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.

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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,; 2018-28 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central,
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,


  • 2020 Technology Industry Outlook, Deloitte, 2019,
  • Career: Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Big Future, The College Board,, accessed February 2020
  • Career: Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts, Big Future, The College Board,, accessed February 2020
  • CIO Jury: 83% of CIOs struggle to find tech talent, Tech Republic,, 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,
  • Computer and Information Research Scientists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, accessed February 2020
  • Computer and Information Technology Occupation, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, modified September 2019,
  • Computer Programmers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, , accessed February 2020
  • Computer Programming, Specific Applications, IPEDS, NCES,, accessed February 2020
  • Computer Systems Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, accessed February 2020
  • CS vs CIS vs IT – Which Technology Degree is for You?, Gwynedd Mercy University,, accessed February 2020
  • Information Security Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, accessed February 2020
  • IT Industry Outlook 2020, CompTIA, 2019,
  • Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017 – 2027, The Project Management Institute, 2017,
  • Major: Computer and Information Sciences, General, Big Future, The College Board,, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Computer Networking and Telecommunications, Big Future, The College Board,, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Computer Science, Big Future, The College Board,, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Computer Systems Analysis, Big Future, The College Board,, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Information Science, Big Future, The College Board,, accessed February 2020
  • Major: Information Technology, Big Future, The College Board,, accessed February 2020
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, 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, — 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,, accessed February 2020
  • What Is a Computer Systems Analyst? A Spotlight on These Behind-the-Scenes Tech Pros, Rasmussen College, 2019,

How to Succeed at Community College


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

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

Identifying opportunities at community colleges

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

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

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

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

Key obstacles to college completion

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

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

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

How to beat the odds at community college

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Education Reform Now Embargoed, April 2016,
  • Obama hails community colleges, skirts their lack of funds, McClatchy Newspapers, October 2010,
  • Developmental Education Challenges and Strategies for Reform, January 2017,
  • Remedial Education Reforms at California Community Colleges, August 2018,
  • Carnegie Foundation 2016-2017 Impact Report, January 2018,
  • Distance Education Report 2017, accessed May 2019,
  • Online and Homegrown, Inside Higher Ed, October 2016,
  • Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2017; and Financial Statistics and Academic Libraries, Fiscal Year 2017: First Look, January 2019,
  • Completing College National 2018 – Figure 15, December 2018,
  • Remedial Education, Center for American Progress, September 2016,
  • Distance Education Report 2017, California Community Colleges, accessed May 2019,

9 Emerging Careers Changing the World

If you’re seeking a stimulating and long-lasting career, look no further than the latest social and technological trends for a little inspiration. In just the past decade (or in some cases, less), major innovations have taken place in various fields from computers to medicine, all of which have forged an exciting landscape for emerging careers to take hold. Creative types might gravitate to the developing fields of 3D printing or social media, while tech-minded dreamers may lean toward groundbreaking developments in artificial intelligence or genetic engineering. Whatever your interest, this list of new, rapidly developing careers — and the majors to get you there — can help you identify a brand new career path that can take you into the future.

1. 3D Printing

3D printing

Since 3D printing technology has emerged, its wide and varied use has grown rapidly across the fields of biomedical science, computer science, manufacturing and just about any other industry that can benefit from faster, more efficient and cheaper production of its goods. From airplane parts and cars to artificial organs and prosthetics, 3D printing (or, more broadly, “additive manufacturing”) is an exciting field with seemingly endless applications and opportunities. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2018, nearly 41 percent of organizations are now on the hunt for workers who understand how this emerging technology works and, more importantly, how it can give their business a competitive advantage.

Where to find this degree program: Online degrees in the 3D Printing field include the master of engineering in additive manufacturing and design at Penn State World Campus, and the online additive manufacturing certifications at both MIT and Purdue University.

Related degree programs include engineering for those interested in the manufacturing industry, animation and design for those with a creative eye, and biomedical technology for those who seek to revolutionize the medical field.

2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

artificial intelligence

The technology of “the future” is already here and shaping the way we live our day-to-day lives, but it’s becoming more apparent to all levels of society. Many companies are harnessing the analytical powers of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning to increase efficiency and cut their business costs. These innovative technologies have been developed to think, learn and even make predictions about certain data in a way that is similar to how the human brain works. Though this may take away certain jobs, it is expected that far more will be created in the long run, particularly for data scientists, machine learning engineers and business intelligence developers. More than two million jobs in the AI sector alone are expected to be generated within the next few years.

Where to find this degree program: Stanford University offers an online course in machine learning, though the AI track of its bachelor in computer science degree is not offered completely online. Harvard University offers an online machine learning course as well. On the other hand, graduate programs appear to be more prevalent, such as Georgia Tech’s online Master of Science in Computer Science with a specialization in machine learning.

Because online bachelor’s degree programs in this field are relatively rare at this time, it may be best to first pursue an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as information technology, computer science or mathematics.

3. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (the IoT)

virtual reality

The technology behind virtual and augmented reality makes video games and other digital entertainment exponentially more fun and unlike what we’ve seen before in the gaming and design world. However, this innovative technology can also lend itself to practical uses in the real world. It’s being used for safe, on-the-job training in fields like air and sea navigation, medicine and the military, and it’s helping coworkers facilitate collaborative projects despite living on opposite ends of the globe. predicted that there were 170 million virtual reality users worldwide in 2018 alone, so this is a job market that is expected to provide massive opportunity now and in the future.

Where to find this degree program: Both the University of London and the University of Advancing Technology offer an online virtual reality degree. Drexel University offers a Virtual Reality & Immersive Media Program as well, and though it is not offered online, it does provide an in-depth exploration of theories, techniques and skills necessary to produce captivating virtual content.

Students may also choose to pursue a degree in new media, computer science or art and design – three aspects that go hand-in-hand to develop virtual and augmented reality that looks great and functions even better.

4. Blockchain


One of the most in-demand skills of the moment, blockchain engineering is actually a set of technologies including distributed computing and cryptography. It’s the technology that serves as the foundation of bitcoin cryptocurrency, a revolutionary form of currency that is certainly driving the demand for developers even higher. However, blockchain can also be applied in a wide variety of other realms from healthcare and digital identity to advertising and data storage. It’s no wonder, then, that the demand for well-versed developers has increased more than 500 percent in recent years according to a report by

Where to find this degree program: Elite schools like Princeton and MIT offer online courses in blockchain technologies, but do not have degree programs in the field at this time. The University of Nicosia, on the other hand, offers an online master’s in digital currency, claiming to be the world’s first graduate degree in blockchain.

Related degree programs include computer science, distributed computing and cryptography.

5. Cannabis


The legalization of cannabis in many areas of the United States has opened up a plethora of job opportunities in cultivation, extraction, dispensary management and even cannabis law. Increased accessibility to the plant offers more and more patients an alternative to pharmaceutical medicine, and recreational users may be finding it more socially acceptable to utilize the plant’s psychoactive effects as a means to handle stress and other emotions, among other uses. As the government continues to approve legislation allowing the medicinal or recreational use of the plant, the demand for jobs in this sector are expected to grow — literally and figuratively. In fact, the cannabis industry added nearly 65,000 jobs in 2018, which is an increase of 44 percent, according to industry experts Leafly and Whitney Economics.

Where to find this degree program: Northern Michigan University offers a degree program in medicinal plant chemistry that covers all aspects of the industry from growth to distribution, though it is currently only available on campus. Specialized schools like Cannabis Training University and Oaksterdam University, for example, offer online horticulture courses in addition to full on-campus degree programs that focus specifically on the cannabis industry.

For students interested in different aspects of the cannabis industry, related degree programs that tend to be more easily accessible online include chemistry, botany and healthcare.

6. Genetic Engineering


The first thing that comes to mind when many people think of gene editing is the controversial topics of “designer babies” and rogue human experimentation. However, the groundbreaking medical technology is more often and increasingly used for other medical purposes. For example, it can be used to detect and prevent diseases before they can affect one’s quality of life, and it can help to grow new organs for life-saving transplants. Thanks to the increasing possibilities to apply biotechnology to medical equipment and devices, job opportunities for biomedical engineers have been on the rise in the past few years and are expected to continue to grow as much as 7% into the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Where to find this degree program: The Stanford School of Medicine offers an online course in genetic engineering and biotechnology, while the University of Maryland University College offers a fully online biotechnology bachelor’s degree. For those seeking higher degrees, the University of Southern California offers a master of science in biomedical engineering completely online.

Common online degrees and concentrations related to genetic engineering include biology, human genetics and viral diseases.

7. Robotics


When we think of robots, we often conjure images of a futuristic society, but the truth is that robots are already all around us and already impacting the ways we do business. Most industrial equipment incorporates robotics technology, as does the emerging market for autonomous vehicles and all of the various uses for artificial intelligence. With the increased need for advanced robots to take over dangerous (or sometimes just boring) tasks, the need for robotics engineers is expected to grow as well. According to BIS Research, the “cobot” market (or collaborative robots that work alongside humans) is expected to grow to approximately $2 billion in the next few years.

Where to find this degree program: Southern New Hampshire University offers an online BS in information technologies with a concentration in robotics and artificial intelligence, while the University of Advancing Technology offers an online bachelor’s degree in robotics and embedded systems. For those seeking an advanced degree, an MS in robotics engineering is available online through Worcester Polytechnic University.

Degree programs related to robotics include mechanical engineering and computing and programming.

8. Social Media

social media

Social media usage is ubiquitous in today’s society. Not only do we use it to keep up with friends and family, but these platforms are becoming an essential component in business strategies spanning nearly every industry. Social media has shaken up the way that we communicate and the way we receive information about the world around us. That’s why it is more important than ever for businesses to have an online presence for promotional and brand-building purposes. Due to its popularity, you may face competition in this field, though its universal appeal is likely to always be in demand.

Where to find this degree program: Southern New Hampshire University offers an online BS in social media marketing, Johnson & Wales University Online offers a BS in digital marketing & social media, and Strayer University has an online bachelor of science in business administration: social media marketing. At the graduate level, Quinnipiac University offers an online MS in interactive media and communications, while Loyola University Maryland has their own online master’s in emerging media.

Social Media degree programs are relatively easy to find these days, but similar programs of interest include marketing, public relations and journalism.

9. Renewable Energy

renewable energy

With continued scientific research into the threat of global warming, renewable energy sources — including solar energy and wind energy — are quickly gaining worldwide interest. Their once high costs are now rapidly declining, allowing these alternative power sources to become more accessible to the public. Wind turbine technicians and solar photovoltaic (PV) installers are two of the fastest-growing “green” jobs on the market today, and there’s no sign that these eco-conscious alternatives will be slowing down. In fact, according to the 2019 Clean Jobs America analysis, the amount of clean energy jobs increased in every state in 2018 and they now significantly outnumber fossil fuel jobs.

Where to find this degree program: Penn State World Campus offers an online bachelor’s degree in energy and sustainability policy, an online master’s degree in renewable energy and sustainability systems and graduate certificates in solar energy and sustainability management and policy. DeVry University also offers an online bachelor’s degree specialization in renewable energy, while Everglades University’s online bachelor of science degree features a major in alternative and renewable energy management.

More easily accessible degree programs related to renewable energy include environmental science and engineering.


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A 10-Point Guide To Choosing An Online Nursing Program

A career in nursing can be suitable for those who can combine compassion with the emotional resilience required to cope with human suffering. Good communication and critical thinking skills along with physical stamina are necessary qualities to have or acquire.

NurseThe field of nursing offers a variety of options. Nurses may have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of patient groups. For example, nurses can work in the neonatology department with newborn infants, in intensive care units as critical care nurses, or become rehabilitation nurses who work with patients who are temporarily or permanently disabled. An online degree in nursing can also open up non-nursing careers options such as those of a legal nurse consultant, nurse educator or an informatics nurse specialist.

Prospective students are advised to explore the number of career options in nursing and then choose an online nursing program that aligns with their career goals. Job growth is expected to be higher in outpatient care centers for chemotherapy, rehabilitation, and surgery, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics but the overall demand for nurses across the country is much faster than the average between 2016 and 2026. 

Nurses are in good demand

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists registered nurses (RNs) among the top three occupations with the highest projected numeric change in employment with 438,100 job openings projected in the decade leading up to 2026. The need for nurses is expected to increase due to a number of reasons:

  • An aging population leading to a need for an increase in healthcare services for this demographic, including nursing services.
  • Nurses are needed to replace those who are retiring in the coming years. An estimated one million registered nurses are expected to retire over the next 10 to 15 years, according to a report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
Terms you should know before you read further
  • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs): They help provide basic nursing care under the guidance of RNs and doctors.
  • Registered Nurses (RNs): They help provide patient care and educate public and patients about health issues.
  • Clinical Rotations: Clinical rotations are an important part of earning your nursing degree. This is where you can get supervised hands-on instruction in a healthcare setting and develop practical nursing skills. Depending on the nature of your online nursing program and the type of nursing degree, your clinical rotations may be at an approved facility near your residence or workplace. This could be a hospital or clinical facility.

This 10-point guide to choosing an online nursing program is designed to be a quick reference guide to common questions prospective online nursing students may ask.

1. Finding an online nursing program that is right for you

You may be just out of high school interested in becoming a nurse, or you may be a practicing nurse interested in advancing your career. Whatever your reasons may be for pursuing a nursing career, online nursing degree programs can open up opportunities that you are seeking.

Looking to enter a career in nursing?

There are two main types of online nursing degrees you can earn as a new entrant to the nursing profession. The credentials you earn depend on the degree you earn and licensing examinations you pass. We discuss them in more detail below:

  • Online associate degree in nursing (ADN):  ADNs are usually two-year programs offering the basic degree you need to become a registered nurse. You may be able to take general education and nursing-related theoretical courses online.

           Click here for more information on online associate degrees in nursing

  • Online bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN): Instead of the two-year associate degree, you may enroll in an online BSN which typically takes four years to complete. RNs with a bachelor’s degree have the potential to earn more money by progressing to more advanced job roles. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement for employees in hospitals which have achieved the Magnet status which is a title given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to healthcare facilities that demonstrate nursing excellence. Those with a bachelor’s degree typically have an advantage over those with an associate degree, in such cases.

           Click here for more information on online bachelor’s degrees in nursing

Note: Both associate degree holders and bachelor’s degree holders need to pass the state-administered NCLEX-RN examination to obtain a nursing license in order to practice in your state.

Already a nurse? 

There are a number of online degrees programs you may be able to enroll in if you are already working in the field of nursing and hold a license toNurse practice as an LPN or an RN and want to advance your career. Bridge degree programs can allow you to apply credits from your previous nursing education or clinical experience thereby reducing the hours needed for clinical rotation. Many online bridge degree programs can allow you to take your courses completely online and complete your clinical instruction at your place of work.

Note: Accelerated bridge degree programs may allow you to earn your degree faster but can also be extremely demanding in terms of time and effort as they may require you take several courses at one time.

Some options you have are outlined below.

Are you working as an LPN and want a degree to become an RN?

  • Online LPN to RN programs: If you are already working as an LPN, you may be able to enroll in an online LPN to RN bridge program. There are two types of programs available:
    • LPN to ADN
    • LPN to BSN

Depending on how many educational credits you can transfer, you may be able to complete your ADN degree, typically, in as little as 12 months and a BSN usually takes three years.

Are you an RN who would like to earn an online bachelor’s degree?

  • Online RN to BSN programs: RN to BSN online programs are designed for students with an ADN to earn their BSN degree. They take into account the unpredictable nature of shift work by offering all classes online so you can continue working while still earning your BSN degree. Earning your BSN can help you take on supervisory roles in your workplace.

Are you an RN who would like to earn an online master’s degree?

  • RN to MSN online programs: A master of science in nursing (MSN) can allow you specialize in a particular area of nursing, enter research or become a nurse educator. They typically take two years of full-time study to complete. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) also need to pass a certification examination which can vary depending on their specialization. Click here for more information on online master’s degrees in nursing

Looking for an online doctoral degree in nursing?

    While these may not be bridge degrees, they may certainly be worth pursuing if you enjoy academia. There are two degrees at the doctoral level:

  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Ph.D. in nursing

Click here for more information on online doctoral degrees in nursing

2. Online nursing degree programs can be available in different formats. Which one is right for you?

NurseMost online nurse practitioner programs designed for LPNs and RNs are actually hybrid programs. This means you complete some courses online while receive face-to-face instruction for others. This in-person instruction can be especially important for aspiring nurses with little or no practical experience of working in a healthcare facility.

Fully online programs are typically found at higher degree levels for students and are usually suitable for people who already have their RN license and a certain amount of work experience. However, even these programs, like an RN to BSN bridge degree program, may need you to complete an internship or a capstone project as a part of the degree requirements.

3. Choosing your nursing specialization

Specializations in nursing can start right from the LPN level. The BLS reports that LPNs may be able to earn certifications in areas of their choosing like gerontology and intravenous therapy through professional organizations. RNs and APRNs may be able to choose specializations while still in school or obtain professional certifications in fields like:

  • Clinical nursing
  • Critical care nursing
  • Cardiac and vascular nursing
  • Gerontology
  • Midwifery
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatric nursing
  • Surgical nursing

4. Admission tests and other requirements online nursing colleges may require

Becoming a nurse is not easy and studying online takes a certain amount of dedication and a passion for the profession. Apart from looking at SAT and ACT scores, online colleges in nursing may also require potential students to pass entrance examinations which can vary from school to school. Common examinations you may be required to pass are:

  • National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Exam (NLN PAX)
  • NLN RN Pre-Admission exam (NLN PAX-RN)
  • Health Education Systems, Inc Exam (HESI) A2
  • Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)

5. Look for online nursing schools or programs that are accredited by a recognized body

Attending an accredited school can allow eligible students to apply for federal financial aid and funding but more importantly, attending an accredited school is one of the prerequisites for gaining nursing licensure. The two main accrediting bodies for nursing programs are:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

Accreditation is also important for students who want to transfer their learning credits from one nursing program to another.

Click here for a list of the top online accredited nursing colleges by degree level

6. Choose an online nursing program approved by the state board

Nurse Apart from accreditation, many online nursing programs are recognized by their state nursing boards. Prospective students may want to take a look at the NCLEX pass rates for that program before they enroll. This information can often be found on the school website or the website of state nursing boards. A high percentage of students passing the NCLEX can indicate how well the nursing program prepares students for NCLEX.

Usually, nursing licenses allow nurses to practice only in the state where you obtained the license. However, if the state belongs to nurse licensure compact, it may be easier for registered nurses to practice their profession across multiple states. About 50 percent of the states participate in the nurse licensure compact, according to

7. Consider the location of clinical sites offered by the online nursing program

Prospective students should consider how far and how frequently they have to travel for the practical component of their online nursing program. Additionally, knowing which clinical sites the school partners with can give students an idea of the kind of clinical experience they might have. Ask the college about the variety of experience you may be able to gain through your practical education and evaluate whether it aligns with your future career goals.

8. Take a peek at the online faculty for nursing

Learn about the online faculty for the program. What are their specializations? Who are you likely to be working with during your supervised clinical rotations? Do they have a variety of experience in nursing? Apart from knowing the different digital instruction tools that are being used, prospective students should be assured that faculty is available to answer questions when needed either through instant messaging platforms, video conferencing or over the phone.

9. Finding financial aid for your online nursing program

Apart from tuition, the cost of attending an online nursing program can go beyond simply tuition and books. You may need uniforms for your clinical rotations and have to factor in the cost of transport for practical, hands-on exposure at hospitals and clinics. Prospective students may find funding for their online nursing program through federal and state financial aid programs as well as scholarships offered by the school. Students are advised to contact the school’s financial aid office to explore possible funding options that may be available to them. Click here to see more about financial aid options for prospective nurses.

10. Advice from students who have succeeded in online nursing programs

Nurse-2On a final note, here is some advice from students who have graduated from online nursing programs.

“I feel associate-level nursing programs are basic preparation for the NCLEX-RN exams and a basic working knowledge, but a bachelor’s degree is necessary in today’s health care world. This degree is a stepping stone for advance practice practitioners such as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists or clinical nurse specialists. Take it from someone who has been a nurse for 25 years now: you’ll never regret getting it. A BSN can only help your career.” 

BSN & hospital supervisor: Joseph Julian:

“Online education is an excellent option for certain people but I’m not convinced it would be a good option for everyone. It takes self-discipline to be successful when deadlines are not necessarily as fixed as in traditional education. My advice is to make sure you have the self-discipline to stay on track.” 

Cancer survivor, founder and director of the nonprofit Project Helping Hands, nurse: Jeff Solheim:



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10 Successful Online Learning Strategies

Thinking of enrolling in an online degree program? It definitely has its perks — flexibility, potential savings on cost and time, convenience — to name a few. While the benefits are many, this can also be true: online degree programs can require a tremendous amount of self-discipline. It’s usually up to you when to get your work done, when to view your materials, when (and whether) to ask questions, how to engage in class discussions, and how best to facilitate your learning of the material. With online degree programs requiring you to be a self-motivator, how can you make sure that you succeed within a reasonable amount of time?

Here is the list of 10 successful online learning strategies:

1. Research well and then choose your online degree program


Avoid buyer’s remorse. A study by Online College Students (OCS) 2018 revealed that 24 percent of past students felt they should have contacted or researched more schools before they made a final decision about which school to choose. While 15 percent wished they had learned more about their financial aid options, 14 percent wished they had spoken more with their enrollment counselor.

The first step to help you succeed in an online degree program is to make sure you have done your homework well. Research as many schools as you can and ask questions related to financial aid, tuition, online faculty, peer and professor interaction, access to e-books, and more. It’s up to you to do your due diligence in finding a program that meets your specific areas of interests and can help you achieve your career goals.

2. Commit to your online program


Perhaps the most common misconception about online programs is that they can be easier than on-campus programs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Online programs are usually on par with their on-campus counterpart; they can be just as rigorous and just as demanding. Your online instructors can expect the same quality of work from you and assign the same amount of work as they would an on-campus student.

With your work schedule and other commitments, you may actually wind up having less time on hand to finish your coursework. You’ll need to carve out the time from your busy schedule to watch lectures, participate in discussions online, and complete assignments on your own. How can you manage to stay committed? Devising a study schedule, developing good relationships with your teacher and fellow students, and loads of sheer determination can help you stay on track with your commitment to earn an online degree.

3. Determine how you learn best


Some of the most helpful activities for the online classroom happen to be asynchronous items that students are able to complete on their own time. There are at least four types of learners:

  • Visual (by sight)
  • Auditory (by hearing)
  • Reading/writing
  • Kinaesthetic (by doing)

Determine how you learn best and then tailor your studies to that style. If you’re a visual learner, for example, print out transcripts of the video lectures to review. Are you good at listening and learning? Make sure to build time into your schedule to play and replay audio- and video-based course content. To improve as a hands-on learner, try taking notes as you study or watch lectures. Go through these notes and memorize key points while walking or exercising. This can help to reinforce learning.

4. Find ways to retain what you learn

Retain-what-you- learn

Once you’ve found ways that help you learn, you need to focus on ways to retain what you have learned. A study by Psychotactics shows that the average person retains 20 percent of what they hear or read. Discuss it with others, and your retention goes up to 50 percent. Use the information actively and you’re at 75 percent. It goes as high as 90 percent when you teach the concept or immediately put it into practice. You can start by translating all that you’ve learned online into your own words. This process alone helps in cementing new knowledge in your mind. Next, find some way to share. Some ideas include volunteering short-term online teaching, writing a blog post or creating a podcast.

5. Manage time effectively


Online students need to process learning in less time and resist a vast range of distractions. This can be a challenge. According to Northeastern University, to effectively manage time, students should review the syllabus at the beginning of their semester, making notes of major assignments and marking them on a calendar so that they know how to incorporate this workload amid personal commitments. Create a daily, weekly and monthly planner. Students may be able to make smart use of their time by using time management tools, such as Trello. This tool allows them to input important tasks and set due dates that are then emailed out as reminders. Lastly, create a study space that is conducive to being productive. According to Western Governors University, the amount of noise, study light, climate, comfort, a sense of organization — these can be important factors in managing your study time.

6. class=”degree_image” Become a pro at using online tools


You can have easy access to some amazing resources that can help you succeed in your online learning. Become familiar with Google Search, Google Scholar and Google Books to improve your research skills. More and more online college students are using mobile devices to access the online classroom and complete related activities. To improve your focus, try downloading SelfControl, a free app through which you can block any website for a certain period that’s distracting you from studies. Another effective tool can be StudyBlue. This app lets you study anywhere and access approximately 500 million study materials, including flashcards, notes, and study guides, as stated by E-learning Industry. StudyBlue can assist with putting you in touch with other students, ideal study materials, and engage actively with quizzes. Alternative to StudyBlue are Cram and Brainscape.

7. Interact actively in online classes


In general, frequent, substantive participation in discussions is a requirement in online classes. A majority (57 percent) of students surveyed in the 2018 OCS study felt that such interactions are important to the success of an online student. Active interaction can demonstrate to the instructor that you comprehend and are using what you learn in class. But it can also enhance the online experience for other students as they come together online to share a diverse range of opinions and ideas. This interaction helps in creating a sense of community, as it can help students in figuring out their own required course of action for online studies. Moreover, such interactions can lead to better rapport with instructors and peers, often a key to successful online learning.

8. Leverage your online network


Networking with peers, seniors and professors can be an important part of online learning. These connections may generate future job leads. A study by LinkedIn confirms that 85 percent of job placements are typically through networking, so the more you build your network as an online student with your fellow classmates and professors, the more likely you may be able to use your network to land you a job.

How can you do this? Build relationships through group emails, video conferencing, discussion boards and online groups, as well as student blogs and podcasts. The advantage an online student has is being able to connect with students and professors across the country, and sometimes, across the globe. This kind of national and international network can be of mutual advantage.

9. Find a way to stay motivated


One of the biggest problems with online learning is that it’s easy to fall through the cracks. When things get rough, it’s easy to push away from the computer and say, “Forget it.” Keeping your goals realistic and attainable requires a sensible schedule. It is also important to remember to celebrate those small wins in order to stay motivated! Take a break now and then to enjoy time outdoors, pursue a hobby, or just spend time with family and friends. If you are not able to go out, though, communicate through social media. You can post progress of your studies among your social media circles to keep them involved and updated about how you are doing. These are just some of the ways you can stay motivated when the going gets rough!

10. class=”degree_image” Stay fit for better academic performance


A 2017 study by MedCrave Online Journal of Sports Medicine highlights a positive relationship between physical exercise and academic performance of college students. According to the study, students who exercise regularly graduate at higher rates, and earn, on average, a full GPA point higher than those who do not exercise. Exercising can keep your energy levels up, allowing you to concentrate better in your studies and research, which can ultimately lead to better rewards in terms of academic performance.

In conclusion, before going into any online program, be sure that your eyes are wide open to the experience and that you’ve put support systems in place at home and at work. There’s no magic to online learning success, it’s hard work and discipline.

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