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.
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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:
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.
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.
Northeastern divides its schedule into two standard semester terms and two condensed summer terms. Incoming freshmen may begin taking courses in the fall, spring, or summer. The school prices tuition according to course instead of according to a per-credit rate. Northeastern University receives regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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.
Indiana University offers a wide selection of online undergraduate and graduate degrees, including 23 bachelor's degree programs in fields such as business administration, labor studies, medical imaging technology, and an RN-to-BSN. Several of these pathways serve as degree completion programs that exclusively admit students with a two-year degree; others serve as standalone, four-year tracks. Graduate students at Indiana University can select from 31 online master's programs and six online doctoral degrees, most of which focus on management and/or healthcare.
Most online programs at the university follow a fast-track schedule consisting of eight-week terms in the fall and spring and four-week or eight-week sessions during the summer semester. This timetable enables students to focus on 1-2 courses at a time and potentially graduate at a faster pace. Most online bachelor's pathways are asynchronous and do not require any campus visits, but some may include mandatory on-campus exams or presentations.
Rutgers University, the largest degree-granting institution in New Jersey, offers several degree programs fully online, including three bachelor's tracks. These include a bachelor's in business administration and an RN-to-BSN program with no onsite requirements. Students may also pursue a bachelor's in labor and employment relations, which qualifies them to earn a master's in the same field in less than one year. Additionally, the university offers an online teaching certificate that consists of four individual courses.
The fourth-largest degree-granting institution in North Carolina, East Carolina University offers a total of 22 online bachelor's degree completion programs aimed at transfer students. These include concentrations in several specialized areas of industrial technology, such as bioprocess manufacturing, distribution and logistics, and health information technology. Other options for undergraduates include five business pathways, five teaching tracks, and an RN-to-BSN. Online grad students at ECU can choose from 51 master's degrees and concentrations -- most of which concentrate in education and/or healthcare -- and seven doctorates.
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.
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.
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.

Admissions requirements for international students vary depending on the program. Students must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement and, if in the U.S., provide an acceptable visa that does not prohibit educational studies at the University of Phoenix. Please speak to an Enrollment Representative to learn about program-specific requirements.


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.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the primary programmatic accrediting body for education degrees. Accreditation is very important for online education degrees, especially for students looking to earn a teaching license. Prospective students should make sure that the online programs they are considering are recognized by the teaching board in the state where they hope to earn licensure.
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.
Northeastern divides its schedule into two standard semester terms and two condensed summer terms. Incoming freshmen may begin taking courses in the fall, spring, or summer. The school prices tuition according to course instead of according to a per-credit rate. Northeastern University receives regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Regent University maintains a dual commitment to academic excellence and flexible scheduling. This combination makes the school highly attractive to working adults who need to continue working as they study—and who want an education grounded in faith. Through Regent Online, students  receive instruction and mentoring from the same prestigious professors who teach on campus. Top degree programs include:
With monthly starts and accelerated eight-week courses, CSU-Global makes higher education both immediately accessible and remarkably efficient. The University also insists on absolute transparency in costs and fees—which includes a tuition guarantee so you know exactly what you will have to pay. They also integrate a data-driven approach that measures key student performance metrics to ensure that their courses are doing what they need to.
Northeastern divides its schedule into two standard semester terms and two condensed summer terms. Incoming freshmen may begin taking courses in the fall, spring, or summer. The school prices tuition according to course instead of according to a per-credit rate. Northeastern University receives regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Appalachian State offers a hybrid Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education, with some courses offered online and some requiring an on-campus presence. This is a degree completion program, requiring at least 30 college credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. The degree covers grades 6-8. The major has three concentrations: language arts and science, language arts and social studies, and science and social studies. The curriculum combines liberal arts and teaching content and skills. The program can lead to licensure in North Carolina. Segments of the program require practicums on campus, and student teaching must be done in-state. Courses include Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age and Language Arts in the Middle Grades. In-state tuition is $143 per credit and $643.50 per credit for nonresidents.
Many students enroll at public colleges in their own state to qualify for lower in-state tuition rates. However, several public colleges now offer in-state tuition rates to all online students, even if you don't live in the same state as the school. This can mean savings of thousands of dollars a year, which means you pay less out-of-pocket and take out fewer loans. If you are looking for a degree with a high return on investment, or are entering a field that doesn't pay a six-figure salary, do your research to find out if the program you are interested in can be found somewhere where you qualify for in-state tuition.

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. 
If you find yourself delving into why certain people react to certain aspects of their environments in a certain way, then studying psychology will help you learn about the biology of our brains. Psychology majors focus on such features of the human mind as learning, cognition, intelligence, motivation, emotion, perception, personality, mental disorders, and the ways in which our individual preferences are inherited from our parents or shaped by our environment. Within the field, psychologists seek to educate, communicate, and resolve many of the problems surrounding human behavior. In the job market, this degree can set you up to be a therapist or counselor, obviously, but also a teacher, child development specialist, lawyer, or consultant, depending on the experiences and post-grad studies with which you complement your degree.

WGU is a flexible program perfect for the working individual. I obtained my MSN in leadership and management and the program afforded me with the skills necessary to continue on the leadership pathway. I felt supported by my mentor and course instructors and was able to obtain a healthy work/life balance. I highly recommended this institution to anyone interested in furthering their education.

Affordability is an important aspect of access to higher education, and UCF has been recognized (by both Forbes and Kiplinger’s) for being one of the most affordable and best-value universities in the U.S. And online students have access to a wide range of student supports—from peer-assisted tutoring and online tutors to library services, academic advising, and career services.
Because it often deals with current events and sophisticated statistical analysis, political science is timely, fascinating, and perpetually changing. In a nutshell, it's the study of politics of government, and some of the common concentrations are American government, public policy, foreign affairs, political philosophy, and comparative government. Political science majors develop excellent critical thinking and communication skills, and more broadly, an understanding of history and culture. There will be lots of reading, writing, and math. Possible career paths are diverse—from lawyer to politician to journalist.

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.
Students may seek loans from the federal government or private lending institutions, such as banks or credit unions. Federal loans carry a fixed interest rate and the interest may be tax-deductible. These loans do not need to be repaid until the student graduates or leaves school, and those who struggle to repay their loans may be able to postpone or reduce their monthly payments.
Texas Tech University offers a wide selection of fully online and hybrid degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in specialized fields such as restaurant, hotel, and institutional management; plant and soil science; and wind energy. Master's degree online options include eight education degrees with concentrations such as family and consumer sciences, agricultural education, and curriculum and instruction. Graduate students may also select master's degrees in technical fields such as healthcare engineering, horticulture, and data science, along with six doctoral degrees for aspiring educators.
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.

Education graduates who plan to become a teacher or an administrator (e.g., principal or superintendent) in a public school district will need to follow the proper procedure to become licensed before they can begin working. Each US state has its own set of licensing or certification requirements, so it's best to check with your particular state before embarking on a path to become an educator or administrator. In general though, educators and administrators must earn an accredited degree, have professional experience, and pass at least one competency exam.
The coursework in the education certificate will vary, depending on the program’s goals. Many programs are designed to certify teachers in a particular subject area, such as elementary or secondary education. These programs discuss instructional abilities and teaching theory. Some programs are aimed at experienced educators and discuss education administration and leadership topics, such as human resources issues and professional communication techniques. Other certificates are useful for seasoned teachers who want more knowledge in a particular teaching area, such as teaching students with disabilities or using educational technology.
Online education degrees are available at 498 accredited colleges and universities. Our comprehensive list of online education degrees includes options at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. In addition to this list, we highlight the best online bachelor's in education and best master's programs, ranked based on tuition costs and alumni salaries, as reported by PayScale.
Online certificates and associate degrees in education can provide an introduction to the field and preparation for later college-level work. These degrees cover general liberal arts topics, as well as courses in curriculum design, child development, and instructional methods. Stand-alone undergraduate certificates are usually available in early childhood education areas, while certificates that are part of bachelor’s degrees cover a wider range of topics, such as education policy or adult education.
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.
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:
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.

UCF boasts an extensive online selection that caters to those earning degrees in liberal arts fields. Undergraduates can choose from 20 different programs, including bachelor's degrees in criminal justice, international and global studies, creative writing, and Latin American studies. Other bachelor's offerings include healthcare fields such as health informatics and information management, health services administration, and nursing. Graduate students may pursue 26 different master's degrees online, most concentrated in education or engineering, and three doctoral degrees in nursing.
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