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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Kansas State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Admission for both freshmen and transfer students requires a 2.0 GPA, and up to 60 credits may be transferred. The 56 credit Elementary Education program focuses on teaching K-6 in school settings. Graduates become eligible for a Kansas Initial Teaching License. Students must declare a 15 credit minor in a subject such as English or math. The 61 credit Early Childhood program centers on teaching birth to K, and working with families, daycare and related agencies. Courses in the programs include Classroom Assessment, Emerging Literacy and Behavioral Management. Online tuition through K-State Global is $436.40 per credit.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the oldest and largest institution in the Minnesota university system. The school offers a total of 18 online bachelor's degree pathways, including six tracks related to general business studies and programs in specialized fields such as tribal administration and governance, manufacturing management, agricultural business, and sport and recreation management. Other online offerings include six undergraduate certificates and a learning technologies minor. Graduate students at UMN-Twin Cities can choose from 14 online master's degrees and nine online doctoral degrees, most of which focus on healthcare fields.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the country's largest accredited institution that primarily offers degrees in aviation and aerospace technology. Undergraduates choose from 16 online bachelor's programs, including subjects such as aviation business administration, homeland security, safety management, and unmanned systems applications. The selection for graduate students focuses on similar topics, as options include online master's degrees in aviation and aerospace sustainability, cybersecurity management and policy, and systems engineering. The school also offers a Ph.D. in aviation.
Online courses often consist of required readings and lecture videos, which may be livestreamed or prerecorded. Distance learners can complete these assignments entirely online. Some courses also include discussion elements; in these cases, students typically participate in group chats with their professors and fellow classmates. Some online courses also feature in-person components, such as site-based practicum training. These courses are known as "blended" because they integrate online and brick-and-mortar elements.

Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, religiously affiliated school with a wide selection of online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Those seeking an online bachelor's can choose from eight business pathways, along with degrees in fields such as digital communication, addictions counseling, criminal justice, and licensure or non-licensure early childhood education. Indiana Wesleyan also offers several online graduate programs, including English-language and Spanish-language master's degrees in divinity and ministry; several graduate-level nursing tracks are also available.

Stephen F. Austin State University offers three online Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degrees in education. They are the BSIS in Elementary Education 4-8, the BSIS in Elementary Education EC-6, and the BSIS in Special Education. All three are 45 credit majors and admissions require a 3.0 GPA. Up to 60 credits may be transferred. The EC-6 program is only available to Texas residents and requires a concentration in math, English, social studies or generalist. The 4-8 program focuses on the middle grades. The Special Ed program focuses on teaching diverse students with exceptionalities. It prepares students for EC-12 Special Ed Teacher and EC-6 Generalist Teacher. All three programs require a visit to campus once a semester for program intensives. Tuition is $362 per credit hour.


Duke University is a private research university that is based in Durham North Carolina. Though Duke now has a campus including 254 buildings spanning 8,691 acres, it began in one building in the year 1838, a private subscription school called Brown’s Schoolhouse. It has also grown to serve more than 16,000 students from every corner of the world. The university has ranked among the top 10 in America in publications such as Forbes and U.S. News & World Report.
Accreditation is regional, national, and programmatic in nature, with 15 accrediting agencies currently recognized by the Department of Education to conduct regional and national accreditation. Specialized accrediting organizations handle subject- and program-based review in areas such as community and social services, healthcare, law, and counseling. Choosing an accredited program of study is important because students receive a level of assurance their institution provides an education that is of value. It also important because it ensures the following:
Cornell is another institution among the Ivy League schools that is a tuition-free university for many of its students. If a family brings in under the amount of $60,000 per year, they can expect to pay absolutely nothing for their child’s higher education. The university is also unique in that there is no standard income bracket for grant-aid recipients. Instead, eligibility is considered on a case-by-case basis by looking at factors such as family size, assets held, the number of children the family has in college, and so on. If students don’t meet the requirement for free tuition, generous grant aid from Cornell could take their estimated contribution pretty close to zero.
The United States Military Academy, which is most commonly known as West Point, accepts 10% of applicants every year, all of whom receive free tuition, room, and board. The goal of the USMA is to create strong leaders within the military, and, in doing so, provides their students with rigorous training and education programs from day one. Students are encouraged to create a unified and supportive environment for one another in the more than 40 academic majors available. Some of the most popular degree programs at West Point include Business Administration and Management, Mechanical Engineering, and Systems Engineering. This free college provides a well-disciplined, academically challenging, and highly supportive learning environment, all of which takes place on a gorgeous campus with Norman-style academic buildings and residence halls and is situated north of New York City on the western bank of the Hudson River.
Students in associate degree programs in education can chose from many different areas of specialization. The most common concentrations are early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, and special education. Some students may also choose to specialize in a particular subject, such as math or biology. Regardless of the area of interest, students will learn about classroom management, curriculum development, and best practices for working with school staff and parents. Coursework typically includes topics such as education fundamentals, education technology, education psychology, and child development and growth. In addition to classroom learning, students in these programs may be required to complete internships or externships in order to graduate.

Online master’s degree programs are a valuable option to students hoping to pursue graduate level education at a flexible pace, as many programs are designed to allow students to continue working while completing their studies. Online master’s degrees typically take two years to complete, and are available online in most subjects. Many schools, such as Dallas Baptist University, Liberty University, and Southern New Hampshire University Online offer over 100 different online graduate degree options.
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university that was founded in 1701, making it the third oldest institution of its kind and also one of the nine Colonial Colleges. It is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale University is the alma mater of 5 former U.S. Presidents, and 19 Supreme Court Justices. More interesting trivia about Yale is that their mascot Handsome Dan is believed to be the first in the United States.
Generally, physicists study the interactions between space, time, energy, and matter. Different types of specialization offer physicists the opportunity to work in a preferred area of study: astrophysics, the physics of the universe; atomic, molecular, or optical physics, concerned with atoms, molecules, electrons, and light; particle and nuclear physics, focusing on atomic and subatomic particles; materials physics, studying properties of matter and related phenomena; or medical physics, working to develop medical technologies and treatments. Through research and experiments, physicists seek greater understanding of the natural world. They may work to solve industry needs, complete government research, or, with extensive education, in academia.
WGU offers a total of 66 fully online bachelor's and master's degrees. Nearly half of these programs focus on teaching and include nine specialized bachelor's degrees, five graduate-level tracks for educators seeking licensure, and more than a dozen master's concentrations for licensed teachers. Additional offerings include nine bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing and an MBA in healthcare management. WGU's remaining degrees focus on business and/or information technology.
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