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.
Today’s students should expect convenient access, affordability and academic value from online colleges. That’s why we only consider accredited online colleges for our rankings. The accreditation process guarantees that a school’s facilities, instructors, and curriculum meet a rigorous set of standards established by industry leaders. To ensure they invest in a universally respected degree, students should only consider accredited online colleges, like those on our list.
UMass Amherst offers a selection of online degrees for undergraduates and graduate students. The school makes bachelor's in business degrees available through The Isenberg School of Management, and offerings include an online business administration bachelor's degree with concentrations in accounting, finance, management, marketing, and operations and information management.

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.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington features an online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. The program focus is on developing professional competency for teaching and school leadership. It will result in North Carolina licensure to teach K-6. Admission requires a minimum of 24 credits with a 2.5 GPA. In addition to the core curriculum, an 18 hour concentration is required, chosen from science and health, fine arts, ESL, international studies, math, and technology. The field requirements include some on-campus practicums and the student teaching must be done in North Carolina. Classes in the program include Teaching Diverse Learners K-6, Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction K-6, and Psychological Foundations of Teaching. Online tuition for state residents is $150.10 per credit and $625.27 per credit for nonresidents.
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.

UIC offers a range of student supports to ensure your success as an online student. Live technical support is available, as well as access to tutorials on how to access information within your online courses. And students can access learning software from computers and mobile devices. UIC also offers flexible scheduling so students can attend lectures, complete assignments, and engage in discussions at their convenience.


An academic major is the academic discipline to which an undergraduate student formally commits. A student who successfully completes all courses required for the major qualifies for a graduate degree. The word major is also sometimes used administratively to refer to the academic discipline pursued by a graduate student or postgraduate student in a master's or doctoral program.
Located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Oregon State University Ecampus is consistently ranked among the nation’s best providers of online education. Currently ranking among the top ten universities for their online Bachelor’s programs (U.S. News & World Report), OSU’s Ecampus offers more 30 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level—all developed by OSU faculty who are known worldwide for their research, expertise, and innovation.
Compassionate individuals with a great mind for the intricate–and sometimes heartbreaking–world of medicine will be well–suited for a nursing career. In the course of evaluating, diagnosing, and treating health problems there is also the chance to work with ever-evolving and ultra-sophisticated technology. Nursing majors take the traditional science and liberal arts courses as a first–year student and begin clinical rotations at hospitals and other health care facilities during the second semester of their sophomore year. Certification exams are required after graduation from an accredited nursing program before you can be officially registered. And the job prospects for nurses are not only plentiful but also varied, available in fields such as geriatrics, neurology, oncology, obstetrics, and pediatrics.
The top of our rankings present interested scholars with the best shots at success and satisfaction in the workplace, complete with generous incomes and an abundance of job opportunities. Check out the best college majors for a lucrative career. (Spoiler alert: STEM majors—that is, fields in science, technology, engineering and math—dominate our rankings.)
From a career and profession perspective, why not assess and select a major that is safe(r) from outsourcing.  Global trends force companies to adjust as they address operating costs, competition and innovation.  Outsourcing has played a major shift in our economic climate throughout the World.  IT jobs, customer service, even health care, have been impacted by outsourcing trends overseas to large population centers.  Explore the list of majors that can prepare you for careers and professions that have a higher likelihood of avoiding the pull of outsourcing.
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.

Fort Hays State University has two online degree programs in education: the B.S. in Elementary Education and the B.S.in Education in Early Childhood Unified. Admission requires a diploma and SAT/ACT scores. Transfer students in the Teacher Education program need a minimum GPA of 2.75. The Unified program includes a special education component, and it leads to Kansas state certification for regular and special education, birth to grade 3. Its overall focus is on careers in teaching and administration in birth-grade 3 settings. The Elementary Education program focuses on theory, curriculum, and clinical experience. Graduates are qualified to seek Kansas state licensure in K to 6. Courses in the programs include Emerging Literacy, Literacy Assessment and Intervention, and Educational Psychology. Tuition is $218.67 per credit.
Available online master's degrees include 12 programs in specialized fields such as biomedical engineering, government accountancy, music education, and supply chain management. In addition to full degrees, Rutgers students can also draw from three Rutgers campuses for individual online courses. The university hosts an annual online learning conference that includes panel discussions and demonstrations on emerging technology, learning management software, and related topics.

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.

Oregon State follows a quarterly calendar and provides four start times throughout the academic year for online students. Tuition for undergraduate online courses costs the same irrespective of a students residency status. Military veterans and servicemembers also qualify for certain tuition benefits, including financial aid that covers the cost of up to 16 credits per year. Oregon State University receives regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Since 2006, the University of Alabama—a public research university—has been offering high-quality online programs through Bama by Distance, their distinctive online portal. Bama by Distance currently offers around 60 accredited online degrees and certificates—primarily in the areas of education, engineering, healthcare, and business—at the undergraduate through the doctoral levels.
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.
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.
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.
The largest university in the Chicago area, the University of Illinois at Chicago has consistently ranked among the top ten schools to get an online Bachelor’s degree (and currently sits at #4 according to U.S. News and World Report). The University has been offering online programs for a decade, and currently offers over 45 degrees at the undergraduate through postgraduate levels.
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.
To ensure the best possible outcomes for your education program, the online degree program you choose should be accredited by either one of the six primary regional accrediting boards, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, or an accrediting board that specializes in education programs. Examples of these programmatic accrediting agencies include the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Students who are seeking entry-level administrative positions in a school district office or at state or federal levels may wish to start with an associate or bachelor's degree in education administration, while those with more professional experience and who hope to work as a superintendent or hold a position as an education administrator at the state or federal level should consider a graduate degree or certificate in education administration.
Central Methodist University features two online Bachelor of Science in Education degrees: one in Elementary Education and one in Early Childhood Education. Freshman admission requires a diploma with a minimum 2.5 GPA or the GED, and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students need a minimum GPA of 2.0. The Early Childhood program covers all aspects of development and education and can lead to teacher certification in birth to age 5. The Elementary Education program focuses on child development, teaching methods and teaching content (such as math). It also can also lead to teacher certification. Courses in the programs include Reading and Writing with Young Children, Emerging Language, and Children's Literature. Online tuition is $250 per credit. CMU is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
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:
Western Governors University offers three online Bachelor of Arts and seven online Bachelor of Science programs in education. They are the BA in Elementary Education, two BAs in Special Education (K-12 and Moderate), two BS degrees in Mathematics Education and five BS programs in Science Education. The programs are designed to lead to certification, although not all states and degrees are applicable. Students will need to take certification exams in their state. The programs focus on teaching and content skills. They can also lead into WGU's MA programs in education. Students are able to take as many credits per term as they like. The school is located in Salt Lake City.

Since 2006, the University of Alabama—a public research university—has been offering high-quality online programs through Bama by Distance, their distinctive online portal. Bama by Distance currently offers around 60 accredited online degrees and certificates—primarily in the areas of education, engineering, healthcare, and business—at the undergraduate through the doctoral levels.
Admission requirements include a minimum 2.3 GPA and SAT/ACT scores. Online courses at CSU Global begin every four weeks and do not meet at set times, allowing students to follow a completely asynchronous schedule. The bachelor's degree tracks consist of 120 credits, and undergraduates can transfer up to 90 credits from other accredited institutions. Most online bachelor's programs at CSU Global require a capstone project, and some, such as degrees in human services and criminal justice, offer specializations.
×