The Best Online Degrees to Get a Job

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A Guide to the Top Online Degrees

According to a 2016 report from the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), one out of every seven students is enrolled in an exclusively online higher education program. These numbers are increasing as companies such as Google collaborate with universities to admit their employees into distance courses. Because 74 percent of online students cite career advancement as the key reason for their continuing education, this guide serves to highlight today’s top online degrees.

Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Typical Coursework Includes:

  • Accounting: Acquire a foundation for financial accounting theory and techniques by learning how to record transactions and prepare financial statements.
  • Business Law: Review cases related to employment rights and liabilities to gain an understanding for the legal and ethical concerns of the business world.
  • Leadership and Organization: Develop skills in the four main roles of a manager, which include planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.
  • Economics: Delve into both microeconomics and macroeconomics through the study of supply, demand, market equilibrium, and international trade.
  • Marketing: Understand the principles and strategies of marketing by exploring product life cycle, branding, and consumer trends.
  • Human Resources: Investigate the evolution and purpose of human resource management and consider the importance of diversity in the workplace.

Careers with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

  • Accountant

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 10-14%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $33/hour, or $69,350 annually

    Tasks include organizing records, reporting financial statements and preparing tax returns. Accountants must be knowledgeable in a variety of software programs and possess skills in mathematics, clerical work and critical thinking.

  • General and Operations Manager

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 5-9%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $48/hour, or $100,410 annually

    Effective communication and social perceptiveness are necessary to take on tasks of measuring productivity and delegating duties for the sales and distribution of product.

  • Commercial Loan Officer

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 10-14%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $31/hour, or $64,000 annually

    Loan officers determine loan eligibility for commercial properties by examining the financial history and status of a business. Y must be a strong communicator and critical thinker in order to make decisions and explain loan options to clients. The industry has a bright future, with expected growth of by 2026, and a median wage of

  • Market Research Analyst

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 15%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $30/hour, or $63,000 annually

    Research analysts typically display a strong foundation in sales and marketing and are adept at keeping watch over consumer trends. They use problem solving skills to collect data and present reports for improving business management.

  • Advertising and Promotions Manager

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 5-9%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $51/hour, or $106,000 annually

    Advertising and promotion managers oversee the development and distribution of promotional materials for marketing campaigns. Successful advertising and promotions managers are familiar with editing software and hold a strong background in communications, media and sales.

Online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Typical Coursework Includes:

  • Fundamentals of Computer Science: Most online programs include a beginner’s course, which covers the basics of computer programming.
  • Web Development: Teaches techniques for creating and maintaining websites and examines issues of online security and publishing rights.
  • Operating Systems: Introduces key operating systems such as Unix and Linux and guides students through communications and linkages.
  • Analysis of Algorithms: Provides a foundation for designing, sorting and selecting algorithms.
  • Software Engineering: Explores the engineering lifecycle, project management, design strategies, and requirements analysis and specification.
  • Computer Graphics: Learn to use various graphics applications and programs for projections, texture mapping and shading.

Careers with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

  • Systems Software Developer

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 10-14%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $51/hour, or $107,000 annually

    Systems software developers use their skills in computer software, electronics and engineering to develop software systems for science, military or business applications. Attention to detail and critical reasoning are important traits for this position.

  • Database Administrator

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 10-14%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $41/hour, or $87,000 annually

    Administrators test and modify computer databases to make them effective and secure. Strong knowledge of software platforms is essential, as well as the ability to apply clerical, information ordering, and telecommunications skills.

  • Information Security Analyst

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 15%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $45/hour, or $95,000 annually

    Information security analysts are in high demand for creating security systems to protect computer programs and confidential information from online breaches and attacks. The best people in this field possess strong problem-solving skills and an interest in current cyber trends.

  • Computer Hardware Engineer

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 5-9%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $55/hour, or $115,000 annually

    Computer hardware engineers use their knowledge of design and electronics to create circuit boards, memory chips, and more. The best computer hardware engineers are creative thinkers, have an eye for detail, and exhibit the strong analytical skills required to create and test computer-related equipment and components.

  • Web Developer

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 15%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $32/hour, or $67,000 annually

    Web developers typically develop and maintain websites through acquired skills in writing code, content creation, digital media and graphic design. Successful web developers should have a strong foundation in programming and operations analysis.

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN)

Typical Coursework Includes:

  • Nursing Fundamentals: Students are introduced to and become familiar with various theories of nursing and the ethics and principles that guide nursing practice.
  • Research in Nursing: Learn how to use research and data analysis to implement evidenced-based nursing practices.
  • Nursing Leadershi: Understand the nurse’s role in advocating for effective and safe healthcare environments through various management styles.
  • Public Health: Explores health promotion, disease prevention, and contemporary health concerns on a communal and global scale.
  • Pharmacology: Gain knowledge in key physical changes and health concerns occurring throughout the lifespan.
  • Informatics: Prepares students to communicate healthcare information in an appropriate manner using various tools and computer programs.

Careers with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

  • Critical Care Nurse

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 15%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $33/hour, or $70,000 annually

    Critical care nurses are in demand and will continue to be so as our aging baby boomer popular requires more medical care. The position involves providing emergency interventions to patients, including monitoring vital signs, setting up oxygen devices and administering medications. A desire to care for others and the ability to respond to problems quickly is necessary to be a successful critical care nurse.

  • Travel Nurse

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 15%
    Earnings from Payscale 2018: $33.67 per hour, or $65,798 annually

    As contract workers, traveling nurses take temporary positions in hospitals and other healthcare settings throughout the world. Salaries are greatly dependent on where the position is, and housing and travel expenses are covered. Although job tasks vary for each position, traveling nurses are often fulfilling typical RN duties such as patient intake, routine check-ups and administration of medicine.

  • Oncology Nurse

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 15%
    Earnings from Payscale 2018: $31.67 per hour, or $67,298 annually

    Oncology nurses are responsible for working with patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. From providing treatment to counseling patients on ways to live with an illness, the position’s tasks are different every day.

  • Public Health Nurse

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 15%
    Earnings from Payscale 2018: $27.79 per hour, or $55,893 annually

    For those that enjoy both nursing and teaching, this is the position for you. Public health nurses plan and implement workshops, trainings, and curriculums to educate the public on hygiene, preventative care, and human growth and development. There will be more employment opportunities by 2026, and these educators make $53,000 annually.

  • Dialysis Nurse

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 15%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $31.23 per hour, or $65,477 annually

    Dialysis nurses work in the specialized field of nephrology, or the study and care of kidneys. Their main focus is typically caring for patients undergoing dialysis, which is a procedure some kidney disease patients must undergo on a regular basis. Tasks include monitoring and treating patients with kidney failure and educating patients on their condition.

Online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Typical Coursework Includes:

  • Introduction to Engineering: This course introduces students to the multiple models and fields of engineering.
  • Differential Calculus: Students will participate in multiple mathematics courses for this degree. Foundational classes introduce the basics of differential Calculus.
  • Engineering Physics: Students learn about electronic and magnetic forces and fields, review Newton’s laws and study kinematics through lectures and laboratory work.
  • Critical Theory: Become acquainted with the principles and equations for analyzing linear and nonlinear circuits.
  • Measurements and Instrumentation: Gain an understanding for the International System of Units, as well as essential measurement instruments and strategies used in electrical engineering.
  • Energy Conversion: Teaches students how energy conversion and transportation work in electrical, electromagnetic, electromechanical and electrochemical systems.

Careers with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering

  • Electrical Engineer

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 5%-9%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $45.70 hourly, or $95,060 annually

    These engineering professionals design, develop and test the creation and installation of electrical equipment and components using computer-assisted engineering and design software and equipment. Strong communication skills, a desire to be part of a team of designers and technicians, and the ability to work under a deadline, are all essential to this position.

  • Aerospace Engineer

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 6%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $54.34 hourly, or $113,030 annually

    Entry-level aerospace engineers may require only a bachelor’s degree, while some higher-level positions may require an advanced degree or certification. These professionals may work on projects related to national defense while designing and developing new technologies for aircraft, spacecraft, satellites and missiles.

  • Electrical Engineering Technologist

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 5-9%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $29/hour, or $62,000 annually

    Technologists support electrical engineers in evaluating and testing electrical components and systems, preparing budget reports, and maintaining records. They must possess a background in engineering and design, be organized, and pay attention to detail.

  • Biomedical Engineer

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 5-9%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $42/hour, or $88,000 annually

    Biomedical engineers use skills in both engineering and biomechanics to design medical instruments, information systems and even artificial organs. These engineers must have familiarity with a variety of software programs and exhibit strong analytical thinking abilities.

  • Civil Engineer

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 10-14%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $40.75 hourly, or $84,770 annually

    Civil engineers perform the engineering tasks that create facilities, structures and infrastructures. They plan, design and oversee the construction and upkeep of roads, bridges, dams, pipelines, water and sewage plant, airports and more.

Bachelor of Science in Construction Management

Typical Coursework Includes:

  • Construction Course and Materials: Teaches the identification of various construction supplies and techniques.
  • Surveying, Metrics, and GIS: Learn to use geographic information systems (GIS) to survey land for construction purposes.
  • Field Inspection and Safety: Students will be prepared to assess for and prevent hazardous conditions on construction sites.
  • Estimating and Bid Preparations: Become trained in effectively estimating costs for construction and organizing bid documents.
  • Soil Mechanics and Foundation: Examines various soils and their characteristics and equips students to work with geotechnical engineering specialists.
  • Project Management: Explores administrative processes, computer applications and documentation procedures necessary for construction projects.

Careers with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management

  • Cost Estimator

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 10-14%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $30/hour, or $63,000 annually

    Estimator tasks include collecting data and examining blueprints for construction projects to bid on products and services. Estimators should possess a strong understanding of structural engineering, technology and mathematics.

  • Construction Superintendent

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 11%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $43/hour, or $91,000 annually

    Constructions superintendents are the “go-to” people who oversee construction projects by managing contracts, hiring workers, responding to proposals and communicating with owners. Troubleshooting is nearly constant, and hours can be inconsistent and long, but the job is hardly ever boring.

  • First-Line Supervisors

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 10-14%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $30/hour, or $64,000 annually

    Knowledge in construction materials, quality control, customer service and business management is important for supervisors. While a bachelor’s degree isn’t always necessary for this job, successful first-line construction supervisors should have strong organizational and leadership skills to oversee workers and monitor details of construction projects.

  • Quality Control Manager

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 10-14%
    Earnings from Payscale 2018: $29.47 hourly, or $75,290 annually

    Through meticulous inspection, QC managers ensure that contractual obligations are met and materials are suitable to the needs of the project. People excelling in time management, decision-making, and analytical thinking skills are a strong fit for the position.

  • Sustainability Consultant

    2016-2026 BLS expected job growth: 5-9%
    Earnings from BLS 2017: $33/hour, or $70,000 annually

    Through a combined knowledge of engineering, construction, and management, sustainability consultants help to establish environmentally friendly structures and practices within organizations and projects.

What Makes These Online Degrees Some of the Best?

  • Recent findings from CareerBuilder and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) demonstrate that graduates of the above degrees are among the most sought-after by companies.
  • Job opportunities within each discipline are expected to grow 2-19 percent over the next decade, with employees earning an average salary of $77,000.
  • As distance education becomes more popular, with over 5.8 million students enrolled in at least one online course, options to complete the above degrees in a fully online format are increasing.
  • Eighty-five percent of students perceive their online studies to be just as beneficial as on-campus education.
  • Distance programs offer convenience and flexibility, may be less expensive than on-campus studies, may allow for credits to be transferred and can be completed in four years of full-time study.

Examples of schools offering these programs include:

Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio

Offers an online RN-BSN program, which is designed for those already working in the nursing profession with an associate in nursing or nursing diploma to finish faster.

The accelerated program is comprised of nine six-week online courses.

University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

Online students can earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration (BBA) for $8,430 annually (2018).

The flexible program was designed for adult learners who may have full-time jobs or other responsibilities that make attending college on campus difficult if not impossible.

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