Each year we research which online degrees are best for potentially getting the highest paying careers. The 20 Best Online Degrees to get for Careers in 2023 is a list of online degree programs that have the highest salary potential. These online degrees are ranked by their salary potential – from highest to lowest.
The high growth rates of many of these careers also means that many of these accredited online degree programs are the most in-demand for new jobs.
We used salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and other salary aggregator sites to determine the average salaries of the careers relevant to these online programs.
Well-paying new career fields emerge often in online education, such as Machine Learning Engineer and Blockchain Developer, that need to be included. Both of these subjects fall under Computer Science (#3).
When deciding the online degree to choose, also consider what subject you actually want to study. Students who choose the major that they are interest in do better in online school programs. These degrees are available at the best online colleges as well.
Many of these online degree programs may qualify graduates for a variety of different (but related) careers within the same field.
For example, online education in subjects such as Business Administration, Finance, and Criminal Justice may lead to many different careers within their respective fields.
These online degree options focus mostly on online bachelor’s programs. The two exceptions are Nurse Practitioner and Industrial and Organizational Psychology, which are online master’s programs. Some accelerated programs offer online classes.
All online school programs mentioned offer online degrees respected as much as on campus programs. Prospective students should seek an accredited online college and look at the online format of their courses. Prospective students who want to get a degree online should also see the degree options that most appeal to them.
1. Business Administration
|Career Fields||Average Salaries: Bachelor’s Degree||Growth Rate|
|Chief Executive Officers||$805,107*||6%|
|Compensation and Benefits Managers||$122,270||3%|
|Training and Development Managers||$113,350||7%|
|Administrative Services Managers||$96,940||6%|
More students are attending online Business schools than any other online degree subject. Business Administration is ranked as the top online degree to get because of the many specialization options and the highest salary potential with only a bachelor’s degree.
A Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA), or a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) may prepare graduates for many career options. The growth rates in these career fields remains high, adding new careers every year.
Online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA):
A bachelor’s degree in Business Administration usually requires 120 credit hours (which includes an associate’s degree). In general, a bachelor of Business Administration provides an in-depth study of the fundamentals of how business operates. An online BBA can offer a competitive edge over other business degrees because of its broad spectrum of business education.
Examples of online BBA specializations:
A strong appeal of this degree is the income and stability that this degree can bring. Graduates who have a bachelor’s degree in business earn an estimated $2.6 million dollars over the course of their career (U.S. Census Bureau).
The Best Online Colleges for Bachelor’s in Business Administration:
|School||Degree||Acceptance Rate||Graduation Rate|
|1. Southern New Hampshire University||BS in Business Administration||88%||56%|
|2. University of Arizona||BS in Business Administration||85%||63%|
|3. Quinnipiac University||BBA in Business Administration||70%||74%|
|4. Mount Saint Mary’s University||BS in Business Administration||90%||65%|
|5. University of Massachusetts-Amherst||Bachelor of Business Administration||64%||77%|
|6. Maryville University of Saint Louis||BS in Business Administration||83%||70%|
|7. University of Missouri-Columbia||BS in Business Administration||81%||68%|
|8. Rider University||Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.)||75%||64.5%|
|9. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine||Business Administration, BSBA||86.7%||53%|
|10. Azusa Pacific University||Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)||93.6%||66%|
Online Master of Business Administration (MBA):
An MBA is one of the most popular online programs. MBAs offer many specializations and is versatile in many business fields. Online master’s degrees in Business Administration can give graduates a competitive advantage.
A bachelor’s degree is required for admission. An MBA teaches graduate students deeper levels of business, often specializing in particular business concentrations. The same areas of focus are available in the MBA as are available, generally speaking, in any given BBA (see above). The usual requirement is 60 credit hours to graduate, and often takes two years.
The Best Online Colleges for MBA degrees:
|Schools||Online Master’s Degrees||Grad Students Fully Online||Retention Rate|
|1. Johns Hopkins University||Master of Business Administration||44%||97%|
|2. University of Southern California||MBA in Business Administration||24%||96%|
|3. Syracuse University||MBA in Business Administration||30%||92%|
|4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||MBA in Business Administration||11%||96%|
|5. Babson College||MBA in Business Administration||Unknown||95%|
|6. Rice University||MBA in Business Administration||5%||98%|
|7. University of Miami||MBA in Business Administration||7%||93%|
|8. Columbia International University||MBA Business Administration||81%||69%|
|9. Wake Forest University||Master of Business Administration||14%||94%|
|10. University of Arizona||MBA in Business Administration||25%||83%|
- The Best Online Business Administration Colleges
- The Best Online Business Degrees for Careers
- The 50 Best Online Business Schools
- The 25 Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Management
|Career Field||Average Salary with a bachelor’s degree||Growth Rate|
|Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers||$160,970||5%|
An Airline Pilot is one of the highest paying careers with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and a pilot’s license, is often required to fly for commercial airlines.
However, there are Aviation positions, such as private pilots, that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. What is required at all levels of flying is a pilot’s license.
Online Undergraduate degrees in Aviation
Colleges and Universities across the U.S. offer bachelor’s degrees in Aviation online. These include online bachelor’s in Aviation: Professional Pilot.
Aviation and Professional Pilot bachelor’s degrees usually require 120 credit hours. Online degree options teach the basic courses in the two first two years of study. Online learners take the upper level Aviation major courses and electives for the second two years of study. Online programs focus on the same instruction as on campus degrees.
Aviation major courses may include:
- Aviation Weather
- Multiengine Flight
- Commercial Pilot
- Human Factors in Aviation
- Airplane Aerodynamics
- Turbine Engines and Jet Transports
To be a pilot, a commercial pilot’s license is required from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). To become a commercial airline pilot, the minimum education requirement is often a bachelor’s degree and a pilot’s license.
Some colleges and universities offer pilot training to online learners as part of the bachelor’s degree program. Some pilots who fly privately owned charter planes do not need a college degree. To get a pilot’s license a high school diploma is often required.
The Best Online Colleges for Aviation:
|School||Aviation Degree||Acceptance Rate||Graduation Rate|
|1. Liberty University||Bachelor of Science in Aviation (Professional Pilot)||51%||39%|
|2. Purdue University Global||Bachelor of Science in Professional Flight||100%||30%|
|3. Hampton University||Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Management (Airport Administration)||36%||54%|
|4. Southern Illinois University Carbondale||Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technologies with specialization in Aviation Maintenance Management||91%||41%|
|5. Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology||1. Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance|
2. Bachelor of Science in Airport Management
|6. Everglades University||Bachelor of Science in Aviation/Aerospace||75%||50%|
|7. University of Nebraska Online||Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies with concentration in Aviation Studies||78%||65%|
|8. Central Washington University||Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management||86%||69%|
|9. Middle Georgia State University||Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science and Management (Management Track)||93%||20%|
|10. Eastern New Mexico University||Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science||50%||36%|
Online Aviation Degrees Ranking:
3. Computer Science
|Computer Science Careers||Average Salary with a Bachelor’s Degree||Growth Rate|
|Machine Learning Engineer**||$146,085||344%|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$151,150||11%|
|Computer Network Architects||$116,780||5%|
|Information Security Analysts||$103,590||33%|
|Sources: *ZipRecruiter, **University of San Diego|
With the information age, big tech and big data, companies are increasingly in need of Computer Scientists. There are more tech-oriented companies being created than ever before.
Almost every domain of life is now subject to the internet and modern technology. In Web 3.0 Computer Scientists will be able to contribute apps and improvements to decentralized blockchains. Even farming equipment uses geolocation for precision agriculture.
Computer scientists are at the forefront of almost all established and emerging technology fields. Across the board in Computer Science, the compensation is generous for both entry-level and management positions. There are many great degree options in online college.
Undergraduate Degree in Computer Science
Online students getting an online bachelor’s in Computer Science will learn skills such as coding, programming language, and software development. There are various concentrations that students may choose, depending on what a given online program offers, such as Artificial Intelligence.
These online programs typically consist of 120 credit hours. The first two years are spent completing basic classes. The second two years are spent taking Computer Science major courses and electives. Typical employment requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. There are related degrees in subjects such as software development. Some colleges offer accelerated programs as well.
Popular Computer Science Specializations and Related Degrees:
Two online programs that are growing at online colleges and universities, and are in high demand from students is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). AI and ML are sub-disciplines of Computer Science, and often involve Data Science. Healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing industries are all using AI.
Artificial Intelligence is the science of making machines that can think, understand, solve problems, and make predictions. Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence specializations are available as online programs at the undergrad and graduate levels. Accredited online degree programs prepare students to build learning models and test them to determine their capabilities.
- The Best Artificial Intelligence Colleges | AI Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees
- The Best Online Artificial Intelligence Degrees
Machine Learning Engineers work with data scientists to make learning models to use with big data sets. These models make predictions and help with business decisions. Machine Learning Engineer is one of the fastest growing careers fields. There are Machine Learning online programs within Computer Science programs and within Data Science programs.
Another increasingly popular and in-demand career field is Blockchain Developer. Blockchain is used as a peer-to-peer perpetual digital ledger. The blockchain works by creating and attaching discreet blocks of information together as the ledger entries update.
Blockchains can be public or private, decentralized, and tamper-proof. Many businesses are hiring Blockchain Developers for private enterprise purposes.
Computer Science Degrees:
The 10 Best Online Computer Science Degrees:
|School||Degree||Acceptance Rate||Graduation Rate|
|1. Southern New Hampshire University||Bachelor of Science in Computer Science||88%||56%|
|2. Simmons University||Bachelor of Science in Computer Science||73%||73%|
|3. Regent University||Bachelor’s in Computer Science||86%||59%|
|4. Maryville University of Saint Louis||Bachelor’s in Computer Science||83%||70%|
|5. Florida State University||Bachelor’s in Computer Science||36%||80%|
|6. Saint Vincent College||Bachelor of Science in Computer Science||68%||70%|
|7. Lewis University||Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science||64%||67%|
|8. Johnson & Wales University – Charlotte||Bachelor of Science in Computer Science||85%||55%|
|9. Point Park University||Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science||73%||54%|
|10. William Jessup University||Bachelor of Science in Computer Science||65%||64%|
Computer Science College and Degree Rankings:
- The Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs
- What can you do with an Information Technology degree?
4. Engineering Management
|Career Fields||Average Salaries with a Master’s Degree||Growth Rate|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$149,530||4%|
|Industrial Production Managers||$108,790||5%|
Engineering Management is a degree field which is designed to prepare students to manage Engineers. Successful Engineering Managers can lead teams towards the completion of large scale projects by deadlines.
Engineers design buildings, streets and transportation, water ways, architecture, and the like. Engineering Managers handle all of the business needs of these projects.
Engineering Management Bachelor’s Degrees:
Engineering Management bachelor’s degrees are available at online colleges. As with other bachelor’s degrees, the first two years are spent taking the basic courses. The second two years are spent taking upper-level major Engineering Management courses and electives. Students learn management principles within engineering disciplines.
Examples of Engineering Management courses at Arizona State University’s online Bachelor of Science in Engineering: Engineering Management:
- System Dynamics and Thinking
- Project Management
- Introduction to Systems Engineering
- Principles of Programming
The average compensation is $149,530 per year as of 2020, making it one of the best paying fields of study. The growth rate is 4% to the year 2030.
Featured Online Degrees
|Marketing Careers||Average Salaries with a Bachelor’s Degree||Growth Rate|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||$141,490.00 per year||10%|
|Market Research Analysts||$65,810 per year||22%|
Marketing combines a great deal of creativity, research, and savvy business skills. Marketing students learn best practices for marketing in a variety of platforms, such as social media, television, and internet marketing.
The most popular online Marketing degrees are Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees.
Marketers often bring new business and profit to their client’s bottom line. Marketing experts need to study substantial data about demographics, a product’s function, and cost analysis. They also need to use this considerable research to anticipate what the public will need next.
A growing field of marketing is Social Media Marketing. Online colleges are increasingly offering Social Media Marketing degrees.
Undergraduate Marketing Degrees
Online Marketing bachelor’s consist of 120 credit hours typically. The first half (two years) is spent taking basic courses. In the second half, marketing majors take classes on marketing major courses and electives. Marketing degrees are often within Business departments at colleges.
Students often have various concentrations from which to choose, such as online Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is usually required for employment at marketing firms.
Online Master’s in Marketing Degrees
An online master’s degree in Marketing usually takes two years to complete. Having a bachelor’s degree is a requirement for admission into a marketing program. These prepare students to best determine, budget, track, and analyze a marketing campaign’s success or failure.
Many online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs offer Marketing specializations. The highest paid position within Marketing is Marketing Manager.
Online Marketing Degrees
- The Best Online Social Media Marketing Colleges
- The Best Online Marketing Degrees
- Marketing Degrees | A Guide for Students
6. Environmental Science
|Environmental Science Career Fields||Average Salaries with a Bachelor’s Degree||Growth Rate|
|Natural Science Managers||$137,940||6%|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||$73,230||8%|
Environmental Science Career FieldsAverage Salaries with a Bachelor’s DegreeGrowth RateNatural Science Managers$137,9406%Geoscientists$93,5807%Environmental Engineers$92,1204%Environmental Scientists and Specialists$73,2308%Source: BLS
With the ever increasing need to conserve energy and protect the environment, an Environmental Science degree online is growing in demand. Environmental scientists can work with government agencies or private businesses to reduce waste, clean polluted areas, and even advise policy makers. Foresters, Geoscientists, and Biologists are also occupations that can come from a degree in Environmental Science.
Bachelor’s Programs in Environmental Science
An online bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Science usually requires 120 credit hours. The typical degree takes up to 4 years to complete.
The first two years of an online program are spent taking the basic courses. The second two years comprise the major courses and electives. Depending on the concentration chosen determines the subject of study, such as Environmental Protection, Conservation, or Sustainability.
This subject has many opportunities and subfields to study Environmental Science and related bachelor’s programs, including Sustainable and Renewable Energy. Often these degree fields are oriented around sustainability or conservation. It would be best to decide which career field you want to work before deciding on which degree to get.
Then see which degrees are requisite for that career. Often a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required for entry-level employment.
Featured Online Environmental Science Degrees
- The Best Sustainable and Renewable Energy Colleges
- The Best Environmental Science Degree Programs
- The Best STEM Degrees for Careers of the Future
|Finance Careers||Average Salaries: Bachelor’s Degree||Growth Rates|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$89,330||5%|
Finance is one of the top online degree options. It has more stability in today’s market with an overall estimated growth rate of 17% for Financial Managers (much higher than the average occupation). Finance, in short, means looking after the money in a responsible and profitable way.
Finance duties could include:
- managing investments
- annual forecasts
- becoming a Certified Financial Planner
- supervising a team
Bachelor’s degree in Finance
An online bachelor’s degree in Finance can teach online students the fundamentals and the different practices of finance. The online degree is typically 120 hours long, which includes the basic courses of a bachelor’s degree for the first two years, and then the second two years are spent on upper level finance major courses and electives.
Finance courses may include:
- Applied Statistics
- Wealth Management
- Fundamentals of Investments
As long as there is money being exchanged and tracked, there will be Finance majors needed in the marketplace.
The growth rates and incomes of careers available with a bachelor’s in Finance, makes this one of the best online degrees to get a job.
What can you do with a bachelor’s in Finance?
Online bachelor’s degrees in Finance can potentially open doors to working in different capacities in finance. Finance careers may involve working with families as a Personal Financial Advisor or Certified Financial Planner, or with companies as a Financial Manager.
Financial Advisors positions don’t require certification. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is preferred.
Certified Financial Planners
Certified Financial Planner careers require two things: a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and passing the certification test from the Certified Financial Planner Board. This test is offered in March, July, and November each year.
Some online programs in Finance do offer a concentration in Certified Financial Planning, such as the online Bachelor of Science in Finance: Financial Planning degree at Southern New Hampshire University.
Graduates who have completed (or are enrolled) in a bachelor’s degree may take the Certified Financial Planner Board certification test. The bachelor’s degree may also be in other subjects (a Finance degree in particular isn’t a requirement). If enrolled at the time of taking the exam, your bachelor’s degree must be completed within five years of taking the exam.
See our ranking of the Best CFP Programs: Certified Financial Planning Bachelor’s Online for more online degree options.
Financial Managers are crucial to the health and bottom line of companies. Financial Managers handle the investments and future financial goals of businesses.
Online Finance Degrees
|Communication Careers||Median Salary|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$119,860|
|Writers and Authors||$69,510|
|Source: BLS, Salary.com|
Communication may prepare graduates for a variety of career options. Such options include Public Relations and Fundraising Managers, Communications Managers, Broadcast Journalists, and Writers.
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers are in the business of raising money for companies or organizations. These may be private or public, for profit or nonprofit. Public Relations and Fundraising Managers write press releases, make and maintain relationships with donors and philanthropists, and raise awareness.
Communication Managers are in control of the messaging of a company. This can include internal messages to and between employees, and messages to the public and consumers.
The typical entry-level degree is a bachelor’s in Communication. Students with a Master’s in Communication Management may have a competitive advantage.
Online Bachelor’s in Communication:
Online programs in Communication are like other online programs. Students take basic level and then major level coursework. The first two years are spent taking basic courses. The second two years are dedicated to major courses in Communication and electives.
Communication coursework consists of classes such as Mass Media, Broadcast Journalism, Organizational Communication, and Interpersonal and Group Communication.
Accredited Online Communication Degrees:
- The Best Communication Management Programs
- The Best Bachelor’s in Journalism Programs
- The Best Investigative Journalism Master’s Degrees
- The Best Graduate Programs in Journalism
9. Nurse Practitioner
|Career Field:||Median Salary|
Nurse Practitioners are one of the highest payed career fields. This position also has one of the highest growth rates of all career options available with an online degree. The growth rate is 45% between now and 2030, adding 121,400 new jobs. The median salary in 2021 was $123,780.00.
Online Master’s in Nurse Practitioner
The typical minimum degree required is a master’s degree. Online Nurse Practitioner graduate degrees are available from colleges and universities across the US.
Most Nurse Practitioners work in Family Practice. Some online master’s degrees focus on Family Nurse Practitioner in particular.
10. Human Resources (Human Resource Management)
|Human Resources Careers||Average Salary with a Bachelor’s Degree:||Growth Rate|
|Human Resources Managers||$121,220.00 per year||9%|
|Human Resources Specialists||$63,490.00 per year||10%|
People who specialize in Human Resources need to both attract and train productive employees, and keep them satisfied. They need to understand salaries, benefits packages, training programs, recruiting, and how to assist employees.
This field combines an awareness of new technology, interpersonal skills, and a lot of common sense. Graduates can usually enter the Human Resources profession with a bachelor’s.
Online Bachelor’s in Human Resources:
Students taking an online bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management spend the first two years completing basic online courses. The second two years are spent taking upper level courses and electives. Online students will take courses such as:
- Applying Leadership Principles
- Organizational Development
- Principles of Management
- Employee and Labor Relations
Students learn to manage departments and individual people within corporate business settings. HR students learn best practices in hiring and employee retention and conflict resolution.
Online Human Resource Management Degrees:
11. Industrial and Organizational Psychology
|Organizational Psychology Career||Average Salary: Bachelor’s Degree||Growth Rate|
|Industrial and Organizational Psychologists||$111,150||12.3%|
Industrial and Organizational Psychology, also known as Organizational Psychology, incorporates both psychology and business. It applies psychology to how business is conducted, with the aim of improving profitability and worker satisfaction and longevity. IO Psychology takes into account human psychology in improving the efficiency and productivity of business and practices.
This field is one of the fastest growing occupations in America. Organizational and Industrial Psychologists are hired either as in-house employees or as outside consultants.
The strong appeal of employers hiring IO Psychologists is due to their expertise in helping companies produce a better workplace. This includes increasing productivity, hiring better employees, decrease turnover, and creating higher efficiency. The net effect results in smaller labor costs and higher profits.
All of these improvements help companies make money and improve their bottom line. IO Psychologists often work within the HR departments of businesses to institute and effect their improvements.
Online Bachelor’s in IO Psychology
An online bachelor’s in IO Psychology teaches students fundamentals of business and psychology. This degree is a Psychology-oriented degree. Students learn to use psychological methods to improve businesses.
Typical bachelor’s in IO Psychology are 120 credit hours and take four years to complete. The first two years consist of basic courses, and the second two years consist of major courses and electives.
Online Master’s Degrees
An online Industrial Organizational Psychology graduate degree is the usual minimum degree required by companies. A master’s degree consists of approximately 36 credit hours. The typical program can be completed in two years (perhaps sooner depending on the program).
Online master’s students learn more in-depth psychological best practices and more detailed measurement techniques. Some programs focus on research using behavioral models and data, whereas other research focuses on statistical models and numerical data.
12. Industrial Engineering
|Career Fields:||Average Salary with a Bachelor’s Degree||Growth Rate|
|Industrial Production Managers||$108,790.00||1%|
Industrial Engineering is one of the top online degree options. It’s designed to prepare graduates for entry into Industrial Production Manager positions. Industrial Production Managers operate and oversee the functioning of industrial plants and factories of different kinds.
Industries that create goods like automobiles, paper, television parts, etc., need Industrial Production Managers.
Industrial Engineering programs offer classes which teach students how industries work. Just like on campus programs, this online degree program includes instruction in the different positions involved in industrial departments, to the actual equipment used, and overall industrial environment. Students learn industry standard operating procedures and best practices.
These include learning project management, safety standards, production analysis, supply chain management, operations research, and quality control.
Online Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering
The typical online bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering requires approximately 120 credit hours to complete. These degrees are usually bachelor of science degrees. The first two years are spent completing the necessary basic courses for a bachelor’s degree. The second two years are spent taking the major courses in Industrial Engineering, and electives.
- Engineering Management
- Plant Layout and Material Handling
- Architectural Engineering
- Global Supply Chain Management
Featured Online Industrial Engineering Degree:
13. Healthcare Administration (Medical and Health Services Managers)
|Career Field||Salary||Growth Rate|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$101,340.00||32%|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics|
Students are increasingly getting Healthcare Administration degrees online. There is an increasing demand for Healthcare Administrators, making it one of the top online degree options. Healthcare Administrators combine business knowledge with medical and health services.
The highest paying and fastest growing field in Healthcare Administration is Medical and Health Services Managers. The minimum degree required is a bachelor’s degree. However, getting a master’s degree can provide a competitive advantage.
Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Online degree programs
As with other online bachelor’s, a Healthcare Administration degree usually consists of 120 credit hours. Online degree options take four years to complete on average. This includes the first two years of basic courses. In the second two years online learners take upper level major courses and electives.
This is one of the best online degrees because of the high growth rate and high salary. The usual entry-level requirement to be a Medical and Health Services Manager is at least a bachelor’s degree.
Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration
The typical online master’s program consists of approximately credit 36 hours, and usually takes three years to complete. Students learn more management skills and principles than the bachelor’s degree level teaches. Students learn how to manage healthcare facilities. This includes managing the budgeting and financing, record keeping, best hiring practices, and patient billing.
Examples of courses include Principles of Management & Leadership in Healthcare, Health Law and Ethics, and Marketing.
Featured Online Degrees:
- The Best Healthcare Administration Colleges Online
- The Best Online MHA Programs: Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees
14. Data Science (Data Analytics)
|Careers||Average Salary||Growth Rate|
|Data Scientists (Data Analysts)*||$122,000 (Bachelor’s Degree)||31%|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$126,830 (Master’s Degree)||22%|
|Management Analysts||$87,660 (Bachelor’s Degree)||14%|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, *University of San Diego|
Data Science, also known Data Analytics, is a growing field with the advent of big data, making it one of the most sought after online degree programs. Data Science is also known as Business Intelligence when used specifically in business.
Data Scientists take large data sets and analyze them, making them understandable and meaningful.
See our ranking of the best online Data Analytics programs in the U.S.
This information informs things like user behaviors, conversions, and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. This data is used to understand how to improve business goals and profits. Governments, non-profits, and businesses all use Data Scientists to help inform their decisions. All the Big Tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon use Data Science.
Data is accumulating at such a substantial rate, that its scope and usefulness is only recently being appreciated. More and more institutions are employing Data Scientists. Data Scientists are one of the highest paying and fastest growing occupations in the U.S.
An online master’s degree in Data Science may give you a competitive advantage in the workforce.
Online Bachelor’s in Data Science (Data Analytics)
Students getting an online college degree in Data Science will learn how to gather, assimilate and interpret Big Data. One purpose is making business or organizational decisions. The first two years are spent taking the basic courses.
The second two years are spent taking Data Science major courses and electives. These courses involve gathering, analyzing, and interpreting large data sets, and using them in decision-making.
- Analyzing and Modeling Data
- Formulating Problems
- Presenting and Integrating Results into Action
Online Data Science Degrees:
- The Best Online Data Analytics Programs
- The Best Online Master’s Degrees in Data Science
- The Best Online Associate’s Degrees in Data Science
- The Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Mathematics
15. Cyber Security and Information Assurance
|Career Field:||Average Salary|
|Information Security Analysts||$102,600.00|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics|
Cyber Security is one of the top online degree programs. Experts are in the business of protecting business and government online privacy and data. Information Security Analysts use cyber security to protect the online data and assets of organizations. Most Cyber Security professionals have at least a bachelor’s degree. However many have master’s degrees, which can confer an advantage in the world of cyber security and information assurance.
One popular graduate specialization option is the online master’s in Information Assurance: Cybersecurity degree. Information Assurance protects data, intellectual property, and assets of governments, businesses, and any other entity that pays for the service of Information Assurance Cybersecurity professionals.
Online Bachelor’s in Cyber Security
Students learn programming languages, and how to detect, trace, and protect against hackers. Students also learn how to hack into other systems to detect their system weaknesses (which is known as penetration testing). Students learn valuable skills, such as penetration testing, information assurance, encryption, and how to install firewalls.
The first two years are taking basic courses towards the bachelor’s degree. In the second two years students are busy taking Cyber Security major courses and electives. Cyber Security degrees involve learning programming languages such as Python, and also some Big Data analysis, ethical hacking, and penetration testing.
Accredited Online Colleges and Degree Programs in Cyber Security:
16. Game Design
|Game Design Careers, National Average||Average Salaries with a Bachelor’s Degree|
|Game Designer||$44,490 to $76,450***|
|Source: *ZipRecruiter, **PayScale ***Salary.com|
The Video Game industry is one of the largest in the world. Billions of dollars spent in the game industry every year. The metaverse also has immense revenue potential for gaming.
For students who enjoy playing video games and creating game animation, Video Game Design is one of the broadest and most varied of our online degree programs.
A degree in Video Game Art can involve learning 2D and 3D video game graphics. Game Design programs can also teach storyline development.
Students may develop video games for different platforms. Platforms include mobile devices, tablets, and computers, along with stand-alone video game consoles.
Game Design, Game Development, or Game Art
For students who want to pursue technical development, a Game Design or Game Development degree is the way to go. These online bachelor’s programs are often Bachelor’s of Science degrees. For Game Art and Animation, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Game Art, Graphic Design, or Animation are options.
Bachelor’s in Game Design
As with most bachelor’s degrees, the first two years are spent on basic courses. During the second two years students will take major courses in Game Design or Game Art, and electives.
Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Design or Game Development teach students how to code and use programming languages. These degrees are more akin to Computer Science degrees.
A Bachelor of Arts degree in a subject such as Game Art or Game Animation teaches students graphic design. These degrees are focused on creating 2D or 3D animation, which includes modeling, character development, atmosphere and settings creation within games.
For most professional Game Design or Game Art careers, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required.
Online Game Design Degrees:
- The 50 Best Video Game Design Colleges
- The Best Bachelor’s in Computer Science: Game Design Degrees
- How Much Do Video Game Designers Make?
- The 10 Best Video Game Colleges Online
- The 10 Best Game Design Programs at Christian Colleges
- 15 Best Animation and Graphic Design Colleges Online
- The Best Video Game Art and Animation Degrees
- The Best Online Certificates in Game Design and Game Art
17. Project Management (Business Operations)
|Project Management Careers||Average Salarie with a Bachelor’s Degree||Growth Rate|
|Project Manager||$80,220 – $140,000||11%|
|Project Management Specialist||$84,290||6%|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics|
A Project Management degree offers a wide variety of skills applicable to numerous industries. This makes it an ever-growing and changing field of study.
From improvement in leadership and organizational skills to creative problem solving and time management, this degree has something to offer everyone.
The knowledge from such a program can be applied to financial services, engineering, design, and any other industry of your interest. Responsibilities of Project Managers vary depending on the project. This career field can be varied with new projects.
Benefits and compensation will vary depending on experience, education level, and the field of industry. The projected salary range in upcoming years for Project Management is $80,000 to over $140,000, with an 11% growth rate.
Online Bachelor’s in Project Management
Online bachelor’s programs in Project Management usually require 120 credit hours. Half of those are basic courses and the other half are Project Management major courses and electives. Project Management is a specialized online program, usually taken within college Business departments. Students learn how to manage moving parts and keep organized throughout projects of various kinds.
Online Project Management Degrees:
|Accounting Careers:||Average Salaries with a Bachelor’s Degree:||Growth Rate|
|Accountants and Auditors||$73,560.00||4%|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics|
Accountants keep track of money. Accounting degrees involve learning the best practices of Accounting for businesses, private organizations, non-profits, and the like. Colleges teach Accounting usually as a Bachelor of Science degree. However, it can also be offered as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Some Accountants choose to work more independently in fields such as bookkeeping, payroll, or tax preparation. While those that prefer working in groups go into fields like account management, investments, and consulting.
Undergraduate Degrees in Accounting
Students learn how to produce financial accounting documents, audit, and standard accounting rules.
A typical online bachelor’s degree program requires 120 credit hours. Accountants can become CPA’s (Certified Public Accountants). A CPA education requires, on average, 30 hours more than a typical bachelor’s degree in Accounting. This is 150 credit hours (120 + 30).
Some colleges have a combined bachelor’s and master’s program designed to meet the 150 hour course load. These are usually five year programs in online learning. A master’s in Accounting is not required to become a CPA.
Each state’s Board of Accountancy provides licensure to become a Certified Public Accountant. CPA’s must pass a national exam. The majority of states in the U.S. require that CPAs finish 150 semester hours of higher education to become licensed.
Featured Online Accounting Degrees
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19. Animation and Graphic Design
|Careers||Bachelor’s Degree: Average Salary||Growth Rate|
|Special Effects Artists and Animators||$78,790.00||4%|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics|
The world of art and design meet the online computer world in the creative area of Animation and Graphic Design.
Animation and design opportunities are plentiful, as it is necessary for advertising, commercials, social media, websites, or any other venue that attracts a target audience using graphics. Like most developing fields in the technology sector, Animation and Graphic design students may need to a learn modern graphic design tools.
Furthermore, they also need to learn how to regularly update their knowledge as new strategies become available. This flexible career has inspired many self employed workers and entrepreneurs.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design or Animation
Online degree programs in Graphic Design, or Animation are like other bachelor’s degrees, usually requiring around 120 credit hours and taking four years to complete. The first two years are covering your basic classes, and the remaining two years spent on Graphic Design major courses and electives.
These major courses teach students how to use state-of-the-art digital tools to make graphic animations. These can include 2D and 3D modeling courses, graphic design for video games, or commercial art. These degrees are often Bachelor of Fine Arts in online college.
Working as a Graphic Designer and Animator usually requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Featured Online Degrees:
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20. Criminal Justice
|Criminal Justice Careers||Average Salaries with a Bachelor’s Degrees||Growth Rates|
|Police and Detectives||$65,170.00||5%|
|Probation Officers & Correctional Treatment Specialists||$54,290.00||4%|
|Forensic Science Technicians||$59,150.00||14%|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics|
A Criminal Justice degree will make you engage with a wide range of social debates with real world consequences.
This versatile degree, that can often be completed in less than 2 years, teaches students the legal and criminal justice system. Students learn about the inner workings of law enforcement.
This field is expected to grow by at least 17% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average salary for a Police Officer is $61,600 and $50,160 for Probation Officers. Beyond the work and salary is a passion for social issues that can change the world. Such advocates will always be needed.
Online degree programs for undergraduate and graduate levels
An online bachelor’s in Criminal Justice is like other bachelor’s degrees in that it usually consists of 120 credit hours, and takes approximately 4 years to complete. The first two years are spent taking basic courses. The second two years are focused on major courses.
Criminal Justice degrees offer many subfields in which online learners may specialize. For example, Criminology, Forensic Science, Corrections, and many other degree concentrations are available to students enrolled online.
For many Criminal Justice careers, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required.
Featured Online Degrees:
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best online degree to get?
The best online degree to get is the Bachelor of Business Administration, which is the minimum degree required to be a Chief Executive Officer. Chief Executive Officers are one of the highest paid careers according to Salary.com, earning $805,107 median annual salary for 2022, requiring only a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. It is certainly one of the highest, if not the highest salary from an online bachelor’s degree.
The best online degree to get in terms of getting a job from career options due to a high growth rate, is an online bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and in Statistics in particular. Statistician, according to the BLS, is one of the highest growing career fields in the US, with a growth rate of 33%. It is also one of the highest paying careers with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, earning $93,290.00 median salary as of 2020. An on-campus or online bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to be a Statistician.
What is the easiest online degree?
Different students have different academic strengths and weaknesses. Your college degree is an investment in yourself and lifetime ambitions. You have to do the necessary work whether the degree is easy or not, so make it worth it and learn what you want to learn to take you where you want to go in life. Instead of asking if a degree is easy, the relevant question to academic success is whether the degree is something you’re interested in learning.
If you are genuinely interested in what you’re studying, this translates into better grades, as studies have shown. Different online students have different competencies. For one student Mathematics may be the easiest if they’re good at math. For other students, a Mathematics degree may be the most difficult. Generally speaking, the online Business Administration degree subject may be the easiest online degree, given that the specialization options are so versatile and varied, that they offer many subjects that can fit with many student’s abilities and competencies quite well.
From math-oriented degrees such as an online Business Administration degree in Business Intelligence, to a creative-oriented degree type such as the online Business Administration degree in Marketing. The wide variety of specializations in an online Business Administration degree means that the degree can be tailored to students’ interests much more than other online degree subjects. This is partly why the online Business Administration degree is the most popular online degree. It can potentially also qualify students for such a wide array of business careers that it is the most versatile for getting a job.
Is getting your degree online worth it?
Yes. There are two senses in which this question may be asked: Is getting your online degree worth it with respect to having the same credibility and validity as an on-campus degree? Yes. Online students receive the same education in most instances as on-campus students. Colleges are good at online degrees.
Online students who’ve received their degree(s) online have the same career options before them as on-campus students. Employers generally speaking are perfectly amenable to online degree holders as qualifying for employment. Is getting your degree online worth it with respect to the cost of online degrees?
This is a question of the return on investment discussed above. Generally speaking the answer is yes. Prospective online students are encouraged to figure out the Return on Investment, which is a calculation of tuition expense/career choice investment return. There are instances in which online education is less expensive than on-campus, given that on-campus expenses, such as meals, transportation, and dorms aren’t incurred.
Will employers respect my online degree?
What employers care about, generally speaking, is whether or not a student completed their degree. Getting an online education is regarded as respectable. The question of whether the degree was obtained on-campus or at one of the many online colleges is not relevant. Often the employer will not even be aware that the degree was obtained online.
Obtaining an online education shows employers that students can navigate all that is required, such as passing the many online courses, and fortitude to stick with the academic rigors involved in online learning. Online classes require more discipline and honesty, and many online students chose online so that they can work, which means an online degree graduate could boast that they had the discipline to do it online.
Employers may want to know that the online degree was obtained at a reputable college, and not a for-profit degree-mill kind of college. Make sure that your online college is not-for-profit if this is a concern of yours in choosing your online college to pursue your online degree. There are many reputable and accredited not-for-profit online colleges that offer reputable online degrees.
What are the highest paying online degrees?
The highest paying online college degrees with a bachelor’s are in Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering Management, Marketing, Environmental Science, Aviation, Finance, Communication, Human Resources, Industrial Engineering, Healthcare Administration, Data Science, Cybersecurity, Game Design, Project Management, Accounting, Graphic Design, and Criminal Justice. The highest paying online degrees with a master’s degree are in Nurse Practitioner, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Medical Science (Physician Assistants).
Can you get a degree entirely online?
Yes. Degrees are available entirely online at almost all degree levels in almost all subjects. You can get degrees entirely online that are associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, and certificates.
These subjects also have online master’s programs and related degrees that are worth looking into. Getting an advanced degree from one of the online master’s programs could give a competitive advantage.