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Online Degrees Students Love

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What are the most popular online degrees? We celebrate Valentine’s Day by highlighting the online degrees you love!

Online college is on a winning streak. At a time when enrollment for traditional college is flat-lining, the number of students taking online courses continues to rise. According to Inside Higher Ed,the number of undergraduate students who were enrolled in at least one distance education course in 2016 had risen from 27.1 to 30 percent in just two years. Graduate students saw a rise from 32.5 to 36.6 percent during the same period.

So what’s behind this pattern of growth? It must be love!

…. and convenience, flexibility, accessibility, affordability, and a whole lot of other factors. But love is a factor too. I mean, there are certain online degree programs that you just seem to love.



Since Valentine’s Day is a celebration of all things love, we’re observing the holiday by celebrating your love of online learning. (My wife is bummed. She wanted to go out for dinner. But online college is a 24/7 gig, so here I am.)

In the spirit of the season, we’re highlighting the most popular online degree programs, and of course, we’ve got killer online college rankings to go with each program. Read on to find out which online degrees are winning the popularity contest these days.

And just a side-note from somebody who’s been there…. do not to overdose on those chalky gelatinous Luv hearts that come by bags of a zillion. Those things just aren’t right. Anyway…. Happy Valentine’s Day!

The 10 Most Popular Online Degree Programs

Alright, we get it. You love online college. But which programs do you love the most? ThoughtCo. reports on findings from a study conducted jointly by Learning House and Aslanian. They identify the most popular degrees in online education.

Naturally, we’ve got rankings for all the very best online associates, online bachelor’s, online master’s and online doctorate programs in these ten most popular online degree fields:

1. Business Administration

Online business administration tops the list of popular degrees and it’s no wonder. This discipline covers a lot of ground, including business theory, organizational management, economics, marketing, human resources and a host of other interrelated subject areas. This is a great degree program whether you’re going into sales, starting your own business, looking for ways to advance inside a large corporation, or you simply have an entrepreneurial spirit and you’re looking for the best way to channel it.

A degree in business administration will give you a well-rounded foundation in business, and could help you identify a more specific area of focus as you advance to the graduate level. Most regionally accredited colleges and universities offer business administration degrees, and online business administration degree programs are widely available. As you advance in your degree program, you’ll have the opportunity to choose courses with increasingly specialized focus. From consumer goods, food services, and hospitality to real estate, apparel, production and everything in between, a degree in business gives you the tools and qualifications to mold the career you envision for yourself.

Career Opportunities for Business Administration Majors

For an idea of what you can do with a degree in business administration, and how much you can earn doing it, check out the following data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS notes that the median annual salary for careers in business and finance in 2017 was $67,710, significantly higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,690.

The BLS identifies common careers for business administration degree holders, as well as median annual salaries for 2017, among them Accounting and Auditing ($69,350); Human Resources ($60,350); and Personal Financial Advisors ($90,640).

2. Computer Science

Online computer science degrees are extremely popular, and a glance at some of the earning potential in this field leaves little mystery as to why. Computing technology has permeated every aspect of our lives, from basic services and retail to transportation, healthcare and event attendance. This accounts for an enormous and diverse array of professional opportunities.

Computer science can be a highly challenging field, but if you have patience, precision, and a sharp eye, there are a lot of educational options that can help you get your career off the ground. Computer programming, computer science, and information technology (IT) form a wide and overlapping set of disciplines as well as an enormous range of fast-growing and well-paying professional opportunities.

Career Opportunities for Online Computer Science Majors

For an idea of what you can do with an online degree in computer science, and how much you can earn doing it, check out the following data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS indicates that in general, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $84,580 in 2017, significantly higher than the median annual wage for all occupations.

The BLS also identified some noteworthy career paths for individuals with a degree in computer science, including Computer and Information Research Scientists ($114,520); Computer Programmers ($82,240); and Web Developers ($67,990).

3. Nursing

Online nursing degrees rank a healthy third on the list of popular online degrees. There’s a reason students love this field. As the healthcare sector continues to grow, the opportunities available to individuals with a nursing education continue to diversify. And of course, this is a great educational path for big-hearted individuals.

As a nursing professional, you’ll be in a position to bring comfort, relief, and wellness to others. In all likelihood, you’ll even save some lives. Nursing is a demanding profession but if you have compassion, emotional fortitude and an innate desire to help others, it could be the most rewarding way to apply your abilities. Whether you plan to work in a small family medical practice, in the emergency room of a big urban hospital, or as a nursing administrator in a multi-facility health network; whether you plan to practice general medicine, to specialize in a particular area of treatment, or to become a nurse practitioner, there is a degree path that best suits your needs.

Career Opportunities for Online Nursing Students

For an idea of what you can do with a degree in nursing and healthcare, and how much you can earn doing it, check out the following data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS indicates that Registered Nurses earned a median annual salary of $70,000 in 2017.

The BLS also identifies some noteworthy career paths, and related median salaries, for individuals with online degrees in nursing and related healthcare concentrations. Among them, the BLS identifies Health Educators and Community Health Workers ($45,360); Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses ($45,030); Medical Assistants ($32,480); Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners ($110,930).

4. Engineering

Online engineering degrees are growing in popularity, which is good news, because there is a tremendous demand for talented, qualified individuals in an array of engineering fields. Engineering concerns the research, design and use of machines, engines and structures. It is not an exaggeration to say that the work of engineering professionals permeates every part of our lives, from the cars we drive and the houses we live in to the smartphones in our pockets and the medical technology that improves our life expectancy.

Engineering is a challenging academic field, and in order to obtain a license as a Professional Engineer (PE), you will likely need to earn a master’s degree in this field. However, a growing number of regionally accredited online colleges and universities are offering advanced degrees in engineering online. At the end of your studies, your hard work will be rewarded with great job prospects and strong earning potential, not to mention a tremendously valuable skill-set.

Career Opportunities for Online Engineering Majors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals in engineering fields earned a median salary of $91,000 in 2016. This suggests that an engineering degree could offer a fairly high return on investment, even given the graduate degree requirements for certain positions.

The BLS identifies a few noteworthy career paths that you could pursue with an online degree in engineering, as well as their median annual wages in 2016, including Civil Engineers ($83,540); Mechanical Engineers ($84,190); Aerospace Engineers ($109,650); Petroleum Engineers ($128,230); and Electrical Engineers ($94,210).

5. Early Childhood Education

An online degree in Early Childhood Education could be a great point of entry into the wide field of education, as well as a way to make an immediate impact on the lives of children at their most formative learning stages. It is the latter of these two opportunities that almost certainly accounts for the popularity of online early childhood education degrees. There is perhaps no better professional path to positively shaping the lives of children or assuring a brighter future for our world.

An online degree in early childhood education is a great starting point whether you ultimately see yourself working with vulnerable student populations, serving as principal to a high-performing middle school, working with special needs learners, or training as a guidance counselor; whether your passion draws you to science, physical education, literature or the nearly infinite array of subjects that you could ultimately teach.

Career Opportunities for Online Early Education Majors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals in Education, Training, and Library Occupations earned a median salary of $48,740 in 2017.

The BLS identifies a few noteworthy career paths that you could pursue with an online degree in early education, as well as their Median annual wages in 2017, including Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals ($94,390); Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers ($56,900); Postsecondary Education Administrators ($92,360); Preschool Teachers ($28,990); Special Education Teachers ($58,980); and Teacher Assistants ($26,260)

6. Graphic Web Design

Online Art & Design degrees are particularly popular today. Companies are seeking ways to stand out in a changing print medium and produce visual innovation in the fast-evolving web and mobile spheres. This means that talented Art & Design majors are in high demand. An online degree in Art & Design can be a highly practical credential in today’s job market. Depending on your area of concentration, you could find work as a graphic designer, illustrator, print-maker, or photographer, to name just a few of many options.

Art & Design is also a uniquely personal course of study, one in which you will be developing your very own portfolio of work. Contrary to any number of other degree programs, here, you will truly have a chance to express yourself. As you advance in your degree, you’ll also have the chance to focus on the areas or art and design that interest you most and make the most of your talents.

Career Opportunities for Online Arts & Design Majors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals in Arts & Design fields earned a median salary of $45,250 in 2017.

The BLS identifies a few noteworthy career paths that you could pursue with an online degree in Arts & Design, as well as their median annual wages in 2017, including Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers ($129,380); Art Directors ($92,500); Archivists, Curators, and Museum workers ($47,360); Graphic Designers ($48,700); and Multimedia Artists and Animators ($70,530).

7. Information Technology

Online information technology degrees share a lot in common with computer science degrees, and will likely include some areas of overlap. These may even be part of a common program for some colleges and universities. However, an information technology degree program will offer a great focus on systems analysis, information security, database management, informatics, and a host of other areas where data, technology and user applications coincide.

Career Opportunities for Online Information Technology Majors

For an idea of what you can do with an online degree in information technology, and how much you can earn doing it, check out the following data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS indicates that in general, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $84,580 in 2017, significantly higher than the median annual wage for all occupations, which the BLS placed at $37,690.

Among the occupations noted by the BLS are Computer and Information Systems Analyst ($88,270); Information Security Analyst ($95,510); and Database Administrator ($87,020).

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