There are many online degree programs, so we will help guide you. When looking into your options, it's important to keep these items in mind: 1) cost of the program 2) length of the programs 3) quality and recognition of the school.
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Top 5 Best Online Degrees Most Likely to Get You a Job
In the job market, there are those careers that are tried and true, reliable occupations (fields like accounting and criminal justice can never have enough trained professionals), and there are those that are up and coming. If your primary goal for your education is to get a job with real growth potential, set your sites on one of the many online degrees aimed at the fastest-growing and biggest occupations and careers- the jobs that are expanding much faster than the supply of workers, where there will be job openings anywhere and any time you need them.
These golden geese take some scouting out to capture, no doubt. The jobs with the most job market potential also require highly specialized skills that demand a higher education – usually at least a bachelor’s, and often a master’s. If you’re already a working adult, and you’re considering a career change to one of these in-demand occupations, an online degree program from one of the top online colleges is your ticket. That way, you can learn the new skills you need, while still working your current job to provide for yourself and your family.
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Ranking the Best Online Degrees to Get a Job
This ranking has one interest over all others – what online degrees are more likely to get you a job and long-lasting career. To figure out where the jobs are, College Consensus editors looked to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the occupations with the fastest and highest job market growth rates. From there, we researched what kinds of online degree programs students should seek out.
Predictably, the majority of the top jobs are in technology, healthcare, and business. Criminal justice and security is a big one as well. These are all fields that are in periods of rapid change, and all experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. There’s no way we (or the BLS) can guarantee that you’ll get the job you set out to get, but these are the fields that are looking for people who can do the job. Good workers are hard to find, so make yourself one with an online degree.
Students may also be interested in the Highest Paying Careers for College Grads, Underrated Colleges Doing Great Things, and Most Unusual College Degrees for some inside and outside of the box thinking about careers and education.
1. Solar Technology Installer
Looking around any U.S. neighborhood is enough to alert students about the surge of professionals entering the field of solar technology. Solar photovoltaic installers are needed to assemble, install, and maintain solar panels. Installers require a deep understanding of how solar modules operate and must have knowledge about electrical systems. Online school programs prepare installers by allowing them to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree in solar technology or sustainable energy. With a staggering 105% growth rate projected for the next 10 years, qualified individuals will have no problem securing a position. Median salary is $39,400 annually with six-figure potential for top installers.
Growth Rate: 105%
Average Salary: $39,490 per year
Online Degree Options: Sustainable and Renewable Engineering (multiple education levels)
2. Home Health/Personal Care Aide
Home health aides work directly with individuals who need personal care on a temporary or permanent basis. Home health aides are not intended to provide medical assistance, but instead help with daily living tasks such as dressing, bathing, and eating. Online associate nursing degree programs will prepare students to become a certified nursing assistant. The career growth rate for personal care aides is 47% and considered a higher than average growth rate when compared to other professions. The average home health aide salary is $23,210 annually with the occupation allowing a lot of room for advancement throughout their career.
Growth Rate: 47%
Average Salary: $23,210 per year
Online Degree Options: Associate’s Degree in Nursing and CNA certification
3. Physician Assistant
Physician assistants practice medicine in conjunction with a team of physicians and nurses. Physician assistants are qualified to assess and treat patients in a variety of settings including doctor’s offices and hospitals. The best online degrees to get career training as a physician assistant is through an accredited college that offers graduate-level courses. Each state also requires a physician assistant to be licensed. Jobs in the healthcare field are always experiencing a faster than average growth rate. Physician assistants who have finished online school programs have the potential to earn an average of $104,860 annually.
Growth Rate: 37%
Average Salary: $104,860 per year
Online Degree Options: Master’s in Physician Assistance
4. Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioners have a higher level of advanced training and responsibilities when compared to registered nurses. Nurse practitioners have similar duties as a physician and a nurse practitioner can diagnose and treat medical conditions. They are also licensed to prescribe medications. In the field, a nurse practitioner can work in general practice or obtain a specialty. Accredited online degree programs will require the student to complete master’s level nursing courses for graduation. Passing a national certification examination is also required for practice in this career. Current growth rate for nurse practitioners is 36% with the median career salary at $103,880.
Growth Rate: 36%
Average Salary: $103,880 per year
Online Degree Options: MSN-NP or DNP Programs
With advancements in the field of technology, the need for statisticians is at an all-time high. Statisticians are needed to assist with the collection of data and analyze the data for practical uses. Statisticians are employed in both private and public sectors and U.S. News & World Report considers it the best business job. Best online degrees to get a job as a statistician is a bachelor’s or master’s in statistics. Many scientific and government agencies will require entry-level applicants to have a master’s degree in statistics. Entry-level job seekers are attracted to an average salary of $84,000+ annually and a growth rate of 34% projected over the next decade.
Growth Rate: 34%
Average Salary: $84,060 per year
Online Degree Options: Bachelor’s in Mathematical Statistics or Master’s in Statistics