Successful Student has listed the 16 Best Online College Degrees for GED Graduates. The colleges listed after each degree program accepts GED applicants for those degrees. These colleges care less about whether you earned a high school diploma or a GED, and more about whether you can learn in online college and earn a useful degree for a rewarding career.
Those who chose to get a GED in high school also tend to do better in online college, due to the flexible schedule and self pace of online college. 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.
Also see the 14 Best Online Colleges for GED Holders.
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. Rather than taking almost half the year off between summer vacations and mid semester breaks, these students can study all year long. And instead of quitting their current jobs these students will earn a valuable degree and continue to pay their bills.
Video Games, Animation, and Graphic Design
1. Video Game Design
With the popularity of video game entertainment, the industry has become both exciting and highly competitive.
The average salary for a Video Game Designer is around $58,000, the lower 10th percentile received approximately $36,000 per year, and the upper 10th percentile received approximately $96,000 or more per year.
Employers will expect a degree or certificate in game design, and a diverse portfolio is highly encouraged. A Bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering is also highly favored.
Designers have the responsibility of writing the blueprint for the game and deciding the mission, theme, and rules of play. Other duties include code programming, mapping story lines, rule systems, and team coordination.
2. Graphic Design
Graphic Designers held approximately 261,600 jobs in 2014. The median pay was $45,900 per year or $22.07 per hour. The lower 10th percentile received less than $27,000 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $80,500 per year. 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.
In 2014, approximately one in five graphic designers were 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.
Multimedia artists and animators held about 64,400 jobs in 2014, with a median pay of $63,600 per year or $30.59 per hour. The lowest 10th percentile received less than $35,500 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $112,000 per year. Some animation studios have their own software and computer applications, and will provide on the job training.
Duties include researching projects, team collaboration, developing storyboards, and meeting with clients. 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, were self-employed in 2014, while only 12 percent were employed by the 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 6 percent growth is expected for the field.
4. Information Systems
There were 348,500 jobs in 2014 for Information Systems Managers. The median pay was $127,640 per year or $61.37 per hour.
The lowest 10th percentile received less than $78,000 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $187,200 per year.
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. In 2014, about two in five managers worked over 40 hours per week. Employment opportunities are expected to grow faster than average at 12 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.
5. IT Software Development
There were 1,114,000 jobs for Software Developers in 2014. The median pay was $97,900 per year or $47.11 per hour.
The lowest 10th percentile received less than $56,000 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $149,000 per year. Employers will look for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering. 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.
6. IT Security
There were 82,900 jobs for IT Security Analysts in 2014. The median pay was $88,800 per year or $42.74 per hour.
The lowest 10th percent received less than $50,300 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $140,000 per year. Employers will look for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer programming, or other 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. Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 36 percent in computer systems design and related services from 2014 to 2024.
7. Business Administration
There were 287,300 jobs in 2014 for Business Administrators. The median pay was $83,790 per year or $40.28 per hour.
The lowest 10th percentile received less than $45,000 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $149,000 per year. Employers will typically look for a Bachelor’s degree in business, facility management, or information management. Types of Administrative Services Managers include: Contract Administrators, Facility Managers, and Records and Information Managers.
Educational services employed the majority of Business Administrators at 14 percent. Other employers included Healthcare and Social Assistance at 13 percent, State and Local Government at 11 percent, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services at nine percent, and Finance and Insurance at eight percent. Job outlook through 2024 is expected to increase at an average rate of eight percent.
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. The average hourly earning of all employees in November 2015 was $14.47. The overall projected employment growth for the industry is respectable at approximately four percent.
9. Customer Service
There were 2,581,800 jobs for Customer Service Representatives in 2014. The median pay was $31,200 per year or $15.00 per hour.
The lowest 10th percentile received less than $9.55 per hour, and the highest 10th percentile received over $24.82 per hour.
Employers may look for as little as a high school diploma for some positions. Other positions may require specific licences or certifications. Short-term on-the-job training usually lasting two to three weeks is available for most positions.
Administrative and support services hired the majority of Customer Service Representatives at 18 percent. Other hiring industries included Retail trade at 12 percent, Insurance carriers at 12 percent, and Monetary authorities such as credit inter-mediation at nine percent. Employment opportunities are expected to grow slightly faster than average at 10 percent.
10. 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.
There were approximately 912,000 job positions held in 2014 for the Criminal Justice field.
Median annual wage ranged from $49,000 to $58,600. 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. A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is also typical. Once hired, many employers will provide some on-the-job training. Overall employment growth is expected to be respectable at four percent.
11. 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, if not all, 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.
Finance and Money
There were 1,332,700 jobs for Accountants and Auditors in 2014. The median pay was $65,940 per year or $31.70 per hour. The lowest 10th percentile received less than $40,800 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $115,000 per year.
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. In 2014, about one in five worked 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 faster than average at 11 percent.
Financial occupations cover a wide scope of professions including Budget Analysts, Human Resource Specialists, Loan Officers, Personal Financial Advisers, and many other positions.
Median pay for the overall average was $64,000. Between the various occupations median pay ranged from $46,000 to $80,000.
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. The projected growth for the financial industry between 2014 and 2024 is expected to be an average eight percent.
14. Health Information Technology
There were 188,600 jobs in 2014 for Medical Records and Health Information Technologists. The median pay was $35,900 per year or $17.26 per hour.
The lowest 10th percentile received less than $23,000 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $59,000 per year. 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.
15. Healthcare Administration
Healthcare Administration organizes the staffing of a business, compared to the Healthcare Management which deals with the overall operations of a business.
The median pay for medical and health service managers in 2014 was $92,810 per year or $44.62 per hour. The lowest 10th percentile received less than $55,800 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $161,000 per year. Employers will look for a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, though often a Master’s degree is preferred.
The Administration 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.
16. Healthcare Management
The Healthcare Management includes the executives responsible for running their entire organization. The median pay for executives in 2014 was $102,750 per year or $49.40 per hour.
The lowest 10th percentile received less than $72,000 per year, and the highest 10th percentile received over $187,000 per year. Employment requirements for executives varies greatly depending on the field.
In general, executives are expected to hold at least a Bachelor’s degree and usually a Master’s degree in the area of interest. Executives are generally expected to oversee the operations of the organization including policy and procedures, financial goals, and improving performance.
Executive positions can be found in every field. In healthcare, executives play a role in hospitals, private medical offices, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and more. The overall expected employment growth for executives between 2014 and 2024 is an average six percent.