You'll find little risk in pursuing an actuarial career. These professionals—who work in the insurance and finance industries, analyzing the costs of risk and uncertainty—are in high demand. New and ever-changing health care laws and financial regulations help drive companies' needs for their services, and their usefulness is well compensated: Actuaries enjoy a median salary of $101,566 a year. For even better pay, an actuarial degree can also lead you to becoming a financial manager, who typically earns nearly $122,733 a year (and is one of our Best Jobs for the Future).
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.
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.
Central Methodist University features two online Bachelor of Science in Education degrees: one in Elementary Education and one in Early Childhood Education. Freshman admission requires a diploma with a minimum 2.5 GPA or the GED, and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students need a minimum GPA of 2.0. The Early Childhood program covers all aspects of development and education and can lead to teacher certification in birth to age 5. The Elementary Education program focuses on child development, teaching methods and teaching content (such as math). It also can also lead to teacher certification. Courses in the programs include Reading and Writing with Young Children, Emerging Language, and Children's Literature. Online tuition is $250 per credit. CMU is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Some schools automatically deduct tuition and housing payments from the disbursements, and provide students with the remaining balance. Other colleges disburse all of the financial aid, requiring students to make tuition and housing payments themselves. The aid money that is left over may be used for books, food, transportation, and personal expenses.
Some schools automatically deduct tuition and housing payments from the disbursements, and provide students with the remaining balance. Other colleges disburse all of the financial aid, requiring students to make tuition and housing payments themselves. The aid money that is left over may be used for books, food, transportation, and personal expenses.
Tuition rates vary by degree subject, but most courses cost the same per credit regardless of the student's state residency status. Military servicemembers and veterans qualify for discounted tuition rates and fee waivers. Additionally, prospective students with a military background seeking a non-nursing degree do not need to submit an application in order to earn admission.
This major can help you hone your entrepreneurial spirit, but allows you to keep your options open, in terms of industry. Workers with this degree wind up in a diverse array of jobs, including accountants, sales supervisors, financial managers and management positions in a variety of fields. With such workplace agility, no wonder 76.3% of former business administration majors are employed full time, according to the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, which promotes U.S. economic growth and competitiveness.

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.


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.
In 2019, U.S. News & World Report named ERAU the top educator of online undergraduates and the best provider of online bachelor's programs for veterans. The university offers 12 different start times for undergraduates throughout the calendar year, with each course spanning 9-12 weeks in length. Instructors deliver all coursework synchronously and follow a schedule that mirrors brick-and-mortar coursework.
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.
In many universities, an academic concentration is a focus within a specific academic major, that is a field of study within a specific academic major. For example, interdisciplinary programs in humanities or social sciences will require a student to pick a specific academic concentration as a focus within their academic major, such as an academic major in Interdisciplinary Humanities with an academic concentration in Film or an academic major in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with an academic concentration in Geography. At several art schools and liberal arts colleges, an academic concentration serves a similar function to an academic minor at other universities, that is an academic discipline outside of the student's academic major in which he or she takes a small number of classes. At Brown University and Harvard University, concentrations serve the same function as majors at other institutions.
The 25 colleges on this list offer affordable online master's in education programs. The average tuition for this list is $13,536, and there are 19 schools whose tuitions are under $15,000. University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign offers an impressive return on investment on their program costing $7,456 per year, with mid-career alumni from the program reporting a salary of $91,600. Western Governors University is also an affordable choice for prospective students, with an annual tuition of $6,380 and a salary of $76,900.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Regent Online students participate in each course with an average of 17 other classmates (an impressively small class size). A faculty member—with training in online learning—oversees each course, guiding students through the learning process. Ranked No. 1 for Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Virginia, Regent’s online bachelor degree programs and online master’s degree programs provide students with a quality education from a Christian worldview.
With more than 90,000 online students, Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing postsecondary institutions in the U.S. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in a total of 40 fields. These options include business administration, criminal justice, geosciences, and information technology. Graduate students can choose from 29 MBA tracks and five pathways in curriculum and instruction.
Undergraduate teaching programs cost $3,225 per six-month term. Most of our students graduate in an 18-48 month period, so they end up paying approximately $9,675 to $16,125. Graduate teaching degrees that require licensure cost $3,240 per six-month term. Most students graduate in a 12-18 month period, so they end up paying between $6,480 and $9,720. Professional graduate degrees in education at WGU cost $3,240 per six-month term. Most students in these programs finish in 6-24 months, and end up paying between $3,240 and $12,960.

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.
Texas-based Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers many different pathways for students seeking a religious degree. These include online undergraduate programs in fields such as Bible and theology, church ministries, and theological studies. Secular options include online bachelor's degrees in counseling, criminal justice, elementary education, and TESOL. Additionally, the university offers multi-concentration online bachelor's degrees in business administration and human services and 19 online master's and doctoral degrees.
For each of the 102 college majors, compensation research firm PayScale provided median annual salaries for entry-level workers (with five years or less of work experience) and mid-career employees (with at least 10 years of experience). PayScale also provided “high job meaning” scores, which indicate the percentage of workers with each college major who say their work makes the world a better place. Workforce research firm Burning Glass Technologies supplied the number of online job postings listed between the third quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018 that were seeking applicants with each of the 102 college majors. Projected 10-year growth rates from 2017 to 2027 for related occupations came from Emsi, a labor-market research firm owned by Strada Education. Emsi collects data from dozens of federal, state and private sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In finalizing our rankings, we combined some similar majors to avoid redundancy.
Liberal arts studies, in general, get a bad rap when it comes to career utility. Classics is one major that proves that old trope wrong. Sure, the study of ancient Greek and Roman culture might not seem exactly applicable in the modern job market, but the level of critical thinking and research skills required to do it is highly marketable in a wide range of industries. For example, former classics majors from Georgetown University have gone on to careers in publishing, government, museums, finance and education, to name just a few fields, according to the school’s career education center. Many also continue their schooling and pursue graduate degrees in a variety of subjects, including ancient history and classical archaeology, as well as law and medicine, for which they tend to have high admissions rates.
Located in Virginia Beach, VA, Regent University is a private, Christian research university that is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to online programs. The school has invested heavily in its online offerings and currently offers 128 online degrees at the undergraduate through doctoral levels—many of which have found their way onto national rankings like U.S. News and World Report.
One of the main reasons that you might be considering an online college is because it frees you up from having to visit a campus, meaning you could attend college anywhere, regardless of where you live or work. This is absolutely true, and it means that you can consider colleges and online degree programs that wouldn't be available to you if you had to attend traditional in-person classes.
As a student at Penn State World Campus, you’ll be able to complete your program at your own pace. Courses at Penn State World Campus are delivered in asynchronous format, so you can attend classes on your own schedule. You’ll experience both self-study and peer-to-peer interaction using chat, video conferencing, phone calls, email, social media, bulletin boards, and more. Some top degree programs offered include:
Webster University is a private nonprofit institution that offers five online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in management and data analytics through the university's School of Business and Technology and bachelor of arts tracks in media communications and religion and global society. The school also makes an RN-to-BSN pathway available for nurses. Master's degrees include options in specialized fields such as gerontology, environmental management, advertising and marketing communications, and public relations -- along with nine business-oriented programs and four teaching tracks.

Distance learning students at Bama by Distance have many resources available to help them succeed—from online library resources to tutoring assistance and technical support. And your degree will be highly respected. Bama by Distance offers one of the top-ranked, AACSB-accredited online graduate business programs in the country (according to U.S. News & World Report) as well as one of the top 50 online graduate engineering programs.


Another school that is no stranger to national rankings, the University of Florida—located in the city of Gainesville—is breaking down geographical barriers to higher education. The University of Florida offers access to more than 200 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. And as a student, you’ll be a member of The Gator Nation, along with thousands of students and alumni around the world.
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.
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 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:
From a career and profession perspective, why not assess and select a major that is safe(r) from outsourcing.  Global trends force companies to adjust as they address operating costs, competition and innovation.  Outsourcing has played a major shift in our economic climate throughout the World.  IT jobs, customer service, even health care, have been impacted by outsourcing trends overseas to large population centers.  Explore the list of majors that can prepare you for careers and professions that have a higher likelihood of avoiding the pull of outsourcing.
Wilmington University, located in Wilmington, Delaware, has four online Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies programs. They are in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education K-6, Middle School Education 6-8, and in Skilled and Technical Sciences. The programs are designed for people working with children in positions that do not require licensure or certification (the programs do not lead to licensure). The curriculum combines general education with teaching skills. Wilmington has an open admissions policy and welcomes applications from interested students. Credit transfers and evaluation of prior experience for possible credit policies are generous. Sample courses include Family, Community and School Partnerships, Learner Development and Numeracy, and Multicultural Education. Online undergraduate tuition is $372 per credit.
Graduate degree programs provide highly advanced education in education administration. A master’s degree program in educational leadership offers aspiring principals, deans, and other administrators an opportunity to further develop their professional skills and prepares them to effectively manage the way a school operates. Educational leadership doctorates introduce current educators to advanced theories in educational psychology, educational leadership and public relations, school law, and leadership ethics.
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.
With your bachelor’s degree, you can become a biomedical engineer, though some employers might require an advanced degree. And the number of positions has been growing, due to the aging population’s demand for biomedical solutions to their mounting health problems. Over the past decade, their ranks boomed 33.5% and is expected to continue growing at a healthy rate of 8.4% by 2027. Median income for these professionals is $88,046 a year. And the emotional payoff seems high, too, with 71% of workers who had this major reporting a high sense of meaning in their careers.
Wilmington University, located in Wilmington, Delaware, has four online Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies programs. They are in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education K-6, Middle School Education 6-8, and in Skilled and Technical Sciences. The programs are designed for people working with children in positions that do not require licensure or certification (the programs do not lead to licensure). The curriculum combines general education with teaching skills. Wilmington has an open admissions policy and welcomes applications from interested students. Credit transfers and evaluation of prior experience for possible credit policies are generous. Sample courses include Family, Community and School Partnerships, Learner Development and Numeracy, and Multicultural Education. Online undergraduate tuition is $372 per credit.
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.

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.
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.
Appalachian State University, the sixth-largest institution in the University of North Carolina system, offers online college degrees through blended degree completion bachelor's programs for transfer students with an associate degree. These include several options for aspiring educators, including online degrees in career and technical education, workforce education and development, child development, and a hybrid middle grades education track. Online bachelor's degrees in communications, management, and RN-to-BSN are also available.
Brandman University maintains a core commitment to delivering a real-world curriculum to their students—one that will be applicable to day one in the marketplace. Brandman’s faculty members are professionals currently working in their fields, so students can feel assured that they are receiving current best-practices. And students receive support from application to graduation through enrollment coaches, academic advisors, and career services. Top degrees include:
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.
Perhaps you were class president in high school. Or perhaps you were a member of the honor society. You could have graduated in the top percentile of your graduating class; perhaps you were even valedictorian. Maybe your were in the honors program or the International Baccalaureate program. Actually, it doesn't really matter what you did in high school as you make the transition to college. High school success (or lack of it) doesn't automatically apply to college.
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