The Best Online Degrees to Get a Job

October 1, 2021

The Best Online Degrees to Get a Job

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A Guide to the Top Online Degrees

Many students need to earn an income while in school. Online degrees are a practical and increasingly popular option for working professionals. Many schools deliver online programs asynchronously, which means that enrollees do not attend class at specific times. This flexibility allows working students to complete coursework at their convenience.

Online degrees can be more affordable than on-campus options. Distance learners often save money on relocation and commuting costs. Online students may also save on university fees and qualify for discounted tuition rates. Because of flexible scheduling options, students earning online degrees can also gain professional experience while in school. This page explores lucrative, growing career fields for online learners.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Degrees

true Q. Is an online degree as valuable as a traditional degree?

Most online degrees closely parallel their on-campus counterparts. Most consider online degrees as equivalent to those earned on campus.

true Q. Can you get a degree completely online?

Many schools offer fully online degrees. However, some programs include in-person components. Online learners typically complete these requirements in local facilities.

true Q. Do employers recognize online degrees?

College diplomas do not usually indicate whether the graduate studied online or in person. Most employers consider online degrees to be equal to those earned on campus.

true Q. What are the highest-paying online degrees?

High-paying online degrees include information technology, business administration, and engineering degrees. Graduates of accounting, biology, and public relations programs also earn high median salaries.

Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Typical Coursework

Career and Salary Outlook for Business Administration

One of the best online degrees, a business administration degree can lead to careers in many industries. Graduates often pursue roles as accountants and loan officers. Business administration degree-holders can also become market research analysts, budget analysts, and financial analysts.

A business administration degree can qualify holders for management positions. Examples include advertising and promotion manager and purchasing manager. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business and financial professionals earn a median salary of $72,250 per year.

Accountant

These professionals prepare and analyze financial records. Many accountants prepare tax documents and ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations. Accountants may also assess business risk and opportunities. They often specialize in managerial or financial accounting. Accountants need the certified public accountant credential, which usually requires 30 credits beyond a bachelor's degree.

Loan Officer

These professionals help loan applicants understand their options and complete loan applications. Loan officers gather information from each applicant and assess their loan candidacy. These professionals also educate clients and assure compliance with regulations. Some loan officers perform outreach. The position typically requires a bachelor's degree.

Market Research Analyst

These analysts examine markets to project buying behaviors. Market research analysts gather data, monitor trends, and make forecasts. These professionals also research competitors to inform pricing and marketing recommendations. Market research analysts turn data into accessible reports for clients and management. These analysts often hold a bachelor's or master's degree.

Advertising and Promotions Manager

These managers plan programs and campaigns to attract customers. Advertising and promotions managers may negotiate contracts and create pricing strategies. They often collaborate with sales agents, art directors, and financial professionals. These managers also meet with clients and supervise personnel. Most advertising and promotions managers hold a bachelor's degree.

Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)

Accountant

$73,560 4%

Loan Officer

$63,960 3%

Market Research Analyst

$65,810 18%

Advertising and Promotions Manager

$141,490 6%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Typical Coursework

Career and Salary Outlook for Computer Science

Computer science is one of the most versatile high-paying online degrees available. The discipline contains many growing fields and lucrative career paths. A computer science bachelor's degree can qualify graduates for positions as database administrators. Graduates can also become information security analysts and computer hardware engineers. According to the BLS, these professionals earn median annual salaries of $98,860-$119,560. The following list highlights popular computer science careers.

Database Administrator

Database administrators assess user needs and create databases. These professionals use software to securely store and organize data. Administrators also monitor and maintain database operations and performance. These professionals address issues and update permissions. They make and test database structure modifications. Database administrators usually hold a computer science-related bachelor's degree.

Information Security Analyst

These professionals oversee computer network and system security. They install and use software to prevent and address cyberattacks. Information security analysts monitor networks for violations and investigate and report security breaches. They often hold a computer-related bachelor's degree. Some employers prefer candidates with certifications. Examples include the certified information systems security professional credential.

Computer Hardware Engineer

These engineers research and create computer components and systems. Computer hardware engineers may design computer processors, networks, and circuit boards. They may also oversee the manufacturing process to ensure that hardware meets quality standards. Computer hardware engineers test and modify computer systems and equipment. They typically hold at least a bachelor's degree.

Web Developer

Web developers assess clients' needs to create and maintain websites. Web developers ensure that websites perform well and can handle web traffic. Some web developers design web interfaces and content. This profession requires computer coding skills in languages such as XML and HTML. Web developers may hold a related degree or certificate. These professionals typically demonstrate their skills through a portfolio.

Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)

Database Administrator

$73,560 4%

Information Analyst

$103,590 31%

Computer Hardware Engineer

$119,560 2%

Web Developer

$77,200 2%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Typical Coursework

Career and Salary Outlook for Electrical Engineering

Online degrees in electrical engineering can qualify graduates for careers with above-average salaries. Unlike some high-paying degrees, electrical engineering degrees can lead to specialized careers. According to the BLS, civil engineers earn a median salary of $88,570 per year. Biomedical engineers earn a median annual salary of $92,620. Even higher-paying positions in the field include electrical engineer and aerospace engineer.

Electrical Engineer

These engineers design and supervise manufacturing for electrical systems and equipment. Electrical engineers develop and test devices such as power generators, radar and navigation systems, and electrical motors. These professionals sometimes work on GPS and electronic equipment and may collaborate with clients and project managers. Electrical engineers need a bachelor's degree in engineering. Some positions require licensure.

Aerospace Engineer

These professionals create aircraft and spacecraft, such as airplanes, rockets, and satellites. Aerospace engineering requires meticulous testing of prototypes and products. These engineers assess project proposals and oversee manufacturing. Other duties include design evaluation and quality assurance. Aerospace engineers need at least a bachelor's degree, usually in engineering or transportation.

Biomedical Engineer

These engineers design biomedical devices and equipment. They often work in research and development or quality assurance. Biomedical engineers may design artificial organs, prosthetics, and diagnostic machines. These professionals oversee equipment manufacturing and train clinicians to use devices. Biomedical engineers also may test, install, and service biomedical equipment. They need at least a bachelor's degree.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers design, build, and maintain infrastructure systems and projects. They can work in the public or private sector. These professionals may oversee the construction of airports, buildings, and water systems. They may also design roads, tunnels, and bridges. Civil engineers need a bachelor's degree and licensure.

Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)

Electrical Engineer

$103,390 3%

Aerospace Engineer

$118,610 3%

Biomedical Engineer

$92,620 5%

Civil Engineer

$88,570 2%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bachelor of Science in Construction Management

Typical Coursework

Career and Salary Outlook for Construction Management

A construction management degree is one of the best online degrees for individuals seeking career advancement. Graduates often become surveyors, cost estimators, and inspectors. According to BLS data, these professionals all earn median salaries above the median for all occupations. Construction managers earn an even higher median salary, at $97,180 per year. The following list details requirements and responsibilities for popular construction careers.

Cost Estimator

These professionals collect cost data and analyze products, services, and projects. They assess costs such as materials, time, and labor. Cost estimators collaborate with clients, engineers, and contractors. Key skills include reading blueprints and maintaining cost records. Cost estimators may recommend strategies to reduce costs. They may also prepare estimates or bids. Cost estimators usually hold a bachelor's degree in construction, engineering, or business.

Construction Manager

These managers plan, coordinate, and supervise building projects. Duties include budgeting, scheduling, and personnel management. Construction managers respond to project issues such as emergencies and delays. They also ensure compliance with laws and safety codes. Construction managers need a bachelor's degree and professional experience.

Surveyor

Surveyors measure property boundaries and gather data. They may contribute to construction, engineering, and mapping projects. These professionals also conduct research on survey records, previous boundary lines, and land records. Surveyors can create maps and reports for clients or government agencies. Surveyors need licensure to provide services to the public or certify legal documents.

Inspector

Construction and building inspectors ensure sites comply with zoning regulations and building codes. Inspectors also help projects follow building ordinances and contract specifications. These professionals may review and approve building plans and monitor construction sites. Inspectors use testing equipment and need knowledge of electrical and plumbing systems. They issue stop-work orders and violation notices when necessary. Inspectors need professional experience. Some positions require licensure or certification.

Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)

Cost Estimator

$66,610 -1%

Construction Manager

$97,180 8%

Surveyor

$65,590 2%

Inspector

$62,860 3%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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