Core classes in the education program explore the structure of public education, major topics and issues in public education, cultural effects on student achievement, education around the world, and the political state of education. Other classes explore curriculum development, evaluation techniques, and teaching techniques. To earn a four-year degree in education, students also take a number of general courses in math,biology, the arts, and the humanities.
Earning an online college degree requires a substantial investment. While some students choose to pay for college out-of-pocket using savings or loans from their parents, many must seek financial aid to offset the costs of tuition, housing, food, and other necessary expenses. Many online schools also allow students to pay for tuition and housing in monthly installments, rather than paying one lump sum for each semester or quarter term. These deferred payment plans carry little to no interest, but the balance must be paid off by the end of each term.
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.
When should I declare a major? At most two-year colleges, you can declare a major depending upon whether you are enrolled for a career oriented major or preparing for transfer. You can enroll in general studies or target specific transfer arrangements. At most four-year colleges, you aren't required to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year. If you're in a two-year degree program, you'll probably select a major earlier because your course of studies is much shorter.
According to a report from the Society of Human Resource Management, more than half of private organizations offer tuition reimbursement plans to employees who wish to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate. These plans are mutually beneficial. Employees who receive assistance can offset some of the out-of-pocket costs for their education, and employers strengthen their workforce with workers who have advanced training in their field. However, tuition reimbursement will not cover all of the student's expenses. The average organization reimburses roughly $4,600 in tuition expenses per year. Additionally, the employee may be required to work for the organization for a certain length of time after they have received their degree or certificate.
The coursework in the education certificate will vary, depending on the program’s goals. Many programs are designed to certify teachers in a particular subject area, such as elementary or secondary education. These programs discuss instructional abilities and teaching theory. Some programs are aimed at experienced educators and discuss education administration and leadership topics, such as human resources issues and professional communication techniques. Other certificates are useful for seasoned teachers who want more knowledge in a particular teaching area, such as teaching students with disabilities or using educational technology.
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.
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.

Another liberal arts degree proves its worth. Just like with classics majors, American studies majors are attractive to employers in a host of industries because of their proven ability to do in-depth research and perform critical analysis. Developing these skills helps prepare them for work in law, journalism, academics, government, museum curation, business, finance and other fields, as well as further education including law school.
Wilmington University, located in Wilmington, Delaware, has four online Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies programs. They are in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education K-6, Middle School Education 6-8, and in Skilled and Technical Sciences. The programs are designed for people working with children in positions that do not require licensure or certification (the programs do not lead to licensure). The curriculum combines general education with teaching skills. Wilmington has an open admissions policy and welcomes applications from interested students. Credit transfers and evaluation of prior experience for possible credit policies are generous. Sample courses include Family, Community and School Partnerships, Learner Development and Numeracy, and Multicultural Education. Online undergraduate tuition is $372 per credit.
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.

Attending an accredited school is one of the best decisions that a student can make. Accreditation is a designation awarded to a school for complying with a set of academic and personal support standards. Students who need financial aid, hope to earn certification or licensure as a teacher, and who may want to attend graduate school or transfer credits must attend an online school that is accredited. All individuals seeking a teaching credential must attend an education program that is recognized by their state’s board of education.

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.


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.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the oldest and largest institution in the Minnesota university system. The school offers a total of 18 online bachelor's degree pathways, including six tracks related to general business studies and programs in specialized fields such as tribal administration and governance, manufacturing management, agricultural business, and sport and recreation management. Other online offerings include six undergraduate certificates and a learning technologies minor. Graduate students at UMN-Twin Cities can choose from 14 online master's degrees and nine online doctoral degrees, most of which focus on healthcare fields.
If you’re looking for an online degree in aeronautics or engineering, then look no further. Embry-Riddle has developed innovative programs which rank highly and offer exceptionally high return-on-investment. The school is also home to excellent online Business programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. And Embry-Riddle uses their long experience in distance learning to focus on engagement and critical services that help ensure student success. Some top programs include:  
The University of Illinois at Chicago takes online student engagement seriously. As a student, you’ll take advantage of learning management system tech tools such as videos, audio, blogs, and discussion boards to keep connected to faculty and peers. Courses are taught by the same full-time, expert faculty that teach on campus. And UIC ensures that programs are accredited by top-notch accrediting agencies. Top degrees offered include:
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.

Demand for expertise in this field is building. Expectations for population and business growth in the U.S. for the next several years fuels the need for new homes, office buildings, hospitals, schools and structures of all kinds, as well as the improvement and maintenance of existing buildings and infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and sewer pipe systems. That means growing opportunities for construction managers, an obvious professional goal for this academic path. Plus, their median income is a solid $71,781 a year.


Majoring in this popular field can help build a solid path toward a lucrative career. The median income for an architect — the most obvious job to pursue given this degree — is $70,658 a year. Keep in mind, though, that demand for these professionals can fluctuate with the health of the economy and housing market. Over the past decade, which included the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis, the number of architect positions in the U.S. fell 5.9% to 126,699. The next 10 years are expected to be better, with a job growth rate of 4.6%, slower than the 9.7% rate projected for all jobs but still an improvement.
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.
Teaching degrees open many career pathways. Most of our programs are designed to lead to licensure, or add an endorsement to an existing license, so the most direct career pathway is working as a classroom teacher. Professional offerings include preparation for positions as a school administrator, curriculum specialist/designer, instructional designer, and technology specialist.
To reach RN ranks, nursing students must take many science courses, including anatomy, chemistry, microbiology and nutrition. You also get supervised clinical experience in various specialties, such as pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery. And you'll have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination to get your license (additional requirements vary by state). NPs must head back to school longer to obtain a master's or doctoral degree.

It won't take much force to accelerate a physics major toward a lucrative career (regardless of mass). Physicists have a promising projected job growth rate of 16.1% and a generous median annual salary of nearly $118,830. And while you may need to get an advanced degree to land this role in many research and academic settings—which may be worth the extended and more expensive journey, if you’re so inclined—the federal government and private-sector employers do offer positions to physics bachelors. And your education can also prepare you well for positions in other fields, including technology and engineering, as well as teaching high school. Some jobs to consider with a bachelor's in physics include mechanical, computer and civil engineers—all of which offer above-average growth projections and pay.

Florida International University has an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree completion program. Admission requires 60 college credits or an associate's degree, and the CLAST. The program covers education from age 3 to grade 3. The focus is on understanding learning and development, working with families and teaching. The program does not lead to teaching certification. The degree requires 126 credits. Courses offered include Language and Literacy Development, Teaching Beginning Literacy, and Community and the Young Child. Online tuition is $212.71 per credit for residents and $299.97 for nonresidents. A background check is mandatory. FIU is one of the most diverse universities in the country.
After confirming accreditation, it can still be difficult to weigh the value and quality of one online college over another. Keep in mind that regardless of whether a program is offered online or on campus, all regionally accredited programs in the U.S. are held to the same academic and professional standards. These standards also extend to the full-time faculty and adjunct professors that schools hire.
It won't take much force to accelerate a physics major toward a lucrative career (regardless of mass). Physicists have a promising projected job growth rate of 16.1% and a generous median annual salary of nearly $118,830. And while you may need to get an advanced degree to land this role in many research and academic settings—which may be worth the extended and more expensive journey, if you’re so inclined—the federal government and private-sector employers do offer positions to physics bachelors. And your education can also prepare you well for positions in other fields, including technology and engineering, as well as teaching high school. Some jobs to consider with a bachelor's in physics include mechanical, computer and civil engineers—all of which offer above-average growth projections and pay.

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the oldest and largest institution in the Minnesota university system. The school offers a total of 18 online bachelor's degree pathways, including six tracks related to general business studies and programs in specialized fields such as tribal administration and governance, manufacturing management, agricultural business, and sport and recreation management. Other online offerings include six undergraduate certificates and a learning technologies minor. Graduate students at UMN-Twin Cities can choose from 14 online master's degrees and nine online doctoral degrees, most of which focus on healthcare fields.


Located in Riverside, California, California Baptist University (CBU)is a private, Christian, liberal arts university with extensive online programming.  CBU offers top-ranked online programs—currently, there are over 40 degree options—at the bachelor, masters, and doctoral levels. And CBU Online has been lauded by national rankings like U.S. News and World Report for their high-quality programs.
A lot of problems first-year students face can be traced back to an illness that kept them away from classes for an extended period of time that led to a downward spiraling effect. Get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and eat right. If you haven't heard the jokes about college food, you soon will. And without mom or dad there to serve you a balanced meal, you may be tempted to go for those extra fries or cookies. Stay healthy and avoid the dreaded extra "Freshman 15" pounds by sticking to a balanced diet.
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