If you plan to embark on one of the highest paying careers out of college, listed below, you could potentially earn six figures soon after completing your bachelor’s degree. Unsurprisingly, the majority of careers on this list fall under the STEM category. In terms of financial security, engineering majors boast perhaps the brightest future of all, but individuals aspiring toward scientific endeavors and technology careers also appear well-represented. Common attributes of these high-earning professionals include leadership and management skills, advanced mathematical, technical, or engineering knowledge, and high-level researching abilities. While many of the 25 highest paying careers for college graduates allow for entry-level work fresh off of an undergraduate program, some may require graduate or postgraduate education to get your foot in the industry door.

What you study: “Everyday life, including but not limited to everything that is mass produced by us and for us. Its subject matter is the world in which we live, relax and have fun.” Students take courses which “focus on the impact various aspects of popular culture (such as television, movies, rock music, popular books and magazines, sports, holidays, festivals, and folklore) have on our culture and how they reflect the values of our society.”
More students are choosing to pursue master's and doctorate degrees through accredited online colleges to expand their skill set and move up in their careers. The flexibility of online learning is particularly beneficial to professionals who want to earn an advanced degree while they continue working. Graduate programs that require students to complete practicum hours or internship experiences typically accommodate students by helping them find sites near their home. Some of the most popular graduate majors for online students include:

Occupation Finder. Within the Occupational Outlook Handbook is the Occupational Finder, where you can browse through a list of more than 800 occupations to see the projected growth, median salary information and education or training necessary for each. If you have a few options in mind, this tool can help you easily compare them and narrow your choices.

Professional development courses are a fantastic way to fill the gaps in your skills. University of Phoenix courses cover a variety of topics and are designed to give professionals a greater base of knowledge so they can improve their career opportunities or maintain professional certification. Our courses are also of interest to companies who want a more skilled workforce.
Vanderbilt University also has a partnership with Coursera and Class Central, which allows students to take free MOOCs and take individual courses online. Certificates of completion are available for a small fee. Committed to providing all students with a high quality and rigorous education regardless of their financial status, Vanderbilt University does meet 100% of the demonstrated financial needs of their students. To qualify for entirely free tuition, the family of the student must have an annual income of less than $60,000.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the primary programmatic accrediting body for education degrees. Accreditation is very important for online education degrees, especially for students looking to earn a teaching license. Prospective students should make sure that the online programs they are considering are recognized by the teaching board in the state where they hope to earn licensure.
In March 1906, the Kentucky General Assembly approved the establishment of the Bowling Green school that was to become Western Kentucky University. Today, more than 100 majors lead to the baccalaureate degree, and students can choose from 111 academic minors. U.S. News and World Report has ranked WKU 12th in The Best Online Bachelor's Programs and 12th in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs . Among the best online schools in the region, WKU offers 20 online undergraduate degrees, 30 wholly online master's degrees, and online 45 graduate/undergraduate certificates. Students may also enroll in one of more than 100 courses offered through the on-demand program that offers for-credit classes in 7-week semesters.
The cost of attending college typically depends on the type of school you attend, as well as your state of residence. According to College Board, private nonprofit institutions carry the highest price tag, on average — $35,380 for the 2019 academic year. Tuition prices are also relatively high for out-of-state students attending four-year public universities. These students will pay an average of $26,290 in tuition during the same year.

An undergraduate degree refers to the next level of formal education for students who hold a high school diploma or GED. They are the first step to pursuing a “higher education.”Offered by a University or College, undergraduate degrees are academic programs that focus on a specific area of study. The goal of an undergrad student is to earn a Bachelor or Associates degree.
Southeast Missouri State University provides several online pathways for undergraduates and graduate students. Online bachelor's degree options include tech-oriented subjects such as applied technology, computer information systems, and technology management. Other options include business administration, criminal justice, family studies, and RN-to-BSN completion program. Graduate students may select from a total of 18 online master's tracks, most of which focus on management and/or education.
Some online students prefer the self-paced schedule of asynchronous programs, along with the possibility of early graduation. Others appreciate the structure of synchronous programs and the idea of taking multiple courses with the same cohort of students. With this in mind, you should choose programs based in part on your preferred learning format.
Life’s circumstances can interrupt even the most dedicated of students. There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing all the work that goes into earning a degree and everyone should experience that at least once in their lifetime. Earning a degree may also make your family members proud of you in a way you’ve never experienced before. So if a part of you has always wanted to finish what you started, earning an online undergraduate degree may allow you the flexibility to finish this goal without putting other parts of your life on pause.

Appalachian State offers a hybrid Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education, with some courses offered online and some requiring an on-campus presence. This is a degree completion program, requiring at least 30 college credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. The degree covers grades 6-8. The major has three concentrations: language arts and science, language arts and social studies, and science and social studies. The curriculum combines liberal arts and teaching content and skills. The program can lead to licensure in North Carolina. Segments of the program require practicums on campus, and student teaching must be done in-state. Courses include Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age and Language Arts in the Middle Grades. In-state tuition is $143 per credit and $643.50 per credit for nonresidents.
Today’s students should expect convenient access, affordability and academic value from online colleges. That’s why we only consider accredited online colleges for our rankings. The accreditation process guarantees that a school’s facilities, instructors, and curriculum meet a rigorous set of standards established by industry leaders. To ensure they invest in a universally respected degree, students should only consider accredited online colleges, like those on our list.

North Greenville University, in Tigerville, SC, is a private institution founded in liberal arts traditions of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Students can complete one of more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees at NGU's main campus, at its sister campus in Greer, SC, or entirely online. The university has one of the best online schools in the region, ranking second among the "Best Online Colleges in South Carolina." NGU offers wholly online bachelor degrees in business & leadership, Christian ministries, criminal justice, elementary education, applied psychology, and general studies. Online graduate studies lead to degrees in business, ministry, education, music education, and health science. Students can complete their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in as little as 18 months with classes that have five starting dates annually.


Specific details about licensing and certification requirements for public school teachers can be found in our guide to teaching degrees. The licensing process for public school principals is more rigorous than the process for obtaining a teaching certificate, as administrators are expected to have advanced leadership skills and knowledge about operating a school or school district. To become a principal, most states require candidates to have a master's degree from a regionally accredited school, a teaching certificate, and at least three years of teaching experience.

Regis University is a private nonprofit institution affiliated with the Jesuit order of Roman Catholics. The school offers a total of 25 bachelor's degrees online, including nine pathways in business-related fields, three nursing programs, and an elementary education licensure track. Standard online bachelor's programs consist of 16-week courses or accelerated formats of eight-week courses. The 33-credit online master's degrees offer tracks in education, nursing, and business administration, and doctoral degree options include concentrations in nursing and occupational therapy.
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Whether your graduate is a wine lover or beer coinessouir, they’re sure to appreciate a tasting party to celebrate their graduation. For details on how to throw the ideal cheers and beers to the past 4 years party, make sure to visit our resource on wine tasting party ideas and beer tasting party ideas. And if you’re looking for something to take your party over the top, consider customizing home bar essentials with the grad’s name as a take home party favor.
University of the People has been widely successful, garnering partnerships with NYU, Yale, UC Berkeley, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and more. The university is approved by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education and is fully accredited by the United States Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
Online degree programs at Columbia University are currently available through just one of its schools, the School of Engineering & Applied Science. Classes in the programs are taught by the same expert faculty that conducts the courses on campus, so students can get the full Ivy League experience from the comfort of their own homes. The university boasts a range of masters programs, certificate programs, and non-degree learning opportunities in the following fields: Operations Research, Methods in Finance, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering & Management Systems, and Materials Science. All of the programs are provided on a part-time basis and will require no on-campus meetings.
In the past, it was expected that students graduate high school and enter straight into a college or trade school program. Well, times have changed! Now, more than ever, nontraditional students make up a large percentage of a college’s student body. Whether they are pursuing an entirely new career path, or balancing work and family obligations, there are many options to help adult students going back to school. One of the most popular options in recent years is enrolling in online courses to earn a degree. Currently, over 3 million students are enrolled in a fully-online program, while 6 million take at least some of their classes online! Many top universities have started offering highly respectable degrees online, often at a lower cost than traditional programs. Not sure whether online or traditional classes are right for you, we cover that in depth, too!

Associate degrees and bachelor's degrees that feature an instructional technology option are more likely to be degrees in education or teaching with an instructional technology specialization option. Students will study teaching techniques, curriculum development, evaluation techniques, and classroom management, all while learning about how they can use technology to enhance their teaching skills. Some schools require that students who are applying for master's in instructional technology already have official teaching experience. Doctoral programs may even require curriculum development or teacher leadership experience.


A central reason for the increasing demand for online education is flexibility. Whether the student is seeking to go back to school, is a recent high school graduate that wants to attend a college in another state, or is a career advancer who wants to pursue a graduate degree, online college allows them to complete an education on their own terms. Online education helps students to craft a schedule that fits their lives, which is typically not possible in the traditional classroom. School can be woven into the student’s working and home lives instead of the other way around, making online classes the number one option for many in pursuit of a higher education.
One has to look no further than the student success stories posted on the University of Southern Mississippi's website to understand why it's among the best online schools, as it has provided students from different backgrounds the opportunity to obtain a quality education that fits their lifestyle. In addition to providing convenience, the school also gives students variety in terms of the degree programs they can choose from. For example, on the undergraduate level, students can earn bachelor's degrees in areas such as interdisciplinary studies, industrial engineering technology, library and information science, special education, child and family studies, and applied technology. In addition, prospective graduate students can choose from master's degrees in public health, instructional technology, kinesiology, nutrition and food systems, and library and information science and doctoral degrees in nursing leadership and international development. Also, there are graduate certificates in management of child nutrition programs, sport security management, youth services and literature, and archives and special collections and undergraduate certificates in management of child nutrition programs and casino management.
Is your teen skilled at calibrating your audio-visual system to produce the best picture and sound? Your teen’s aptitude could lead to a career in setting up equipment for television, cinema, radio, concerts, and recordings. Pay averages $42,550 per year, with job growth projected to be 7 percent between 2014 and 2024. The prerequisite for this type of employment is typically postsecondary classes or an AA degree.
Even though online students may never set foot on campus doesn’t mean they don’t have access to the same support and student resources. Regardless if the student is on-campus or online, nonprofit colleges traditionally offer an array of resources to their students, ranging from libraries to access to laboratories. Below is a list of commonly offered support services for online students at nonprofit colleges:

University of the People is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited, online American university. This school is distinctive among others on this catalog as it offers students 100% online degrees! Aside from the $60 application fee and the $100 assessment fees per course, students have a completely free college experience throughout their time at this online school. Students do not pay for books or course materials of any kind and attend tuition-free university courses online. UoPeople is partnered with many impressive companies and organizations that make the free tuition possible, such as Intel, Hewlett Packard, and Microsoft, as well as many others. The university also has partnerships with top-ranked institutions of education, such as NYU, UC Berkeley, University of Edinburgh, and the International Baccalaureate. The school has received glowing recognition from outstanding sources including BusinessWeek and The Economist. Students at this tuition-free university can enroll in associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees programs in the areas of Business Administration, Computer Science, Education, and Health Science.

It is also possible that some careers may require an entry-level education of a bachelors degree or higher. BLS suggests that earning a degree might open up career paths that would otherwise be closed to non-degree earners. Of course, program outcomes vary according to specific curriculum, and no employment opportunities and salaries are guaranteed.
Auburn University, chartered in 1856 and closed during the Civil War, Auburn University is Alabama's oldest 4-year, coeducational institution. Today it enrolls 29,776 students who attend degree programs at Auburn's College of Agriculture; College of Architecture, Design & Construction; Raymond J. Harbert College of Business; College of Education; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering; School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; Graduate School; College of Human Sciences; College of Liberal Arts; The School of Nursing; James Harrison School of Pharmacy; College of Sciences and Mathematics; College of Veterinary Medicine; University College; and Honors College. Auburn Online is one of the region's best online schools. It garners top-20 national rankings in the categories of best online MBA programs and best online graduate computer information technology programs. Students can earn one of four online baccalaureate degrees as well as undergraduate certificates in education, and pharmacy studies.
Life’s circumstances can interrupt even the most dedicated of students. There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing all the work that goes into earning a degree and everyone should experience that at least once in their lifetime. Earning a degree may also make your family members proud of you in a way you’ve never experienced before. So if a part of you has always wanted to finish what you started, earning an online undergraduate degree may allow you the flexibility to finish this goal without putting other parts of your life on pause.
Political Science is an expansive degree program that exposes students to in-depth knowledge concerning the government, politics, and world culture. While many Political Science graduates go on to work within the political sector, there is also ample opportunity for building a rewarding, lucrative career within the fields of law, business, research, and education!
Texas Tech University offers a wide selection of fully online and hybrid degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in specialized fields such as restaurant, hotel, and institutional management; plant and soil science; and wind energy. Master's degree online options include eight education degrees with concentrations such as family and consumer sciences, agricultural education, and curriculum and instruction. Graduate students may also select master's degrees in technical fields such as healthcare engineering, horticulture, and data science, along with six doctoral degrees for aspiring educators.
Online education degrees are available at 498 accredited colleges and universities. Our comprehensive list of online education degrees includes options at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. In addition to this list, we highlight the best online bachelor's in education and best master's programs, ranked based on tuition costs and alumni salaries, as reported by PayScale.

Only about 1/5th of all students live on campus at the University, the rest live elsewhere in the area, are distance-learners, or are in the military. To be eligible for the free tuition program at the University–which covers everything except for fees– students’ families must have an income of less than $60,000 annually. Students that are covered by this program typically receive additional scholarships and grants to bridge that gap and cover the entirety of their higher education costs.


Columbia uses the popular edX platform, so you can find their online classes at ColumbiaX. The university offers more than 20 standalone courses that you can take for free online. Topics include Corporate Finance, Machine Learning, Marketing, Python, and more. Some of them are self-paced and some are actually instructor-led, so you can get the full college experience. All of these courses can be audited for free or you can choose to pay a small fee to earn a certificate of completion. These classes are available internationally, with the exception of Cuba and Iran due to some sanctions that the United States has in place.
Arizona State University offers online programs for undergraduates and graduate students. Those seeking a bachelor's can choose from 80 different pathways, including multiple tracks in business, information technology, psychology, and public service and public policy. Other options include exploratory tracks in health and life sciences, the humanities, STEM, and social and behavioral sciences -- along with 27 online minors. Graduate students may select from more than 60 master's or doctoral degrees in behavioral health or education.
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