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Easiest Online Degrees for 2018

Earning a college degree poses challenges on its own. Earning one while taking care of a family or holding down a 9-to-5 can be even tougher. As a result, many aspiring college students, especially these multi-taskers, look for programs that give them the best chance to succeed. Will a more affordable program make it easier to pay both tuition and everyday bills? Or will a quick program make it easier to get back to work with little to no disruption to their career? The concept of “easy” or “easier” depends on the student, but some degree programs can definitely make the journey less taxing. Let’s see how certain online bachelor’s degrees come into play, and how they could help you earn a degree your way.

What Makes an Online Degree Easier for You?

The first step is to assess your personal and financial situation. Where do your primary challenges and most immediate needs lie? Do you need to keep costs down or maximize flexibility to accommodate a challenging work or kid schedule? To cover all the bases, we’ve detailed several key points that could make an online degree program attractive to busy parents, working professionals and others who juggle obligations besides higher education.

1.
Program flexibility.

Incredible flexibility in scheduling is one of the advantages of online learning. From choosing between semester-based terms or accelerated courses, synchronous or asynchronous learning, or a mixture of all of the above, distance learning provides an opportunity to make education dovetail with a hectic schedule.

2.
Completely online options.

Many students want to take programs entirely online, without setting foot in a physical classroom. This allows them to cut out commuting, save money on gas and vehicle maintenance, and spend more time focusing on the things that matter to them outside of school.

3.
Affordable programs.

When it comes to higher education, money is always a consideration. Fortunately, when students choose programs through an accredited, high-quality school, they can find scholarships, financial aid, and grants. In addition, many online programs charge in-state tuition for students who reside out-of-state.

4.
Excellent support services.

Tutoring, library services, writing workshops and more – these are valuable support services that can help students thrive. Add in professional advising, academic counseling, career placement programs and even alumni networking, and the result is a school that cares about outcomes for each and every student.

5.
Number of programs available.

Schools that provide a multitude of online programs have invested a great deal of time and money into creating the infrastructure to support those programs; thus, they are likely on top of their game when it comes to other points as well, such as hiring top-notch faculty, planning a rigorous curriculum, and providing ample ways for students to engage with peers during courses.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

While these points can make online learning easier, they don’t impact the difficulty of the coursework. Nor does it mean that one school’s programs are easier or harder than another’s. While a school might offer a great deal of support, experience with online programs, flexible options and more, students should still expect a challenging curriculum – one that can help prepare them for the career they want when the degree is finally in hand.

Easiest Bachelor’s Degrees to Get Online

This short list of online bachelor’s degrees (garnered from our longer ranking of best online colleges), looks at specific programs and subjects with affordable costs, flexible scheduling, and extensive course offerings that can make the degree appealing for those who want an “easier” path to graduation. Here are our picks for the easiest bachelor’s degrees to get online.

Business

What makes this degree easy: Due to the popularity of this degree, many schools offer it fully or partially online. This makes it easier for students to find a school that’s a better fit and potentially more affordable. Paying less for an education can provide breathing room for those who need an easier financial option. As an added bonus, the skills and knowledge learned through this degree program are useful for everyday life, such as managing cash flow and business communication.

  • Typical courses: microeconomics, financial accounting, managerial accounting, marketing, organizational theory and behavior, finance and business ethics

  • Where to get it: The University of Alabama

  • Typical program length: 120 credit hours

  • Available completely online? Yes

Liberal Arts

What makes this degree easy: A liberal arts degree seldomly requires a high-level mathematics course – a huge bonus for those who aren’t good with numbers. A liberal arts degree is an inherently broad field of study, allowing students to sample or study a wide range of topics and issues; that’s why the liberal arts degree serves as the perfect stepping stone to a related master’s degree, or to professional degrees such as law.

  • Typical courses: world history, research and writing, world religions, intercultural communication, world literature, art, philosophy and foreign language.

  • Where to get it: Northern Arizona University

  • Typical program length: 120 credit hours

  • Available completely online? Yes

Leadership in the Public Sector

What makes this degree easy: This degree open doors to a variety of leadership opportunities in the public sector. It can also create advanced educational pathways in related subjects such as political science, education, international relations, and more. Those who have an associate degree might find that moving into a leadership degree program is a great use of their already-earned credits, allowing them to complete the program in half the time it would normally take.

  • Typical courses: public leadership, public sector research, human response to conflict, logic, modern moral issues and public policy.

  • Where to get it: NC State at Raleigh

  • Typical program length: 120 credit hours

  • Available completely online? Yes

Education

What makes this degree easy: Education degrees provide students with a wide range of specialization options, from early childhood education (ECE) and secondary education to special education or administration. Students who earn a degree in education may also qualify for certain tuition reimbursement or loan forgiveness programs, which can reduce the cost of their higher education significantly.

  • Typical courses: childhood development, child psychology, education research, teaching exceptional students and foundations in education.

  • Where to get it: Webster University

  • Typical program length: 125 credit hours

  • Available completely online? Yes

English

What makes this degree easy: For those whom grammar, reading or writing come naturally, this degree allows a formal education in a topic for which they already have solid understanding. Like Education, an English degree has numerous applications when it comes to advanced education or career options. Many English majors go on to teach, write professionally, or pursue a law degree.

  • Typical courses: history of the English language, British literature, American literature, English grammar, and introduction to drama, poetry and fiction.

  • Where to get it: Arizona State University

  • Typical program length: 120 credit hours

  • Available completely online? Yes

Nursing (BSN)

What makes this degree easy: In the academic sense, a bachelor of science in nursing is not an easy degree; however, it provides some of the best job prospects at graduation of any undergraduate program. While an accredited nursing program will not be completely online, most online nursing programs allow completion of the hands-on clinical requirements at any approved healthcare facility near the student’s location. This can also be a relatively quick degree, as there are numerous accelerated options allowing those who are already nurses to quickly obtain their BSN credentials.

  • Typical courses: biology, chemistry, quantitative reasoning, pathophysiology, pharmacology, clinical nursing practice, anatomy and clinicals.

  • Where to get it: The University of Southern Mississippi

  • Typical program length: 120 to 125 credit hours

  • Available completely online? No, some in-person clinical requirements are required.

Criminal Justice

What makes this degree easy: This degree is very popular because it prepares students for a variety of careers, including law enforcement, legal practice and court administration. It’s also a great stepping stone to the master’s degree. Due to its popularity, students can expect to find criminal justice classes at many colleges, universities, vocational schools and technical schools. This provides a second reason for the ease in which students can get a criminal justice degree; it allows students the option to start their degree on a traditional campus and complete it online.

  • Typical courses: criminology, criminal justice careers, comparative justice systems, ethics in the criminal justice system and criminal justice system administration.

  • Where to get it: Fort Hays State University

  • Typical program length: 120 credit hours

  • Available completely online? Yes

Psychology

What makes this degree easy: For students fascinated in the mind and human behavior, a psychology degree can open doors in fields such as counseling, human resources, and via entry-level positions in the discipline itself. This degree also offers a wealth of social and professional support, something that gives it an advantage over more isolated degrees. For example, some online psychology degree programs have a fully online chapter of Psi Chi, an international honor society in psychology, where students can make connections and find support during the degree pursuit and beyond.

  • Typical courses: introduction to psychology, statistics, research methods for psychology, lifespan development, abnormal psychology and social psychology.

  • Where to get it: Wayland Baptist University

  • Typical program length: 120 to 125 credit hours

  • Available completely online? Yes

Agriculture Science

What makes this degree easy: Many agriculture science degrees give students a balance of lab time and field work. For those who enjoy working outdoors, this can make the educational experience more enjoyable without sacrificing their interest in the sciences. This degree also can be quite affordable; it’s not uncommon for it to be offered by a school with modest tuition rates, often below $8,000 per year. This can help students avoid substantial debt upon graduation.

  • Typical courses: agriculture research, soil fertility, animal nutrition, plant science, agricultural safety, animal science and introduction to agribusiness.

  • Where to get it: Murray State University

  • Typical program length: 120 credit hours

  • Available completely online? Yes

Applied Computer Science

What makes this degree easy: An applied computer science degree puts greater emphasis on the practical aspects of computer science. This degree path may appeal to students who find too much coursework on theoretical concepts a bit daunting. Regardless, many programs provide one-on-one learning opportunities for students who need extra help with grasping those subjects. Additionally, the greater emphasis on real-world skills can make students more marketable after graduation.

  • Typical courses: introduction to computer science, operating systems, computer security, database systems, artificial intelligence, advanced programing and software engineering.

  • Where to get it: Troy University

  • Typical program length: 120 credit hours

  • Available completely online? Yes

Additional Resources

  • Career One Stop. Those who want further information on every profession, as well as the education and skills necessary to get there, can take a look at this site, a service of the U.S. Department of Labor.

  • College Navigator. This service of the National Center for Education Statistics allows for side-by-side comparison of schools based on a student’s personal criteria.

  • Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. This database by the U.S. Department of Education helps students determine which schools are accredited – accreditation is a vitally important aspect of choosing the best school, whether online or not.

  • Occupational Outlook Handbook. Created by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this Handbook provides information on the various careers, education and training required, as well as what to expect upon graduation.

  • Online Learning Consortium. This in-depth website looks at the wide variety of online options, new technology and more that make distance learning so popular.

  • U.S. Department of Education. This site provides a wealth of information, including the latest news, to keep students up-to-date on changes in higher education.