For us onlooking or partaking upperclassmen, that feeling isn’t too distant. As a freshman, the sense of being lost in a big new world was exciting, but at the same time I treasured every bit of advice I could get. And there are still many things I wish I would have known then. Now that I’m a few years older, I thought I’d share some thoughts. More importantly, I went around and asked some of the most accomplished Penn students for what recommendations they’d give to freshmen.
Full-time students can typically earn an associate degree in two years. An online associate degree is ideal for those who have a high school diploma and who want to quickly gain practical career skills. Associate degrees are less expensive than a bachelor's degree, and many online community colleges offer programs that open the door to vocational and administrative support positions such as legal assistant, medical assistant, and medical biller and coder. An online associate degree program is also a cost-effective way to complete general education requirements before transferring to a four-year program.
We offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in many high-demand fields, including business, education, nursing and technology. You can complete your degree online from anywhere or on-campus, depending upon your location. The University also offers certificate programs, as well as individual, test-preparation and non-credit professional development courses.
Oregon State University, the state's largest degree-granting institution, offers a wide selection of online programs for undergraduates and graduate students. Many bachelor's degree online options focus on fields related to environmental science and land management, such as environmental economics and policy, fisheries and wildlife sciences, horticulture, and range science; the school also offers a dual degree in sustainability. Online master's programs at Oregon State include four MBA tracks, four teaching pathways, and a master's in public health.

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.
Think you're a born leader? You'll need stellar people skills—no room for shrinking violets here—and talents in problem solving , number crunching, and decision making. And don't forget great communication skills! While studying business, you'll get a thorough grounding in the theories and principles of accounting, finance, marketing, economics, statistics, and human resources functions. You will be a whiz on how to budget, organize, plan, hire, direct, control, and manage various kinds of organizations –from entrepreneurial–type start–ups to multi–million–dollar corporations. The business major will also get you thinking about issues such as diversity, ethics, politics, and other dynamics that play a role in every work environment. Make sure those competitive juices are flowing; the business world is all, well, business.

With your bachelor’s degree, you can become a biomedical engineer, though some employers might require an advanced degree. And the number of positions has been growing, due to the aging population’s demand for biomedical solutions to their mounting health problems. Over the past decade, their ranks boomed 33.5% and is expected to continue growing at a healthy rate of 8.4% by 2027. Median income for these professionals is $88,046 a year. And the emotional payoff seems high, too, with 71% of workers who had this major reporting a high sense of meaning in their careers.
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.
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.
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.

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.
The competency-based online pathway focuses on individualized learning. Students complete their courses asynchronously, allowing them to complete their degree ahead of schedule. The school offers a competency-based online format for students working through bachelor's degrees in computer information technology, liberal arts, management, nursing, and small business administration -- along with five undergraduate minors and two master's degrees.
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.

Located in New York City, Pace University is a private institution with stellar online programs. With over a decade of experience in online education, Pace University is home to one of the top online Bachelor’s programs in the country (U.S. News & World Report)  as well as other high ranking programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate level.   
Still, the generous pay might make relocating and competing for the few spots worthwhile, if you’re interested in this subject. The median income for nuclear engineers is $103,043 a year. And in the top-paying states, the average annual wage ranges from $122,950 in Idaho and $138,970 in New Mexico, according to the BLS. To get started in this lucrative field, you definitely need a bachelor’s, but some employers may require a master’s degree or even a PhD. Whatever education level you attain, expect your course load to include many math and science classes, as well as more specific classes such as nuclear engineering design, nuclear-risk assessment and management and thermal hydraulics for nuclear plants.

And though you can take your business acumen down whatever career path your passion leads you, you should be comfortable with numbers if you want to earn a degree in this field. Possible courses include accounting, statistics and economics, along with slightly less numerically focused classes such as business ethics and law, marketing and business policy and strategy.
Central Michigan University is a public research university—the largest university in Michigan—and a highly regarded provider of online education. CMU Global Campus (which houses their online programs) offers 27 degrees and multiple professional certificates from undergraduate through doctoral levels. CMU has been highly ranked for their online Bachelors, Graduate Education, and MBA programs (U.S. News & World Report).
A new spin on classic chemistry, this field applies the science to different materials, such as ceramics, plastics and metals, to enhance existing variations and create new ones. Demand for this kind of knowledge spans industries, from electronics and energy to transportation and food, as businesses are constantly looking for cheaper, safer and better quality materials for their respective purposes.

Liberty University features four online Bachelor of Science programs in education. They include the B.S. in Biblical and Educational Studies, the B.S. degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and the B.S. in Special Education: Interdisciplinary Studies. Admission requires a diploma and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Transfer students also need a minimum 2.0 GPA and can transfer in up to 90 credits. These programs combine foundational skills and teaching methods within a Christian ethical context. The Biblical Studies program focuses on training for denominational schools and Christian institutions. The elementary education program can be combined with the Liberty M.A.T. for certification. The early childhood program focuses on pre-school. Online tuition is $390 per credit hour.


As an online student at Creighton University, you’ll  experience both the academic rigor of campus-based courses as well as the benefits of Creighton’s exceptional sense of community. Courses provide online discussions and activities to ensure that you regularly interact with classmates. And course sizes are small so faculty can give you personalized attention. Top online degree programs include:
Stanford University was ranked fifth among national universities by U.S. News and World Report for 2017. The bachelor's degree in biology at Stanford has three degree routes: general biology with or without honors, or the biology major with a field of study and honors. The general biology curriculum consists of courses in biology and core science principles, while the field of study option lets students focus on one of six areas of concentration. Students can enroll in biology courses as early as sophomore year, once they've completed the 1st-year core requirements and prerequisites.
University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (http://hlcommission.org). Since 1978, University of Phoenix has been continually accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor. University of Phoenix obtained its most recent 10-year Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2012–13. A comprehensive evaluation is scheduled for 2016–17, and the next Reaffirmation of Accreditation is scheduled for 2022–23.
A college degree is the best way to increase your earning potential - but different careers require different degrees. Think specifically about the types of job titles you hope to be eligible for after you graduate and the types of employers you want to work for. Research the kinds of skills and degrees people at those jobs have, and use that research to narrow down the degree programs you are considering.
Kansas State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Admission for both freshmen and transfer students requires a 2.0 GPA, and up to 60 credits may be transferred. The 56 credit Elementary Education program focuses on teaching K-6 in school settings. Graduates become eligible for a Kansas Initial Teaching License. Students must declare a 15 credit minor in a subject such as English or math. The 61 credit Early Childhood program centers on teaching birth to K, and working with families, daycare and related agencies. Courses in the programs include Classroom Assessment, Emerging Literacy and Behavioral Management. Online tuition through K-State Global is $436.40 per credit.
Your coursework—and real work potential—looks very similar to that of computer engineering students, a field which is considered a branch of electrical engineering. That’s because of the proliferation of computers being used to operate all sorts of products. But your studies will not be limited to just computer-operated electronics. So you can expect to take courses such as circuit analysis and design, digital systems, electric components and tools and semiconductor technology.

Regis University is a private, Jesuit University with its main campus located in Denver, Colorado. The online college offers a catalogue of courses to suit students hoping to advance their career path, earn a bigger paycheck, or to fulfill their passions. A long list of flexible programs allows students to pick and choose which suits their needs best as they juggle work, family, and school. The school boasts some impressive statistics, such as 89% placement rate after graduation, and 50% higher than Colorado State average. Regis University is a excellent option for those seeking a reliable online program.
WGU was the right choice for me to earn my MSN-Edu. It was challenging to do, but WGU has the right resources to support the students during their journey. I could not have done it without my great program mentor Hillary Poor. She was always there for me when I needed her. She did support and encouraged me whenever I felt overwhelmed. The tuition is another plus, it is very affordable and its flexibility fits anyone's schedule. Thank you WGU for your support to the students.
At CMU Global Campus, online students experience a comprehensive education with the flexibility of customizable degree programs. Many programs offer students the ability to choose a specialization within the major—making the degree a personalized fit for your career goals.  And students benefit from wrap-around services like academic advising, an Online Learning Resource Center, and peer assistance through the Online Ally program. Top degree programs include:
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.
Finance isn’t strictly considered a STEM field, but you can still expect to work with numbers a great deal. High school students interested in finance can prepare for this major by studying statistics and calculus. In college, you'll add to your schedule accounting, financial markets and investing, as well as microeconomics, macroeconomics and economic theory. If you pursue a bachelor of arts degree in this field, you likely have to take liberal arts and foreign language classes, too.
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.
Downside: The job market is highly competitive with just 35,275 petroleum engineers working in the U.S. today, even after experiencing an impressive 91.3% jump in their numbers over the past decade. The good news is that growth is expected to continue at a rate of 13.1% over the next 10 years, beating the 9.7% growth for all jobs. But again, your job prospects are limited to certain parts of the country, with Texas housing about half of all the positions in the U.S., according to the BLS. Also, the industry in inextricably tied to notoriously volatile oil prices, so the job market may be just as hot and cold.

The University of Louisiana Monroe offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education for grades 1 to 5. The program covers teaching theory, content and methods for teaching this age range. Freshman admission requires a diploma, 2.0 GPA and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students should have a 2.0 GPA; the transfer policy is generous, as is the assessment for prior experience. The overall degree is 120-125 credits, with 57 in the major. Classes are in 8-week sessions. Courses in the program include Classroom Behavior and Instructional Management, Assessment Principles and Practice,and Music Education for the Lower Grades. Online tuition is $400 per credit unit. UL-Monroe is very military friendly.


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.


Communications majors tend to be great storytellers with quick wits and fiery personalities. You'll spend a significant amount of time scrutinizing different kinds of presentations—such as speeches and scripts—and the strategies behind the messages that speakers and writers use to make their points. You'll learn about verbal and nonverbal messages, audience reaction, and the varied effects of different communication environments. It will prepare you for a wealth of career options in business, advertising, human resources, public relations, government, education, media, and social services.
Students must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement (ELP). To meet this, a student must have completed high school in the U.S. or another English-speaking country, have 30+ transferrable semester credits from an approved English-speaking institution or pass an ELP exam from an approved testing agency (Berlitz, TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson). For more information, contact an International Enrollment Representative.
One of three campuses in the world-class University of Illinois, the University of Illinois Springfield is widely acclaimed for their leadership in online learning. UIS offers over 45 degree, certification, and graduate certificate programs for nontraditional students, many of which rank among the best in the country. Students encounter an intellectually rich environment with top-notch faculty and online resources.
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.

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.
Further positions within the education world that may be open to those with a degree in teaching include: guidance counselor, instructional coach, positions within the Department of Education, school administrator, educational consultant, college or university academic advisor, school librarian, school technology specialist, private tutor, museum educator, after-school program coordinator, or positions within educational tools companies – i.e. textbook companies and companies that develop educational resources.
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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