A big reason for the growth in online education is demand. Online college programs make college more accessible to a much larger population than traditional on-campus learning. Thanks to technology, you can earn an online associate degree, online bachelor's degree or online master's degree without having to sacrifice your job or time caring for your family.
Online learning at UIS is both flexible and convenient for working students. And while online courses are equally rigorous and taught by the same faculty that teach in the classroom, online curricula are designed for online instruction specifically.  And faculty are trained in online instruction so they are able to help students take advantage of the unique resources available to online learners. Some top degrees offered include:
Many, though not all, of the private schools offering online programs are religious schools. Some of these schools incorporate scripture into their online program, though others do not, and have no religious requirements for distance learners. Private non-profit schools are often more expensive than other four-year options, so be sure to do your research and find a school that fits with your budget.
The University of Alabama is committed to delivering higher education in innovative and flexible formats—Bama by Distance is fulfilling that mission through diverse and accessible programs. As a distance learning student, you will interact with the same college professors and meet the same learning standards as an on-campus student and have access to the same UA resources. Top online degrees include:
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:
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.
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!
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:
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.
As part of an agreement with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), Old Dominion offers guaranteed admission to all degree-holding VCCS graduates. Students may transfer up to 90 credits toward their undergraduate degrees. Additionally, some bachelor's programs enable students to earn graduate-level credits while pursuing their undergraduate degree. For example, those enrolled in the online bachelor's in business administration can take credits toward an MBA or master's in public administration degree.
All those in-demand tech majors and workers noted earlier need something to work on. Enter the computer hardware engineers. These workers research, design, develop and improve computer systems, as well as components including circuit boards, networks and routers. And they’re not limited to working on PCs and Macs. Computers can be found everywhere, from in your car and coffee maker to medical equipment and airplanes, helping to drum up demand for these kinds of engineers across a variety of industries. That helps drive their projected job growth rate to 9.4% over the next decade. Their median income is $115,045 a year.
The need for nurses is as persistent as the common cold. In terms of demand, most health care professionals, in general, benefit from the aging population, as well as advancing technology helping people live longer, healthier lives. And prospects for registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs)—both among our Best Jobs for the Future—are particularly promising with their numbers expected to grow by 16.3% and 35.2%, respectively, over the next decade. RNs earn a median $69,789 a year; NPs typically make nearly $103,947 a year. And the field is as rewarding as it is lucrative: 82% of employees with this degree report feeling a high sense of meaning in their careers, the highest share of all 102 majors included in our rankings.

Boston's Northeastern University serves as home to a total of 10 online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in business-oriented fields such as finance and accounting management, leadership, analytics, and project management. Other options include online bachelor's degrees in digital communication and media, health management, and psychology. Graduate students can choose from 40 online master's pathways, most of which focus on management and/or education, along with doctoral degrees in education or transitional physical therapy.
Third, majors help demonstrate how you learn to focus and apply yourself - much like a baseball player is assigned a position to play on defense or a lineup position in the batting order.  Yet, the major does not actually prepare you for a specific job or position in the real world.  In a hypothetical setting, colleges and universities utilize majors as a means to segment instruction across a range of academic departments.  And, the major and departments, through concentrations, can then assess comprehension and learning outcomes.
Due to its religious affiliations, students at LeTourneau must complete courses in biblical study and other related fields as part of their general education requirements; weekly chapel services are also required. The school boasts a graduation job placement rate of 95% or higher for all academic programs. LeTourneau University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
When choosing a major, a student should assess his or her interests and objectives, Stanford University advises. Students should choose a major that they are passionate about, instead of strictly following a career choice. A student should also evaluate academic strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you prefer to do lab work rather than research in a library, then a major in history would probably not be your best choice. Stanford advises a new college student to visit departments in areas of interest. By doing so, you can question the department advisors and department heads about the type of education you will receive. You may find that the coursework and lab work in a particular major is not a good match for you.
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.
Considered the oldest and largest online degree-providing institution in the state, Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers web-based programs at all degree levels. Bachelor's options include degrees in fields such as addiction studies, business administration, and social work; the psychology and unified public safety administration fields offer multiple concentrations.

The upper-division coursework in the bachelor's program is centered around the student's particular focus area in education. Possible specializations include elementary education, special education, middle school, or secondary education. Students specializing in secondary education also take coursework in a particular teaching subject area, such as math, science, or English. Teaching-oriented bachelor’s degrees require that students complete teaching labs or practicums, as well as an internship.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the oldest and largest institution in the Minnesota university system. The school offers a total of 18 online bachelor's degree pathways, including six tracks related to general business studies and programs in specialized fields such as tribal administration and governance, manufacturing management, agricultural business, and sport and recreation management. Other online offerings include six undergraduate certificates and a learning technologies minor. Graduate students at UMN-Twin Cities can choose from 14 online master's degrees and nine online doctoral degrees, most of which focus on healthcare fields.
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.
Harvard tied for a first-place ranking on U.S. News and World Report's most recent list of schools with the best biology programs from 2014. Harvard's life sciences major offers concentrations that include chemical and physical biology, human developmental and regenerative biology, human evolutionary biology, integrated biology/organismic and evolutionary biology, molecular and cellular biology, and neurobiology. Students may participate in life sciences research at one of Harvard's labs. A master's degree is also available.
Brandman University makes it easy to transfer in college credit—whether it be from one of Brandman’s partner community colleges, alternative course credit that applies to your degree, or hands-on training from a military or professional background. Brandman has been ranked among top online schools for several years and boasts exceptionally high graduation rates—a key indicator of quality.

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.


At the doctoral studies level, an academic major or major field refers to a student's primary focus within their degree program while a minor or minor field refers to his or her secondary focus. For example, a doctoral student studying History might pursue their degree in History with a major field in War and Society and a minor field in Postcolonial Studies.
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.
If you find yourself generally immersed in some book—anything from Shakespeare to Cheryl Strayed—you will likely find others just like you in the English department studying the trochaic octameter of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," the stunning word choices of narrative nonfiction author Annie Dillard, or the experimental elements of the writings of Walter Abish. English programs focus on literature, language, and writing, and an English major will encounter a wide array of absorbing works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from around the world and throughout history. Analyzing the works of the greatest minds and imaginations that human civilization has produced will surely sharpen your critical, emotional, creative, and moral faculties. The study of literature also helps to shed some light on the answers to the enduring questions of the human condition. This degree is tremendous preparation for a future in law, journalism, publishing, graduate studies, and just about anything else.

When choosing a major, a student should assess his or her interests and objectives, Stanford University advises. Students should choose a major that they are passionate about, instead of strictly following a career choice. A student should also evaluate academic strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you prefer to do lab work rather than research in a library, then a major in history would probably not be your best choice. Stanford advises a new college student to visit departments in areas of interest. By doing so, you can question the department advisors and department heads about the type of education you will receive. You may find that the coursework and lab work in a particular major is not a good match for you.


UMC Online offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources, as well as internship and undergraduate research opportunities. Students experience small class sizes and individualized attention—with a faculty that serves as true mentors for online learners. And UMC’s online courses utilize a broad variety of technological tools that make learning online intuitive and engaging. Top degree programs include:

Through Bachelor of Arts completion programs and self-paced graduate programs, students will experience a customizable education experience with career-focused content. DU’s philosophy is to embrace technology to improve and accelerate learning for busy adults. Online classes present the same content and are driven by the same academic outcomes as campus-based classes but in a flexible, accessible, and affordable format.
This major takes the study of chemistry and materials science one step further into the process of producing commercial goods by adding engineering. As a student of this field, you’ll learn how to use raw materials to create products such as clothes, food, fuel, drugs and much more. Typical courses for this path include biochemistry, chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, as well as many other types of math and science.
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.
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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