Choosing the right online degree is one of the most important decisions of your life. You should choose an online degree that encompasses your interests, passions, and talents. Secure your future.
The following courses of study were chosen among online degrees based on growth metrics from the bureau of labor statistics. Each has a “faster than average” growth compared to other career fields and can help you secure your future.
Engineering is a growing field. As technological advancement continues to advance at a rapid rate, engineers are more and more in demand to help implement practical technical solutions to real-world problems. Engineers help integrate advancements into business, aerospace infrastructure, software, electronics, and even consumer products.
There are online degrees in engineering including software engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and many more. Most engineering fields have online degrees available, with computer-based engineering programs being the most accessible online (for obvious reasons).
Best of all, engineering jobs pay very well compared to jobs with similar education requirements. Glassdoor has salary information for many engineering careers. We’ve chosen a couple of popular entry-level options below, with the median salaries listed:
Civil Engineer: $66,348
Electrical Engineer: $62,856
Software Engineer: $95,195
Mechanical Engineer: $70,466
Computer Engineer: $71,120
Steady (and growing!) demand for engineers of all types combined with high pay makes an online engineering degree a fantastic choice for any prospective student, and U.S. News says that online engineering degrees are being accepted by employers with similar rates as traditional on-campus schooling.
The paralegal profession is an important one, assisting lawyers with research and caseload and help justice get accomplished in an efficient manner.
The paralegal profession is seeing job growth as lawyers are needed by more and more of the population and caseload grows alongside. Computerized records are helping to ease the rigors of the job, and the education requirements are pretty straightforward. This makes online education options a great choice for anyone considering a paralegal career.
Glassdoor lists the average salary for U.S. paralegals at $45,637, but the actual salary can vary wildly from market to market. Larger cities (NYC) and cities with a large law market (DC) have some of the higher salaries and more opportunities for paralegals.
For some time, computers have been in the forefront of human communication, advancement, and career opportunities, and that continues to be true now more than ever.
Degrees in computer technology are a great way to enter a continually growing field. As computing enters every aspect of life, the people who design, program, implement, connect, and repair various electronic devices will be in high demand. This all equates to long-term career prospects and generous compensation for the motivated learner with the right skillset.
Below are a few computer technology careers that promise good growth within the field combined with respectable salaries:
Computer Support Specialists: $51,470
Software Developers: $100,690
Most of the careers listed above have a growth rate that is much faster than average, which means lots of opportunity and stability in the long run. Not only that, many of these technologies are what built online courses in the first place, so they are primed to provide a great education to the online degree seeker.
Marketing is what makes the world go ‘round. Marketing works by bringing products to consumers, identifying and filling gaps in a market or needs in a community, and by helping people connect to goods and services that they may need or want to purchase.
With shifting trends in both digital and traditional marketing, now is as good a time as any to enter the fray with a modern marketing degree. Explore the growth of social media as an outreach and trust-building tool, examine the history and standard models of marketing and how to apply those principles today.
Since much of the growth in marketing is happening online, enrolling in an online marketing degree program is a great choice for the internet age. Use your skills to secure and succeed in marketing in the internet age.
Education is an ever-changing field and always in need of fresh people, ideas, and leadership. Concepts in education are always being updated, and technology is poised to quickly change how younger generations receive their education. Online schools are often faster to incorporate new methods and new information into the program, as well as offering a variety of options for completing your degree on your schedule.
With the explosion of computing devices involved in teaching, online options for education degrees abound, and they’re getting better all the time. Pursuing your education degree online is a great way to save money and have a flexible learning schedule while you prepare for a career as an educator.
Accounting is an evergreen career. Serving individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses both small and large, accountants help retain and maximize revenues for their clients while dodging potentially ruinous litigation and tax errors.
Accountants prepare financial records and review them for inconsistencies, inefficiencies, and errors. They help optimize financial operations, minimize tax burdens, and ensure the continued viability of an organization.
According to the BLS, accounting is looking at an 11% growth rate, and the median pay for 2015 was $67,190.
Receiving your bachelor’s degree in accounting, and getting the accompanying certification, is a great way to get into accounting and make a great career helping businesses secure their financial futures while doing the same for yourself.
Much of our computing – mobile, home, and work – is moving to the cloud. That means that a large share of modern software is being made available via the web. Due to this migration, combined with increased internet access and usage worldwide, web developers are in high demand.
Web developers combine traditional software development with the needs of online businesses to incorporate common internet technology, social media integration, user accounts, and seamless scalability for many simultaneous users. There are a variety of technologies available to web developers, and the focus of your efforts can affect your income and the types of jobs that will be available. One major benefit of web development is that you can use it to create your own product or even work for an employer as a remote, location-independent employee!
Glassdoor states the average salary of a web developer as $66,238 nationally. Specializing in certain, more in-demand skills can certainly earn you much more than this average, and, as always, salary varies greatly by location.
An online degree in web development is a fantastic investment in your future, and online classrooms are a great way to deliver the content that shapes the internet.
Graphic and Web Design
Much like web development above, graphic and web design is growing more and more important as more and more of our lives and interactions move online. While graphic design is an art form, it pairs well with marketing and web design to bring a great visual experience to clients and users.
The design world can be categorized in a few ways, but there are normally a few categories, such as: Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Front-End Developer, and UI or UX Designer. UI and UX stands for User Interface and User Experience, respectively. Glassdoor gives national average salaries for these categories:
Web Designer: $47,281
Graphic Designer: $51,360
UI Designer: $87,739
Front End Developer: $70,000
Similar to web development, graphic and web design degrees are great opportunities to learn online as they’re very visual and work well in remote instruction, and the job opportunities often lend themselves to remote work, as well.
Information Systems Management
Information systems management blends technology and communication strategies with user and organizational needs. An Information Systems Manager is primarily an analyst who models information systems with current technology, integrates these systems with current usage and existing systems, and helps users and technicians deploy and use these systems efficiently and effectively.
This career path may relate to computer networks, database systems, communication systems, and resource management. The skills and knowledge gained from an online degree in Information Systems Management can be applied in any organizational setting, and is primarily put to use in business to manage the costs and efficiency related to use and installation of technology and related networks.
Various systems need to be designed, implemented, and maintained all across the world, and the opportunities are only growing for this career as the world gets more and more connected.
Glassdoor provides a national average salary for information Systems Managers at $98,529.
A medical assistant helps with administrative tasks in healthcare settings. Depending on the practice and location, a medical assistant can perform a variety of tasks, including:
- Recording patient history and information
- Measure and record vital signs for patients
- Assist the physician with patient exams
- Give patients medication or injections (varies by state)
- Schedule appointments
- Prepare laboratory samples or develop X-rays
- Assist in other administrative or clinical roles
Often, medical assistants only require a certificate, which makes it a clear win to attend an online degree course. The BLS states that there is significant growth in the need for medical assistants, much faster than average, and they list the average annual salary for medical assistants at $30,590 annually.
Health Information Management
Health information management deals with the organization and management of medical records and patient information. Technicians help maintain the quality and accuracy of patient information, as well as facilitating access to that information in a useful and expedient manner. Most importantly in today’s world, Health Information Management maintains the security of the data by limiting access, while optimizing compensation by categorizing and coding medical procedures properly.
The job of Medical Records and Health Information Technicians is projected to grow by 15%, which is much faster than average. This bodes well for the future of the career as more patient data is collected, compiled, and retrieved every day. In addition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians earn an average of $37,110 per year.
Healthcare administrators direct the operation of healthcare facilities, ranging from individual departments all the way up to directing entire hospital networks.
A healthcare administrator plans, manages, and coordinate the delivery of healthcare and are responsible for ensuring department or facility goals, as well as compliance with local and regional laws pertaining to the care that their practice, facility, or department provides to its patients.
The BLS gives an amazing forecast for Healthcare Administrators (Medical and Health Service Managers), with a growth outlook of 17% which is much faster than the average career. This equates to stability in your chosen career, and likely many opportunities to improve your career over time. Combined with the fact that the average Healthcare Administrator earns $94,500 per year, the prospect of a long and fruitful career is a real one.
Nursing Home Administration
Nursing Home Administration is, surprisingly, a separate educational path from health care administration. We’ve given Nursing Home Administration a separate listing due to the fact that this is a position that is licensed at the state level and often requires a specific course of study in Nursing Home Administration.
A Nursing Home Administrator oversees the entire facility, managing and directing department supervisors, ensuring that the facility meets or exceeds state standards of practice.
Nursing Home Administration is a career with many opportunities, as there is often a shortage of qualified administrators to run the nursing homes. With the Baby Boomer generation aging, the opportunities will only increase.
The BLS lists the average salary for Nursing Home Administration at $92,126.
Nursing has always been a profession that offers security, longevity, and quality salaries. Now, as life expectancy goes up and a large portion of the population ages, nurses are in growing demand.
In addition, as medical costs grow in the US, nurses are taking on more technical roles to help offset doctors’ costs, with many specialties available at all levels.
Getting your Nursing degree online has never been easier, with a number of schools available to guide you in getting licensed as an LPN, an RN, or even a BSN. You’ll get classroom time online, and they’ll help you set up your practical hours with a local medical provider.
Nursing is a great way to get a stable career with tons of upward mobility with increased education and specialization.
We’ve curated a few nursing specialties and their salaries from the BLS:
Licensed Practical Nurse: $43,170
Registered Nurse: $67,490
Nurse Anesthetist/Midwife/Practitioner (Master’s Degree): $104,740
Business degrees can be applied to a wide variety of jobs and careers, and can give you the foundation to work in almost any aspect of business, including running your own.
Online business degrees are a great choice as the offer flexible study, and business classes are mostly informational and lend themselves to online study very easily. You can focus on accounting, professional speaking, communication, statistics and strategy, or leadership.
Financial Analyst: $78,010
Management Analyst: $81,320
Top Executives: $102,690
Hotel and Hospitality Management
A degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management can prepare you for a wide variety and rewarding jobs. Imagine a life where your work takes you on cruise ships to exotic locations, fancy hotels, five star restaurants, thrilling amusement parks, country clubs, convention centers, and destination marketing adventures. This line of work caters to people’s’ wants and desires, which is always a lucrative business strategy.
The degree itself follows similar curricula to that of a business degree, because the work is essentially running businesses. Some of the core subjects include: accounting, finance, marketing, human resource management, and public relations.
Here are a few examples of salaries that you can make with this degree:
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners: $46,840 per year
Lodging Managers: $49,720 per year
Food Service Managers: $48,690 per year
A degree in Human Services can open you up to a lifetime of service to people in need. This is a field that must be entered into lightly. It requires dedication and passion for making a difference in your community and the world at large. People with a Human Services degree can pursue careers in case work or advocacy. Some examples of the jobs you can find with this degree are: Career Counselor, Sociologist, Child Welfare Specialist, Family Services Advocate, Addiction Counselor, and so much more.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a job growth rate of 12% for social workers between the time period between 2014 and 2024, with a median salary of $58,560. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website is a great resource for potential social workers. The website has scholarships opportunities, current research in the field, and other applicable links.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resources jobs are going to grow rapidly within the coming years. At the entry level of this career, you can expect to help with recruiting, staffing, employee orientation, and many other administrative duties. As you continue to move up and gain experience, your responsibilities will grow.
This job is for people who love working with people. No matter what you end up doing in this field, you will definitely be working closely with others. That is why it is important to pick a school that will help you hone your interpersonal skills, because that will help you on the human resource field. The BLS states that the median salary for a Human Resources Manager is $104,440.
A degree in Project Management can jumpstart your career in the world of business. This major has all the basic education of a business degree with an emphasis on planning, coordinating efforts, execution, resource allocation, process efficiency, and achieving goals at the head of a complex team.
Project Managers are responsible for discrete outcomes with regard to a particular team, project, or process and it falls on them to properly monitor progress with each moving piece and identify and correct errors or personnel issues as they arise to make sure their goals are met within budget and on time.
The BLS has a document [PDF] about project managers, which states the median earnings of Project Managers is around $96,000 annually.
Cybersecurity deals with the protection of computers and network system, limiting access to system controls or sensitive information for users and organizations. Its aims include preventing malicious entry into systems by humans or software looking to gain a foothold. Cybersecurity also includes the prevention of social engineering attacks and phishing attempts through both technological and non-technological methods.
As we’ve mentioned elsewhere here, technology is growing ever faster. Our lives and, most importantly, our data is migrating into computer systems where they may be vulnerable to people with bad intentions. A safe only needs to resist physical attacks from people in the real world. Online accounts and storage is available for attack 24/7 to anyone in the world; it’s even vulnerable to never-sleeping software attacks.
All of this makes cybersecurity a growing field. As attacks get more sophisticated, those who try to defend it become more in demand.
There are a number of careers in cybersecurity. Below are a few job titles in the cybersecurity field, with average salary numbers from the BLS:
Information Security: $93,838
Information Security Analyst: $70,309
Network Security Administrator: $69,274
Criminal Justice is an important field of work – helping to identify and bring to justice those who hurt others, take or damage property, or initiate force or aggression against peaceful people.
Criminal Justice degrees can lead you into many fields in law enforcement from an officer or a detective to computer forensics or criminal psychology.
There has recently been a push toward forensics to help determine the identify of criminals as they get more and more sophisticated and the ability to avoid wrongful indictment grows. Due to these factors the career of Forensic Science Technician has an amazing growth rate of 24% over ten years, which is much faster than the average career. Additionally, Forensic Technicians earn an average salary of $56,320, while Police and Detectives average $60,270 across the US.
Psychologists study, interpret, and identify human behavior, emotion, and cognition. They Psychologists can work in a variety of industries and perform a variety of tasks with the skills they have learned. By and large, however, psychologists work in healthcare and education.
In health care, psychologists can work independently and treat patients directly, or work within a clinical team to assist with patient care and well-being.
Psychologists can also work in educational roles, supporting the mental and emotional needs of students to help them achieve the best education possible.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the field of Psychology is forecasted to have a 19% growth rate over the next 10 years, which is must faster than average. Psychologist also earn an average of $73,850, which makes for a lucrative career in an in-demand field.
When you think of getting a degree in Religious Studies, you may automatically think of a person who has a vocation, or calling to the religious life. However, any person who wants a well-rounded and thought provoking major can pick Religious Studies. In today’s multicultural workplace, it is important to have a deep understanding of world cultures and religions. In depth knowledge of other cultures will help you succeed in professional and personal relationships.
You can take your lessons from your religion major and apply them to several different career trajectories such as: journalism, education, counseling, social work, Peace Corps, government, and so much more. This major leaves your future open to many possibilities, including several graduate programs to narrow your focus.
We hope this list has given you some food for thought regarding your future. Maybe getting an online degree to jump-start your career and change your future is just what you need!