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.
Choosing your field of study is the first step in your online education, a process that takes time, commitment, and energy. The online degree program you decide to pursue will affect your career path, income potential, and level of employment. Online colleges offer a number of diverse options, and your area of interest may cross over several different degree programs. To help you find the online degree program that matches your interests and gives you best chance of financial success, explore our online degree comparison tool for information about earning potential, degree costs, and time commitments.
Located in Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University (ASU Online) is one of the top providers of online education in the country. The University serves a huge online student body, with over 25,000 students enrolled in one of their 150+ undergraduate and graduate programs. Through their multiple online education platforms, ASU Online is constantly removing barriers for students to attend a nationally-ranked university.
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.
I earned my second master's degree from WGU in Math Education and was hired immediately after I completed my coursework. I spent 8 years working as an adjunct off of my first master's degree and each of those years I applied to every job offering within 100 miles. While my first degree, and some additional graduate coursework, included the needed requirements for a teaching job, I didn't have a "Master's in Mathematics" or a "Master's in Mathematics Education". WGU provided an online degree program that got me a job teaching math at the community college level. The job I applied for was for 1 fulltime tenured track position and they hired 2 people. Of course they hired the person with the PhD, but they also hired me! I am now in my 6th year and look forward to my tenure offer next semester. I thank WGU for having what I needed at the time that I needed it and at a time that I could do it.
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.
Associate degrees and bachelor's degrees that feature an instructional technology option are more likely to be degrees in education or teaching with an instructional technology specialization option. Students will study teaching techniques, curriculum development, evaluation techniques, and classroom management, all while learning about how they can use technology to enhance their teaching skills. Some schools require that students who are applying for master's in instructional technology already have official teaching experience. Doctoral programs may even require curriculum development or teacher leadership experience.
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.
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.
For students interested in online school, a few Photography online degree programs are offered at technical schools, colleges and universities. You can experiment with the camera and take pictures on your own schedule and then submit them to your online school professors. Many online degree programs also incorporate business basics that can help you market yourself later. See All Online Photography Degree Programs.
Consider the rapid growth in the number of online degree programs available between 2012 and 2014. Over the last three academic years, we've seen a 45% increase in the number of online programs offered across the United States, for a total of 13,092 in 2014-2015. You can choose from over 550 individual degree programs alone that are offered by the 4-year colleges featured within our list of the best online universities.
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.
With more than 20 years of experience in online learning, the University of Denver has honed the art of distance education. Online classes are asynchronous, so students are not required to be online at the same time, instead logging into online class when their schedule permits. And all classes are available both online and on campus (or in a hybrid format), so students can choose the format that works best for them.
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.
One of my biggest regrets in life was intentionally falling out of touch with high school friends. I had joined a group of people who convinced me that the only important thing was their group and if friends or family did not understand, they should be cut off (read: I got into a pyramid-like scheme). I missed out on so much, and now the stream of Facebook updates from my high school friends makes me sad.