Which are the most popular online degrees? In the last several years there has been a great increase in the number of programs and degrees that are now available though distance education and online learning programs. In the last several years there has been a great increase in the number of programs and degrees that are now available though distance education and online learning programs. Trying to figure out what to study then becomes a challenging task with all these choices and options.
Some of the questions that run through the students include: Is the program fully accredited? What does it mean to complete a degree online? Will I be able to get a job upon graduating? What degree programs are most marketable? One trend is for people who may have started their degree but did not complete their studies, online distance education seems to be the currently most flexible way to return to school to finish up their degree. The convenience is particularly important for people with full time jobs and/or families to take care of.
Another trend is that many traditional (campus-based) colleges and universities are also offering online courses and full degree programs to cater to students who are unable to attend classes physically. One thing to keep in mind is that various marketable and popular online degrees and programs seem to outlast trendy or promotional influences. For that reason it might be a good idea to consider programs that have withstood the test of time and are constantly in demand, for example studies in accounting.
Online studies suggest that although the popularity and marketability of popular online degrees does fluctuate with economic and social factors, some degree programs have remained at the top of the popularity list. These programs are: Medical billing and coding, medical transcription, nursing, business and MBA, psychology, education, criminal justice and information technology degrees.
Additional research shows that increasingly, more students are enrolling in graduate level programs of study, particularly masters and PhD programs. This is based on the fact that the students want to enhance their marketability while having the flexibility to continue working.
For business degrees, the masters and bachelors programs remain popular. The Masters in Business Administration (MBA) for example has become a requirement for most mid-level managers. This means that more business professionals are seeking to get higher qualifications and are doing so through online programs. It also means that more graduate schools are offering online MBA programs. Concentrations such as accounting, project management, risk management, human resource management and finance are capturing the interests of the students.
Certain areas in the health care profession have continued to grow, yet there is still a demand for certain professions. Popular online degrees are in medical coding, medical billing, medical transcription, health administration and management and nursing. Nursing in particular continue to experience acute shortages, for example life care planning, legal nurse consulting, and forensic nursing. Much of the shortage has been a result of retirement of the aging baby boomer generation and medical technology advancement.
Education is another area of study that still has a demand. Certain subject areas such as mathematics education, science education, and special education continue to have a great need in the school systems. Popular online degrees that continue to have a need including educational technology, educational leadership, and educational administration.
In this information age we live in, technology continues to advance. Subsequently, degree programs in certain areas such as computer security, information technology, software engineering, and web development continue to serve this body of students who want to join various professions in this field. One advantage is that technology is being applied to all areas thus is not industry specific.
Criminal justice degrees at all levels continue to grow especially in online programs. At the associates, bachelors, and masters levels there is a need for trained professionals for a wide selection of career options including corrections, law enforcement, homeland security, forensics, investigations, and paralegal and legal services.
Whichever area of study you decide to pursue, there are several issues to consider when considering popular online degrees. First, keep in mind that while some degrees may not be popular with students, some industries have a need and these professions also pay quite well. Second, be sure to research and determine that the college or university you decide to attend is fully accredited. Third, conduct prior research on financial costs and available scholarships. Also be sure to check the class scheduling to ensure that you graduate on time.