The school offers a cutting-edge experience for distance learners that integrates online proctoring for exams and biometric identification technology to prevent cheating. Programs allow for full accessibility, with closed captioning for students with impaired hearing and specialized software for the vision impaired. All video lectures come with complete transcripts for students to use as study aids.
Choosing your field of study is the first step in your online education, a process that takes time, commitment, and energy. The online degree program you decide to pursue will affect your career path, income potential, and level of employment. Online colleges offer a number of diverse options, and your area of interest may cross over several different degree programs. To help you find the online degree program that matches your interests and gives you best chance of financial success, explore our online degree comparison tool for information about earning potential, degree costs, and time commitments.
There are a few considerations to make before choosing a degree level to pursue. One, what level of education have you achieved already? Two, what are your career goals? There are many online bachelor's degrees out there, but depending on your career aspirations you may also want to consider online associate degrees and online master's degrees. The following list can help you better understand these options:
The need for nurses is as persistent as the common cold. In terms of demand, most health care professionals, in general, benefit from the aging population, as well as advancing technology helping people live longer, healthier lives. And prospects for registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs)—both among our Best Jobs for the Future—are particularly promising with their numbers expected to grow by 16.3% and 35.2%, respectively, over the next decade. RNs earn a median $69,789 a year; NPs typically make nearly $103,947 a year. And the field is as rewarding as it is lucrative: 82% of employees with this degree report feeling a high sense of meaning in their careers, the highest share of all 102 majors included in our rankings.
Majoring in economics is another way to benefit from growing opportunities linked to the big data boom. Like statisticians, economists are mostly employed by the federal government, which may be a limiting factor. But you can also find work with employers specializing in consulting services, scientific research and finance—though you’ll likely need an advanced degree to move beyond entry-level positions. Economists can expect a median salary of $102,482 a year. Employers also look for people with economics degrees to fill positions as financial managers (one of our Best Jobs for the Future), purchasing agents and data analysts.
Examine the different majors offered by a variety of top online colleges that relate to the field of study you are interested in. Research what specific courses are required in each major. Also consider what specific hard and soft skills will be most valuable to the work you want to be doing. You can explore our collection of academic program rankings to learn more about other fields of study and potential career paths.
To be 100% honest I thought online school was going to be easy....i took my time and basically didn't put a lot of effort into it in the beginning. However, the classes got more intense and juggling kids, school, and everything else it was hard! I can't say enough how much the mentor program is the reason I was able to graduate! My mentor kept me honest and accountable for making sure I keep to my goals and they offer soooooo many tools to help you such as tutoring, a writing and math center, and so much more! I recently got my BA in business management and I'm starting my MBA here at WGU in January...honestly I can't wait! This has been an amazing experience!
Back to the computer lab for another promising field of study. This broad tech subject can help prepare you for a number of jobs in the hot tech field, from app developer to systems analyst—both of which are among our picks for 30 of the best jobs for the future. Computer systems analysts make a median $87,142 a year and have a projected job growth rate of 11.9%. App developers earn a median income of $100,857 a year and are expected to grow their numbers by 30.4% over the next decade.
Online students face a set of unique issues. Whether you’re wondering about online student disability services, LGBT support at online colleges, or paying for your online degree, our library of guides is here to help you. Planning to transfer credits from an online college? We’ll walk you through the importance of enrolling in accredited online colleges to ensure your hard work does not go to waste. We collected questions from parents, educators, and students to discover the most pressing issues they faced, and then put our team of experts to work finding in-depth answers.
Central Michigan University is a public research university—the largest university in Michigan—and a highly regarded provider of online education. CMU Global Campus (which houses their online programs) offers 27 degrees and multiple professional certificates from undergraduate through doctoral levels. CMU has been highly ranked for their online Bachelors, Graduate Education, and MBA programs (U.S. News & World Report).
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the country's largest accredited institution that primarily offers degrees in aviation and aerospace technology. Undergraduates choose from 16 online bachelor's programs, including subjects such as aviation business administration, homeland security, safety management, and unmanned systems applications. The selection for graduate students focuses on similar topics, as options include online master's degrees in aviation and aerospace sustainability, cybersecurity management and policy, and systems engineering. The school also offers a Ph.D. in aviation.
OSU Ecampus students have access to a wide range of student supports—vital resources like success counseling, library services, free online tutoring, and career guidance. And OSU Ecampus is currently ranked among the top five best online bachelor’s programs for veterans— advisors collaborate with veterans to maximize their military education benefits and find programs that work well for military service members.
The Teachers College at Western Governors University is granted accreditation at the initial-licensure level from CAEP, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, 1140 19th St NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20036 (202) 223-0077. CAEP is the only recognized national accreditor for educator preparation. WGU is the first competency-based online university to receive CAEP accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure.
With your bachelor’s degree, you can become a biomedical engineer, though some employers might require an advanced degree. And the number of positions has been growing, due to the aging population’s demand for biomedical solutions to their mounting health problems. Over the past decade, their ranks boomed 33.5% and is expected to continue growing at a healthy rate of 8.4% by 2027. Median income for these professionals is $88,046 a year. And the emotional payoff seems high, too, with 71% of workers who had this major reporting a high sense of meaning in their careers.
Find mentors. Going through something yourself is often the best way to learn, but that doesn’t mean you have to re-invent the wheel entirely and can’t get guidance. Many of the world’s most successful people — from businessmen to politicians to writers to musicians — found a mentor early on who represented an ideal that they wanted to become and took a fervent interest in them.