Top 10 Popular Online Bachelor Degrees. This post has gathered a list of the top 10 online bachelor’s degrees that are widely favored by students on the internet. The degrees are presented without any specific ranking, providing an overview of the top ten online degrees, including details about the curriculum and salary prospects for each.
As students considering an online Bachelor’s degree, we’ve compiled a list of the top online associate’s degrees for careers. Check out our ranking of the 10 best online degrees for lucrative salaries. Numerous online colleges provide quick online degrees too.
As the business world continues to reap the rewards of the internet, including global access to trade news, retail, entertainment, and more, education is also experiencing similar advantages.
People learning online don’t face the usual obstacles of traditional education, like needing to live near the university or adjusting work to fit class schedules. Online colleges allow you to take classes from anywhere, and you can organize your classes around your work hours.
More and more universities and colleges are providing courses on the internet, leading to a rise in the population of online learners. This has the effect of educating the workforce while they are actively employed.
Can You Earn a Bachelor’s Degree Online?
Yes, you can attain bachelor’s degrees through online education. Online learning has become a common choice for many, offering flexibility, affordability, and reduced health risks, especially during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after the pandemic, some Americans continue to prefer online colleges.
In the fall of 2020, about 44% of students in four-year public colleges had all their classes online, with more combining virtual and in-person learning. For-profit colleges saw 89% of their students fully enrolled in online classes.
Nowadays, both nonprofit and for-profit colleges offer accredited online bachelor’s degrees. To help students choose the best options, OnlineU has developed Salary Score rankings, comparing graduates’ salaries with the same degree nationwide, reflecting the increased emphasis on online education.
Applying to an Online Bachelor’s Program
The prerequisites for an online bachelor’s program are typically the same as those for an in-person program. Generally, candidates need to submit:
- High school transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA or equivalent
- SAT or ACT scores
- Recommendation letters from teachers, counselors, coaches, or mentors
- An entrance essay that is often personal and reflective
- Official transcripts from previous colleges for transfer students
- Certain online schools may offer options like probationary admission or the chance to provide additional information for context if the minimum GPA isn’t met.
What To Expect From an Online Bachelor’s Degree
Although the specifics vary depending on the school and subject, here are some common features you’ll likely encounter in top online bachelor’s degree programs:
- Around 120 credits on average: Most programs expect students to finish about 120 credit hours, with courses usually being 3-4 credits each, and full-time students typically taking 4-5 classes per term.
- Asynchronous coursework: Online classes often include recorded lectures and discussion boards, allowing students to post at any time during the week. Live lectures are less common, but weekly assignments usually have set due dates.
- Culminating experience: Many degree programs culminate in a final experience reinforcing concepts. This might be a capstone course with a comprehensive research project, an exam, or a supervised internship or field experience.
- Virtual support: Completing a degree requires support, and good colleges show they care by offering academic advisors, tutoring, writing support, online library access, and nonacademic services like counseling and career advising.
Students can join hybrid programs that mix online and in-person classes, or opt for entirely online degree programs. The choice of the best online undergraduate programs should be based on the student’s preferred learning style.
The Top 10 Most Popular Online Bachelor’s Degrees
1. Business Administration
The most widely chosen online bachelor degree is Business Administration, attracting more students nationwide than any other online program. This popularity stems from the program’s applicability to virtually every career due to its focus on essential business and management principles.
Students can acquire valuable analytical, managerial, communication, and decision-making skills, making the program even more appealing. Another attractive aspect is the potential for high salaries. As per the U.S. Census Bureau, on average, a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business earns an impressive $2.6 million throughout their career—roughly $200,000 more than the average for all bachelor’s degree holders.
Approximately 6 million employed Americans have a bachelor’s degree in business, holding various management positions across diverse industries. Resources like “Online Business Schools: The 50 Best,” “The 25 Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Management Degree Programs,” and “The Best Online Business Administration Colleges” showcase the prominence of online business education.
2. Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice programs bring together various academic fields like law, sociology, psychology, and science in their curriculum. Online Criminal Justice programs ready students for roles such as crime scene investigators, legal analysts, forensic scientists, and probation officers.
Positions in Criminal Justice are open at federal, state, and local levels. With the surge in cyber-crime, individuals holding a Criminal Justice degree with a background in computer science or information technology can qualify for positions with the sought-after Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Department of Homeland Security.
According to Payscale, those with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice earn a mid-career salary of $58,400 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports median salaries in the criminal justice field ranging from $39,000 for jailers to almost $43,000 for private investigators, and approximately $70,000 for detectives and criminal investigators. Engaging in a Criminal Justice career is fulfilling, contributing directly to society’s well-being and prosperity.
Earning a Psychology degree unlocks opportunities in various job sectors. Psychologists can find employment in Human Services, Criminal Justice, Marketing, Business, and more, either within organizations or as independent professionals.
Psychology is a field in demand, essential across diverse business and human service domains. It encompasses studies such as neuroscience, human development, personality theory, learning, memory, psychotherapy, emotion, sensation, interpersonal relationships, personal adjustment, and abnormal behavior.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industrial-Organizational Psychologists top the list of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., boasting a median annual pay of $83,580 and a remarkable 53% growth rate until 2022. This growth rate surpasses that of all other occupations. Payscale reports a mid-career salary of $60,700 for psychologists. If you have an interest in understanding human behavior, motivations, fears, hopes, and a desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives, a psychology degree is the perfect foundation for such a career.
Explore the Best Online Psychology Degree Programs, the Top Educational Psychology Graduate Programs, and the Finest Bachelor’s Degrees in Applied Psychology to kickstart your journey in this field.
As per Payscale, nurses are ranked as the top profession making a global impact. Enrolling in an online nursing degree entails taking challenging courses in both scientific and interpersonal aspects. These cover various subjects like chemistry, anatomy, psychology, biology, and sociology, aimed at equipping nurses to effectively care for their patients.
Advancements in medical technology mean that nurses now handle patient information and deliver treatments in a more digital environment. Courses like nursing informatics, data management, and healthcare delivery systems prepare students to embrace and apply new medical technologies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses with just an Associate’s degree can earn a median salary of around $64,700 annually. However, pursuing a bachelor’s degree can boost their earnings. A Registered Nurse with a bachelor’s degree has a mid-career median salary of $65,200.
Acquiring a four-year nursing degree also opens doors to managerial roles. PayScale indicates that a nurse manager earns a mid-career median salary of $75,000, while a director earns $78,300. Further education at the graduate level enables nurses to pursue roles in nursing education and administration.
For nurses contemplating graduate school, online Master of Science in Nursing programs cater to those with a bachelor’s degree and those with a Registered Nurse credential but no bachelor’s degree.
PayScale places elementary education in the top 10 majors that positively impact the world. About 75% of those with a bachelor’s in education believe that their work contributes to making the world a better place.
An online bachelor’s degree in education teaches how to engage and inspire students, evaluate their progress, and address classroom challenges. According to the Bureau of Labor, nearly 250,000 new teaching positions in urban and rural school districts are anticipated in elementary schools by 2020.
The Bureau of Labor also highlights a high demand for teachers with expertise in special education and teaching English as a second language due to a shortage of trained teachers in these areas. To enhance job prospects, students pursuing an education degree can obtain certificates in these specific fields. Online education degrees are readily available.
Graduates must obtain a teaching license, with requirements varying by state. Some school systems mandate teachers to acquire a master’s degree to maintain their license, often resulting in a salary increase.
Teachers can further their education through online Master of Education or Master of Science programs in areas like education leadership, administration, curriculum and instruction, and teaching and learning. These programs explore effective teaching practices, learning methodologies, and the integration of new programs and technologies in modern educational settings.
A Bachelor’s degree in Engineering sets you up for one of the highest starting salaries right after college, kicking off at $98,000. This earning potential makes pursuing an Engineering degree quite appealing for your first job post-college.
Engineering consistently stands out as one of the top degrees in terms of return on investment. This is primarily because there’s a high demand for Engineers across various fields like science, math, mechanical engineering, technology, and computers. If you opt for an online Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, you’ll delve into subjects like math, science, chemistry, management, and computer science.
Engineering degrees come in various specialties, including petroleum, chemical, mechanical, nuclear, electrical, aerospace, and computer engineering. Currently, there are approximately 3 million engineering jobs available, and the demand is on the rise every year. It’s not uncommon for promising engineering students to secure job offers even before they graduate.
7. Healthcare Administration
The field of Healthcare Administration is experiencing rapid growth, driven by advancements in technology, healthcare regulations, and a longer-living population. This has made Healthcare Administration one of the most sought-after online bachelor’s degree programs due to the expanding market.
Healthcare Administrators are tasked with overseeing various medical businesses like doctor’s offices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. Their responsibilities include coordinating care, creating schedules, managing finances, and collaborating with doctors and medical staff.
It’s important to note that Healthcare Administrators don’t provide direct medical care to patients. The coursework for this field covers a wide range of topics, including business, ethics, accounting, leadership, finance, and economics, along with the legal requirements in an industry strictly regulated for privacy laws.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Healthcare Administration field is expected to grow by 22%, resulting in the addition of 70,000 new positions by 2020. Payscale reports that graduates with a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration have an average starting salary of $39,600, with a mid-career salary of $57,800. Those aiming for higher earnings may consider pursuing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management or Business.
8. Computer Science
Computer science is highly sought after in our increasingly computerized world, and as a result, it consistently ranks as one of the top-earning college degrees.
Obtaining a computer science degree comes with various advantages, including the potential for high earnings, low unemployment rates, and a plethora of career opportunities. Companies actively seek individuals with a Computer Science degree for roles like designers, developers, programmers, and product managers.
Given the rapid pace of technological progress, computer science programs must keep up to date with these changes to ensure students acquire the necessary and cutting-edge skills, such as coding languages, software code, and other relevant abilities.
Students enrolled in computer science programs will acquire skills in creating both software and hardware, along with the ability to manage the networks connecting them. The curriculum encompasses classes like Introduction to Operating Systems, data structures and algorithms, programming, and database management.
Upon graduation, individuals with a Computer Science degree often pursue careers in fields such as Internet and Web Development, Software Engineering, Network Security, Network Administration, Cloud Computing, Database Management, Web Sciences, and Big Data.
The job outlook for Computer Science degree holders remains promising, making it one of the most popular choices for online bachelor’s degree programs. Explore the best online Computer Science degree programs and the top Bachelor’s in Computer Science: Game Design Degrees.
Accountants play a crucial role in managing financial matters for individuals or businesses. They examine and assess financial documents, providing consulting services to various entities like corporations, nonprofits, and governments. Companies consistently seek accountants who can analyze financial data and tackle monetary challenges.
An online Bachelor’s degree in Accounting equips students with essential skills in business, analysis, and finance, preparing them for successful careers in both public and private sectors.
Online Accounting degree programs cover a comprehensive curriculum, encompassing macro and microeconomics, fundamental accounting principles, income taxation, internal auditing, ethics, organizational effectiveness evaluation, financial performance analysis, and compliance with regulatory laws.
Students gain proficiency in navigating financial statements, understanding accounting principles, comprehending the accounting cycle, and handling business transactions. Certification exams such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant, or Certified Internal Auditor are required for professional recognition.
To be eligible for the CPA exam, students must complete 150 semester hours, which most bachelor’s degree programs do not provide. The American Institute of CPAs recommends pursuing additional hours through graduate school, opting for a Master’s in Accounting or a Master’s in Business Administration in Accounting.
Professional certification, especially obtaining a CPA license, significantly enhances career opportunities, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Exploring the best online associate’s degrees and accounting programs can further guide individuals in choosing the most suitable educational path.
10. Human Services
A career in Human Services is fulfilling and offers various job options, including Community Advocacy and Social Policy, Social Work, Human Services Administration, Health Education, Community Services, and Criminal Justice. According to Payscale, Social Work is ranked #6 among majors that positively impact the world, with 77% of graduates believing their career contributes to making the world better.
The curriculum covers policy, theory, ethics, research, and management. Students often specialize in areas like gerontology, social and community services, Global Health Services, public health, criminal justice, intervention, and family studies.
Professionals obtaining an online degree in Human Services can work in diverse roles and industries, such as nursing home administration or child protective services.
By 2030, Human Services eployment is expected to grow by 27%, nearly double the national growth rate for other occupations. The demand for human services professionals is rising to cater to the aging population’s needs, including day care and meal delivery services.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics attributes the growth in the Human Services field to an increasing number of people undergoing drug addiction treatment programs.
PayScale reports median salaries ranging from approximately $33,000 for case managers to $82,000 for nursing home administrators, with figures like $53,000 for wellness directors and $59,000 for medical and health services managers.
Explore the Best Human Rights Studies Programs, College Degrees for Combating Human Trafficking, and Universities actively fighting against Human Trafficking.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will I Be Able to Work While Earning My Online Bachelor’s Degree?
The flexibility of online education is a big advantage. Online bachelor’s degree programs usually have flexible schedules. Asynchronous courses, where students can watch recorded lectures and do coursework at their own pace, provide the most flexibility. On the other hand, synchronous classes require students to log in at specific times each week.
Is an Online Bachelor’s Degree Legitimate?
Validated online degrees are genuine. When selecting a college, make sure it’s accredited. If a reputable agency has approved the quality of the school’s online programs, the qualification is as valuable and esteemed as a degree obtained through traditional in-person education.
Which Accreditation Is Best For Online Degree Programs?
Fake accrediting groups endorse subpar online colleges. DEAC, a national accreditor, ensures the quality of schools offering online programs. When looking for top online bachelor’s degrees, check the DAPIP for accredited institutions. Certain majors have accrediting bodies like ABET for engineering programs.
What Is the Easiest Degree to Get Online?
Determining the easiest online degree is challenging because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. It’s more practical to choose the best online university for a bachelor’s degree by considering how well it aligns with your learning style and future career goals. In essence, there’s no single program that can be labeled as the “easiest online degree.” The ease of a degree varies for each student depending on factors like their extracurricular commitments, academic background, abilities, and interest in the program. Research supports the idea that students tend to perform better in subjects they find interesting, which can guide students in selecting the most suitable online bachelor degree programs based on their interests.
How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online Bachelor’s Degree?
An internet-based bachelor’s degree typically takes four years of full-time learning to finish. This duration gives students ample time to grasp a subject and assess their educational objectives. Nonetheless, some students might extend their completion time by opting for a part-time study approach.
Is an Online Bachelor’s Degree Legitimate?
Accredited online degrees are legitimate. The process of choosing the right college should always include accreditation. If a recognized agency has certified the quality of a school’s online programs, then the credential is just as meaningful and respected as a diploma earned through in-person learning.
Which Accreditation Is Best For Online Degree Programs?
Fake accrediting agencies endorse subpar online colleges. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a national accreditor that vouches for the quality of schools offering online programs. When looking for top online bachelor’s degrees, check the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP) for listed schools. Certain majors also have professional groups like the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accrediting specific programs.