The top of our rankings present interested scholars with the best shots at success and satisfaction in the workplace, complete with generous incomes and an abundance of job opportunities. Check out the best college majors for a lucrative career. (Spoiler alert: STEM majors—that is, fields in science, technology, engineering and math—dominate our rankings.)

Founded in 2007, Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global)is the online campus of the Colorado State University system. CSU-Global was the first independent, 100% online state university in the U.S. and now has an online student body of over 15,000 students. CSU-Global currently offers 24 accredited degree programs at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level.

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.
The career opportunities available after completing an education certificate will depend on the graduate’s previous education and experience. Many use the certificate to take a state licensing exam, either to become a kindergarten-through-12th-grade teacher or a school principal. Education certificates can also be useful for teachers interested in moving into policy or research roles in local, state, and federal governments. Other programs are used by practicing teachers to deepen their curriculum and cement their role in their current school.

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.
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. 
We offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in many high-demand fields, including business, education, nursing and technology. You can complete your degree online from anywhere or on-campus, depending upon your location. The University also offers certificate programs, as well as individual, test-preparation and non-credit professional development courses.
Future photography majors should never be without their camera during high school whether you have a point-and-shoot or an SLR. You’ll want to capture as many artful and eventful images as you can. Even if your school doesn’t offer a photography class, art classes of all kinds can provide an introduction to color and composition. Look for afterschool activities such as the yearbook photo committee or editing images for the school’s web site.
If you plan to use your veteran’s benefits for your education, you are entitled to a Shopping Sheet in accordance with Executive Order 13607. It provides a breakdown of your education costs so you can compare costs between the institutions you select. It also shows how your benefits and any financial aid are applied to your education. The information provided in the Shopping Sheet is an estimate of your individual education cost and any financial aid for which you might be eligible. This estimate is based on the information you provided in the Financial Plan with Net Price Calculator. Please refer to your financial aid award letter for the actual amount of financial aid awarded.
Specific requirements vary by program, but most online students log into their school's learning management system (LMS) to participate in course lectures. Asynchronous programs allow students to view lecture recordings on their own time. Alternatively, synchronous programs may require students to watch live-streaming lectures. In some cases, synchronous courses feature video conferencing components that allow students to ask questions and interact with their professors and fellow students.
If you’re willing to take those risks, expect to study plenty of math and science. At the University of Texas, a top school for this field, some courses for the petroleum engineering degree include: engineering, energy and the environment in the first year; mechanics of solids in the second year; petrophysics in the third year; and reservoir geomechanics in the final year.
The largest university in the Chicago area, the University of Illinois at Chicago has consistently ranked among the top ten schools to get an online Bachelor’s degree (and currently sits at #4 according to U.S. News and World Report). The University has been offering online programs for a decade, and currently offers over 45 degrees at the undergraduate through postgraduate levels.
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.
Missouri State University offers a handful of online bachelor's degrees suitable for first-time undergraduates or transfer students. A total of 10 major options include criminology and criminal justice, finance, health services, hospitality leadership, and an RN-to-BSN. The school also offers two undergraduate certificates and 12 bachelor's degree minors fully online. Graduate students can choose from 14 online master's programs, including seven pathways for teachers, and two doctorate in nursing tracks.
Most online bachelor's programs at the university offer degree completion pathways designed for transfer students, and these programs may cover anywhere from 31-51 credits of core coursework. Students with associate degrees can typically complete the programs within two years or less. The school offers tuition at a flat per-credit rate regardless of the student's state residency status. Active-duty military personnel can earn associate or bachelor's degrees at a discounted tuition rate.
It is hard to find a better school than Colorado State University - Fort Collins if you wish to study Zoology. Colorado State University - Fort Collins offers graduate degrees in zoology for those interested in an advanced degree. The location in a significant city is great for students seeking out considerable prospects for social networking, experience, and exploration.
Most online bachelor's degrees at Concordia are designed as completion programs for transfer students with previously earned credits, and online courses span seven weeks in length. Roughly 95% of Concordia University graduates receive at least one offer within a year of their college graduation. The school also ranks first among all private Minnesota institutions in terms of graduate earnings, and Concordia alumni outearn the average graduate by more than 40%.
The top of our rankings present interested scholars with the best shots at success and satisfaction in the workplace, complete with generous incomes and an abundance of job opportunities. Check out the best college majors for a lucrative career. (Spoiler alert: STEM majors—that is, fields in science, technology, engineering and math—dominate our rankings.)
At ASU-online, student support is all-encompassing.  You’ll encounter tutors to help you get through the tough classes, success coaches who help adjust to online student life, and career service personnel who can help you apply your skills and passions in the real world. And you’ll join a diverse, global community of Sun Devils though student clubs, social media, and classroom interaction.
If you plan to use your veteran’s benefits for your education, you are entitled to a Shopping Sheet in accordance with Executive Order 13607. It provides a breakdown of your education costs so you can compare costs between the institutions you select. It also shows how your benefits and any financial aid are applied to your education. The information provided in the Shopping Sheet is an estimate of your individual education cost and any financial aid for which you might be eligible. This estimate is based on the information you provided in the Financial Plan with Net Price Calculator. Please refer to your financial aid award letter for the actual amount of financial aid awarded.
Roughly 90% of the university's students receive some form of financial aid, and Midway charges online students a flat, per-credit rate for in-state and out-of-state students. Transfer students from institutions in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System qualify for a $1,000 transfer scholarship. Additionally, the school charges lower tuition rates for those seeking an online RN-to-BSN degree. Midway University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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.

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in today's classrooms. Everyone from kindergarten through graduate school is enjoying the benefits of computers, presentational technology, and new programs in the classroom. Some of the best teachers in today's classes are skilled at incorporating new forms of technology to enhance student learning, whether it be computer programs, tablets, or podcasts. Technology has become so important in today's classrooms that there are entire degree programs dedicated to creating new ways of including technology in one's teaching style. Both current and aspiring teachers can benefit from learning about instructional technology in a formalized degree setting. 
And though you can take your business acumen down whatever career path your passion leads you, you should be comfortable with numbers if you want to earn a degree in this field. Possible courses include accounting, statistics and economics, along with slightly less numerically focused classes such as business ethics and law, marketing and business policy and strategy.

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:
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.
Attending online class is easy, all you need is a reliable internet connection. You simply log into your classroom to complete assignments, access course materials and resources and interact with faculty and classmates. Class participation is graded based upon your contributions to online discussions. This is a great solution for students who might have a difficult time commuting and for those who learn better independently.

After confirming accreditation, it can still be difficult to weigh the value and quality of one online college over another. Keep in mind that regardless of whether a program is offered online or on campus, all regionally accredited programs in the U.S. are held to the same academic and professional standards. These standards also extend to the full-time faculty and adjunct professors that schools hire.
There are a few considerations to make before choosing a degree level to pursue. One, what level of education have you achieved already? Two, what are your career goals? There are many online bachelor's degrees out there, but depending on your career aspirations you may also want to consider online associate degrees and online master's degrees. The following list can help you better understand these options:

In some cases, individual programs may also be accredited by an independent board. One example is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which evaluates academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. These agencies assess the competence of both on-campus and online degree programs giving students the peace of mind that their school's department offers a reputable program.
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 university offers flat-rate tuition for all online students regardless of their state residency. Additionally, discounted tuition rates are available for military veterans and personnel and for students seeking a bachelor's in addiction counseling or an RN-to-BSN degree. Ottawa University receives regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
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.
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.

A member of the ten-school Concordia University System, Concordia University-Saint Paul is a private, nationally ranked, Christian (Lutheran) university.  Concordia Saint Paul (CSP) offers numerous degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level to over 1000 enrolled online students. And U.S. News & World Report ranks many of their online program among the best of their kind.


Before I came to WGU, I completed a MAT program for teaching. I was not prepared to enter the classroom in the least bit. That is why I chose to get a second bachelors even though I have a masters in teaching. I feel much more confident in my ability to teach now. There are things that I hated, like the weekly calls, but overall I feel a lot more prepared to enter the education field. My only regret is they didn't focus on writing IEP's and Transition Plans as much as I would have liked.

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]

Instructors deliver most of the university's distance-based programs asynchronously and fully online, but some incorporate blended learning and synchronous coursework. The university offers rolling application deadlines and four start dates year-round. Additionally, transfer students can apply up to 64 credits toward their bachelor's degrees. Most bachelor's programs culminate in either a capstone project or an internship.
In the US, students are usually not required to choose their major discipline when first enrolling as an undergraduate. Normally students are required to commit by the end of their second academic year at latest, and some schools even disallow students from declaring a major until this time. A student who declares two academic majors is said to have a double major. A coordinate major is an ancillary major designed to complement the primary one. A coordinate major requires fewer course credits to complete.
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.
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.
With a bachelor’s in this field, you can become a chemist, but note that certain research positions may require you to also have a master’s or doctoral degree. This job is expected to see a modest increase of about 7.4% in their numbers by 2027, slower than the projected 9.7% growth for all jobs. And the potential pay is generous: Chemists earn an median income of $74,755 a year. Another option is to extend your education and get a Doctor of Pharmacy. Pharmacists earn a median income of $123,864 a year—far more than the median $43,992 for all jobs.
The University of Louisiana Monroe offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education for grades 1 to 5. The program covers teaching theory, content and methods for teaching this age range. Freshman admission requires a diploma, 2.0 GPA and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students should have a 2.0 GPA; the transfer policy is generous, as is the assessment for prior experience. The overall degree is 120-125 credits, with 57 in the major. Classes are in 8-week sessions. Courses in the program include Classroom Behavior and Instructional Management, Assessment Principles and Practice,and Music Education for the Lower Grades. Online tuition is $400 per credit unit. UL-Monroe is very military friendly.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington features an online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. The program focus is on developing professional competency for teaching and school leadership. It will result in North Carolina licensure to teach K-6. Admission requires a minimum of 24 credits with a 2.5 GPA. In addition to the core curriculum, an 18 hour concentration is required, chosen from science and health, fine arts, ESL, international studies, math, and technology. The field requirements include some on-campus practicums and the student teaching must be done in North Carolina. Classes in the program include Teaching Diverse Learners K-6, Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction K-6, and Psychological Foundations of Teaching. Online tuition for state residents is $150.10 per credit and $625.27 per credit for nonresidents.

Most online bachelor's programs at the university offer degree completion pathways designed for transfer students, and these programs may cover anywhere from 31-51 credits of core coursework. Students with associate degrees can typically complete the programs within two years or less. The school offers tuition at a flat per-credit rate regardless of the student's state residency status. Active-duty military personnel can earn associate or bachelor's degrees at a discounted tuition rate.

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.
Fort Hays State University has two online degree programs in education: the B.S. in Elementary Education and the B.S.in Education in Early Childhood Unified. Admission requires a diploma and SAT/ACT scores. Transfer students in the Teacher Education program need a minimum GPA of 2.75. The Unified program includes a special education component, and it leads to Kansas state certification for regular and special education, birth to grade 3. Its overall focus is on careers in teaching and administration in birth-grade 3 settings. The Elementary Education program focuses on theory, curriculum, and clinical experience. Graduates are qualified to seek Kansas state licensure in K to 6. Courses in the programs include Emerging Literacy, Literacy Assessment and Intervention, and Educational Psychology. Tuition is $218.67 per credit.
Finance isn’t strictly considered a STEM field, but you can still expect to work with numbers a great deal. High school students interested in finance can prepare for this major by studying statistics and calculus. In college, you'll add to your schedule accounting, financial markets and investing, as well as microeconomics, macroeconomics and economic theory. If you pursue a bachelor of arts degree in this field, you likely have to take liberal arts and foreign language classes, too.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the country's largest accredited institution that primarily offers degrees in aviation and aerospace technology. Undergraduates choose from 16 online bachelor's programs, including subjects such as aviation business administration, homeland security, safety management, and unmanned systems applications. The selection for graduate students focuses on similar topics, as options include online master's degrees in aviation and aerospace sustainability, cybersecurity management and policy, and systems engineering. The school also offers a Ph.D. in aviation.


OSU Ecampus courses and programs are developed by world-class OSU faculty who use innovative course delivery strategies. Through cutting-edge technology, students are actively engaged in virtual labs, interactive language-acquisition exercises, engaging videos, and interactive lectures. OSU uses Canvas as its learning management system, so online interaction through discussion boards and web conferencing keeps students in touch. Top online degree programs include:
Instructors deliver most of the university's distance-based programs asynchronously and fully online, but some incorporate blended learning and synchronous coursework. The university offers rolling application deadlines and four start dates year-round. Additionally, transfer students can apply up to 64 credits toward their bachelor's degrees. Most bachelor's programs culminate in either a capstone project or an internship.
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.
My experience at WGU was very positive. I received a great deal of support from my program mentor and the course instructors were knowledgeable and experienced. The program is self-paced but there is substantial pressure to progress quickly, so students should be aware they'll need self-discipline to complete the program. There are times when access to instructors is limited, as their calendars fill up & the first available appointment may be 1-2 weeks out. So there were a few instances when it felt like "self learning". Tutoring is offered for free though, so outside help is available if you reach out. Some courses like Intermediate Accounting II and Taxation II, are difficult to complete in 6 weeks. I would have liked to see more time allotted to the second half of Intermediate Accounting in particular, as I didn't think 6 weeks was enough time to digest the amount & complexity of material. Overall, though I'm glad I attended WGU and I'm grateful for the experience because overall, I believe it gave me a very solid foundation in accounting.

Traditional degree programs in instructional technology revolve around group discussion, helping students build ideas off of one another. This is not easily done through online programs, so instructional technology students will be asked to complete a lot of reading and writing assignments. Many online programs (as well as some traditional programs) require that all students be full-time, licensed teachers. 

Located in Riverside, California, California Baptist University (CBU)is a private, Christian, liberal arts university with extensive online programming.  CBU offers top-ranked online programs—currently, there are over 40 degree options—at the bachelor, masters, and doctoral levels. And CBU Online has been lauded by national rankings like U.S. News and World Report for their high-quality programs.

CityU has an exceptionally generous transfer policy which allows students to transfer up to 135 credits into a program. The University also offers discounted military tuition, scholarships and credit for prior learning (like work experience or military service). And CityU partners with national, regional, and local organizations to ensure that current and former U.S. service members and their families have the support they need while attending school.
Regis University is a private, Jesuit University with its main campus located in Denver, Colorado. The online college offers a catalogue of courses to suit students hoping to advance their career path, earn a bigger paycheck, or to fulfill their passions. A long list of flexible programs allows students to pick and choose which suits their needs best as they juggle work, family, and school. The school boasts some impressive statistics, such as 89% placement rate after graduation, and 50% higher than Colorado State average. Regis University is a excellent option for those seeking a reliable online program.

How do I choose a major? Take courses in areas that appeal to you early in your academic path, and then try to focus on a subject that motivates you. Make sure that you have genuine interest, though. You'll do better in class when you’re interested, and your motivation will continue through college and into a job if you pursue a professional degree.  Read more about choosing a college major and utilize the College Major Checklist to evaluate them...
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the country's largest accredited institution that primarily offers degrees in aviation and aerospace technology. Undergraduates choose from 16 online bachelor's programs, including subjects such as aviation business administration, homeland security, safety management, and unmanned systems applications. The selection for graduate students focuses on similar topics, as options include online master's degrees in aviation and aerospace sustainability, cybersecurity management and policy, and systems engineering. The school also offers a Ph.D. in aviation.
Principals must also complete a principal preparation program or internship to develop their leadership skills and their knowledge of how to improve students' educational experiences. Other requirements often include passing an exam to demonstrate basic reading, writing, and math skills; passing a state-based educator standards exam; and submitting to a criminal background check. Some states have different levels of principal certification, starting with an initial "residency certificate" and advancing to a "professional certificate" after two years of experience as an employed administrator. Some states break down their certifications even further for elementary vs. secondary school principals, while other states have the same requirements for both academic levels.

A visa is a document that allows the holder to apply for entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of State (DoS) determine who is eligible to be admitted into the U.S. along with how long they can stay and other conditions of their visit.


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 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.
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.
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