Once you know what degree level you want to pursue, think carefully about what majors will have the biggest impact on your current career or future job prospects. Different majors teach different skills and have different points of emphasis. Multiple studies have shown that what you study has a bigger impact on future earning potential than where you go to school.
Teaching degrees open many career pathways. Most of our programs are designed to lead to licensure, or add an endorsement to an existing license, so the most direct career pathway is working as a classroom teacher. Professional offerings include preparation for positions as a school administrator, curriculum specialist/designer, instructional designer, and technology specialist.
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.
Texas Tech helps veteran students and holds the designation of a Purple Heart University. The school also welcomes transfer students with scholarships of $4,500 for those who enroll with up to 30 transfer credits and $6,000 for those with up to 60 transfer credits. Those who place in the top 10% of their graduating high school class qualify for automatic admission to Texas Tech.
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.
Excelsior College, a private nonprofit institution, offers online associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees spanning several academic fields. Online undergraduate options include multi-concentration bachelor's degrees in fields such as business, health sciences, criminal justice, and electrical engineering technology. Excelsior's bridge degrees allow students to earn a bachelor's and a master's in an accelerated timeline. Examples include a BS in healthcare management with an MBA or master's in health science and a BS in nuclear engineering management with an MBA. The school makes dual-degree bachelor's pathways available too.
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.
WSU’s Global Campus strives to provide online students with a true campus experience—including online events, career fairs, webinars from university experts, and a digital pavilion where students can showcase their research. And at WSU Global Campus busy students—including undergraduates—can take accelerated online courses which propel them through coursework at a faster than usual pace. Top degree programs 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.
There is no doubt that a college education pays off - on average, a college graduate earns $1,000,000 more than a high-school only graduate over the course of their lifetime, according to the College Scorecard. Individual earnings vary greatly from person to person based on what level of degree you earn, what you study, and what kind of career you choose to pursue.
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.
If you’re looking for an online degree in aeronautics or engineering, then look no further. Embry-Riddle has developed innovative programs which rank highly and offer exceptionally high return-on-investment. The school is also home to excellent online Business programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. And Embry-Riddle uses their long experience in distance learning to focus on engagement and critical services that help ensure student success. Some top programs include:
Arizona State University offers online programs for undergraduates and graduate students. Those seeking a bachelor's can choose from 80 different pathways, including multiple tracks in business, information technology, psychology, and public service and public policy. Other options include exploratory tracks in health and life sciences, the humanities, STEM, and social and behavioral sciences -- along with 27 online minors. Graduate students may select from more than 60 master's or doctoral degrees in behavioral health or education.
Southeast Missouri State University provides several online pathways for undergraduates and graduate students. Online bachelor's degree options include tech-oriented subjects such as applied technology, computer information systems, and technology management. Other options include business administration, criminal justice, family studies, and RN-to-BSN completion program. Graduate students may select from a total of 18 online master's tracks, most of which focus on management and/or 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.
CBU Online delivers courses in accelerated 8-week courses, with three semesters offered year-round so students move through courses efficiently, helping you graduate faster. And CBU is committed to being transfer-friendly so students can consolidate their undergraduate college credits and finish their degree. Students also benefit from Academic Success Center support, including SmartThinking—24/7 online tutoring support for multiple subjects.
With a focus on flexibility and accessibility, CityU’s online classes are designed for working adults and students who need an education that will fit into their busy lives. CityU offers their online programs through a virtual classroom where students can log-in to check assignments, video, and discussions. Online students collaborate and discuss topics with one another and faculty on a portal within this virtual classroom and through the Blackboard system.
Concordia University Saint Paul also delivers an exceptionally high return on investment—with students making the highest average salary among Minnesota private schools four years after graduation. CSP also makes transferring credit easy with Transferology—a web-based course transfer system that helps transfer students determine how courses will transfer to CSP. And through Concordia’s Transfer Advantage program students can transfer credits from a partner institution seamlessly.
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Brandman University is a distinctive, private (nonprofit) university that has the nontraditional student at its center. The school delivers high-quality, accredited, career-focused undergraduate and graduate programs online and on their many campuses. Their student-centric philosophy makes their 50+ degree programs manageable for working students.
Due to the rapid evolution of online coursework, online programs are quickly becoming some of the most high-quality degree options available. To date, well over 2,000 colleges offer accredited online programs. While our list of the best online colleges and universities is a good starting point for researching programs, we've outlined additional steps you can take to narrow your list of potential schools.