To get started as a materials scientist, you typically need a bachelor’s degree, but some research positions may require you to extend your education for a master’s or doctoral degree. It might be worth the added boost. Materials scientists make a median income of $99,549 a year, well above the national median of $43,992 a year. But you can expect some competition: While the number of positions is expected to increase a modest 7.4% over the next decade, slower than the projected 9.7% growth for all jobs, the market remains small with there being just about 8,000 materials scientists currently.
Consider the rapid growth in the number of online degree programs available between 2012 and 2014. Over the last three academic years, we've seen a 45% increase in the number of online programs offered across the United States, for a total of 13,092 in 2014-2015. You can choose from over 550 individual degree programs alone that are offered by the 4-year colleges featured within our list of the best online universities.
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.
Of all the many engineering fields that appear on this list, this major unfortunately turns out the lowest entry-level pay. But you can expect that salary to reach six figures by mid-career. (And hey, Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim—one of the richest people in the world—studied civil engineering and gets by just fine.) And the opportunities are far more plentiful than they are in many other engineering fields. Civil engineers, who design and supervise the construction of airports, sewer systems and other large projects, are expected to add more than 38,000 positions to their already robust ranks of 323,245 by 2027. Median pay for this job is $83,283 a year.
UMass Amherst also offers these majors in degree completion pathways for transfer students. Additionally, those with previously earned credits may choose the University Without Walls track, enabling them to complete degrees in fields such as advocacy and social justice, children's learning and development, human services, and writing. The school's transfer policy allows incoming students to apply up to 105 credits toward their bachelor's degrees.
Some students start college knowing exactly what they want to major in. Others don't know what to major in because they are unsure, or have a career goal but don’t know which majors will get them there. In fact, most students find themselves switching majors during college at least once. As you think about which major is right for you, remember that uncertainty is normal and that the pressure to choose a major should be taken in context. The process of choosing a major, and discovering something that you are passionate about, can be exciting.
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.

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 university offers rolling admissions for online students with six enrollment periods throughout the calendar year. In addition to these traditional degree pathways, Saint Leo is home to the Flexible Learning EXperience program. This initiative invites educational institutions in Florida to enroll students in online courses at Saint Leo to supplement their on-campus studies.
Students enrolled at Washington State University's Global Campus can choose from a broad selection of online bachelor's programs. These include several options for business majors -- such as degrees in economics, hospitality business management, and integrated strategic communication -- along with a bachelor's in business administration with four concentration options.
All bachelor's options are fully online, and instructors deliver most graduate-level degrees primarily online with some minimal face-to-face requirements. Distance learners can participate in online workshops for library training and MS Office software. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act approves several of the university's online bachelor's and graduate programs; this initiative provides financial aid for unemployed or underemployed students who cannot afford course tuition and fees.
If you have credits to transfer to a university program, Pace University may be a good fit. Pace University Online maintains a generous transfer credit policy that aims to give students the maximum amount of transfer credit from previous college experience towards your desired program. And U.S. News & World Report currently ranks Pace University’s online Bachelor’s program as one of the top ten best programs for veterans.
Granite State College offers a dozen online Bachelor of Arts degree programs in education. Three are in English Language Arts, five in Math Studies, two in Social Studies and two in Early Childhood Education. The programs offer both certification and non-certification options. There are four academic terms per year. Freshman admission requires a diploma with a minimum 2.0 GPA, or the GED. Transfer students also need a minimum 2.0 GPA. Up to 90 credits may be transferred and credits may be granted for prior experiential learning or training. Certification results from most programs but may not be valid in all states. Online tuition is $314 per credit for residents and $355 per credit for nonresidents. The main campus is located in Concord, New Hampshire.

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.
With a bachelor’s in this field, you can become a chemist, but note that certain research positions may require you to also have a master’s or doctoral degree. This job is expected to see a modest increase of about 7.4% in their numbers by 2027, slower than the projected 9.7% growth for all jobs. And the potential pay is generous: Chemists earn an median income of $74,755 a year. Another option is to extend your education and get a Doctor of Pharmacy. Pharmacists earn a median income of $123,864 a year—far more than the median $43,992 for all jobs.
At the University of Central Florida, online courses combine an outstanding learning experience with personalized convenience and flexibility. With top online degrees in areas like Criminal Justice and Graduate Nursing, UCF is establishing a reputation for excellent online programming for working professionals. Not content to rest on their laurels, UCF ranks among the top 25 most innovative schools in the country (U.S. News and World Report). Top online degrees include:
The university offers rolling admissions for online students with six enrollment periods throughout the calendar year. In addition to these traditional degree pathways, Saint Leo is home to the Flexible Learning EXperience program. This initiative invites educational institutions in Florida to enroll students in online courses at Saint Leo to supplement their on-campus studies.
Regionally accredited colleges are typically nonprofit and state-operated. In the U.S., there are seven regional accrediting agencies that evaluate two-year and four-year colleges. Some states also have their own accrediting bodies independent of the regional agencies. You can learn more about each individual agency, and its jurisdiction, through the Office of Postsecondary Education.
You may be able to fulfill some elective, interdisciplinary and/or general education courses by going through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process. To be eligible for PLA credits, you must be an undergraduate student who has already been accepted into University of Phoenix. In addition, you must have submitted any transcripts to the University, and you must have remaining general education or elective credits required to earn your degree.
How do I choose a major? Take courses in areas that appeal to you early in your academic path, and then try to focus on a subject that motivates you. Make sure that you have genuine interest, though. You'll do better in class when you’re interested, and your motivation will continue through college and into a job if you pursue a professional degree.  Read more about choosing a college major and utilize the College Major Checklist to evaluate them...
The University of Missouri features an online Bachelor of Education Studies. This program is one of relatively few that are designed for teachers who want to work with adult learners in education but in non-school settings such as HR training, churches, nonprofit organizations or community colleges. Admission requires a minimum of 24 college credits with a 2.5 GPA. The degree has an interdepartmental structure and examines topics such as career counseling, vocational education, and special education. Sample courses include Workforce Education Teaching Methods, Positive Psychology, and Developmental Aspects of Human Learning. Tuition per credit is $284.80 for residents and $369.70 for nonresidents.
Texas-based Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers many different pathways for students seeking a religious degree. These include online undergraduate programs in fields such as Bible and theology, church ministries, and theological studies. Secular options include online bachelor's degrees in counseling, criminal justice, elementary education, and TESOL. Additionally, the university offers multi-concentration online bachelor's degrees in business administration and human services and 19 online master's and doctoral degrees.
Associate degrees and bachelor's degrees that feature an instructional technology option are more likely to be degrees in education or teaching with an instructional technology specialization option. Students will study teaching techniques, curriculum development, evaluation techniques, and classroom management, all while learning about how they can use technology to enhance their teaching skills. Some schools require that students who are applying for master's in instructional technology already have official teaching experience. Doctoral programs may even require curriculum development or teacher leadership experience.
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.
At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.
×