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.
For many online students, their graduation date marks the first time they set foot on their school's campus. Online students are often invited to participate in cap-and-gown ceremonies with on-campus graduates, where they receive their official diploma. Smaller ceremonies may be held to honor online graduates in specific programs. Some online colleges hold live-streamed commencement ceremonies and will mail diplomas to each graduate at a later date.

The cost of a formal education is very high, and many people spend years paying off student loans. After entering the workforce in their degree field, some individuals find themselves dissatisfied with their job, and they want to change careers. The one problem is that career changes can sometimes require additional courses or another degree all together, which also means additional cost. Giving careful consideration to the choice of a major may eliminate the need for drastic career changes early on in post-college life.
Since this is an interdisciplinary major, you have some flexibility in what you focus on and which classes to take. Some typical courses for American Studies majors include American art, American popular culture, ethnicity in America, religion in America, the American wilderness and women in American society, according to The College Board. And given the current political climate, exploring the history of the nation and how we got here—and where we’re likely to head next—could prove particularly interesting and useful.
As a student, you have many options available to fund your education. Some of the most common financial options include Federal Financial Aid, scholarships, grants, the cash plan, the third-party billing plan, the military or government billing plan, tribal funding and third-party private student loans. Learn about each option to determine your eligibility. 

Another school that is no stranger to national rankings, the University of Florida—located in the city of Gainesville—is breaking down geographical barriers to higher education. The University of Florida offers access to more than 200 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. And as a student, you’ll be a member of The Gator Nation, along with thousands of students and alumni around the world.
Of all the many engineering fields that appear on this list, this major unfortunately turns out the lowest entry-level pay. But you can expect that salary to reach six figures by mid-career. (And hey, Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim—one of the richest people in the world—studied civil engineering and gets by just fine.) And the opportunities are far more plentiful than they are in many other engineering fields. Civil engineers, who design and supervise the construction of airports, sewer systems and other large projects, are expected to add more than 38,000 positions to their already robust ranks of 323,245 by 2027. Median pay for this job is $83,283 a year.
As widespread acceptance of online education surges among nonprofit institutions, we predict that the number of accredited online colleges – and their quality – will increase. This rapid growth can make choosing an online college feel intimidating. To develop a short list of options that make sense for you and your goals, you need to compare a wide range of components, such as accreditation, tuition and fees, support services, faculty, and career preparation.
Some students start college knowing exactly what they want to major in. Others don't know what to major in because they are unsure, or have a career goal but don’t know which majors will get them there. In fact, most students find themselves switching majors during college at least once. As you think about which major is right for you, remember that uncertainty is normal and that the pressure to choose a major should be taken in context. The process of choosing a major, and discovering something that you are passionate about, can be exciting.
A public, four-year university, University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) is a member of the acclaimed University of Minnesota system and a provider of nationally-ranked online Bachelor’s degrees. UMC prides itself on their high-quality educational programs designed for nontraditional or continuing students, community organizations, and the workforce.
If you can handle those kinds of ebbs and flows, plan on studying architectural design basics, architectural history, architectural technology and other similar subjects. Learning about eco-friendly designs, too, can help give your career a boost as demand for energy-efficient buildings and structures increases. Also note that many bachelor of architecture programs can take five years to complete on schedule. And after graduation, you need to work a paid internship for up to three years and then pass the Architect Registration Examination in order to earn your license as an architect. Find out more through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
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.
College is often considered the surest path to a lucrative career. After all, while you can find some promising jobs without a college degree, the majority of the best jobs for the future require you to have at least a bachelor's degree just to get your foot in the door. And this is especially true for those jobs with the biggest paychecks. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a worker with a bachelor's degree typically earns 80% more than someone with just a high school diploma.

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:
The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education- Early Childhood Inclusive. The degree is designed for adults who work as in-service teachers, in HeadStart programs and similar settings. Admission requires a diploma and ACT/ SAT scores or the GED for freshmen, and transfer students should have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Two specializations are available: Birth through Kindergarten and Age 3 to Grade 3. The Inclusive teaching certificate allows teaching birth to age 5 in Special Ed, and birth to age 8 in standard teaching programs. Program courses include Typical/ Atypical Growth and Development, Phonics and Word Study, and Math, Science and Social Studies for Children 3-8. Online tuition is $422 per credit for nonresidents.
Educators must meet state requirements to maintain their license. This may include taking courses to keep your license active, change positions/subject areas or stay knowledgeable on current education topics and standards. Educators can use continuing education for license renewal, for professional development, toward endorsements and pay scale increases, and for personal growth.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. This program is designed for current teacher assistants so they can earn a B.S.and become a certified teacher. Freshman admission is determined by a combination of GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduates are eligible to become certified teachers in K-6. Several endorsements are also available, which will strengthen the degree and career options. They are Math K-8, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language and English. Classes include Science for Elementary Teachers, Tests and Measurements, and Mathematics for Primary and Middle Grades. Online tuition is $355 per credit.
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.

Of all the many engineering fields that appear on this list, this major unfortunately turns out the lowest entry-level pay. But you can expect that salary to reach six figures by mid-career. (And hey, Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim—one of the richest people in the world—studied civil engineering and gets by just fine.) And the opportunities are far more plentiful than they are in many other engineering fields. Civil engineers, who design and supervise the construction of airports, sewer systems and other large projects, are expected to add more than 38,000 positions to their already robust ranks of 323,245 by 2027. Median pay for this job is $83,283 a year.
FIU provides a wide range of online undergraduate and graduate degrees. A total of 42 online bachelor's options include five hospitality management tracks and degrees in specialized fields such as crime science, internet of things, and sustainability and the environment. Offerings also include 17 online undergraduate minors and three combined bachelor's and master's pathways. FIU's online graduate options include 31 master of science tracks and MBA, master of public administration, and doctor of nursing practice pathways.

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.
Ottawa University is a private school affiliated with the Baptist denomination that offers a wide selection of online bachelor's programs for business majors. These options include degrees in accounting, business economics, healthcare management, human resources, management information systems, and business administration, all of which carry multiple concentration options.
Around 68.1% of the educators at Colorado State University - Fort Collins are full-time and get normal office hours, so they tend to be more accessible to students. Graded #1 in Colorado for overall value, we might have predicted this university's superb educational programs to be more expensive. Learn more about what campus life at Colorado State is like by viewing some campus videos.

As a student, you have many options available to fund your education. Some of the most common financial options include Federal Financial Aid, scholarships, grants, the cash plan, the third-party billing plan, the military or government billing plan, tribal funding and third-party private student loans. Learn about each option to determine your eligibility. 
The University of Arkansas at Monticello features an online Bachelor of Science in Education Studies. The program is designed for nontraditional students, and particularly for full-time public school paraprofessionals. Anyone may apply. Freshman admission requires a diploma and a minimum GPA of 2.0. The ACT is preferred. Transfer students also need a minimum 2.0 GPA. The program does not lead to licensure but on completion, graduates may choose to enroll in UAM's online MA in Teaching, which does lead to certification. Sample courses include Education, Schools and Society, K-6 Planning, Curriculum and Programming, and Needs of Diverse Learners in Inclusive Settings.
Online courses involve email assignments, streaming video lectures, and proctored exams. In addition to the fully online programs listed above, Bama by Distance offers primarily online and blended degree options. Nontraditional students seeking a degree can also choose the New College LifeTrack option, a hybrid online and on-campus program for nontraditional students that awards degrees in four general subjects.

That curriculum can help prepare you to become a food scientist, who studies and analyzes food to help ensure that it is safe, healthy and nutrient-rich. And increasing public scrutiny of the food industry and its processing work feeds the demand for these experts, with the number of food scientists and technologists having grown by 53.2% over the past decade and being expected to rise another 8.3% over the next decade. Median annual income is $64,147. Other jobs these majors gravitate toward: biological scientist, chemist and nutritionist.

Granite State College offers a dozen online Bachelor of Arts degree programs in education. Three are in English Language Arts, five in Math Studies, two in Social Studies and two in Early Childhood Education. The programs offer both certification and non-certification options. There are four academic terms per year. Freshman admission requires a diploma with a minimum 2.0 GPA, or the GED. Transfer students also need a minimum 2.0 GPA. Up to 90 credits may be transferred and credits may be granted for prior experiential learning or training. Certification results from most programs but may not be valid in all states. Online tuition is $314 per credit for residents and $355 per credit for nonresidents. The main campus is located in Concord, New Hampshire.

One obvious career goal when studying this field: Become a chemical engineer, a lucrative profession that boasts a median income of $102,170 a year. But it’s a small market with just 35,350 or so of these professionals now working in the U.S. Still, those positions have been growing and should continue to grow, up 17.5% over the past decade and expected to rise another 8.0% over the next decade. Other jobs this major can help prepare you for include: chemist, materials scientist, petroleum engineer and pharmacist.


Even though one big advantage of an online college or university is the fact that you can take courses anywhere in the world, most online students take classes from a school within 100 miles of where they live. Online programs offer a great deal of flexibility, but enrolling in an online degree program close to your home can offer some big advantages. If you enroll in an online program close to home, you can save money with in-state tuition, easily access campus resources like libraries, gyms or in-person office hours with professors, and you can access hybrid programs, which require you to spend some time on campus in addition to online curriculum.
SNHU charges the same flat tuition rate for all in-state and out-of-state students, and the school has not increased its tuition since 2012. Active-duty military personnel and their spouses may receive a discount of up to 30% on their tuition costs. Southern New Hampshire University receives regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Most online master's programs can be completed in less than three years of full-time study. Many schools offer accelerated online programs, allowing you to complete your graduate degree in just 12 months. You should consider pursuing a graduate degree if you already have a bachelor's degree but want to switch careers, qualify for more advanced leadership roles, or increase your earning potential. Some fields require a master's degree and the completion of professional licensure and certification. Example careers include licensed counselors, social workers, and certified public health employees.

At Central Michigan University, undergraduate students can choose from 12 online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in specialized fields such as fashion merchandising and design, international relations, public and nonprofit administration, and a BS in community development track with three specialization options. The university also offers 13 online master's degrees and three online doctorates, most of which focus on business administration or education. Online students represent roughly 25% of CMU's total student population.
If you have a creative bent, then you know that it can be more difficult to find online programs that match your interests. The Savannah College of Art and Design—a private, nonprofit university— has addressed this need by offering high-quality online programs tailored to meet the needs of nontraditional students. And their programs, offered at the undergraduate and graduate level—have found their way to national rankings.  
Through its development, scholars, academics, and educators have disagreed on the purpose and nature of the undergraduate major. Generally, proponents of the major and departmental system "argue that they enable an academic community to foster the development, conservation and diffusion of knowledge." In contrast, critics "claim that they promote intellectual tribalism, where specialization receives favor over the mastery of multiple epistemologies, where broader values of liberal learning and of campus unity are lost, and where innovation is inhibited due to parochial opposition to new sub-specialties and research methods."[2]
UMass Amherst also offers these majors in degree completion pathways for transfer students. Additionally, those with previously earned credits may choose the University Without Walls track, enabling them to complete degrees in fields such as advocacy and social justice, children's learning and development, human services, and writing. The school's transfer policy allows incoming students to apply up to 105 credits toward their bachelor's degrees.
The University of Arizona Online offers multiple bachelor's programs for distance learners. Students pursuing technical careers can choose degrees in STEM fields such as cyber operations, geographic information systems technology, network operations, and meteorology. Options for those seeking a liberal arts education include bachelor's degrees in Africana studies, economy and industry, public health, and sustainable built environments. The university also offers 31 online master's degrees and six online nursing doctorates.
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.
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.
At the University of Central Florida, online courses combine an outstanding learning experience with personalized convenience and flexibility. With top online degrees in areas like Criminal Justice and Graduate Nursing, UCF is establishing a reputation for excellent online programming for working professionals. Not content to rest on their laurels, UCF ranks among the top 25 most innovative schools in the country (U.S. News and World Report). Top online degrees include:

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.
Thomas Edison State University counts among the many online colleges that offers a broad range of online undergraduate and graduate programs. Those seeking a bachelor's can choose from 32 online degree pathways, including nine business administration tracks and specialized technical fields such as nuclear engineering technology, data science and analytics, homeland security and emergency management, and cybersecurity. The college also offers 10 online master's degrees and an online doctorate in nursing practice.

The University of Florida is committed to removing barriers to higher education.  And their tuition and fees—which are the lowest among public universities who are members of the prestigious American Association of Universities—reflect that commitment. UF online programs combine rigorous academics in an accessible platform with access to student supports (like peer tutoring and career services) that will help you succeed. Top degree programs include:


This engineering field offers slightly less pay than nuclear engineering but far more employment opportunities. That’s because industrial engineers, who develop systems to make products and provide services in the most efficient way possible, are less specialized and can find work in a range of industries, from aerospace and motor vehicle parts manufacturing to natural gas distribution and oil and gas extraction. And jobs for them can be found all across the country, with the highest levels of employment in Michigan, California and Texas. The national median income for industrial engineers is $85,862 a year. But average pay reaches nearly $107,000 a year in Washington and California; in Texas, above $108,000 a year.
Usually, Photography majors start their careers as photographer’s assistants to learn the business. Later, many are self-employed. The most successful photographers are both talented and business savvy. Your marketing skills and a strong portfolio will help you find work. Average salaries fall between $21,000 and $44,000, but top photographers have the potential to make much more.
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.
Stephen F. Austin State University offers three online Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degrees in education. They are the BSIS in Elementary Education 4-8, the BSIS in Elementary Education EC-6, and the BSIS in Special Education. All three are 45 credit majors and admissions require a 3.0 GPA. Up to 60 credits may be transferred. The EC-6 program is only available to Texas residents and requires a concentration in math, English, social studies or generalist. The 4-8 program focuses on the middle grades. The Special Ed program focuses on teaching diverse students with exceptionalities. It prepares students for EC-12 Special Ed Teacher and EC-6 Generalist Teacher. All three programs require a visit to campus once a semester for program intensives. Tuition is $362 per credit hour.
The cost of a college degree can vary wildly as well. It's no secret that tuition prices have skyrocketed in the last few decades. Online degrees aren't necessarily cheaper than traditional on-campus degree programs, but choosing an online degree program can save you money in commuting costs and materials, and most importantly, give you the flexibility to work while you earn your degree more easily than if you had to take classes in-person.
The advantages of online courses are more than just a sense of freedom. Online courses eliminate the need to commute to a campus, which saves money as well. There are several costs associated with this type of long-term campus commute, and as 29% of respondents report a household income of less than $50,000 a year, affordability matters. In addition, 46% of online students cite choosing the convenience of an online course due to a lack of a local campus or an inability to regularly commute to one.
SAGU online courses are relatively small, allowing students to receive individualized attention from faculty members. As part of the school's Experiential Learning Credit program, students may qualify for up to 45 undergraduate credits -- and save as much as $25,000 on their degree -- by completing a three-credit course. Admission requires each student to provide a statement of Christian faith.
Most online master's programs can be completed in less than three years of full-time study. Many schools offer accelerated online programs, allowing you to complete your graduate degree in just 12 months. You should consider pursuing a graduate degree if you already have a bachelor's degree but want to switch careers, qualify for more advanced leadership roles, or increase your earning potential. Some fields require a master's degree and the completion of professional licensure and certification. Example careers include licensed counselors, social workers, and certified public health employees.

Online undergraduates at Midway University who plan to enter a teaching career can earn a bachelor's in education with eight concentration options. Other bachelor's degree options include subjects such as business administration, criminal justice, healthcare administration, marketing communications, and nursing. The school also makes online MBA, master's in education, and master's in nursing degrees available for graduate students.
One of the country's largest providers of online degrees, Old Dominion University offers online bachelor's pathways -- with a majority being degree completion programs geared toward students who already earned an associate degree. These include degrees in specialized technical fields such as cybersecurity and cybercrime, mechanical engineering technology, medical laboratory science, and power systems technology.

Most full-time students can earn a online bachelor's degree in four years. If you have a high school diploma or some college credits to your name, an online bachelor's program may be the right choice for you. Some colleges even offer degree completion programs specifically for students who have earned an associate degree and would like to finish a bachelor's program. A bachelor's degree is perhaps the single best way to increase your earning potential. According to PayScale.com, employes with a bachelor's degree can earn over $1,000,000 more over a 20-year career than someone with just a high school diploma. Most entry-level positions at professional organizations require at least a four-year degree. Business, healthcare, tech and other sectors prefer to hire candidates who are well-rounded and have good critical thinking and communication skills. An online bachelor's degree provides students with all of these skills, making them desirable to employers.
Students must meet the admission requirements for their chosen program. Credits from a regionally or nationally accredited institution may be eligible to transfer, provided that a grade of a C- or better was earned. Transfer credits typically apply toward general education and elective categories. Contact an Enrollment Representative for more information specific to your background.
One of the country's largest providers of online degrees, Old Dominion University offers online bachelor's pathways -- with a majority being degree completion programs geared toward students who already earned an associate degree. These include degrees in specialized technical fields such as cybersecurity and cybercrime, mechanical engineering technology, medical laboratory science, and power systems technology.
Most online master's programs can be completed in less than three years of full-time study. Many schools offer accelerated online programs, allowing you to complete your graduate degree in just 12 months. You should consider pursuing a graduate degree if you already have a bachelor's degree but want to switch careers, qualify for more advanced leadership roles, or increase your earning potential. Some fields require a master's degree and the completion of professional licensure and certification. Example careers include licensed counselors, social workers, and certified public health employees.
Students who are seeking initial teacher licensure in a bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate, or master’s program must also pass a state-specific basic skills test for the state in which they live as a prerequisite to Demonstration Teaching (student teaching). Registering and paying for the test is the student’s responsibility. This requirement can be met either prior to admission or before beginning the Foundations of Teaching subject area once you are in your WGU program.
Majors are not static - they will change and evolve over time.  Things constantly change as knowledge, practices, technologies, industries, etc. continue to evolve and mankind continues to push the envelope. So, understanding that selecting a college major is not about picking one area of concentration for the rest of your life. It is more about picking an area of study - demonstrating your aptitude, perseverance, focus and ability to master subjects – which will be attractive to future employers or opportunities where your credential will be one of the characteristics that helps you stand out from the crowd.
Students in associate degree programs in education can chose from many different areas of specialization. The most common concentrations are early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, and special education. Some students may also choose to specialize in a particular subject, such as math or biology. Regardless of the area of interest, students will learn about classroom management, curriculum development, and best practices for working with school staff and parents. Coursework typically includes topics such as education fundamentals, education technology, education psychology, and child development and growth. In addition to classroom learning, students in these programs may be required to complete internships or externships in order to graduate.
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.
City University students finish at twice the national rate”. Based out of Seattle, Washington, the private, non profit university is well-known as a top university for both on campus and online students. Graduates from the Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctoral programs career paths include Teacher, Project Manager, Counselor, and much more. CityU has locations worldwide, including international locations in China, Slovakia, and Vietnam. Several need and merit-based scholarships are available for students seeking financial assistance.
Concordia University Saint Paul offers the benefits of a liberal arts education immersed in an online program. Online programs at CSP are designed to give students highly marketable job skills and knowledge.  And CSP’s commitment to experiential learning means that online students apply academic concepts to real-world settings, developing practical knowledge and abilities. Top online degree programs at CSP include:
31) If you have a tendency to be messy, your roommate may be compulsively neat. The general rule is that the messier you are, the more neat your roommate will be. Try to pull it together. Especially regarding food. Always throw out leftover food. That's just gross, messy or not. Learning how to adapt to someone else's living style is a wonderful learning experience. Really. And if you complained about having to share a room with your siblings while you were growing up, when you get to college you learn that you are actually ahead of the curve. :)
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