The Best Online Degrees

I’ve got new for you – college is better than ever online. No wonder so many people are trying it for themselves!

But what if you don’t know what the best online degrees are? Or maybe you’re not sure how to choose a great online degree? Either way, no worries: I can help you find your way. Let’s dive in!

Why Choose an Online Degree?

These days, getting an online degree could be a much better choice than attending an in-person University. Ever wonder why? Here are just a few reasons…

Flexible Scheduling

For starters, the majority of online degree programs offer phenomenally flexible scheduling for their attendees. This is due to the advantage that online degrees offer over regular programs: they can post all of their learning material and lessons online, then allow people to complete their work at their own pace.

It’s totally different from having to meet up with a professor who explained certain topics or concepts to you in person.

This flexible scheduling is really helpful for tons of people, but especially women, who may need to juggle busy family lives or other responsibilities while they finish their degrees. I’ve experienced first-hand how tough that can be. At least women will be the majority of the college-educated workforce soon!

Online degree programs are mostly asynchronous – this just means that the professor assigns work to be done at a particular due date but leaves exactly when the work is completed up to individual students.

Only have time at the end of the day to do your schoolwork? That’s fine. Want to knock out your classwork before you head to your shift? That’s fine too. That’s the beauty of flexible scheduling with online degrees.

Affordable Tuition

There’s another big advantage that online degrees provide over their brick-and-mortar counterparts: extra tuition affordability, at least for in-state students.

You see, tons of universities try to attract out-of-state students to increase their student body’s diversity, which is important for marketing and for developing a broader spectrum of ideas. However, many universities have lower in-state tuition costs for students that come from tax-paying families compared to students who try to attend from out-of-state.

The advantage? If you want to finish an online degree, you can pick an in-state school that has affordable tuition and potentially complete your degree while spending much less money than you originally thought.

This being said, tons of schools offer special scholarships or tuition discounts for either in-state or out-of-state students only. Be sure to check out these options if you do decide to apply to and attend an online university.

Just as Good as In-Person Degrees

Lastly, online degrees are just as rigorous and accredited as in-person degrees, at least if you get them from an accredited university. This means that there’s no functional difference between the degrees you get from an in-person college or from an online program. Trust me, business owners these days just want qualified individuals, not necessarily someone from fancy-pants Harvard!

This means that you can easily complete a degree even in competitive fields like business or computer science and be just as qualified for jobs in those industries after graduation. Each degree is based on similar curricula and requirements as in-person degrees.

So don’t worry about the myth that online degrees are somehow worth less than their regular counterparts. It’s just not true!

Which Online Degrees Should You Choose?

Of course, not all online degrees are perfectly alike. That’s why it’s important to choose the best online degree based on your goals and a few other factors. Let me break it down.

In-Demand

First and foremost, try to find in-demand online degrees. Basically, don’t waste your time going to school for a degree that won’t lead you to a job in the future or help your career prospects in some way.

Try to find degrees that can help you advance in crucial industries like healthcare or business. These degrees really are worth your time and money and can help you advance your career or earn more money in the future.

There are tons of industries with in-demand degrees and programs, however. So there’s sure to be something for everyone regardless of your unique interests or personalities. Examples include:

  • Nursing and healthcare
  • Business and management
  • Human resources and social services
  • Computer science
  • Mathematics
  • English and teaching
  • Animals and biology
  • And more

On the flip side, you shouldn’t pursue degrees in fields where there aren’t very many jobs, or degrees that don’t lead to a career later down the road. For example, don’t get an online degree in something too niche like “medieval studies” unless you’re sure that you want to teach medieval history or literature in the future.

Straightforward

You should also try to find online degrees that are relatively straightforward. Some programs may be more complex or have extra, in-person components that may or may not fit with your schedule. Straightforward degrees are often more flexible – in fact, I’ve found part-time degrees that allow you to complete all of their material in up to five years.

Straightforward online degrees are also easier to churn through if you want to finish your education more quickly than average.

Well-Reviewed by Former Students

Lastly, I’d recommend checking out degrees that have an excellent reputation from their former students. Some online degrees are pretty difficult because the professor doesn’t engage very often or because of issues with the learning platform (different schools will have different platforms that may or may not be intuitive).

With that in mind, it’s always helpful to look at any reviews for current online programs and see what former students have to say about their experiences. In general, they won’t hesitate to tell you whether an online program is really worth your time and money or if it’s best to stay away.

By the same token, check out reviews for professors. Great online professors know how to tailor their teaching to the online environment. Bad professors will just slap assignments online and call it a day without offering extra assistance.

The Best Online Degrees

Want some example of the best online degrees? Here are a few I found – they’re great degree choices thanks to their career prospects and because there are dozens of different options across the web. I also found some information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that helped me break down average salaries for many of these positions.

Medical Assisting/Nursing

It’s no surprise that the medical assistance and nursing fields are growing faster than ever. Let me tell you, there are tons of jobs in this field just because people are living longer than before, so there are more old folks that need home assistance or nursing help.

The healthcare industry in general is a perfect place to start looking for excellent online degrees, as most of these can be accomplished entirely from home. There are a few exceptions – nursing degrees, for example, do have in-person components. You’ll need to complete practical nurse training at clinics or medical centers before you get your degree.

However, this isn’t always the case. Furthermore, medical assistance and nursing degrees can qualify you to quickly get a bump in your salary and enter a relatively stable field. Nurses in particular have good stability since they’re essential.

Honestly, nursing or medical assistance degrees can be great choices if you have a caregiver’s spirit or want to help others.

Leads to: Nurse, nurse practitioner, clinical secretary, etc.

Average Salary: $30,000-$70,000

Time to Completion: 1-2 years

Business/MBA

Business degrees are a dime a dozen, and for good reason – many industries require you to have a business degree of one kind or another to become a manager or supervisor. Business degrees are versatile and sort of “jacks of all trades” degrees, so you really can’t go wrong with them.

They’re also really valuable degrees if you want to start your own business or join the family business with more responsibilities. Business degrees teach you a lot of different subjects ranging from finance to leadership to marketing.

You can always go for an MBA, which stands for a Master of Business Administration. These degrees are really valuable and easy to get online since most major universities have at least one program for them. They qualify you to lead or manage businesses and quickly rise through the ranks of most industries.

Leads to: Manager, financial officer, administrator, business owner, etc.

Average Salary: $40,000-$100,000

Time to Completion: 3-6 years

Computer Science

Computer science is another rapidly growing field, and you can’t go wrong with an online degree from this industry. After all, the industry focuses on stuff that takes place over a computer screen!

If you ask me, online computer science degrees are a match made in heaven. These degrees do require a lot of math, though, so they’re really only good options if you like the subject to begin with. The good news is that getting a computer science degree opens up tons of professional doors since most places now need computer science help.

After all, most businesses now have online components or e-commerce stores to run. Or you can take your computer science skills and become a freelancer, developing websites or coding projects on a case-by-case basis. All in all, online computer science programs are arguably the best part-time online degree option out there.

Leads to: Programmer, developer, web designer, etc.

Average Salary: $50,000-$100,000

Time to Completion: 2-6 years

Marketing

Marketing degrees you can get online are also good choices, especially since most businesses use marketing every day and will pay excellent money for people who can help them get more profits. Online marketing degrees usually focus on Internet marketing, which is honestly where most of the focus is these days anyway.

I’d recommend these degrees if you like the idea of getting a business-related degree, but want to focus more on advertising and human connection above raw numbers and finances.

Leads to: Marketer, advertising agent, etc.

Average Salary: $30,000-$60,000

Time to Completion: 2-4 years

Human Services/Social Work

Lastly, the human services and social work industries offer tons of online degree options, mostly because this industry is also growing. As with most healthcare-adjacent fields, social work and human services positions are becoming more and more necessary, especially in big cities, as people get older.

They’re a great pick for online degrees since most of them deal with psychology and sociology: two super interesting topics. But most of them also don’t require in-person components, so they’re often relatively easy to complete from home on a part-time schedule.

Leads to: Social worker, human resources agent, counselor, etc.

Average Salary: $30,000-$100,000

Time to Completion: 2-8 years

Summary

All in all, the best online degree for you will depend based on your:

  • Interests
  • Salary goals
  • Professional ambitions
  • And how much time you have

Think about all those factors put together and remember what I talked about above. That’s the best way to find an excellent online degree perfect for your future career. Be sure to check out ConsiderSchool.com for more resources, examples of great online programs, and more advice! Good luck!

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