The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the primary programmatic accrediting body for education degrees. Accreditation is very important for online education degrees, especially for students looking to earn a teaching license. Prospective students should make sure that the online programs they are considering are recognized by the teaching board in the state where they hope to earn licensure.
OSU Ecampus courses and programs are developed by world-class OSU faculty who use innovative course delivery strategies. Through cutting-edge technology, students are actively engaged in virtual labs, interactive language-acquisition exercises, engaging videos, and interactive lectures. OSU uses Canvas as its learning management system, so online interaction through discussion boards and web conferencing keeps students in touch. Top online degree programs include:

The Center for Online Education understands online colleges have a dynamic future as new technologies and new uses for existing tools change the way we communicate, connect, and collaborate. In the coming years, virtual reality, blended program delivery, makerspaces, predictive learning platforms, gigabit Internet speeds, and other emerging technologies will push the limits of what was once thought possible at online colleges. Social media and networking sites will continue to impact online teaching and learning, providing a virtual space for authentic interaction, relationship building, and participation in professional communities. Our in-house team, and panel of contributors, are all graduates of accredited colleges and are here to help inform your online college journey.
The 24 schools on this list offer the best online bachelor's degrees in education. Top-ranked Kansas State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education for an annual tuition of $13,964. Education alumni of the school earn a median salary of $81,100, making it a great choice for prospective students. Fort Hays State University, ranked 12th, has the lowest tuition on the list: an affordable rate of $6,997 per year for the Bachelor of Science in Education - Early Childhood Unified program.
The University of Alabama is committed to delivering higher education in innovative and flexible formats—Bama by Distance is fulfilling that mission through diverse and accessible programs. As a distance learning student, you will interact with the same college professors and meet the same learning standards as an on-campus student and have access to the same UA resources. Top online degrees include:
Northern Arizona University offers two pathways for distance learners: traditional online or competency-based online programs. Traditional online degrees mirror brick-and-mortar bachelor's programs in terms of course and credit requirements. Traditional online bachelor's options include specialized fields such as hotel and restaurant management, parks and recreation management, and 10 fields related to health professions. The school also makes 21 master's degrees and a doctorate in nursing practice available in the traditional online format.

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.
Many, though not all, of the private schools offering online programs are religious schools. Some of these schools incorporate scripture into their online program, though others do not, and have no religious requirements for distance learners. Private non-profit schools are often more expensive than other four-year options, so be sure to do your research and find a school that fits with your budget.
Will my major dictate my profession? If you specialize in something like nursing, accounting or engineering, you're learning a specific vocation and will likely continue with that. Most majors, however, prepare you for a range of job opportunities and professions - giving you the basis for more specialized training once you graduate. For most students, picking a college major is not the same as picking a profession or planning your career. It will be up to you to pursue and apply for opportunities. Job opportunities will come in many forms.  It is up to you to articulate how your degree, skills, know-how, experiences and what you learned can bring value to your potential employer, customer or circumstance. The major helps develop the confidence in a specialized subject area - demonstrating you can apply yourself and succeed.
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.

At Kiplinger, we totally get that money matters can be complex, and many of us—especially the growing number of people rapidly approaching retirement age—need help understanding and managing them. No wonder workers with financial knowledge are in such high demand. New regulations, more products and increasingly complex investment portfolios don’t hurt either. And that need translates into plenty of opportunities and generous pay for workers in this field. Financial analysts, who evaluate investment opportunities for businesses, earn a median salary of $83,824 a year and are expecting 11.0% job growth over the next decade. Personal financial advisers, who are expected to add 12.0% more positions by 2027, typically earn about $86,715 a year.


Are you considering a return to school? Do you feel uncertain about your ability to pick up where you left off? Browse our collection of student resources for a little peace of mind. Our guides are designed to help students at any level enter the classroom with confidence. Whether at home or on campus, find the help you need to get the most out of your education. Below you'll find some of our more popular resources.


Kennesaw State University offers several online undergraduate programs for business majors. These include bachelor's degrees in information security and assurance, marketing, manufacturing operations, and supply chain logistics. Other options include online degrees in cybersecurity, information technology, and five social sciences fields. Online graduate students at Kennesaw State can choose from 19 master's pathways and two doctoral degrees, most of which concentrate in business and/or technology. The school offers many of its online programs as on-campus degrees and/or in hybrid formats.


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.


Indiana University offers a wide selection of online undergraduate and graduate degrees, including 23 bachelor's degree programs in fields such as business administration, labor studies, medical imaging technology, and an RN-to-BSN. Several of these pathways serve as degree completion programs that exclusively admit students with a two-year degree; others serve as standalone, four-year tracks. Graduate students at Indiana University can select from 31 online master's programs and six online doctoral degrees, most of which focus on management and/or healthcare.

The career opportunities available after completing an education certificate will depend on the graduate’s previous education and experience. Many use the certificate to take a state licensing exam, either to become a kindergarten-through-12th-grade teacher or a school principal. Education certificates can also be useful for teachers interested in moving into policy or research roles in local, state, and federal governments. Other programs are used by practicing teachers to deepen their curriculum and cement their role in their current school.
In the broadest of engineering fields, these majors study machines, including what they’re made of and how they work, with courses such as circuit analysis, fluid mechanics, materials science and thermodynamics. Sound like a lot to cover? You’re not wrong. Indeed, mechanical engineering students often take five years (or four years including a couple of summers) to complete their degrees because they take on internships for hands-on work experience that complements the theoretical studies. The good news is these cooperative programs do include paid gigs, so you can offset some of those extra educational costs.
This engineering field offers slightly less pay than nuclear engineering but far more employment opportunities. That’s because industrial engineers, who develop systems to make products and provide services in the most efficient way possible, are less specialized and can find work in a range of industries, from aerospace and motor vehicle parts manufacturing to natural gas distribution and oil and gas extraction. And jobs for them can be found all across the country, with the highest levels of employment in Michigan, California and Texas. The national median income for industrial engineers is $85,862 a year. But average pay reaches nearly $107,000 a year in Washington and California; in Texas, above $108,000 a year.
Tuition rates vary by degree subject, but most courses cost the same per credit regardless of the student's state residency status. Military servicemembers and veterans qualify for discounted tuition rates and fee waivers. Additionally, prospective students with a military background seeking a non-nursing degree do not need to submit an application in order to earn admission.
Webster University is a private nonprofit institution that offers five online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in management and data analytics through the university's School of Business and Technology and bachelor of arts tracks in media communications and religion and global society. The school also makes an RN-to-BSN pathway available for nurses. Master's degrees include options in specialized fields such as gerontology, environmental management, advertising and marketing communications, and public relations -- along with nine business-oriented programs and four teaching tracks.

Distance learning students at Bama by Distance have many resources available to help them succeed—from online library resources to tutoring assistance and technical support. And your degree will be highly respected. Bama by Distance offers one of the top-ranked, AACSB-accredited online graduate business programs in the country (according to U.S. News & World Report) as well as one of the top 50 online graduate engineering programs.
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.

Harvard tied for a first-place ranking on U.S. News and World Report's most recent list of schools with the best biology programs from 2014. Harvard's life sciences major offers concentrations that include chemical and physical biology, human developmental and regenerative biology, human evolutionary biology, integrated biology/organismic and evolutionary biology, molecular and cellular biology, and neurobiology. Students may participate in life sciences research at one of Harvard's labs. A master's degree is also available.

WGU’s Teachers College provides a path for students to become licensed/certified teachers in each U.S. state and territory. In some cases, our program has already been approved for direct licensure/certification in your state. In other cases, you may apply for licensure/certification through reciprocity. Your Enrollment Counselor can give you specific information on your program of interest and how you may ultimately earn a license in your state. Please note that some programs do not have a corresponding license in certain states.

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.


One of my biggest regrets in life was intentionally falling out of touch with high school friends. I had joined a group of people who convinced me that the only important thing was their group and if friends or family did not understand, they should be cut off (read: I got into a pyramid-like scheme). I missed out on so much, and now the stream of Facebook updates from my high school friends makes me sad.
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