Earning a degree is a way for working adults to go further in a competitive job market. Online courses provide tremendous flexibility.
Based on industry growth statistics and occupations offering job security, here are the ten most popular online degrees.
Note that the list doesn’t include degrees that are popular for study but, because there are so many graduates, ordinary in terms of job outcomes. These include psychology, creative arts and science fields such as physics and biology.
Most of the degrees are routinely available through a 100% online course. The exception is for professional degrees such as a Bachelor of Nursing or medical assistant programs. Some qualifications need hands-on-training components to be accredited for professional practice.
1. Business Administration
Business Administration is easily the most popular online degree program at the postgraduate level. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) prepares you for management and leadership roles. Your previous background doesn’t really matter. What counts is that you’re interested in taking on more responsibility and want to prepare for senior positions.
Often, those who undertake this online degree double-major. This enables you to specialize on a specific area such as finance.
Business Administration is especially popular at the masters / postgraduate level, with many doing online MBAs using open learning platforms (Activate Press).
Business Administration is required in all organizations and business enterprises. Related careers include:
- Marketing managers
- Finance managers
Engineering degrees are always popular. The major fields include civil, chemical, industrial, electrical and general construction. Problems solved by engineers are largely technical. It is among the best paying careers and courses are offered at institutions held with high regard.
Career opportunities are wide, extending beyond just engineering because the degree demonstrates mathematical and analytical skills (Fu Foundation).
3. Computer Science
As long as computer revolution continues, there will always be a great demand for computer scientists. Individuals learn how to code programs using various languages. Careers heavily dependent on computer science are:
- Computer Programmers
- Computer Hardware Engineers
- Computer Systems Analysts
Nursing is a booming field which attracts many students mainly due to excellent job prospects. As the health sector grows, there is need for even more nurses. They attend to patients and deal with minor emergency situations. Blended (online mixed with lab classes) study options are growing in the field. A trained nurse can work as:
- Registered Nurse
- Nursing Aides, Orderlies and Attendants
With growing competition for products and services, business must maintain a sharp marketing edge. The main goal of marketers is to attract clients/customers in large numbers.
- Traditional print and contemporary multimedia outlets are used to achieve this through creativity.
- Brochures and attractive displays constitute part of the broader marketing spectrum.
Marketing is a popular study field because every industry relies on marketing for customer or client awareness. The integral activity is studied at both bachelor and postgraduate levels. For students who work full-time already, online courses are not only advantageous but essential for study to be practical.
Private and government institutions alike rely on accountants to ensure proper handling of finances. As a primary objective, accountants should ensure the compliance of the business with fiscal regulations and laws. Filing of taxes is also a critical role. An online degree or associates degree (AS) in accounting is a sure guarantee of job security no matter your specific career path.
7. Health Care Administration
Billing and coding have been heavily scrutinized recently by insurance companies, catching certain health centers off-guard. Health care administration is all about proper billing codes. Experts in this area also choose appropriate methods to submit bills. Other skills include:
- Managing patient files
- Maintaining order in the office
- Setting appointments
8. Criminal Justice
The criminal justice field is all about protecting and upholding State, Federal and Local Laws. For an entry level position in your desired security enforcement career, a Criminal Justice Degree is necessary. It would also be a great choice to study it before attending law school. Criminal Justice is often offered as a major within a online Bachelor of Science degree. With it, you are eligible to these careers:
- Security Guard Managers
- Police and Sheriffs
- Police and Detective’s First-line Supervisors
Lawyers, law firms, companies and the public ever so often need services of a paralegal. Paralegals can thus be employed by government agencies, law firms, companies or work independently. Some of the tasks are to:
- Interview witnesses
- Research legal statutes and laws
- Compose legal documents
- Other varying assignments
10. Medical Assistant
Medical assistant are required to carry out administrative and clinical duties. Assistants greatly improve efficiency at health facilities. A typical curriculum provides training for administering injections, adhering to privacy laws and venepuncture among others. Some specific tasks are to:
- Review patient histories
- Conduct routine laboratory procedures
- Get patients ready for examination
These degrees are just a sample of what’s available. With continued technological development and the general move to do all things online, including education, the range of online programs now almost matches what you can do on a major university campus.