The Best Online College Degrees for GED Graduates
- Game Design
- Graphic Design
- Computer Science
- Software Development
- Information Security Analysts
- Business Administration
- Hospitality Management
- Criminal Justice
- Homeland Security
- Health Information Specialist (Health Informatics)
- Healthcare Administration (Health Information Management)
Successful Student has listed the The Best Online College Degrees for GED Graduates.
These colleges care less about whether you earned a high school diploma or a GED, and are and more concerned with whether you can learn in online college, and earn a useful degree towards getting a rewarding career.
After getting a GED, what next?
What’s next is going to college. Don’t let the fact that you have a GED and not a traditional high school diploma stop you from applying and going to college.
Students with a GED earn on average $9,000.00 more per year, as compared to no GED or high school diploma. Over the course of an adult working life, if it’s for 50 years, this amounts to an increased lifetime earning of $450,000.00.
Those who chose to get a GED in high school also tend to do better in online college, given its flexible schedule and self-pace. Distance learning programs that lead to hands-on careers with substantial payoffs and a lot of room for direct application also appeal to GED students.
Instead of spending an extra $7,500 to $9,000 per year on room and board for four years, these students will study from the comfort of their own homes, or coffee shop.
All career data was collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics unless otherwise noted.
See our ranking of the The Best Online Colleges that Accept GEDs.
For the online degrees that have the highest salary potential, see our article The Best Online Degrees To Get For Careers.
The Best Online College Degrees for GED Graduates
1. Game Design
With the popularity of video game entertainment, the industry has become both exciting and highly competitive.
Employers will expect a bachelor’s degree in Game Design or Development.
Designers have the responsibility of writing the blueprint for the game and deciding the mission, theme, and rules of play. Game Designers learn to create games using programming languages. Duties include code programming, mapping story lines, rule systems, and team coordination.
Game Artists learn to use the animation and graphic design tools of the trade. Animators are just as important as Game Designers for the final product to reach production.
Game Design degrees are usually within the Bachelor of Science degree type, whereas Game Art degrees are Bachelor’s of Fine Art degrees.
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2. Graphic Design
Employers usually look for a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, however other degrees with technical training in graphic design may also be acceptable.
Internships in the field are highly encouraged. Analytical skills and artistic abilities should be strong qualities for applicants. Graphic Designers meet with clients and other team members, creating visual elements, design layouts, illustrations, and using various design software.
Approximately one in five graphic designers are self-employed. For those who were employed by companies, 10 percent worked for specialized design companies, 8 percent for advertising or public relations, 7 percent for newspapers and other publishers, 7 percent for printing and related technical support, and 6 percent for wholesale trade.
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Animation involves learning how to create 2D and/or 3D images for commercial purposes. Some animation studios have their own software and computer applications, and will provide on-the-job training. Most Animation studios require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Duties include researching and animating projects, team collaboration, and developing storyboards. Strong applicants will have a bachelor’s degree, a diverse portfolio, and good technical skills. Additional qualities include artistic talent, communication skills, time management, and creativity.
The majority of animators, over 50 percent, are self-employed, while only 12 percent are employed by video industries. An additional 6 percent were employed in computer systems design and related services, 5 percent were employed as software publishers, and 5 percent were employed in advertising or public relations. An average 4 percent growth is expected for the field.
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4. Computer Science
Employers will typically look for a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field, however most will look for a graduate degree such as an MBA. Different managerial positions include Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, IT Directors, and IT Security Managers.
Industries that employed the majority of Information Managers include computer systems design and other related services at 20 percent, Finance and Insurance companies at 12 percent, and manufacturing companies at 9 percent. With the increase in network speeds, telecommuting is becoming more common. About two out of five managers work over 40 hours per week.
5. Software Development
For Software Developers in 2020 the median pay was $110,140.00, or $52.95 per hour. The growth rate is projected to increase 22%, adding an additional 316,000 positions by year 2029.
Employers will look for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software development. A background in computer programming is also beneficial.
Computer systems design and related services employ 33 percent of IT Software Developers. Other employers include Software Publishers, Finance and Insurance companies, and Computer and Electronic Product manufacturing companies. Job increase is projected to be faster than average at 17 percent.
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6. Cyber Security: Information Security Analysts
For Information Security Analysts in 2020 The median pay was $103,590.00 per year ($49.80 per hour). The growth rate is projected to be 31%, adding an additional 40,900 positions by the year 2029.
Employers will look for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in cyber security, information assurance, or other security-related fields.
Duties include monitoring networks for security breaches, and developing, testing, and implementing new security measures. Continuing education with the most recent security technology and possible cyber-attacks is necessary. One in four security analysts will work over 40 hours per week.
Computer systems design industries employ the majority of IT security analysts at 26 percent, other industries include depository credit inter-mediation and technical consulting services. Job growth expected to be faster than average at 18 percent.
7. Business Administration
Employers will typically look for a Bachelor’s degree in business, project management, or business management. Business Administration is the most popular online degree. More students are enrolled in Business Administration bachelor’s degree programs than any other degree field. This is because of the large and varied versatility of a Business Administration degree.
Chief Executive Officer is actually the highest paying career with any or among all online bachelor’s degrees.
8. Hospitality Management
The Leisure and Hospitality field consists of two major divisions, Arts/Entertainment and Recreation, or Accommodations and Food Services.
Various careers in the field include Actors/Actresses, Fitness Trainers, Gaming Supervisors, and Musicians for Arts and Entertainment or Cooks, Hotel Clerks, and Waiters/Waitresses for Accommodations, Food Services, and travel liaisons for sports teams.
Professional sports franchises also hire hospitality degree graduates to manage their travel. In November of 2015 there were over 15,000 persons employed in the Hospitality industry. Meeting, Event and Convention Planners earned $51,560.00 in 2020, with a projected employment growth of 8% by 2029.
See our The 25 Best Hospitality Colleges in the US
Most positions require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. In some instances a Master’s degree in accounting or business administration is preferred. About one in five work over 40 hours per week. During times such as tax season overtime hours should be expected. Still, most accountants consider burning seasonal midnight oil to be well worth the field’s substantial compensation.
Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services hired the majority of applicants at 26 percent, Government was eight percent, Finance and Insurance companies eight percent, and Manufacturing companies six percent. Job outlook is expected to be average at 4 percent.
Financial occupations cover a wide scope of professions including Financial Analysts, Financial Managers, Personal Financial Advisers, Financial Examiners, and many other positions.
The entry level education requirement for the majority of positions is a Bachelor’s degree.
Though duties will vary based on position, employees will be expected to perform tasks such as organizing finances, analyzing data, evaluating applications, and advising coworkers or clients.
Those who manage other people’s money embrace a high stakes job that requires successful transition between theory and practice, and pays accordingly.
11. Criminal Justice
The Criminal Justice field includes a variety of occupations: Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Police and Detectives, Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, and many others.
The majority of positions requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Median annual wage ranged from $54,290.00 to $86,030.00 The majority of criminal justice careers will require applicants to be at least 21 years old, to be U.S. citizens, and to submit to background checks.
Once hired, many employers will provide some on-the-job training. Overall employment growth is expected to be respectable at four percent.
12. Homeland Security
Homeland Security also covers a broad spectrum of occupations from Immigration Services and Border Protection to the U.S. Coast Guard and Secret Service Agency. No matter what the occupation, the duty of all Homeland Security personnel is to protect the nation from any potential threats.
Most applicants for any homeland security position must undergo security clearances or background checks. It is a requirement for any applicant to be a U.S. citizen. The Department of Homeland Security has employed over 240,000 persons, which is an increase from 183,000 persons in 2006. This number does not include private security agencies.
The Homeland Security website, (www.dhs.gov), provides direct information for citizens looking for security tips or how to become involved.
13. Health Informatics (Health Information Specialist)
There were 341,600 jobs in 2019 for Medical Records and Health Information Specialists. The median pay was $44,090.00 $17.26 per hour in 2020.
Employers will look for applicants with post-secondary certification or an Associate’s degree. Duties include reviewing, organizing, and maintaining data for clinical databases, tracking patient outcomes for quality assessment, and maintaining confidentiality.
The majority of Medical Records and Health Information Technologists are employed by Hospitals at 38 percent, physicians offices employ 21 percent, while other administrative and professional services employ 11 percent.
In an era when the baby boomer generation is reaching retirement, it is not surprising that employment opportunities in this health care related industry are expected to increase faster than average at 15 percent.
14. Healthcare Administration (Medical and Health Services Managers)
Healthcare Administration organizes the staffing of a business, compared to the Healthcare Management which deals with the overall operations of a business. Medical and Health Services Managers earned $101,340.00 in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Employers will look for a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.
The Health Services Manager is responsible for duties such as the hiring and training of staff members, organizing staff scheduling, managing finances such as patient fees and billing, and maintaining open lines of communication. Future employment opportunities are expected to grow much faster than average at 17 percent.