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.
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.
To get a degree in this field, expect to study a lot of math and science, as well as more focused classes such as engineering economics, facilities planning and design and inventory management. Also, if you’re interested in getting some hands-on experience and a master’s degree, some colleges offer a five- or six-year cooperative education plans that combine regular classes with practical and paid work.
The University of Illinois Springfield takes accessibility seriously—and works to make transferring into programs as simple as possible. UIS has established relationships with many accredited institutions across the state of Illinois, making the transfer process seamless for students. And Joint Agreements mean that student in approved community colleges can be assigned a UIS advisor that help plan a course of study before they even begin studying at UIS.

Prescott College, located in Prescott, Arizona, offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education and Professional Educator Preparation. The program combines a liberal arts core with global ecological and cultural literacy and best practices in teaching. Admission is holistic, but does require a diploma or GED. The degree requires two 30 credit "breadths," which are equivalent to minors. Courses in the program include Educating for the Future: Multicultural and Environmental Issues, and Positive Child Guidance and Inclusive Child Management. Online tuition is $598 per credit hour. Note: This program requires an orientation session on the Prescott Campus.


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University knows how to make education accessible for nontraditional students. Online learners have access to dedicated student advisors that help guide them through their program. And online degree programs feature multiple start times throughout the year, with 12 undergraduate and 10 graduate terms. This accelerated format propels students through the program in nine-week sessions.
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.
Northern Arizona University offers two pathways for distance learners: traditional online or competency-based online programs. Traditional online degrees mirror brick-and-mortar bachelor's programs in terms of course and credit requirements. Traditional online bachelor's options include specialized fields such as hotel and restaurant management, parks and recreation management, and 10 fields related to health professions. The school also makes 21 master's degrees and a doctorate in nursing practice available in the traditional online format.

Educators can use continuing education for license renewal, for professional development, toward endorsements and pay scale increases, and for personal growth. Our credit-bearing teacher curriculum is designed for new and seasoned educators who want to develop or reinforce their knowledge of classroom concepts and techniques, or to enhance their career.
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.
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.
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