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

SOURCES

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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:
$100,568
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
511
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
8.75%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
6,739,800

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:
$100,568
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
126
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
8.75%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
6,739,800

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:
$124,830
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
54
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
7.9%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
2,890,200

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:
$104,544
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
123
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
12.82%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
1,541,500

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:
$120,493
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
18
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
7.83%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
3,958,200

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:
$114,470
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
16
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
12.78%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
3,035,500

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:
$95,809
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
72
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
10.27%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
4,863,400

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:
$94,717
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
39
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
13.17%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
2,555,000

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:
$90,093
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
5
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
11.5%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
2,617,200

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:
$107,480
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
5
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
7.6%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
1,068,000

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:
$113,405
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
65
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
2.15
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
6,83,700

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:
$89,200
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
39
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
7.87%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
2,429,500

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:
$72,803
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
184
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
8.7%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
1,922,400

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:
$95,720
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
14
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
12.85%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
1,191,000

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:
$85,269
No. of schools offering this degree online at the bachelor’s level:
89
Average projected growth rate of all jobs matched to each major, 2018-28:
7.7%
Total number of jobs projected in 10 years of all occupations matched to the major, 2018-28:
1,393,800

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.

 

Methodology

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

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.

Sources

  • 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

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

thinking-of-career-growth

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.”

Sources

  • 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

Radiographers

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%

Methodology

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

Most Employable Tech Degrees In 2020

Remember Rosie, the robot housekeeper, from the Jetsons? The way tech is progressing, she might just become a reality sooner than you may think.

The fields of robotics, computers, and technology are changing the world as we know it. In fact, there’s barely any aspect of our lives that are untouched by them. CompTIA reports that that the tech industry is expected to hit an incredible $5.2 trillion in 2020 and the United States is expected to have a 32 percent ($1.7 trillion) share of it.

While many popular majors can prepare students for job titles that would be familiar to all generations (teacher, engineer, physician’s assistant, etc.), jobs like network administrator, software QA specialist, and database manager are products of our informatics age. And high demand in these new fields might explain why computer and technology majors top the list of degrees providing the biggest “bang for your buck” to students looking to maximize the value of their learning investment. Many of the occupations associated with them come with median wages at the higher end of the wages spectrum.

If you are familiar with terms like cloud computing, deep-learning, neural networking, then perhaps an online technology degree is the one for you. And it goes without saying; computer and technology degrees can be really compatible with online learning.

Purdue University Global

  • Experience world-class education online with more than 175 programs at associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
  • Apply eligible work experience and prior college credits toward up to 75% of your undergraduate degree.
  • You have the option of trying out a Purdue Global undergraduate program for an introductory 3-week period. There’s no cost beyond the application fee.
  • Competency-based ExcelTrack™ programs may allow you to earn your degree faster and for less money

1. Information Technology

Have you ever seen people wonder why their computer isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do? IT professionals are the superheroes that can help them figure it out. Apart from helping people solve tech problems, individuals in IT often look for ways to make existing business processes more efficient. As nearly every industry needs IT guys, it’s no wonder that it tops our list of the most employable tech degrees of 2020.

CompTIA reports that 86 percent of IT professionals are confident about their future job prospects. Information Technology, or IT, is a broad field that allows you to have a number of different careers in a number of different industries. So if any industry stirs your interest along with IT, like healthcare for example, you may be able to choose a specialization during the course of your online IT degree program which may help you align your interests and orient your career in that direction.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $110,090
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 16.57
  • Projected Employment: 2,955,300
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 108

2. Information Technology Project Management

Every booming industry needs competent managers and the IT industry is no different. With companies investing huge amounts in IT, projects need to be delivered on-time and within budget. The industry needs project managers who understand the entire process – right from how IT ideas are conceptualized to their delivery. Careers in this field combine management techniques along with technology. People management skills are definitely crucial.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) expects information services to be one of the largest sectors to create project-related job openings, needing individuals with the right mix of technical and leadership skills in the decade leading up to 2027. Project management jobs can be well-paying too with the PMI reporting that wages in this industry were far higher on average than non-project oriented jobs. Online IT project management degrees can help you gain the technical and business know-how to make a significant impact on the projects you may manage in the future.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $109,658
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 14.23
  • Projected Employment: 1,921,000
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 8

3. Computer and Information Sciences, General

Here we have one of those catch-all categories, this one encompassing many fields and positions having to do with both computer science and information management. Online computer and information science degrees typically focus on a wide range of computer and information related topics rather than specific majors. Students typically take a few classes in business as well. This field can act as a cross-over between computer science and information technology. You may be able to choose to specialize in an area that interests you the most as you explore the field.

This multidisciplinary approach can qualify you for a wide range of careers in tech and business including those in computer programming, software development, systems administration, and web development to name a few. An online computer and information sciences degree can be a great way to gain generalized knowledge of the field before deciding on a career path.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $100,409
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 10.11
  • Projected Employment: 2,175,500
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 67

4. Computer Science

Computers and IT are the most popular fields of study, after business, for students of online degree programs according to a 2019 Learning House survey of online students. Computer science can be broadly differentiated from IT as computer scientists focus mainly on the theoretical side of developing computer applications as opposed to IT professionals who look into making them user-friendly. It would be unfair to say however, that computer science professionals ignore the human aspects wholly, as the work they do can have a direct impact on peoples’ lives. For example, a computer scientist may be behind a computer program that helps vision-impaired people.

Students of online computer science degrees study the theory behind the design of computers and computational processes. The College Board recommends that those interested in studying computer science have a mathematical yet creative mindset along with the ability to think logically. A degree in computer science can lead to careers in software development, systems analysis, programming, and research among others.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $96,184
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 13.14
  • Projected Employment: 3,155,900
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 35

5. Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance

With more and more of our information (including details about our personal and financial lives) being stored on computer networks, the role of the information security specialist is more in demand than ever. This one has jumped up on our list as security becomes increasingly relevant due to malicious attacks and the number of devices connected to the internet increase. Everything from airplane navigation systems and government databases to financial services and mobile phones can be threatened, making cybersecurity a major area of concern.

With so much information under threat, it’s no surprise that the industry is growing rapidly. PR Newswire reports that the global cybersecurity industry was valued at $ 118.78 billion in 2018, and is expected to reach $ 267.73 billion by 2024. The BLS projects job growth at a rapid 32 percent compared to 5 percent for all other occupations. All said and done, it can be a good time for individuals interested in a career that keeps them on their tiptoes, staying abreast of all the latest tech – one step ahead of malicious attackers at all times.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $97,465
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 12.07
  • Projected Employment: 1,476,200
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 66

6. Information Science/Studies

The role of the information scientist is to push forward our understanding of how computers and information work and interact, developing theories and practical applications that advance the technology and processes that underlie our information age. Businesses all over the world are generating huge amounts of data, making its systematic storage and ease of access a necessity. This is where information science majors can shine designing efficient, secure and user-friendly systems that guide us through to the information we need. Information science majors may also design systems that analyze massive amounts of data to find patterns that help businesses provide better services.

The College Board recommends that students of online information science degrees be organized, good with numbers, and have an interest in human behavior. Graduates of these degree programs may find employment as database administrators, systems analysts, and librarians among other occupations.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $108,678
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 11.78
  • Projected Employment: 1,271,500
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 54

7. Network and System Administration/Administrator

The multiple computer networks we log into each day are designed, built, and administered by people trained in network administration, one of the most vital (and in-demand) jobs in a world of continually expanding interlinked systems. Network and system administrators ensure that computer systems and networks remain functioning for businesses, and even find ways to improve their efficiency. In fact, the work they do is so important that the last Friday in July has been designated System Administrator Appreciation Day or Sysadmin Day!

A degree in computer networking is a popular springboard to these careers. Online network and system administration degree programs can give you not just technical know-how but also the practical skills necessary to put your knowledge to use in real-world situations. The College Board recommends that aspiring network and systems administrators should have strong communication skills and love analyzing and solving problems. Since nearly every industry needs network and system administrators, you may be able to find employment in industries you are interested in.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $98,944
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 12.18
  • Projected Employment: 1,343,000
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 24

8. Computer Programming, Specific Applications

The National Center for Education Statistics defines the computer programming, specific applications degree programs as programs that prepare “individuals to apply the knowledge and skills of general computer programming to the solution of specific operational problems and customization requirements presented by individual software users and organizational users”. This field combines general computer-programming knowledge with the ability to plan, develop, and maintain software that end users will interact with, products that need to take into account the requirements of individual people and organizations.

After studying general programming topics, students enrolled in online computer programming, specific degree programs may choose an area of programming they want to build their proficiency in alignment with the career goals and interests. For example, those interested in entering the exciting world of video games may be able to choose video game programming as a specialization.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $99,300
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 11.23
  • Projected Employment: 1,827,900
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 5

9. Computer Programming/Programmer, General

Computers need instruction in specific languages. Programmers are tech wizzes that can speak (or in this case write) that language. They tell computers what to do by using computer code – the language that computers understand. Every software development project requires input from “code cutters,” programming generalists able to write the code that will become part of a product or system used by individuals, companies, government agencies, or other organizations. Programmers usually work in teams writing parts of code for programs and applications that are then put together as a whole.

Computer programmers are typically proficient in computer languages like C++ or Java for example. The BLS reports that those with knowledge of more than one language are likely to have the best job prospects.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $85,387
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 10.48
  • Projected Employment: 2,269,700
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 23

10. Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

Network systems and data communications analysts are the behind-the-scenes wizards we rely on to build, maintain and protect computer networks. Like a number of majors in this study, this field overlaps with others that involve the management of computer networks, but also includes management and support of telecommunication networks such as telephonic switching systems. Those working computer systems networking and telecommunications often need to have cutting-edge knowledge of existing technology so that they can improve the systems they work with or develop new ones.

Students enrolled in online computer systems networking and telecommunications can gain an in-depth understanding of data communication and modern networking technology and develop the skills needed to deploy and manage a secure enterprise network. Do bear in mind that in some schools, computer networking is a concentration within broader IT program, such as computer information technology.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $89,720
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 12.93
  • Projected Employment: 1,169,900
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 15

11. Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst

In today’s world of commercial applications and open-source software, many technology projects require skilled systems analysts who can help determine the right combination of new and existing technology needed to solve specific individual and organizational challenges. While computer programmers specialize in building applications for specific needs, computer systems analysts are the ones who recommend particular programs or processes to businesses and organizations. In order to do this, they need to have a working knowledge of both computer systems as well as the industries they work with. The BLS predicts that smaller firms are likely to outsource their system analysis needs to contractors. It also expects the healthcare sector to be a large contributing factor to job growth in computer systems analysis. They may also communicate business needs to computer program developers so that the end users get functioning, user-friendly programs. Analysts may also test systems they design to ensure they are bug-free. Many analysts need knowledge of programming to carry out their tasks.

The College Board has a word of advice for prospective computer systems analysts saying that choosing a minor in fields like math or business can boost career prospects.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $85,688
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 7.83
  • Projected Employment: 1,084,200
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 10

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

Ever been on a webpage where the information you need is almost impossible to find? You end up clicking on every single link it can conceivably be on, only to find what you’re looking for in a completely unrelated section. There are plenty of roles to be had with an online degree in page, digital/multimedia and information resources design.

Web designers need to think of more than how a website looks – they need to ensure that users can find what they need easily and that the website functions without any bugs. Additionally, 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. Some individuals wear both hats and play the roles of both web designer and webmaster.

The BLS expects a large part of the demand for web developers to stem from e-commerce and predicts that those with knowledge of multiple programming languages and digital multimedia tools to have the best job prospects.

  • Average Salary of Related Professions: $64,107
  • Projected Job Growth (2018-2028): 9.40
  • Projected Employment: 544,300
  • Number of Online Schools Offering Programs in this Field: 20

As you look over these rankings, keep in mind that dollar figures are averages, meaning some may earn than these figures while others may earn less. And remember that those at the start of their career are likely to make less than the average wages for those occupations, although salary advancement in the technology field can be quite rapid.

Remember also that the newness of many of these fields means the dividing line between them can be quite blurry. Many professionals in the industry obtain certifications to gain new knowledge and develop their expertise. The blurriness between roles can work to your advantage, as you may be able to move the focus of your career fairly smoothly once you have started work. That being said, it is important that you have a strong foundation in all things tech, so make sure to do your research before enrolling in any degree program to make sure it coincides with your specific career goals.

For this analysis, we ranked 30 online degrees in technology. 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, 2018-2028
  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 201-28 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/

Sources

  • 2020 Technology Industry Outlook, Deloitte, 2019, https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/technology-industry-outlook/
  • Career: Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/computers-math-network-computer-systems-administrators, accessed February 2020
  • Career: Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/computers-math-network-systems-data-communications-analysts, accessed February 2020
  • CIO Jury: 83% of CIOs struggle to find tech talent, Tech Republic, https://www.techrepublic.com/article/cio-jury-83-of-cios-struggle-to-find-tech-talent/, accessed February 2020
  • Clinefelter, D. L., Aslanian, C. B., & Magda, A. J., Online college students 2019: Comprehensive data on demands and preferences. Louisville, KY: Wiley edu, LLC, 2019, https://www.learninghouse.com/knowledge-center/research-reports/ocs2019-research-report/
  • Computer and Information Research Scientists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm, accessed February 2020
  • Computer and Information Technology Occupation, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, modified September 2019, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm
  • Computer Programmers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm , accessed February 2020
  • Computer Programming, Specific Applications, IPEDS, NCES, https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=87246, accessed February 2020
  • Computer Systems Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm, accessed February 2020
  • CS vs CIS vs IT – Which Technology Degree is for You?, Gwynedd Mercy University, https://www.gmercyu.edu/academics/learn/cs-cis-it-difference, accessed February 2020
  • 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, accessed February 2020
  • IT Industry Outlook 2020, CompTIA, 2019, https://www.comptia.org/content/research/it-industry-trends-analysis
  • 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: Computer and Information Sciences, General, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-information-sciences-general, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Computer Networking and Telecommunications, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-networking-telecommunications, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Computer Science, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-science, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Computer Systems Analysis, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-computer-systems-analysis, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Information Science, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-information-science, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Information Technology, Big Future, The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/computer-information-sciences-information-technology, accessed February 2020
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm, accessed February 2020
  • The global cybersecurity market was valued at USD 118.78 billion in 2018, and is expected to reach USD 267.73 billion by 2024, registering a CAGR of 14.5%, during the period of 2019, PR Newswire, 2019, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-global-cybersecurity-market-was-valued-at-usd-118-78-billion-in-2018 — and-is-expected-to-reach-usd-267-73-billion-by-2024 — registering-a-cagr-of-14-5-during-the-period-of-2019 — 300955378/
  • 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, accessed February 2020
  • What Is a Computer Systems Analyst? A Spotlight on These Behind-the-Scenes Tech Pros, Rasmussen College, 2019, https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/what-is-computer-systems-analyst/
 

5 Future Jobs That Artificial Intelligence Might Create

The use of artificial intelligence or AI has become an integral part of many areas of modern life — from the obvious smartphones and computers to healthcare, business, manufacturing and many more areas. But what is artificial intelligence? The science of artificial intelligence involves developing systems that help machines to reason, deduce and even learn from past experience so that they can intelligently perform tasks in a way that is similar to humans.

A recent report from the World Economic Forum names artificial intelligence as one of the four drivers of change that may positively affect business growth between 2018 and 2022. This means that artificial intelligence could lead to the creation of 58 million net new jobs in the next few years, according to a recent article from Forbes. Earning a degree in AI may open new doors for you in the coming years. You could explore various online degree programs in artificial intelligence and machine learning and choose one that fits your career plans.

What Kinds of Jobs in AI Can We Look Forward To?

Research suggests that AI and machine learning may lead to entirely new and unprecedented jobs coming into being. A recent global study by Accenture identifies six novel categories of uniquely human jobs that may reshape the ways in which people will work in the future — trainers, explainers, sustainers, amplifiers, interactors and embodiers. Here we have narrowed down five new and exciting jobs in AI that you could pursue in the future.

1. Artificial Intelligence Business Development Manager

ai-business-development-manager

Although more and more services are being created and managed using AI, humans may still be needed to drive sales and business development for these services. An AI business development manager can develop strategies and collaborate with teams related to product management and development, sales and marketing as well as other stakeholders in order to increase sales and engagement on AI opportunities.

What you would need: You typically need to have more than five years of experience in fields such as sales, business development or product management, and particularly experience selling to major corporations. Employees might also look for experience in AI or machine learning platforms, cloud computing or other related fields. For this position, an MBA might be a valuable qualification.

2. Data Detective

data-detective

A data detective generally discovers or examines data from multiple sources and comes up with meaningful answers and recommendations for businesses. The data may be from sensors, biometric monitors, traditional computing infrastructure, Internet of Things end points and other sources.

What you would need: This role may be an excellent choice for curious individuals with the capacity to investigate relentlessly. A background in law or law enforcement can be useful and qualifications or experience in data science could be an asset. Entry level candidates who are interested in data, math and investigative work might find this job exciting.

3. Man-machine Teaming Manager

man-machine-teaming-manager

As the interaction between humans and machines for business purposes increases, managers who monitor and moderate these interactions may be needed. A man-machine teaming manager defines roles and responsibilities and devises a system for communication and collaboration between humans and machines.

What you would need: If you are passionate about programming and robotics, the role of man-machine teaming manager may be for you. Graduates in experimental psychology or neuroscience and with a master’s in AI, computer science, engineering or HR can be a good fit for this AI future job.

4. Ethical sourcing officer

ethical-sourcing-officer

The main responsibility of an ethical sourcing officer is to ensure that a company’s expenditure follows the standards set by stakeholders and laid down by the corporate ethics board. You are usually required to gather and analyze data on categories of spend, track and test the suppliers of goods and services, and make modifications to plans so that both terms of contracts and ethical wishes of stakeholders are followed.

What you would need: This role could be a good option for individuals with a background in business, law, governance or philosophy and with experience in defining ethical behavior in the corporate context. Communication, interpersonal and analytical skills as well as a flair for negotiation and networking are important in this job.

5. Personal memory curator

personal-memory-curator

These professionals typically create virtual reality experiences for aging individuals or those with memory loss to help them relive past experiences. Doing so help patients cope better with stress and anxiety due to memory loss. A personal memory curator might have to work closely with customers and specialists to construct memory experience plans, complete with historically and geographically accurate information.

What you would need: For this job, you might need a qualification in psychology, a talent for storytelling and a grounding in virtual reality simulation techniques. Excellent communication skills and exceptional emotional intelligence will place you at an advantage because a certain sensitivity and tact might be required when working with customers to uncover lost memories and experiences.

Sources

  • Forbes, “Is AI Going to Be a Jobs Killer? New Reports About The Future of Work”, published on 15 July, 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2019/07/15/is-ai-going-to-be-a-jobs-killer-new-reports-about-the-future-of-work/#405a220cafb2 , accessed December 2019
  • Forbes, “Artificial Intelligence To Create 58 Million New Jobs By 2022, Says Report”, published on 18 September, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2018/09/18/artificial-intelligence-to-create-58-million-new-jobs-by-2022-says-report/#231a211d4d4b , accessed December 2019
  • World Economic Forum, “The Future of Jobs 2018”, http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2018/ , accessed December 2019
  • Wired, “AI and the Future of Work”, https://www.wired.com/wiredinsider/2018/04/ai-future-work/ , accessed December 2019
  • Built In, “AI and The Future of Jobs”, published on 27 August, 2019, https://builtin.com/artificial-intelligence/ai-replacing-jobs-creating-jobs , accessed December 2019
  • Accenture, “Process Reimagined”, 2018, https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/pdf-76/accenture-process-reimagined.pdf , accessed December 2019
  • Cognizant, Center for the Future of Work, “21 Jobs of the Future: A Guide to Getting – and Staying – Employed Over the Next 10 Years”, https://www.cognizant.com/whitepapers/21-jobs-of-the-future-a-guide-to-getting-and-staying-employed-over-the-next-10-years-codex3049.pdf , accessed December 2019

2019 Best Online Business Administration Colleges In Texas

Business Administration Texas

The Lone Star State is home to 48 Fortune 500 companies ranking third in the United States after California and New York. Twenty-two of these Texas-based companies have their home in the Dallas-Fort Worth region which has one of the largest concentrations of tech workers in the country. According to the Dallas Regional Chamber, Texas is on several lists of top-performing states, including the best state for female entrepreneurs and being the No. 1 state for wind energy. The 2019 Chief Executive Magazine’s survey of CEOs put Texas as the best state for doing business.

Texas also holds a record for being one of the highest earning majors for bachelor’s degree holders in Texas, according to a 2017 report by the Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. If you have a job or other life commitments that keep you from earning the degree you want, online colleges in Texas offer flexible online degree programs in business administration. These are fully online or hybrid programs that take into consideration your busy lifestyle allowing you to balance work, life and study. But read on to find out why the Texas job market is so hungry for business professionals!

Business in Texas is big; so is the job market for business professionals

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Texas would make it the tenth largest economy in the world if it was its own country contributing to 9 percent of the U.S. economy, according to the American Enterprise Institute. The wide variety of industries — from manufacturing to aeronautics to oil – translates to a variety of occupation choices for business professionals in Texas.

According to the 2018 Texas Workforce Commission’s report, professional and business services were listed among the 4 largest private industries when combined accounted for over 58 percent of the jobs in Texas, at the end of fiscal year 2018. The same report mentions a variety of growth occupations (2016 to 2026) including general and operations managers, sales and customer service representatives, sales managers, business operations specialists, first-line supervisors, meeting convention and event planners, and public relations specialists across top-growing industries in Texas. For those wanting to start their own business, Texas is home to 2.6 million small businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, and is one of four states without corporate income tax.

Read on to know more about the colleges that make it to our list of the best online degrees for business administration in Texas!

15 Best Online Business Administration Degrees in Texas

Our methodology explained

Our unique methodology uses data from the Integrated Postsecondary Data Systems (IPEDS), a government database. In crafting this ranking we have considered factors that are most likely to be important to online students, such as the percentage of students participating in distance education, along with factors like placement services, accreditation, and financial aid. We invite you to take a look at the methodology to see how these factors align with your needs.

Here are our top 15 picks for the best online business administration degree programs in Texas.

1

Wayland Baptist University

Wayland Baptist University is a private Christian University offering online business administration degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. It is associated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). It also participates in the National Council for the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and the university can accept students from all 50 states, according to their website.

Students enrolled in the online Master’s in Business Administration program can choose a concentration from accounting, general business, healthcare administration, human resource management, international management, management, management information systems, or project management while students of their online Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree program can choose a specialization from business administration, cybersecurity, economics/finance, management information systems, and marketing/management.

Apart from a low student to faculty ratio of 10 students to one faculty member, they also have the largest electronic library collection on our ranking of the best online colleges in Texas for business administration.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $14520
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $4698
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 13,099,737
2

LeTourneau University

LeTourneau University is a Christian polytechnic university. It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). It offers online business administration degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels through its School of Business. It also offers a unique 4+1 MBA program where you can earn your master’s degree in just five years after graduating from high school.

Online students of the business administration bachelor’s degree program can choose concentrations in finance, general business, human resource management, management and nonprofit management.

The school boasts of a 90 percent graduate placement rate which can help recent high school graduates secure their first jobs or career changers finally make the switch. LeTourneau also has a special endowed scholarship fund specifically for home schooled students, according to their website.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17:
  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $28770
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $5255
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 288,437
3

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, non-profit Christian university. It offers online business administration degrees at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) as well.

Their online bachelor’s degree program in business administration allows students to add on an additional associate degree to their BBA’s in accounting, human resource management, management and marketing.

Their online degree programs are geared for students above the age of 22. Students can save up to $25,000 toward their bachelor’s degrees through experiential learning credits, according to their website information.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $19700
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $4530
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 263,862
4

Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University is regionally accredited by the SACSCOC while its online business administration degree programs are nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). It also participates in NC-SARA making it easier to transfer credits from other states.

The University offers a range of online business administration degree programs including associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It also offers an accelerated online Bachelor’s and Master’s Business Administration degree programs with concentrations in accounting, finance, management and music business.

Dual online MBAs are also offered in different disciplines like Children’s Ministry, Christian Ministry, Discipleship, Global Leadership and Student ministry. It also offers various MBAs in education as dual master’s degrees.

The website states their online library offers personal research aid to students and allows them to access to materials owned by other libraries through their inter library loan program.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $26580
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $4757
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 194,273
5

Texas A&M University-Texarkana

Texas A&M University-Texarkana is accredited by SACSCOC and participates in NC-SARA. The University’s College of Business, Engineering and Technology is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB International).

The school offers an online MBA with students being required to complete a capstone project in their last semester.

Students have access to their online library which has over 50,000 e-books apart from journal subscriptions, per website information. Students can also access VAST, Films on Demand and NBC Learn HigherED which gives them access to large multidisciplinary video databases to help connect their learning to real world situations.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $5178
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $4821
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 747,399
6

Concordia University Texas

Concordia University Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university offers its online business administration programs through the College of Business and Communication which has specialized accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) to offer the online MBA program.

Apart from the MBA the university also offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration with concentrations in global health and economic development, healthcare administration and human resource management. MBA students can choose from two concentrations namely Health Care Administration (HCA) and Organizational Development and Learning (ODL). Students of online business administration degree programs may be required to attend synchronous sessions periodically.

A tie-up with tutor.com means that online students can make use of online one-to-one tutoring services offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students working with non-profit organizations can also benefit from a $70 per credit hour non-profit discount as stated by their website. The school’s Center for Vocation & Professional Development can also help students find internship positions.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $29840
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $5134
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 708,629
7

Parker University

Parker University is a private university with a focus on healthcare. It is accredited by the SACSCOC. It offers an online Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Healthcare Management as well as an online Master’s in Business Administration with a healthcare management focus. The MBA program is currently a candidate for accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Business Programs (ACBSP).

Its healthcare management BBA takes in new enrollments every month making it convenient for students to align their classes with their busy schedules. The MBA program offers four concentrations in health care management, management, information technology and practice management.

A hundred percent of the university’s students received financial aid last year and this college also has the lowest student to faculty ratio on our list with just seven students per faculty member. Their job placement rates for graduates of both the BBA and MBA programs were 100% in 2017-18, according to IPEDS data.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $25128
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $3100
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 109,072
8

Our Lady of the Lake University

Our Lady of the Lake University is accredited by the SACSCOC. It offers an online MBA program through its School of Business and Leadership (SBL). SBL’s business programs are nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The online MBA program offers concentrations in management and healthcare management.

Students can access their library online and use the TexShare Card Program to gain access to books and other material offered by participating libraries in the state of Texas, per website information. It also offers a number of tutoring services including writing consultants, peer tutors and online tutorials through smartthinking.com.

Students received an average of $5667 in federal grant aid which was the highest amount on our list!

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $27364
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $5667
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 226,276
9

University of the Incarnate Word

University of the Incarnate Word is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The H-E-B School of Business & Administration offers an online Bachelor’s and Master’s in Business Administration while the School of Professional Studies offers a blended Doctor of Business Administration program. The bachelor’s and master’s degree program are fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

The BBA program offers 10 concentrations including ones in sports management and professional golf management while the MBA offers specializations in asset management, data analytics and human resource management. Students who would like to choose a specialization in human resources may be eligible to sit for the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Certified Professional exam.

According to their website, the Writing and Learning Center offers writing support for undergraduate students while the student success center can help in other aspects like career planning and life skills coaching.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $27900
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $4992
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 131,910
10

Central Texas College

Central Texas College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers an online Associate of Science in Business Administration. It prepares students for transfer into four year institutions. The college has articulation agreements with many senior institutions which guarantee that every course they take at Central Texas College can transfer to a four-year degree program.

Adults returning to college are also offered transition services to take the next steps to advance their education or return to the workforce. Their website states that the college offers online tutoring and online help for the military and their families at no cost via a government agency. Students can also ask for assistance during the admissions and enrollment process from the Student Services Advisors.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $3390
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $5027
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 34,584
11

University of Houston-Downtown

University of Houston-Downtown is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). It offers eight online Bachelors of Business Administration degree programs through the Marilyn Davies College of Business, all of which are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB International).

Business administration students can choose majors from finance, general business, insurance and risk management, international business, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management.

Online students can benefit from a range of services including the TexShare card for libraries, academic advisors, and departmental scholarships for eligible students, as per website information. The University also has a joint admission partnership with Lone Star College allowing students to be simultaneously admitted and co-enrolled at both UHD and Lone Star College.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $4996
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $4903
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 598,837
12

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is regionally accredited by the SACSCOC to award baccalaureate and masters’ degrees. It offers both the Bachelors’ and Master’s in Business Administration online which are accredited by AASCB International. The university offers six start dates through the year making it easy to enroll at a time that’s convenient to you. The university participates in NC-SARA and Texas Distance Education of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) electronic marketplace which can make it easier for students from Texas and other states to enroll in their educational offerings ensuring a quality online learning experience.

Undergraduate students can choose from specializations in management and marketing while MBA students can choose from a general business administration degree, finance, accounting or obtain their MBA with a certificate in health systems policy and management.

Master’s degree students can complete their online MBA in as little as 12 months through their accelerated program. Information on their website states that online students can make use of 24/7 tutoring services through the Smarthinking Online Tutoring system.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $4529
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $4274
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 1,074,625
13

Amarillo College

Amarillo College is accredited by the SACSCOC to award associate degrees. It offers an online Associate in Business Administration with a focus on computer information systems. Students can choose to transfer to a four-year institution after completing their associate degree as the college has transfer agreements with over 20 universities and four-year colleges. Online students can also access tutoring at no cost, through the Smarthinking Online Tutoring system.

Apart from the financial aid office which can provide help with grants, loans and scholarships, the college also offers a money management service to help students achieve financial literacy, as per website information. With average in-state tuition rates of $ 1128, Amarillo College is one of the most inexpensive colleges on our list.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $1128
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $4307
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 75,744
14

Trinity Valley Community College

Trinity Valley Community College is accredited by the SACSCOC to award associate degrees. The College offers an online Associate of Applied Science in Business and Office Administration designed for students who plan to enter into employment upon completion. The online courses are open only to Texas residents. The college also has articulation agreements with 25 four-year colleges and universities for students who do wish to transfer into a more advanced degree program.

The student advisement center helps students with goal setting and scheduling. Tutoring services at no cost are available to all students, according to their website. The average in-state undergraduate tuition rates of $1080 can make this college choice the most inexpensive on our list.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $1080
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $4517
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 86,210
15

Southwestern Adventist University

Southwestern Adventist University is accredited by the SACSCOC and has further accreditation from the Adventist Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities. The university also offers online degrees to students from other states through NC-SARA. It offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration as well as an online certificate in senior living management.

The university offers counseling services at no cost for its students as well as career planning and tutoring while enrollment counselors guide out-of-state students through the admissions process. Website information shows that students and alumni also have access to their Purple Briefcase System which is a private social media platform for networking and video education content and can help students get started on their careers and find internships.

Data Points:

  • Average in-state undergraduate tuition, 2016-17: $20112
  • Average amount of federal grant aid, 2016-17: $5321
  • Credits offered, 2016-17: AP Credit, Dual Credit, Life Experience Credit, Military Training Credit
  • Services, 2016-17: Career Counseling, Placement Services
  • Total electronic library collections, 2016-17: 34,600

Methodology

In order to qualify for our ranking a college needed to have the following requirements:

  • Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  • Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  • Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2016-17
  • Have reported data for all 11 ranking variables listed below

After applying the above criteria, we ranked 50 colleges and universities in the United States offering an online business administration degree program, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics on the following criteria:

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

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What Motivated These 4 To Quit Their Jobs And Make A Career Shift?

What motivated to quit careerAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of employee attrition has been increasing each year since 2000, when BLS began collecting this information. In 2018, about 40 million employees were predicted to quit their employment. Mercer, a global Human Resources (HR) consulting firm, picks up the figures of “employee quits” by category:

  • Millennials — 51 percent
  • Generation X — 25 percent
  • Baby Boomers — 19 percent

According to Compdata, the hospitality, healthcare, and manufacturing industries had high turnover rates, while industries that had low turnover rates were utilities, insurance, and finance.

What’s driving the job-hopping? Low unemployment rates and the high demand for skilled workers, reports the Society for Human Resource Management. These trends seem to be empowering professionals to change jobs or careers because of the many opportunities the job market has to offer.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workers in 2018 spent an average of 4.2 years with the same employer. While this may sound like an alarmingly low tenure, not aiming for the gold watch for 50 years of service can actually be a good thing as these four individuals whom we are about to introduce to you have shown. Read on, as they share their stories, their experiences, what motivated them and how an online degree program made it possible.

Stop suppressing your desire to chase your lifelong dream

Tanean Schaller worked as a medical assistant in a busy New Jersey urology practice. She became disillusioned with the way patients were being treated and decided to return to school and change careers. But as a 38-year-old single mom, she was hesitant to return to the classroom, where she was afraid she’d stick out because of her age.

She shares with OnlineDegrees.com, “I knew I wanted to earn my degree, but going back to school as a 38 year old, I was too intimidated to take classes on campus. I live only two miles from the local community college, which offers courses online, so I decided to go there.”

“Initially I chose business/marketing only because I could take the entire program online. But after the first semester, I realized if I did not chase my original dream of earning my paralegal degree, I would regret it. I began taking classes part-time after I left a long-standing career in the medical field. It took me two years and one semester to complete the online paralegal degree program.”

Tanean utilized the career resource center in her college when she wanted to change her resume from chronological to functional. “I had spent 12 years in the medical field. Although I was changing careers and could utilize that knowledge in my new career, I did not want my resume to highlight those skills and strengths.” She goes on to say, “I prepared my resume and cover letter to reflect my current career and educational goals. I specifically looked at firms that practiced in the areas of medical malpractice and personal injury because of my medical background.”

She was offered a part-time internship opportunity with a local law firm. After three months, the firm offered her a full-time position.

Where’s there’s a passion, success may not be far behind

Equipped with an online master’s degree in healthcare, V.J. Sleight was one among the 330 out of every 100,000 people who started their own business every month, according to Kauffman Startup Index, with the highest number of new entrepreneurs aged between 45 and 64.

Sleight talks about her journey, “I had been working as a mortgage broker for over 20 years, which gave me the time and freedom to pursue my passion of helping others quit smoking. I wanted to prepare for a second career when I retired from the mortgage business and went back to school.”

Her passion was to help people stop smoking. When we spoke to her, she was already writing books, “Stop Smoking, Stay Quit” and “Tips to Win at Quitting” “Crush your Butts”. Sleight felt the lack of a formal education often hindered her from getting professional opportunities as a speaker for cessation or being hired as a tobacco treatment specialist.

“I looked for an online degree program that would best suit my professional interests. When I started, I knew that eventually I wanted to write books and deliver talks to both smokers and health care professionals about cessation.” She now keeps up her helpful blog at “Stop Smoking, Stay Quit” and travels around the country to train healthcare providers on how to help smokers to quit.

What’s wrong with wanting to be your own boss and making it happen?

It’s not hard to identify with people who want to be their own boss, right? Carlisha Moore felt the same way. Stuck in her various job roles as an administrative assistant, the mother of two from Dacula, GA, was a hard worker, but never managed to climb the ladder from administrative assistant positions. Longing for a chance to jump into the management track, Carlisha says of herself, “I consider myself to be a very motivated person. I am 23 years old and married, with two little girls. I am interested in so many things that it took me awhile to narrow down to a degree in business.”

Why a business degree? “I actually enjoyed my job and helping others run their office, but I wanted to be my own boss. I came up with the idea that I would like to start my own administrative assistant business, and a business degree was just what I needed to begin.”

After completing her degree she says, “I am qualified to do the job of some of the people I was working for, and that makes me feel great. I can talk budget reports, strategy implementation, etc. I also started my own business. My capstone included preparing a business plan. When I realized that I was capable of creating a business plan and actually saw my ideas on paper, it motivated me to start my own business!”

As an extra motivation, she explains, “I want my daughters to look back proudly on this day and say, ‘If Mommy had the courage to do it, the sky’s the limit!”

Ever have the feeling there’s so much more in life you want to do?

There’s that gnawing feeling, again. The feeling that says there’s got to be more to life than what you have right now. Some sit on that feeling; others take action. Like Amanda Haddaway, a corporate trainer for an IT consulting firm whose job led her to travel extensively throughout the country, but an interest in technology, leadership and education/training took her to more places than she could imagine.

How did it all start? “My boss (and mentor) saw an ad for the educational technology leadership program. She knew that I was interested in pursuing a graduate degree and thought that the program might be a good fit.” She earned an online master’s degree in education, and then went on to write a book and co-found Cocktails for a Cause, an organization she started with two friends to benefit local charities to help other nonprofits with fundraising and marketing.

Amanda shares how she ended up writing a book, “I’d been freelance writing for a few years and it was one of those “bucket list” items. Every book starts with one page, so I just started writing all the questions that I had been asked repeatedly during my years as a college recruiter. I sought out other professionals to help write some of the sections and about seven months later, the book, “Destination Real World: Success after Graduation”.

Amanda went from working as a corporate trainer to becoming an author and philanthropist. Who says you can’t do everything you’ve always wanted to?

What about you?

Are you ready to make the switch? It’s never too late, really. With online degree programs at your access, you too, can develop skills to qualify for the job of your dreams or the career of your life! This website can be the place where your journey begins. Explore your options.

Sources

  • 10 Shocking Statistics About Disengaged Employees, Office Vibe, 2017, https://www.officevibe.com/blog/disengaged-employees-infographic
  • About VJ, VJ Sleight, http://www.vjsleight.com/about-vj/, accessed May 2019
  • Changing Careers: Signs You’re Ready For A Change, And How To Make It Happen, Forbes, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/12/06/changing-careers-signs-youre-ready-for-a-change-and-how-to-make-it-happen/#d89f24b14600
  • Employee Tenure Summary, Economic News Release, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/tenure.nr0.htm
  • Fairlie, R. W., Desai, S., & Herrmann, A., Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship: 2017 National Report on Early-Stage Entrepreneurship,2019, https://indicators.kauffman.org/
  • How Often Do People Change Jobs?, The Balance Careers, 2019, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-often-do-people-change-jobs-2060467
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  • What Millennials Want Is Good for Your Business, Gallup, 2019, https://www.gallup.com/workplace/248009/millennials-good-business.aspx
  • Why Are Workers Quitting Their Jobs in Record Numbers?, Society for Human Resource Management, 2018, https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/workers-are-quitting-jobs-record-numbers.aspx

The 10 Most Versatile Degrees For Career Flexibility

You already know the benefits of a college education — higher salaries, increased career prospects and even a better quality of life. You’re ready for all college has to offer, but there’s one major problem — selecting a major, that is.

What if you end up not liking the major as much as you thought you would? What if you wind up with a degree that isn’t useful or versatile in the job market?

Your major is an important decision, but it’s not irreversible. If you wind up unimpressed by your program, you may be the one in every three first-time college students who changes majors at least once within three years.

As for choosing a versatile major, that’s where we come in. Drawing on data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the U.S. Census Bureau, we ranked 1,214 majors according to considerations such as the number of industries employing people with those majors, median annual salary, employment growth and more.

The result is the following list of the 10 most versatile online degrees for career flexibility, all to help you decide on the online degree that can give you the most traction in the workplace.

10 Most Versatile Online Degrees for Career Flexibility

1

Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management

parks and recreation

Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of our ranking is the prominence of recreation and leisure majors. Employer demand and salaries are growing rapidly in this field, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).This major tops our list with the largest percentage of industries employing occupations with this major, one of our highest employment figures and an impressive salary to boot.

Parks, recreation and leisure facilities management majors study how to develop and manage parks and facilities where people participate in recreation, from your local rec center to national parks, hotels, fitness centers, or sports venues, and from education to the marketing, travel, tourism, or events industries. Expect coursework to include introduction to park management, leadership training in recreation, managing nonprofits, marketing recreational enterprises, recreation financial management, camp management and outdoor leadership and more.

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 90.42%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $104,205
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 3,537,000
2

Finance and Financial Management Services

finance management

By far the most lucrative degree on our list, finance, or financial management, is one of the most in-demand majors. As a growing number of baby boomers approach retirement age, the need for knowledgeable professionals to help understand and manage retirement funds is increasing. It’s also a versatile degree because finance professionals are needed by businesses of all types, from banks and advisory firms to real estate firms, insurers or corporations. These professionals understand how to make important financial decisions ranging from how many people to hire to how to best invest funds or how to spend less on raw materials.

Finance majors are likely to take courses in accounting and statistics, budgeting, investments, financial management, international finance, financial markets and institutions and analyzing financial statements.

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 88.3%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $127,990
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 688,800
3

Accounting and Business/Management

business and accounting

Business is one of the most versatile degrees you can earn. Not only is it applicable to any kind of business, but the skills you can acquire are in high demand: analytical thinking, financial savvy, communication and management of people and resources. Graduates may work in accounting, sales, financial management or management in all types of companies.

A business administration/ management degree can provide a broad foundation in planning, organizing, directing and controlling a company’s activities, while an accounting degree concentrates more on the numbers — collecting, recording, interpreting and communicating data about a company’s financial performance. For both, your coursework is likely to include accounting, business law and accounting information systems. Accounting majors may also have courses in auditing and cost and tax accounting, while business/management majors may be exposed to a wider range of subjects, including economics, human resources and marketing.

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 79.4%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $94,717
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 2,555,000
4

Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism

tourism management

Tourism added a record $8.8 trillion to the world’s combined GDP in 2018, not to mention 319 million new jobs. It accounts for 10.4 percent of the world’s total economic activity. Students with this degree are prepared to join this impressive workforce in private commercial tourism and recreation businesses, from parks to resorts, travel agencies, tourism departments and more. Not only is this degree in demand, but the soft skills students learn in these degree programs — communication, problem-solving, dispute resolution, working under pressure — are transferable to any industry.

This major emphasizes ecotourism — tourism in natural settings that is environmentally, culturally and economically responsible. Your coursework is likely to include environmental studies with more business and hospitality-focused classes such as tourism, marketing and public relations.

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 82.9%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $107,480
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 1,068,000
5

Golf Course Operation and Grounds Management

golf course management

If fresh air, green grass and working with your hands sounds like your idea of the ideal work setting, a golf course operation and grounds management degree may be a good choice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that there are 11,088 country club and golf establishments in the U.S., employing 306,782 people in 2017.

But this major’s emphasis on plant and soil science, irrigation, water management, pest control, site construction, turf power equipment and site management can make it applicable beyond the sport of golf. This degree could also lead to grounds management in other industries as well, from office buildings to homeowner association areas, resorts, school campuses, sports venues or recreation areas.

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 82.9%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $107,480
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 1,068,000
6

Fire Services Administration

fire services

It may surprise you to learn that fire services administration makes our list as a versatile online degree. But when you consider that the incident and emergency management market is expected to grow by roughly $115 billion by 2023, it might make more sense. A fire services administration major prepares students to protect lives through fire prevention and protection measures, but this learning is also applicable to positions with government or private entities, in the areas of fire safety/protection, the military, law enforcement or other emergency management entities.

Students may encounter courses in principles of emergency services, fire protection systems, fire behavior and combustion, strategy and tactics, fire prevention, emergency services delivery, leadership in fire service organizations, emergency planning and management and more.

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 82.9%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $107,480
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 1,068,000
7

Small Business Administration/Management

small business administration

Think you might have the chops to start your own small business someday? This could be the major for you. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses accounted for 66 percent of net new jobs from 2000 to 2017. This major may not only give you a head start to successful starting and running your own business, but its versatility comes from the fact that the skills you learn can be applied to any type of business.

Students can learn the foundations of entrepreneurship, business law, the principles of management, how to prepare business plans, entrepreneurial finance, investor relations and funding, product design and development and how to live an entrepreneurial lifestyle. Then you supply an idea for a business!

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 82.9%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $107,480
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 1,068,000
8

Tourism and Travel Services Management

travel services

About one in every 10 people in the global economy is employed in the tourism industry, according to a 2019 U.S. Travel and Hospitality Outlook report by Deloitte & Touche. Travel and tourism generated 10.4 percent of the world’s economic activity in 2018. It’s one of the world’s largest industries and has some of the fastest employment growth, making this one of the best online degrees for career flexibility. It encompasses a wide range of employers, including hotels and resorts, restaurant management, event and convention planning, recreation management, transportation and marketing and sales.

This major can include courses such as destinations and cultures, hospitality law, marketing management, reservations and ticketing, travel agency management, cruise marketing and sales, computer-based information systems and more.

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 82.9%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $107,480
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 1,068,000
9

Hospitality Administration/Management

hospitality administration

Another hospitality and leisure-focused major, this one merges the business of the hospitality industry with the details of travel — a powerful combination that can have applications in a wide range of positions, from restaurant or hotel manager to food and beverage director, meeting/convention planner, caterer, event planner, chef or even advertising and marketing manager.

This is a great major for outgoing students interested in having variety in day-to-day tasks, interacting with a diverse array of people, traveling and working unpredictable hours. Students can learn business topics such as employee labor relations, marketing, hospitality finance and hospitality law, and they also learn specific hospitality-focused subjects such as resort operations, facilities design, food service operations and event and festival management.

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 82.9%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $107,480
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 1,068,000
10

Business/Commerce, General

business commerce

It may be 10th on our list, but business/commerce majors have the highest number of occupations matching this major in our rankings (11), not to mention the largest projected employment growth by far — in fact, it’s nearly double that of the second highest. In Canada and many other countries, a degree in commerce is a general business degree, although some online business degrees in the U.S. do specifically offer bachelor’s degrees in commerce, which can tend to focus a little more heavily on finance than a standard business administration degree.

Students may expect coursework that includes accounting, business law, corporate finance, management, marketing, management information systems, financial planning, economics, statistics or business analytics. Studies also may include business communications, leadership and information technology — all skills that the NACE say are highly sought-after skills in the workplace.

Data Points:

  • Percentage of industries employing the occupations matched to the major, 2016-26: 59.03%
  • Annual median wage of each occupation matched to the major, 2017: $101,099
  • Average projected growth of all jobs matched to each major, 2016-26: 6,616,500

Sources

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Methodologies and Sources