About 81% of online students are also employed, so the convenience of distance education works in their favor, allowing them to complete classes around their employment schedule. While almost 63% of students say that the courses they took were to further their career, only 17% claim that taking courses was due to a desire to change careers. These responses may suggest that many online students are looking to expand their current professional skills, including the skills needed for a job promotion, rather than shift career paths entirely.
Missouri State University offers a handful of online bachelor's degrees suitable for first-time undergraduates or transfer students. A total of 10 major options include criminology and criminal justice, finance, health services, hospitality leadership, and an RN-to-BSN. The school also offers two undergraduate certificates and 12 bachelor's degree minors fully online. Graduate students can choose from 14 online master's programs, including seven pathways for teachers, and two doctorate in nursing tracks.

The courses in the master’s program depend on the type of training the student is seeking. Some programs are entry-level degrees, aimed at individuals with no previous teaching experience. These programs cover the theory of education and instructional techniques for a particular grade level or subject. These degrees also include teaching practicums and internships that help students master hands-on teaching skills. Other master's degrees are aimed at current teachers who want to deepen their understanding of a particular subject area or gain leadership skills. These programs may focus in areas like special education, technology in education, reading and literature, or curriculum and instruction.
Most online bachelor's programs at the university offer degree completion pathways designed for transfer students, and these programs may cover anywhere from 31-51 credits of core coursework. Students with associate degrees can typically complete the programs within two years or less. The school offers tuition at a flat per-credit rate regardless of the student's state residency status. Active-duty military personnel can earn associate or bachelor's degrees at a discounted tuition rate.
With more than 20 years of experience in online learning, the University of Denver has honed the art of distance education. Online classes are asynchronous, so students are not required to be online at the same time, instead logging into online class when their schedule permits. And all classes are available both online and on campus (or in a hybrid format), so students can choose the format that works best for them.

Before I came to WGU, I completed a MAT program for teaching. I was not prepared to enter the classroom in the least bit. That is why I chose to get a second bachelors even though I have a masters in teaching. I feel much more confident in my ability to teach now. There are things that I hated, like the weekly calls, but overall I feel a lot more prepared to enter the education field. My only regret is they didn't focus on writing IEP's and Transition Plans as much as I would have liked.
Another school that is no stranger to national rankings, the University of Florida—located in the city of Gainesville—is breaking down geographical barriers to higher education. The University of Florida offers access to more than 200 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. And as a student, you’ll be a member of The Gator Nation, along with thousands of students and alumni around the world.
City University students finish at twice the national rate”. Based out of Seattle, Washington, the private, non profit university is well-known as a top university for both on campus and online students. Graduates from the Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctoral programs career paths include Teacher, Project Manager, Counselor, and much more. CityU has locations worldwide, including international locations in China, Slovakia, and Vietnam. Several need and merit-based scholarships are available for students seeking financial assistance.
Traditional degree programs in instructional technology revolve around group discussion, helping students build ideas off of one another. This is not easily done through online programs, so instructional technology students will be asked to complete a lot of reading and writing assignments. Many online programs (as well as some traditional programs) require that all students be full-time, licensed teachers. 
Due to the rapid evolution of online coursework, online programs are quickly becoming some of the most high-quality degree options available. To date, well over 2,000 colleges offer accredited online programs. While our list of the best online colleges and universities is a good starting point for researching programs, we've outlined additional steps you can take to narrow your list of potential schools.
Instructional technology degrees are usually earned as graduate degrees. Most people who become interested in this field are already educators or educational leaders, such as vice principals or curriculum developers. Students who are choosing instructional technology paths are interested in becoming better at their jobs, learning to take their techniques and skills in new directions. This makes the masters degree or the masters of education degree very popular. Students study computer programming, the teaching of computer programming, introducing students to technology, using technology paired with written literature and traditional teaching methods, and training other teachers to use technology in their classrooms. 

The advantages of online courses are more than just a sense of freedom. Online courses eliminate the need to commute to a campus, which saves money as well. There are several costs associated with this type of long-term campus commute, and as 29% of respondents report a household income of less than $50,000 a year, affordability matters. In addition, 46% of online students cite choosing the convenience of an online course due to a lack of a local campus or an inability to regularly commute to one.

A big reason for the growth in online education is demand. Online college programs make college more accessible to a much larger population than traditional on-campus learning. Thanks to technology, you can earn an online associate degree, online bachelor's degree or online master's degree without having to sacrifice your job or time caring for your family.


All those in-demand tech majors and workers noted earlier need something to work on. Enter the computer hardware engineers. These workers research, design, develop and improve computer systems, as well as components including circuit boards, networks and routers. And they’re not limited to working on PCs and Macs. Computers can be found everywhere, from in your car and coffee maker to medical equipment and airplanes, helping to drum up demand for these kinds of engineers across a variety of industries. That helps drive their projected job growth rate to 9.4% over the next decade. Their median income is $115,045 a year.
Brittany Pierce wanted to be pushed beyond what she knew from years of teaching. She came to WGU prepared to work hard, using the ability to accelerate through her program to her advantage, and graduated in 11 months. Brittany talks about using lessons from her coursework in the M.A. Science Education program in her own classroom the very next day, and she says completing her program quickly took focus and self-motivation.
But not all college degrees are created equal. To determine which majors typically come with the best hiring prospects and pay, we studied the data for 102 popular college majors. We looked for courses of study that tend to lead to fat paychecks—both right out of school and further along your career path. We also sought out majors that are in high demand based on recent online job postings as well as long-term growth expectations for related occupations. Plus, we factored in the percentage of workers with given degrees who feel their jobs have a positive impact on the world because having a sense of purpose can be just as important as having a good payday.

Depending on the state and grade level the student intends to instruct, the bachelor's degree may be sufficient to launch a teaching career. In some states, secondary school teachers are required to complete graduate training. Private schools set their own standards for teachers, and a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for employment in certain schools. Prospective teachers should investigate their state's teaching licensure procedures to understand the rules that apply to them.
Educational administrators are the leaders of schools, colleges, and other types of educational organizations. They are the leaders and guides in the educational field, either working intimately with students or with the larger community. School administrators work at state and federal levels and help develop state policies that affect education. Administrators can also be school superintendents, principals, or principal support staff.
The 25 colleges on this list offer affordable online master's in education programs. The average tuition for this list is $13,536, and there are 19 schools whose tuitions are under $15,000. University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign offers an impressive return on investment on their program costing $7,456 per year, with mid-career alumni from the program reporting a salary of $91,600. Western Governors University is also an affordable choice for prospective students, with an annual tuition of $6,380 and a salary of $76,900.
There is no doubt that a college education pays off - on average, a college graduate earns $1,000,000 more than a high-school only graduate over the course of their lifetime, according to the College Scorecard. Individual earnings vary greatly from person to person based on what level of degree you earn, what you study, and what kind of career you choose to pursue.
I was/am a nontraditional student (about five to seven years older than most students at my university), so this was not quite in my realm, but I was often jealous of the many opportunities afforded to these students. Yes, you have to go to social events. Yes, you might get categorized as a snob or fill-in-the-inappropriate-name-blank, but you really can benefit from the social network and resources (such as old tests).
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