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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If you are passionate about teaching, pursuing an online education degree will equip you will the skills necessary to make a difference in the lives of others through education. Of the 6,725 education degrees available fully online, students will find degrees tailored to a wide variety of specialties. With 478 elementary education degrees, 479 early childhood education degrees, 812 online degrees in curriculum and instruction, 1,252 online degrees in administration and leadership, 379 higher education degrees, 366 reading and literacy online degrees, and 1,033 online degrees in special education to choose from, students picking an online degree program in education should keep their career goals in mind. There are also online degree options available at every level, from associate to doctoral. Pursuing a degree in online education degree will help students realize their dreams of becoming teachers, principals, higher education administrators, and more.

Online graduate certificates and master’s degrees in education are often used to earn a teaching credential and state teaching license. Current teachers can use these programs to advance their understanding of teaching skills. Master’s programs and certificates are available in specializations such as education technology, elementary teacher education, special education, literacy, teacher leadership, administration, and adult education.
In 2012-2013, more than 1 out of 5 masters degrees was awarded in education. Employees in education with masters degrees earned 44 percent more than employees with bachelors degrees. In 2013, education administrators, preschool and kindergarten teachers, and elementary and middle school teachers benefited most financially from having masters degrees.
The advantages of online courses are more than just a sense of freedom. Online courses eliminate the need to commute to a campus, which saves money as well. There are several costs associated with this type of long-term campus commute, and as 29% of respondents report a household income of less than $50,000 a year, affordability matters. In addition, 46% of online students cite choosing the convenience of an online course due to a lack of a local campus or an inability to regularly commute to one.
In addition to the standard bachelor's pathways listed above, transfer students with an associate degree can follow an accelerated cohort track with the same group of students and complete their undergraduate studies in two years or less. Other available options include course clusters that combine three interrelated courses into a single 12-week term. The school offers open enrollment, so students may begin their coursework at various points throughout the calendar year.
As you move through different phases of your life you mature and your lifestyle and priorities change, so it makes sense that your career choice may change as well. Many individuals choose to pursue a new career when they’re in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even into their 50s, because the career that once suited them no longer does. It’s never too late to alter the course of your life and pursue something you’re interested in!
Established in 1888, Tiffin University has developed an innovative online program serving 4,282 students at home in Ohio and around the world. It offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in business administration, bachelor and master's degrees in criminal justice, and baccalaureate and master's degrees in the arts and sciences. As one of the nation's best online colleges, Tiffin was ranked in U.S. News and World Report's 2018 edition of the Best Colleges and Regional Universities. Classes are small, averaging 10-15 students to allow close, personalized educational experiences with the faculty. Online degree programs begin each year in January, March, May, July, August and October.
Students must meet the admission requirements for their chosen program. Credits from a regionally or nationally accredited institution may be eligible to transfer, provided that a grade of a C- or better was earned. Transfer credits typically apply toward general education and elective categories. Contact an Enrollment Representative for more information specific to your background.
Scuba divers build, inspect, and repair submerged structures, conduct experiments, rig explosives, and photograph sea creatures. The average salary is $53,990, and these jobs are projected to grow a whale-sized 37 percent between 2014 and 2024. Training to be a commercial diver requires only “a few months” at schools accredited by the Association of Commercial Diving Educators.
Regionally accredited colleges are typically nonprofit and state-operated. In the U.S., there are seven regional accrediting agencies that evaluate two-year and four-year colleges. Some states also have their own accrediting bodies independent of the regional agencies. You can learn more about each individual agency, and its jurisdiction, through the Office of Postsecondary Education.
The upper-division coursework in the bachelor's program is centered around the student's particular focus area in education. Possible specializations include elementary education, special education, middle school, or secondary education. Students specializing in secondary education also take coursework in a particular teaching subject area, such as math, science, or English. Teaching-oriented bachelor’s degrees require that students complete teaching labs or practicums, as well as an internship.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is one of the best online schools with to earn a bachelor’s degree. With over 40 years of experience in teaching through a distance learning program, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods has crafted an online program that works for most undergraduate students. Each degree is created with a busy student in mind, whether working adults or people that have family obligations. Some of the popular undergraduate options include the RN to BSN or health administration. While some programs are offered entirely online, other degrees can be completed through a hybrid of on-campus and online studies. SMWC is also among the best online colleges for graduate degrees, with all of their master’s degree programs being offered entirely online.
Occupational Outlook Handbook. If you already have a few ideas in mind, this is the go-to place to find all the important data you will need to make a decision! For each occupation, you will find a job description, what education and training is needed, salary and job growth outlook, and similar professions.  The handbook allows you to browse occupation groups, such as all careers under the healthcare umbrella, or the legal umbrella, for example. You can sort by education or pay, look at the fastest growing occupations or the newest occupations. If you’re not sure if you’d rather be an accountant or a financial analyst, this is a great place to learn and compare your options and learn about other alternatives.
Many of America's top colleges have launched online degree programs. Investments in technology have allowed colleges to create affordable and flexible programs for students. Online classes have significantly improved over the past 10 years and are more respected and accepted by top academics. Universities such as MIT and UC Berkeley now offer a wide variety of classes online. Find programs by clicking your state below.
If you are someone with a scientific mind that enjoys exploring the wonders of the natural world, then a degree in Biology can open the door to a number of lucrative, professional careers! Whether you are researching in a laboratory setting, teaching at a university, or working out in the field, a Biology degree gives you the opportunity to make a direct impact on the world around you.

The word “free” implies various connotations for everyone. If someone offers us a “free” car… it’s probably a clunker, what else would you expect? If someone offers us a “free” vacation… we’re all in, when do we leave? So, what should you expect if someone offers you the opportunity to earn a free college degree? Some may be skeptical. After all, how good can a free education really be? If you do your homework, you can find reputable schools that offer authentic, enjoyable and superior learning experiences at little or no cash out of your pocket!


Chances are, if you have a passion, you can get a degree in the subject. And, if typical majors aren’t your thing, there are plenty of unusual majors to choose from. The following list includes some weird-but-cool college majors, along with an example of a college that offers it, details of what students in the field study and the jobs that students pursue after graduation, as listed on each example college's website. (Please note that many of these aren’t the only schools which offer the academic subjects, just an example of one of the schools.) Check out the following unusual majors – perhaps your future calling is on the list!

UNC Chapel Hill is one of the few tuition free online universities that is not part of the Ivy League; however, it is one of the original Public Ivies declared by Richard Moll in 1985. It is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was chartered in 1789 and began enrolling students a while later in 1795; it is one of three institutions in the nation that can claim the title of being the oldest.
Best known for their dominant athletics, the University of Alabama is much more than just an athletics school. Considered one of the best schools, if not the best, in the state of Alabama, The University of Alabama has a long reputation for helping educate students that go on to do great things. The same can be said about Alabama's online school. One of the best online schools in the nation, Alabama's distance learning program offers the same high-quality, accredited education that they do on campus. Along with that, the distance learning program gives students - including military personnel and adults - the chance to study at their own pace and freedom. Alabama offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees through their online school, so students at all levels can find something to fit their needs.
Our guides to online college programs discuss key considerations for students, such as researching school accreditation, paying for tuition, and determining a major field of study. We also provide directories that allow prospective learners to browse online undergraduate and graduate programs in different fields. Read on to learn more about online college opportunities.
Oregon State follows a quarterly calendar and provides four start times throughout the academic year for online students. Tuition for undergraduate online courses costs the same irrespective of a students residency status. Military veterans and servicemembers also qualify for certain tuition benefits, including financial aid that covers the cost of up to 16 credits per year. Oregon State University receives regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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.
National University features an online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. The program focus is on inclusive curricula and best practices for educating children birth to age 5.  Admission requires a diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or the GED. Transfer students should also have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Policies on transfer credit and credit for prior experience are generous. Classes are offered in a one class per four-week term format. Courses offered include Partnering with Families, Music, Movements, Drama, Dance, and Crisis Trauma and Abuse. Online tuition is $370 per quarter credit. National University's home campus is in San Diego. The program requires a teaching practicum, and a background check is mandatory. NU is extremely military friendly. Arkansas residents should check with the admissions office regarding program availability.
Instructors deliver most of the university's distance-based programs asynchronously and fully online, but some incorporate blended learning and synchronous coursework. The university offers rolling application deadlines and four start dates year-round. Additionally, transfer students can apply up to 64 credits toward their bachelor's degrees. Most bachelor's programs culminate in either a capstone project or an internship.

UNC Chapel Hill is one of the few tuition free online universities that is not part of the Ivy League; however, it is one of the original Public Ivies declared by Richard Moll in 1985. It is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was chartered in 1789 and began enrolling students a while later in 1795; it is one of three institutions in the nation that can claim the title of being the oldest.


Online learning has come a long way over the years, and distance students today can pursue degree programs that match their interests from the associate to the doctorate level. While not every program is suited to the online environment, nearly 80% of educators find that generally, online learning is equal to, if not better than, traditional classroom learning. Some of the most popular undergraduate majors for online students include:
Bachelor’s degrees in education are the minimum requirement to teach in public elementary and secondary schools. Online degrees are available in elementary education, early childhood education, secondary education, and special education. In general, half of the credits in bachelor’s degrees in education are in the education major core, while half are in liberal arts topics like natural science, social science, communications, and math.
Saint Leo University’s online program is designed to help nontraditional adult learners succeed by making higher education more accessible. In the virtual classroom, students will receive a comprehensive education in their field of choice that are taught by dedicated instructors who are trained specifically to teach online courses. While the school was built with Catholic roots, online learners are welcomed into this learning community regardless of their religious affiliation. Before beginning their online courses, students may also receive a free e-book that contains tips to succeed in an online learning environment.
About 81% of online students are also employed, so the convenience of distance education works in their favor, allowing them to complete classes around their employment schedule. While almost 63% of students say that the courses they took were to further their career, only 17% claim that taking courses was due to a desire to change careers. These responses may suggest that many online students are looking to expand their current professional skills, including the skills needed for a job promotion, rather than shift career paths entirely.
We offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in many high-demand fields, including business, education, nursing and technology. You can complete your degree online from anywhere or on-campus, depending upon your location. The University also offers certificate programs, as well as individual, test-preparation and non-credit professional development courses.
Central Michigan University, established in 1892 as a teacher's college, today offers more than 200 majors through its undergraduate, master's, specialist and doctoral degree programs. It serves more than 20,000 students at its Mount Pleasant campus and another 7,000 students pursuing degrees and certificates wholly online. CMU is one of the small number of educational institutions to hold the two highest Carnegie research classifications. CMU Online offers wholly online degree and certificate programs held in 8-, 12- and 16-week sessions. One of the nation's best online schools, CMU Online has been ranked among the best colleges for online bachelor degrees, MBA degrees, and graduate education. Distance students have full access to CMU's Online Learning Resource Center.
Another important consideration is the cost of tuition compared to the net price of attendance. Tuition is the listed rate found on the school's website, while net price refers to the amount students pay after loans, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid are applied. For example, the College Board notes that the average student attending a four-year public institution in 2017-18 paid $21,370 in tuition and room and board. However, these students also received an average of $6,490 in financial aid, bringing their average net price to $14,880 — nearly 30% less than the listed price for tuition and room and board.
Cadets in the United States Air Force Academy receive free tuition and free room and board in an education that is valued at over $400,000. Students at this institution engage in military, athletic, academic, and character development programs while completing an education and training in the air force. There are over 20 majors and minors available to students and some of the more popular are, for example, Business Administration, Economics, and Systems Engineering. Acceptance is competitive at the US Air Force Academy as only 15% of applicants are accepted. The student body is a little larger than most of the schools on this list with over 4,000 students in attendance. Upon completing an education at this free college, members go on to complete 5 years of active duty and 3 years reserve. Cadets are pushed to their limits and learn to exercise all of the skill, knowledge, and strength at their command.
A fully online format versus a hybrid format is another important consideration. Hybrid learning requires students to participate in on-site trainings, group work, and other activities that take them away from their computer. These components foster social interaction but may not be ideal for students with busy schedules. Fully online programs do not offer the same level of personal interaction but are more suitable for students with full-time jobs, childcare duties, and other time-consuming commitments.
The main purpose of the industrial engineer is to increase productivity and efficiency. They work with established businesses to improve current procedures, as well as with prospective businesses by advising during the planning process. Cutting down on wastefulness involves the integration of workers, machines, materials, information, and energy. Industrial engineers juggle each of these elements and may review production schedules, manufacturing specifications, or quality and management control systems in an effort to find ideal solutions. Working in every industry, from healthcare to business administration to manufacturing, industrial engineers possess versatile, valuable abilities designed to promote maximum efficiency in every aspect in modern day business.
SNHU charges the same flat tuition rate for all in-state and out-of-state students, and the school has not increased its tuition since 2012. Active-duty military personnel and their spouses may receive a discount of up to 30% on their tuition costs. Southern New Hampshire University receives regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (http://hlcommission.org). Since 1978, University of Phoenix has been continually accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor. University of Phoenix obtained its most recent 10-year Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2012–13. A comprehensive evaluation is scheduled for 2016–17, and the next Reaffirmation of Accreditation is scheduled for 2022–23.

Texas-based Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers many different pathways for students seeking a religious degree. These include online undergraduate programs in fields such as Bible and theology, church ministries, and theological studies. Secular options include online bachelor's degrees in counseling, criminal justice, elementary education, and TESOL. Additionally, the university offers multi-concentration online bachelor's degrees in business administration and human services and 19 online master's and doctoral degrees.

If your goal is to apply scientific skills to real world problems, engineering is a field you should explore. Online engineering programs are available at the introductory level for new students, with a number of options at both the associate and bachelor’s level. For those more experienced in the field, online master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering are available as well. Interested students should also research what engineering specializations appeal them, as online programs are available in areas such as electrical engineering, civil engineering, software engineering and mechanical engineering. Graduates of an online engineering degree program may find work at research labs, governmental agencies, large corporations, construction sites, or small companies.
The amount of a federal student loan varies by recipient. In order to qualify for federal loans, students must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). On this form, students must list their family's annual income as well as their own, along with tax information and other financial details. The U.S. Department of Education uses data from the FAFSA to determine each applicant's total loan amount.

Fort Hays State boasts numerous accolades for its online degrees and virtual college. Several of the school's online bachelor's pathways serve as degree completion programs geared toward transfer students with an associate degree; most students complete these tracks in two years or less. Additionally, some programs carry a foreign language coursework requirement.
Although online learning has removed many time and place barriers, it’s important to see which colleges in your state offer online programs. Attending a local college or university with online programs makes it easier to take advantage of physical resources or, if necessary, enroll in a hybrid program. Select a state below to learn more about its online learning landscape.
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, California Baptist University is one of the best online schools for students who want to find their spiritual, social and professional purpose in life. Founded by the California Southern Baptist Convention in 1950, the school encourages students to practice the skills they learn in the classroom with integrity and glory to God. To that end, the school offers a variety of online degree programs that are catered to adult learners looking for quality, flexibility, and Christianity in their education. California Baptist University has bachelor's degrees in public relations, kinesiology, English, human services, Christian ministries, and psychology. On the graduate level, students can study technology management, public administration, counseling psychology, organizational leadership, and communication.
City University of Seattle, or CityU, is a private nonprofit institution offering online and hybrid degrees at all collegiate levels. Undergraduate options include online associate degrees in business or general studies along with 11 online bachelor's programs in fields such as applied psychology, cybersecurity, and information systems. Online graduate-level options at CityU include 10 master's degrees and two doctorates, most of which concentrate in business administration or education.

Many online undergraduates at Northeastern collaborate with sponsoring organizations to complete an immersive six-week project. Working students, on the other hand, may partner with their employer to tackle a capstone project that addresses a key need or issue in their professional field. The university also offers a co-op program that allows students to work in a paid position related to their major field for up to six months.
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