cost analysis or financial advisory services.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

10. Management Information Systems (MIS), General

Online hospitality administration and management degrees make a new entrance at number 10. It’s no surprise as this degree has the highest number of industries employing graduates of this major and the fifth highest annual median wages on our list. Students enrolled in this degree programs can learn about the hospitality industry as a whole and then choose specializations in areas like event management, tourism or lodging administration. Coursework usually covers topics like staffing, finance, food and beverage management, and hotel management among others.

As people travel all over the world for business and leisure, adventurous individuals in this field may be able to find work abroad and get a chance to explore new cultures.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

11. Management Information Systems (MIS), General

While online hospitality degrees may have knocked this one down a rank, this degree remains on our list with its winning combination of high salaries and high number of industries employing degree holders. A relatively small number of professionals are projected to hold these positions, which accounts for its small rate of job growth, but the skills these graduates possess are invaluable to many industries. MIS majors learn how to implement information systems into businesses’ operations, which involves the use of computerized databases, computer security and computer networks.

Students enrolled in this crossover degree program between business and technology typically study topics like database design, ecommerce, emerging technologies, and project management.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

12. Operations Management and Supervision

Operations management is the study of the development, production and distribution of goods and services. People with this degree understand how to make operational decisions to save money, improve efficiency and manage people in order to achieve the best results for a company and its products. Whereas managers primarily oversee people, operations managers oversee the quality and sustainability of materials, equipment and labor.

Students can expect to study some combination of the following subjects: production control, product development, inventory management, process management, marketing and logistics, systems analysis, total quality management, transportation and managerial accounting. Operations management may also be offered as a specialization within online business administration degree programs.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

13. Accounting

Accounting degrees also make it to our rankings of top business degrees in 2020 along with accounting and business, and accounting and finance degrees. The BLS credits the faster-than-average job growth for accountants to increasing globalization among companies and an increasingly complex tax and regulatory environment. The BLS also reports that the demand for accountants is likely to remain the same amid arising fears of technology stealing jobs. In fact, tech is expected to take many of the mundane tasks off their shoulders allowing them to become more efficient.

Students of online accounting degree programs generally take courses in accounting (from beginning to advanced), tax and cost accounting, auditing, accounting information systems, taxation and accounting for nonprofit organizations.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

14. Project Management

Project management is a broad concept that is critical to smooth business operations. It can involve the management of people, data, processes, budgets, and systems during the supervision of temporary projects in business from start to finish, which may include conception, planning, budgeting, procuring materials and talent, managing personnel, communicating internally and externally, ensuring quality and completing the project on time and within budget. According to the Project Management Institute, the lack of skilled project managers across the world is creating a huge skills gap. In fact, it has the second highest predicted job growth on our list.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

15. Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration

Every business is comprised of people. Human resource managers play a key role in many aspects of the workforce management. They are the managers in charge of overseeing the hiring, training, evaluating and firing of employees, as well administering benefits and pay and ensuring their health, safety and overall well-being.

To prepare students for that all-important role, a human resources management degree program typically blends traditional business subjects with HR-specific courses in labor relations, employment law, recruitment, training and administration, compensation, benefits, policy development, diversity management, resource planning, and human behavior. In some programs, students also take specialized management and psychology courses.

Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2018:
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:

As you can see, the number of different occupations associated with online business degrees can mean high ROIs on your education while still allowing you to pursue your passion – whether it lies in managing people or working with some of the latest tech. Do check out our individual degree pages for more information on each of the degrees listed above.



For this analysis, we ranked 30 online bachelor’s degrees in business. 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 wage of each occupation matched to the major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018
  2. Annual 75th percentile wage of each occupation matched to the major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018
  3. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2018-19
  4. Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018-28
  5. Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018-28
  6. Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018-28

Methodology Sources

  • 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2018-28 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Methodology 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/

Article Sources

  • Accountants and Auditors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm, accessed February 2020
  • Are Millennials the New Entrepreneurs? Inc.com, November 2018, https://www.inc.com/jason-albanese/are-millennials-new-entrepreneurs/
  • B.S. Entrepreneurship, Franklin University, https://www.franklin.edu/degrees/bachelors/entrepreneurship, accessed February 2020
  • Bachelor of Arts in Operations Management and Analysis, Ashford University, https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/business/bachelor-of-arts-operations-management-analysis, accessed February 2020
  • Bachelor’s Grads Expected to Account For 83 Percent of Hires, National Association of Colleges and Employers, November 2019, https://www.naceweb.org/job-market/trends-and-predictions/bachelors-grads-expected-to-account-for-83-percent-of-hires/
  • Bachelor’s Degree Specialization in Hospitality Management, DeVry University, https://www.devry.edu/online-programs/bachelors-degrees/business/hospitality-management-specialization/, accessed February 2020
  • Elka Torpey and Brian Roberts, Small-business options: Occupational outlook for self-employed workers, Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/article/self-employment.htm
  • Elka Torpey, Education pays, Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2019, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2019/data-on-display/education_pays.htm
  • Elka Torpey, High-wage occupations by typical entry-level education, 2017, Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2019, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2019/article/high-wage-occupations.htm#bachelor-s-degree
  • Finance and Accounting Management, Northeastern University, https://cps.northeastern.edu/academics/program/bachelor-science-finance-and-accounting-management-online, accessed February 2020
  • Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017 – 2027, The Project Management Institute, 2017, https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/job-growth-report.pdf
  • Major: Entrepreneurial Studies, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-entrepreneurial-studies, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Finance, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-accounting-finance-finance, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Hospitality Administration and Management, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-hospitality-administration-management-hospitality-administration-management, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Human Resources Management, BigFuture, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-human-resources-human-resources-management, accessed February 2020
  • Major: International Business, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-international-business, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Management Information Systems, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-management-information-systems, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Management Science, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-management-science, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Operations Management, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-business-management-administration-operations-management, accessed February 2020
  • Online Project Management Bachelor’s Degree, Colorado Technical University, https://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/bachelors/project-management, accessed February 2020
  • The Industries Most Interested in Top Majors, National Association of Colleges and Employers, March 2019, https://www.naceweb.org/job-market/trends-and-predictions/the-industries-most-interested-in-top-majors/

How To Succeed At Community College


Former president Obama has hailed community colleges as providing a “gateway to millions of Americans to good jobs and a better life.” But somewhere along the way, community college students have lost sight of the dream. A report by NSC Research Center 2018 shows that around 39 percent of the students who began at a two-year community college completed a degree within 6 years, whereas 46.2 percent of the students were no longer enrolled by the end of their study period.

If succeeding at community college seems more and more like a long shot, you can take control of your experience. Find out how to avoid the main traps that keep community college students from graduating.

Identifying opportunities at community colleges

Community colleges provide a crucial link to career opportunity for many students. Unlike many four-year universities, the tuition remains affordable. Course scheduling is flexible, with online, partially online and accelerated programs that let students learn on demand and at their own pace. Broad support services help students connect the dots between high school and a skilled job or a bachelor’s degree.

Accessibility does not come without challenges, however. According to a report by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), in fall 2017, 34 percent of undergraduate students attended community colleges (17 percent of full-time undergraduates and 58 percent of part-time undergraduates). As you can see, few fit the traditional mold of the full-time, 18-year-old campus resident who relies on Mom and Dad to foot the bill. More than half attend part-time and commute to campus. Many are adults returning to school; the average age in a community college classroom is 29.

“Community colleges attract students because of the flexible nature of the curriculum. For part-time students, schoolwork is a competing priority among many,” said Dr. Elizabeth Bugaighis, dean of education and academic success at Northampton Community College.

With many students balancing work alongside family and work obligations, it’s no wonder so many lose their focus along the way.

Key obstacles to college completion

Community college administrators, counselors and state public policy analysts identify these major obstacles to degree completion:

  • Remedial education. Research by the Center for American Progress says that anywhere between 40 to 60 percent of first-year community college students arrive in the classroom only to find themselves sidetracked down an extended road of remedial classes that don’t count toward the degree. Bachelor’s degree-seeking students who take a remedial course in the first year after high school graduation are 74 percent more likely to drop out of college than those who do not take remedial education, according to Education Reform Now. Remedial classes in mathematics, writing and reading cost students time, money and self-confidence. Even among those that do graduate, bachelor’s program students take 11 months longer and associate program students take 6 months longer to complete the entire program along with remedial education, than those who do not take remedial studies.
  • Part-time attendance. Students who attend college part-time risk tipping the balance between school and other life priorities. Northampton Community College Professor of Counseling Dr. Virginia Gonzalez works with students individually to determine whether a part-time schedule is right for them. “To succeed with a part-time schedule, students need a great deal of determination and discipline,” she said.

However, community colleges nationwide are taking steps to remove the obstacles students face on the road to a degree.

How to beat the odds at community college

Here are four common traps community college students fall into, as well as escape routes you can use to stay on the path to success at community college.

Problem #1: Remedial classes slow down my progress toward a degree or certificate.

Solution: Community colleges are transforming remedial education to help prevent students exiting or falling out of the programs by:

  • using multiple measures to assess postsecondary readiness and accordingly place students in developmental courses
  • compressing or mainstreaming developmental education with course redesign, such as offering co-requisite college-level courses
  • implementing comprehensive, integrated, and long-lasting support programs

California community colleges, for instance, are ensuring that the students complete college-level English and mathematics within a one-year time frame.

Problem #2: Academic requirements don’t seem relevant to my life or career ambitions.

Solution: Colleges are taking steps to align course curricula more closely with employer demand and real-world practice. Carnegie Foundation focused on engaging students in the statistical and quantitative reasoning concepts as they are more relevant to many students’ educational and career goals than those in the traditional algebraic sequence. The two programs, Statway and Quantway, focus on math education you can use, with applied instruction in statistics, data analysis and quantitative reasoning. According to Carnegie 2016-17 Impact Report, Statway and Quantway have achieved steady enrollment growth at 64%, since their launch in 2011. In 2016-2017, total enrollment was 7,522 — nearly five times that of the first year of enrollment — with 415 sections taught by 224 faculty members across 48 institutions.

Problem #3: Studying is #3 on my list of priorities, after kids and my day job.

Solution: Seek out people who can help you prioritize. Helping you achieve a work-life-school balance is the job of the community college academic advisor.

“Part of making it through college requires a careful balance of life and school,” says former counselor Celinda Smith of Bellevue College, current academic advisor of University of Washington, Bothell.

Dr. Gonzalez of Northampton stresses the importance of having an upfront conversation with a counselor about how to balance your priorities before embarking on a degree program.

Problem #4: I don’t know what it takes to succeed in my classes.

Solution: Community colleges are going the extra mile to help students develop effective learning strategies. SUNY Ulster offers time management and study skills workshops. At Northampton Community College, Dr. Gonzalez developed a 3-credit college success course targeting three skill areas: study skills, informational literacy and critical thinking. The course has raised retention rates, and students report increased confidence and success in other classes. Other schools may offer a trial period where you can test your comfort with online degrees or get a flavor for a class.

Problem #5: I have difficulty in learning material on my own and in keeping up with schedules in online programs

Solution: Community colleges have been focusing on improving course design and extending meaningful support services to improve online education. In fact, a 2017 report by California Community Colleges show the number of students choosing online programs have been steadily increasing over the last 10 years. The gap in success rates between traditional face-to-face (71 percent) and online education program (66 percent) has closed from 17 percent in 2006 to 4 percent in 2016-17. The California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative provides online instructional support to help alleviate the concerns students have about taking classes online.

With these tips in mind, dedication and resourcefulness can take you from enrollment to graduation.

“Successful students achieve a balance and take advantage of the resources and services available to them,” says Wendy McCorry, Assistant Dean for Student Success at SUNY Ulster.


  • Education Reform Now Embargoed, April 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/files/EdReformNow%20O-O-P%20Embargoed%20Final.pdf
  • Obama hails community colleges, skirts their lack of funds, McClatchy Newspapers, October 2010, https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article24595966/
  • Developmental Education Challenges and Strategies for Reform, January 2017, https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/education-strategies.pdf
  • Remedial Education Reforms at California Community Colleges, August 2018, https://www.ppic.org/wp-content/uploads/remedial-education-reforms-at-californias-community-colleges-august-2018.pdf
  • Carnegie Foundation 2016-2017 Impact Report, January 2018, https://storage.googleapis.com/cmp-wordpress-public-uploads/1/pathways_descriptive_report_january_2018.pdf
  • Distance Education Report 2017, accessed May 2019, https://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/Portals/0/Reports/2017-DE-Report-Final-ADA.pdf
  • Online and Homegrown, Inside Higher Ed, October 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/10/13/californias-online-education-initiative-connects-community-college-classes-across
  • Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2017; and Financial Statistics and Academic Libraries, Fiscal Year 2017: First Look, January 2019, https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2019021rev
  • Completing College National 2018 – Figure 15, December 2018, https://nscresearchcenter.org/signaturereport16/
  • Remedial Education, Center for American Progress, September 2016, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education-k-12/reports/2016/09/28/144000/remedial-education/
  • Distance Education Report 2017, California Community Colleges, accessed May 2019, http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/Portals/0/Reports/2017-DE-Report-Final-ADA.pdf

To Get A Degree, Or Not To Get A Degree

A media buzz has caused some people to question one longstanding pillar of American culture: the value of a higher education. Prospective students hear accounts of self-made billionaires such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs who eschewed the familiar trajectory of success and dropped out of school. The New York Times reported that since 1985, consumer prices have roughly doubled, but college tuition has skyrocketed 559 percent during that same time. In light of these developments, do people believe that a degree is worth the investment of time, effort and money?  The answer is a resounding YES. Not only are occupations that require increasingly advanced degrees on the rise according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but also Americans still subscribe strongly to the value of a college education.

A new study by Northeastern University found that more than two-thirds of adults in the U.S. deem a college degree very important for finding a job, getting promotions, developing personally, gaining a global perspective, having success throughout life, and ultimately achieving the American dream. They also found that Millennials (aged 18-30) are more likely than other Americans to be in support of an emergent trend in higher learning: online education. A new study of 2,820 active, degree-granting schools found that the proportion of students taking at least one online course is at an all-time high of 32%. And this upward trend shows no signs of waning.

This infographic examines the continuing importance of a college education to all Americans and the blossoming reputation of online degrees, especially among young adults.


“Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States,” Babson Survey Research Group, 2013, http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/changingcourse.pdf

Northeastern University: Innovation in Higher Education Survey Toplines, Northeastern University, http://www.northeastern.edu/innovationsurvey/pdfs/survey-results.pdf

Why Tuition Has Skyrocketed at State Schools, The New York Times, March 2012, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/why-tuition-has-skyrocketed-at-state-schools/?_r=0

For a complete list of sources, please view the infographic.

Embed in your site:

Over 40 And Thinking Of Career Growth? 6 Successful Online Students Show How They Did It


According to a 2019 article on the World Economic Forum (WEF), perennials, or older workers, are now the fastest-growing population of workers. With people living longer, healthier lives and more people wanting to work for several reasons including the benefit of employer-based health coverage, by 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of workers aged 55+ could be the largest age group in the workforce, exceeding even the millennials!

And with good reason: Findings from the Milken Institute’s Center for the Future of Aging and the Stanford Center on Longevity showed that older workers are more likely to be able to share organizational values, be adept at resolving issues in the workplace and enhance the workplace with their experience and companies are reaping benefits from having diverse age groups in their workforce.

For those who are 40+, this may mean more fruitful years in the workforce, with some working well into their 70s and 80s, according to the WEF article, giving this age group a second wind in their careers. We’d like you to meet 6 individuals who’ve been there, and done that!

  • Michael Ribas, 48, switched careers from being a race car mechanic to public relations manager for the same racing team by earning his bachelor’s degree in social sciences online.
  • Cassandra Allen, 45, wanted to earn a bachelor’s of science in graphic design so she could advance in her career as a graphic artist.
  • Shawna Bell, 44, an office manager, realized she was being held back from obtaining a supervisory position due to her lack of a degree and decided to earn her bachelor’s in business management online.
  • Rocio “Rosie” Villa, a 44-year-old crime specialist and victim advocate who earned her bachelor’s of science degree online.
  • Kevin Gazzara, 51, who earned his Ph.D. in management online as his work schedule as Intel’s program manager for its worldwide management and leadership residential programs would not allow him to attend classes in person.
  • Maureen Taylor, a fifth grade teacher who earned her master’s and specialist degree from brick-and-mortar schools. When it came time to get her doctorate, she dreaded going back into the classroom and opted to earn her doctorate in education online.

Looking at the success stories of these 6 individuals, OnlineDegrees.com collected nuggets of wisdom from their journeys and share 8 tips for those in mid-life thinking of career growth.

1. Make the decision: Go for it!

As the old saying goes, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you want that promotion and a degree is keeping you from getting it, earning a degree seems like the most logical choice. Shawna Bell says, “I had been successful in obtaining relatively decent jobs in running an office, but I knew I could do so much more. I needed a degree to be a manager or supervisor, so I looked at the option of earning my degree online.” Shawna’s experience with online learning went so well that she earned not only a bachelor’s degree online, but went on to earn her master’s degree in business management online, as well.

2. It doesn’t mean sacrificing your priorities

Different people have different reasons for choosing to earn a degree online. Rosie Villa stresses the importance of being able to be at home saying, “My children were at home, and I wanted to be able to be with them as much as possible while I was studying.”

Kevin Gazzara, echoes her words explaining “My then teenage daughters played competitive softball and so in addition to traveling for work, my wife and I were taking them to playoff games, and I needed even more flexibility, which studying online allowed.”

Cassandra Allen states “I chose to study online because of my professional work schedule at the time. As a project manager and applications specialist for a software design company, my work hours were very demanding and varied from day-to-day. I couldn’t commit to on-campus courses.”

3. It does mean moving out of your comfort zone

Working and earning a degree online is not a walk in the park, but it is possible. Shawna Bell states, “Online learning fit my situation by allowing me to do my schooling after work hours, during lunch time, and while on breaks, and the school I chose offered an online environment I was comfortable with.”

Michael Ribas traveled with the racing team 120 days a year and when he was at the racetrack, it was 12-hour days. He says, “When you go to school online, you have to manage your time well. Because I was working so much, any down time I had, I devoted to my school work. I had quite a bit of school work to do and just finding the time was a challenge. Also, accessing the Internet to be able to do my research and writing was an issue sometimes.”

Kevin Gazzara who earned an online doctoral degree says, “Don’t believe for a second that an online doctoral degree is easier or less work than an on-campus program. I can tell you from a student’s and from a professor’s perspective that online programs are significantly more work, which I wouldn’t have expected when I started taking courses or teaching in the program. It’s not just a little bit more work, it’s a lot. But you learn a lot quickly. It hones your critical thinking skills in a way that is much different from in-person classroom exchanges.”

4. Choose your online college choice carefully

Cassandra Allen elaborates on how it’s important to know what you are letting yourself in for. “It is important to choose a school that meets your needs. Make sure you understand the coursework requirements. Ask yourself if you are self-disciplined enough to meet project deadlines — a flexible schedule does not mean open due dates. It takes great organization to successfully study online. Make sure you can meet the requirements for your computer to connect to the online environment. Seek degrees, programs, and certifications that will be recognized by companies that you wish to partner with on projects.”

Maureen Taylor adds, “Research your university. Are their standards high enough? Start with interviewing current or previous students. Does the course work seem too easy or is the turnaround for graded papers too slow? Look for all the aggravating things before you sign up. If your school has a home base in Minnesota and Florida and you need face-to-face time, can you make that work in your schedule and finances? Finally, are you ready to commit, especially on a doctoral level, for four more years? And no, you can’t sell your books back.”

5. Make the most of your existing credits

Rosie Villa was already working at the Office of Victim Services when she began her studies online. Her union, the Association of State Civil Service Employees Union (CSEA), paid for two college classes every year. She says, “I chose Excelsior because they were very good about allowing me to transfer my credits from my previous undergraduate work. I started my education at a university in Russia and had some additional credits from another college here in the U.S., and they allowed me to apply that work experience towards my degree.”

She has some advice for students considering online degree programs, “Actually, what I would tell them is to check the website and see what sort of careers they have and credits they can transfer. Make sure they accept your previous education.”

6. Prepare to be challenged

Cassandra Allen states, “The challenge for me was working on group projects when a member did not meet his or her tasks — catching up to a student who is not interested in a project can be very challenging, using a classroom portal.” Cassandra also discussed netiquette with us, “The challenges of studying online were synchronizing with other students; avoiding sending the wrong signals during online discussions — for example, capital letters signifying anger; avoiding abbreviations; and deciphering grammatical errors in other students’ replies.”

Challenges can also be positive. Michael Ribas said his peers brought out his competitive side, “I was able to interact with the students and especially those who were putting in the same effort as I was. I was very competitive and wanted to be the best I could be. Because they challenged themselves, they challenged me.”

7. Enjoy the benefits

Apart from being able to take classes in your pajamas, going back to school online can have a lot more benefits as some of our interviewees explain.

Maureen Taylor says, “I didn’t have to listen to grumbling and complaining of other students. I didn’t have to drive anywhere at any time. I was available for my family, but they all knew I had to have my school time. I was also freed from the excuses of why course work wasn’t done, asking for extended due dates, complaining about the professor, people eating in class and talking when the prof was talking.”

Shawna Bell loved her time interacting with other students online, “Most of your interaction is done online through the web classroom environment, email and chats. The university and professors endeavored to keep consistent communication with a detailed and specific syllabus. Some of my classmates weren’t even in this country, and we still were able to work together to complete a project or paper. That the students were from so many different walks of life was great. We were able to draw from their varied experiences, which was helpful and interesting.”

8. Prepare for outcomes that can be awesome!

Despite the challenges you may face along the way, the rewards can be wonderful. And you may find that other people have been rooting for you all along. Maureen Taylor found her employers appreciated her efforts, saying, “My degree was valued by my school system and came with a nice raise. My degree prepared me to be relevant in today’s changing educational system. I was current on all the latest research and could speak on trends and issues easily.”

Cassandra Allen was able to start her own graphic design business thanks to her degree. She explains, “My online graphics art degree helped me to gain a larger client base because I honed my talents and skills, while learning an incredible amount of things about smart design. I expanded my skill base and was able to take on more challenging projects, leading to increased pay. I also met a lot of wonderful people. My confidence in the field of study also increased. The online degree allowed me to pursue my passion to earn an income through graphic design.”

Not only did Kevin Gazzara use his degree to start an exceptionally successful management and leadership consulting firm, Magna Leadership Solutions, he went one step further and landed on the faculty at four universities — both online and on campus!

Summing it up:

Michael Ribas sums it up succinctly, “Remember that it’s like anything else, whatever you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it. If it’s something you want to do, go for it.”


  • 3 reasons you’ll spend more at 40 than at 30, CNN Business, July 2016, https://money.cnn.com/2016/07/23/investing/reasons-you-will-spend-more/index/
  • Educational Credentials Come Of Age, Northeastern University Center for the Future of Higher Education & Talent Strategy, December 2018, https://www.northeastern.edu/cfhets/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Educational_Credentials_Come_of_Age_2018.pdf
  • Identifying and Capitalizing on a Mid-Career Crisis, The Balance Careers, October 2018, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/create-the-life-you-want-with-a-mid-career-crisis-1916631
  • The Power of an Older Workforce, Milken Institute’s Center for the Future of Aging and the Stanford Center on Longevity, accessed May 2019, https://assets1c.milkeninstitute.org/assets/PillarPage/POI/2016/pdf/Carstensen.pdf
  • What to Know Before Making a Career Change at 40, The Balance Careers, May 2019, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/career-change-at-40-4152909
  • Why More People Ages 55+ are Working, U.S. Department of Labor Blog, November 2016, https://blog.dol.gov/2016/11/18/why-more-people-ages-55-are-working
  • Why the future of work will be shaped by older workers, World Economic Forum, May 2019, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/perennials-not-millennials-will-trigger-the-next-wave-of-talent-retention-efforts/

15 Highest Paying Online Associate Degrees

Good jobs, according to a study by Georgetown University, can be defined as those that pay an annual wage of at least $35,000 for workers aged 25-44 and a minimum of $45,000 for workers aged 45-64. Such “good” jobs for holders of associate degrees grew by 83 percent from 1991 to 2016.

However, if you’re someone who’s looking for something better than “good” then have we got the list for you! Below is a list of the top associate degrees programs you can earn online that can yield better than “good” earnings.

Whether you’re a working professional or a stay-at-home parent with a high school diploma, looking to qualify for higher-paying jobs, online programs can be right for you. Such programs can give you full control over your study schedule because classes can be taken from anywhere, and at any time. Due to the field of study, however, some online associate degree programs may have practical classes that may require you to be on-campus or at an approved center.

From the bottom up, here’s our list of the top 15 online associate degrees with the highest earning potential. Please take a look at our methodology at the end of this article that can help explain why we believe these are the top-paying associate degrees for maximizing your degree investment.

15. Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians

Electronic Engineering Technologies

Electrical and electronic engineering technicians help electrical engineering bring their ideas to life using their designing, drafting and technical skills. Individuals studying for these degrees learn principles of engineering, electronics, science and math in order solve technical problems making a curiosity to know how things work an important trait.

Coursework can include electrical and electronic drawing, physics, technical mathematics, calculus, electrical circuits, machinery and controls and industrial electronics. Electrical and electronic engineering technicians can find jobs in a number of different industries including manufacturing and reproducing magnetic and optical media, semiconductor and other electronic components, computer and electronic products, audio and video equipment and communication equipment.

Interesting Fact: Among technicians, those working in the utilities industry may be able to earn higher than average wages.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $63,660
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 139,800
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 2%

14. Network and System Administration/Administrator

Network and System Administration

This degree program has some overlap with the computer systems networking and telecommunications degree program. Network and systems administrators manage the computer operations and control the system configurations in a specific location while computer systems networking professionals are involved in the design and implementation of computers and computer systems. Network and systems administrators may need to be able to juggle many responsibilities simultaneously.

Coursework for these programs include JAVA and web programming, local area (LAN) and wide area (WAN) networking, operating systems and database management systems.

Interesting Fact: “Skilled in sharing information with peers” is the actual wording from a job announcement for network and system administrators showing that communication is an important soft skill to develop in this field.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $62,340
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 214,800
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 8.1%

13. Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology

Computer Technology

While computer engineering technicians use their knowledge of electrical engineering to repair computers, computer systems, technology professionals use their knowledge of systems, hardware and software technologies to troubleshoot and repair computer and computer network related problems. They can work as a technical support system for users of professionals using computer systems. Computer systems technology professionals need to be able to work effectively in teams and be able to analyze problems critically.

Coursework includes topics on basic computer design and architecture, hardware and software problem diagnosis, micro controller assembly and computer applications issues.

Interesting Fact: Computer systems technology principles can be applied in cutting-edge fields like robotics where technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing sci-fi to life!

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $63,660
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 139,800
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 2%

12. Computer Engineering Technology/Technician

Computer Engineering Technology

Computer engineering technicians use their knowledge of electrical engineering and computer sciences to analyze, install, troubleshoot and repair computer systems. They can also support computer engineers while they design and build new hardware and software systems. Due to the nature of their work, they need to be able to work independently and in teams. Being excited by new inventions and creating innovative solutions is a bonus. Computer engineering technology programs involve courses in electrical circuitry, microprocessor systems engineering, prototype development, systems development and testing, and computer programming. Communication skills also play an important role as they need to able to communicate their findings clearly when analyzing and troubleshooting systems.

Interesting Fact:A technical writing course can help you learn to prepare concise reports for your superiors or clients. It can add a soft skill to your resume that is highly valued by employers in the field of computer engineering technology.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $63,660
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 139,800
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 2%

11. Computer Support Specialist

Computer Support Specialist

Remember that old joke where a computer support specialist goes through a list of troubleshooting problems before finally asking “Is your computer plugged in, sir?” Computer support specialists are the go-to-guys when users face problems with their devices. Individuals who are tech-minded and enjoy solving problems can make great computer support specialists. Having a lot of patience can help too, as you may have to deal with irate customers.

These associate degree programs involve courses on hardware, software applications, operating systems, networks as well as customer service. Not all computer support specialists have to deal with irate customers. Many work within organizations to help train staff to use new software and troubleshoot problems within an office.

Interesting Fact: This field is continually evolving, which is why computer support specialists need to keep learning to stay abreast with the latest tech or risk being outdated.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $62,340
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 214,800
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 8.1%

10. Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance

Computer and Information Systems Security

Computer networking is imperative in the business world today. How secure these systems are is just as important. Information security professionals need to know how to keep computer hardware, software and systems secure so information is kept safe from prying eyes but is still easy to access. Cybersecurity professionals need to be detail-oriented and innovative in order to anticipate security risks and come up with solutions before threats occur.

Associate degree programs involve instruction in network administration, programming, building and maintaining firewalls, security assessment and auditing.

Interesting Fact: Jobs may be found in banks, financial institutions and healthcare as these industries are likely to increase their information security capabilities as the threat of cyberattacks grows.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $62,340
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 214,800
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 8.1%

9. Radiologic Technology/Science – Radiographer


Have you ever broken a bone and had to have an x-ray? The person taking your x-ray is a radiographer. Radiographers generate diagnostic images using X-rays. They need to position their patients correctly so that the images are clear and useful. Radiographers need to be strong as they may need to lift patients to position them correctly. They also need to be analytical and good with details.

Coursework involves instruction in medical terminology, radiographic physics, procedures, clinical practices, anatomy and physiology. X-rays can be extremely dangerous in high quantities, making clinical practice an important part of a radiographer’s education.

Interesting Fact: Radiographers tell patients about the procedures they perform to take the x-ray but the diagnosis is left to the patients’ physician or radiologist who is qualified to do so.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $58,440
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 230,400
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 12.3%

8. Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

It’s not just computers that businesses rely on. In today’s connected world, computers need to be able to communicate with each other so that data can be stored securely and transmitted. Computer networking technicians set up, maintain and troubleshoot systems for organizations. Individuals who like solving problems and can work fast can do well with a computer systems networking and telecommunications degree. Coursework includes information sciences, telecommunications management, VOIP, computer programming and e-security protocols.

Interesting Fact: Although these degree programs are about how computers communicate with each other, understanding how people communicate can be an asset as you may have to explain technical terms to people who do not have technical knowledge.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $62,340
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 214,800
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 8.1%

7. Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician

Electronic engineering technician

Do you like pulling gadgets apart and seeing what makes them tick? If so, a major in electrical, electronic and communications engineering technology could be the one for you. Electric technicians use their knowledge of engineering principles and their technical skills to design, build, test, repair, and modify equipment and systems.

Individuals with an affinity for math and science may enjoy the coursework which can include subjects like circuit analysis, hydraulics, microprocessors and analogue and digital electronics. Many electrical, electronic and communications engineering associate degree programs are hybrid as they require hands-on practice in laboratories.

Interesting Fact: There is likely to be a continuing demand for electrical and electronics engineering technicians due to the enduring integration of computer and electronics systems.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $63,660
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 139,800
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 2%

6. Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster

WebMultimedia Management and Webmaster

Have you ever come across a 404 error saying page not found? Annoying isn’t it? There is so much more to having a website than just putting it up on the internet. Content continually needs to be updated and the look changed periodically to keep it fresh and attractive. Webmasters make sure that websites are kept up-to-date and the servers are working. A webmaster’s job can suit individuals who like working with computers on a regular basis and have the patience to solve errors as they occur.

Curricula for web management programs can involve programming languages, web server technology, multimedia development and web design.

Interesting Fact: Webmasters wear multiple hats and often develop the websites they host. After all, who better to host a website than the person who developed it?

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $67,990
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 184,200
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 13.1%

5. Computer Science

Computer Science

Nearly every business needs technology to operate and every new bit of digital technology needs creative thinkers who understand how computers work to develop it. Computer science degree programs can suit imaginative individuals who are precise and mathematical at the same time.

Courses taught can include topics like computer systems and networking, programming languages and database management systems. An associate degree in computer science can qualify you for a number of different entry-level job roles such as computer network support specialists.

Interesting Fact: Skills in listening, speaking and writing are essential qualities as computer science specialists often need to communicate with customers.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $65,165
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 399,000
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 10.6%

4. Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design

Web page Multimedia and Information Resources Design

Web developers create and design websites for their clients. Not only do they need to build them, but they need to make them user friendly and attractive at the same time. This requires a lot of patience and attention to minute details. As websites are not simple walls of text, web designers also need to know how to use and create graphics and other multimedia functions for the websites they build.

Coursework normally comprises of specific topics like digital image design, website design, internet and web architecture along with more general computer science topics like operating systems and networking fundamentals.

Interesting Fact: E-commerce might be a good topic to study along with web design as online shopping is likely to expand.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $67,990
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 184,200
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 13.1%

3. Computer Programming/Programmer

Computer programming

With the digital revolution just around the corner, it’s no surprise that a computer-related degree is among the top three of the best-paying online associate degrees. Computer programmers write the instructions computers need to carry out particular tasks using programming languages or code. As many computer programmers work in teams, each individual writing a part of the code, it helps to be a person who enjoys working with others and can communicate clearly.

Courses you study usually include one or more programming languages, computer operating systems and information systems.

Interesting Fact: Computer programming degree programs can often qualify you to obtain professional certifications in a programming language which can help enhance your credentials.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $65,165
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 399,000
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 10.6%

2. Medical Radiologic Technology/Science – Radiation Therapist

Medical Radiologic Technology

Medical radiologic technology is a vital part of many medical practices today. Radiation therapists use a variety of technologies, including x-ray technology, to deliver targeted doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Online medical radiologic technology programs can suit individuals who are organized, precise and analytical. It also helps to be a calm and confident person as you may deal with patients who are nervous or fearful on a regular basis.

Coursework typically includes topics on anatomy, physiology and pathology along with radiographic positioning and radiologic physics. You may have to attend clinical practice sessions as well.

Interesting Fact: California, Texas and Florida have the highest employment levels for radiologic technologists, according to BLS (2017).

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $69,505
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 251,700
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026: 12.1%

1. Dental Hygiene/Hygienist

Dental hygiene

Dental hygienists with an associate degree can provide entry-level dental hygiene services like oral health care assessments, applying cavity-preventive agents, administering local anesthetic along with the taking of, processing and analyzing of dental x-rays. Dental hygiene degree programs can suit individuals who are good with their hands, can put people at ease and of course, are comfortable with the thought of working with people’s mouths.

Coursework for a dental hygiene degree program usually includes topics on dental anatomy and histology, radiography, dental diseases and practice management.

Interesting Fact: Most dental hygiene programs require you to hold a current CPR card for Health Care Provider or obtain one before the end of your program.

Data Points:

  • Early career median salary, 2017: $74,070
  • Projected total job openings, 2016-26: 248,800
  • Job growth 2016 – 2026:19.6%


For this analysis, we ranked 86 online associate 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 associate 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 associate 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

All sources accessed January 2019

  • 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/
  • 29-2034 Radiologic Technologists, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292034.htm#st
  • A.S. Computer Science, Franklin University,https://www.franklin.edu/degrees/associates/computer-science
  • AS in Web Design and Development, Champlain College,https://www.champlain.edu/online/associate-degrees/as-web-design-and-development/program-at-a-glance
  • Associate of Applied Science – Electrical or Electronic Engineering Technology, Kent State University, https://www.kent.edu/trumbull/associate-applied-science-electrical-or-electronic-engineering-technology
  • Associate of Science of the Radiation Therapy, Argosy University,https://www.argosy.edu/health-sciences/associate-of-science-in-radiation-therapy
  • Career: Computer Support Specialists, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/computers-math-computer-support-specialists
  • Career: Dental Hygienists, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/health-technology-dental-hygienists
  • Career: Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/computers-math-network-computer-systems-administrators
  • Career: Radiation Therapists, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/health-diagnosis-treatment-radiation-therapists
  • Computer Engineering Technology/Technician, IPEDS, NCES,https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=87775
  • Computer Programming and Analysis Associate in Science, St. Petersburg College, http://www.spcollege.edu/future-students/degrees-training/technology/computer-programming-and-analysis/computer-programming-and-analysis-as-degree
  • Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications, IPEDS, NCES,https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=87259
  • Computer Systems Technology, Monroe Community College,http://www.monroecc.edu/academics/majors-programs/stem/computer-systems-technology-associate-of-applied-science/
  • Computer Technology, Rio Salado College,http://www.riosalado.edu/programs/computers/Pages/aas.aspx
  • Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology, IPEDS, NCES,https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=87327
  • Cybersecurity, Central Texas College,https://www.ctcd.edu/academics/programs-of-study/explore-academic-programs/business-and-business-technology/cybersecurity/
  • Decker, F., Radiographer vs. Radiation Therapist, Work – Chron.com,http://work.chron.com/radiographer-vs-radiation-therapist-7333/
  • Dental Hygiene – AAS, Phoenix College, https://www.phoenixcollege.edu/programs/dental-hygiene
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronics-engineering-technicians.htm
  • Electrical Engineering Technology, Associate of Applied Science Degree, ITT Technical Institute,http://itt-tech.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/011-IND-12-05-14-01-01-15-Vol-103.pdf
  • Electronic Engineering Technology (Associate of Applied Science), The University of Akron, https://www.uakron.edu/academics_majors/undergraduate/programs_detail.dot?programId=83130&pageTitle=Undergraduate%20Programs&crumbTitle=Electronic%20Engineering%20Technology%20(Associate%20Degree)
  • Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology (Associate of Science), Grantham University,https://www.grantham.edu/online-degrees/electronics-computer-technology/?tab-overview
  • Electronics Engineering Technician, Richmond Community College,http://richmondcc.edu/sites/default/files/cat_pgs_18-19_a40200_electronics_eng_tech.pdf
  • How Much does an Electronics Engineering Technician Make?, ECPI University, https://www.ecpi.edu/blog/how-much-does-an-electronics-engineering-technician-make
  • How to Know If a Networking Systems Administration Degree is Right for You, Florida National University, 2016,https://www.fnu.edu/networking-systems-administration-degree/
  • Information Security Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
  • Information Systems Security and Assurance Associate Degree, Vista College, https://www.vistacollege.edu/degree-programs/technology/information-systems-security-assurance-associate-applied-science/
  • IT – Computer Support Specialist, Northcentral Technical College, https://www.ntc.edu/academics-training/programs/all/associate-degree/it-computer-support-specialist
  • Joyner, J., Radiology Vs. Radiography. Work – Chron.com,http://work.chron.com/radiology-vs-radiography-5317/
  • Major: Computer Engineering, General, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-engineering-general
  • Major: Computer Networking and Telecommunications, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-networking-telecommunications
  • Major: Computer Programming, General, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-programming-general
  • Major: Computer Science, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-science
  • Major: Computer Support Specialist, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-support-specialist
  • Major: Dental Hygiene, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/health-professions-related-clinical-sciences-dental-hygiene
  • Major: Electrical Engineering Technology, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-technologies-electrical-engineering-technology
  • Major: Medical Radiologic Technology, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/health-professions-related-clinical-sciences-allied-health-diagnosis-intervention-treatment-medical-radiologic-technology
  • Major: Network and System Administration, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-network-system-administration
  • Major: Web Development, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-web-development
  • Major: Web Management, Big Future, The College Board,https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-web-management
  • Network Administrator and Support AAS, North Lake College,https://www1.dcccd.edu/catalog/programs/degree.cfm?degree=network_admin_supp_aas&loc=NLC
  • Network Administrator Information, The Balance Careers, 2019, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/network-administrator-525818
  • Network and System Administration/Administrator, IPEDS, NCES, https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=87261
  • Network Systems Administrator, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Central Texas College,https://www.ctcd.edu/academics/programs-of-study/explore-academic-programs/business-and-business-technology/network-systems-administration/
  • Networking System Administrator, Florida National University, https://www.fnu.edu/prospective-students/our-programs/select-a-program/associates-of-science-degree-programs/networking-systems-administrator-nsa/
  • Radiation Therapy, Washburn University, https://washburn.edu/academics/college-schools/applied-studies/departments/allied-health/xt/index/
  • Radiologic Technology Degree, Harper College, https://www.harpercollege.edu/academics/health/radiologic-technology/radiology-degree.php
  • Sindhu, Top 5 Trends in the Electronics Industry, Market research.com, 2017, https://blog.marketresearch.com/top-5-trends-in-the-electronics-industry
  • Three Educational Pathways to Good Jobs: High School, Middle Skills, and Bachelor’s Degree, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2018, https://1gyhoq479ufd3yna29x7ubjn-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/3ways-FR.pdf
  • Top 10 Technology Trends for 2018: IEEE Computer Society Predicts the Future of Tech, PRNewswire, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/top-10-technology-trends-for-2018-ieee-computer-society-predicts-the-future-of-tech-300571274/
  • Web Developers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm
  • Web Development (AAT), Clark College, https://catalog.clark.edu//academic-plans/computer-technology/web-development-aat/
  • Webmaster, Techopedia,https://www.techopedia.com/definition/4932/webmaster
  • What is a Network Administrator vs. a System Administrator?, American Intercontinental University,https://www.aiuniv.edu/degrees/information-technology/articles/network-administrator
Methodologies and Sources