One in three U.S. college students is now taking at least one class online, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Many leaders in education predict digital learning will become even more of an everyday experience for college students and recommend that high schools require students to take one online course before graduation, a requirement many high schools have already adopted.

An academic major typically requires completion of a combination of prescribed and elective courses in the chosen discipline. In addition, most colleges and universities require that all students take a general core curriculum in the liberal arts. The latitude a student has in choosing courses varies from program to program.[1] An academic major is administered by select faculty in an academic department. A major administered by more than one academic department is called an interdisciplinary major. In some settings, students may be permitted to design their own major, subject to faculty approval.
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.
In addition to online-only pathways, the school offers many of the university's bachelor's programs in a blended format. Some of these tracks follow CityU's Regional Cohort Model, enabling degree seekers to take the same online and onsite courses with the same group of students based on their geographical area. Bachelor's programs span at least 180 credits, and students typically complete their requirements within four years.
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.
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.
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...
With more than 90,000 online students, Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing postsecondary institutions in the U.S. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in a total of 40 fields. These options include business administration, criminal justice, geosciences, and information technology. Graduate students can choose from 29 MBA tracks and five pathways in curriculum and instruction.
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.
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.
Founded in 2007, Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global)is the online campus of the Colorado State University system. CSU-Global was the first independent, 100% online state university in the U.S. and now has an online student body of over 15,000 students. CSU-Global currently offers 24 accredited degree programs at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level.

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. The Higher Learning Commission conducted an interim Comprehensive Evaluation in 2018, and the next Comprehensive Evaluation for Reaffirmation of Accreditation is scheduled for 2022–23.
The academic major is considered a defining and dominant characteristic of the undergraduate degree. "The ascendancy of the disciplines in the late nineteenth century and their continuing dominance throughout the twentieth century have left an indelible imprint on the shape and direction of the academic major" and research affirms that the academic major is the strongest and clearest curricular link to gains in student learning.[2] While general education is considered to be the breadth component of an undergraduate education, the major is commonly deemed as the depth aspect.[2]
Maybe you’re balancing a full time job and family, but still want to earn a degree. Good news is that anyone can earn a degree online. The right online program can help you advance your career, or even help you enter a new industry. For those interested in furthering their education, there are thousands of online colleges to choose from. While there are several excellent online colleges to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the right school for your needs. To help you in your search, we have put together a list of our top online colleges to help narrow it down.
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.
CSU-Global Campus has worked hard to earn a reputation as one of the best online schools for working professionals. The school is constantly pushing innovation in teaching methods, making online learning both rigorous and engaging. And CSU-Global emphasizes individualized support for students from registration to graduation, with a wide range of student resources—from tutoring to tech support. Top online degrees include:
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.
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.
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...
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.
WGU’s teaching degrees require students to complete a thorough degree plan of rigorous online coursework, before completing observation hours, and demonstration teaching in a live classroom setting. Once we review your previous transcripts for transfer credits we will set your degree plan, based on what remains to be completed on our standard path degree plan. As you approach the end of your coursework we will help you find a local school in which to do 75-115 classroom observation hours as you prepare for your demonstration teaching. The last component of your degree plan will be a 4-6-month demonstration teaching position in your area. WGU will assist with placement for this position. Upon completion of demonstration teaching you will be prepared to graduate and apply for your teaching license!

Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He's often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
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