Our Top Online Degree Programs in 2024
For prospective students in Your State
TheOnlineDegreeGuide.com helps prospective students compare education options.
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Degree program, graduation, and career outcomes greatly vary. As such, no offer or guarantee of employment or earnings is made on this website. Any occupational information provided is for illustrative purposes only. Prospective students should consult with a representative from the school they select for degree program, graduation time, online curriculum offering, tuition, financial aid, and career outlook information.
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TheOnlineDegreeGuide.com was made with one purpose in mind: to assist potential students in finding the best online degree program for their needs. Having a bachelor’s degree has become a requirement for most jobs on the market, but that doesn’t make the decision to apply to college any easier. Whether you’ve earned a degree in the past or simply given a few college classes a try before, you already know that finishing a degree program requires an incredible amount of both time and money, resources most of us can’t spare much of -- and that’s where we come in.
We believe that online schooling is the future, and that’s why we took the time to look through all of the accredited online colleges and pick out the best ones to highlight here. To start, we researched which accredited colleges offer programs for degrees that are relevant to today’s job market, and then we narrowed down which ones are 100% online. Online courses make it easier for students to balance school with the rest of their lives, a benefit we can readily see as many of the students pushed into online classes due to COVID-19 are voluntarily choosing to continue on that path, largely due to the educational autonomy it offers. With this in mind, we searched for schools that truly allow for self-paced learning, schedule flexibility, and 24/7 access to the classroom. Finally, we focused on price and financial aid availability, as we believe that education should be accessible on any budget. The result of these efforts is our list of the Top 5 Online Colleges, which all have the accessibility, affordability, and quality of education that every student deserves.
Wherever you are in life right now, getting a degree can mean a brighter future. By giving you control of your own schedule, allowing you to live anywhere you want, and keeping costs low, online degree programs make it easier than ever to get a meaningful education. We hope that our site is helpful in getting you started on the path to success.
Are online degrees worth it?
Despite the clear benefits of having a flexible schedule, spending less on tuition, and being able to attend classes from anywhere, some prospective students still worry that an online degree may not be worth as much as a degree from a brick-and-mortar institution. While that may have had some truth to it in the past, today we’re moving towards a digital world more quickly than ever, and online schooling has been normalized as a result. Most online degree programs offer courses that are just as high-quality as in-person ones are -- with the added benefit of you never having to leave your house. It’s evident that having a degree opens up more job opportunities and leads to increased income, but there is no rule that says you have to choose an unnecessarily difficult route to one. As people realize how convenient it is, online schooling is becoming increasingly common, a fact that becomes especially clear when you see how many of the most well-known, in-person universities are starting to offer fully online degree options of their own.
What are the best online degrees of 2024 for careers projected to grow?
While it’s clear that there is no loss of quality when it comes to online degrees, a bigger question still stands -- which degrees are the most likely to get you employed? For many students, finding a job after graduation is a major concern, one that easily manifests in sleepless nights and a near-constant sense of anxiety. As much as your love for a subject can be paramount to your success, balancing passion with reality can lead to better prospects and less stress in the long-term. Though there are too many factors at play for us to give an exact answer on what the best degree is for you, there are definitely fields with higher projected growth rates and higher median salaries, information which is easily available online. While we always encourage students to choose a field of study that really catches their attention, it’s a good idea to do some research on a variety of degree options ahead of time to see which of your fields of interest are the most likely to snag you your dream job.
To get you started, we’ve researched just a few of the most popular and most employable career paths, as well as the degrees they typically require. Whether you’re interested in law, psychology, education, technology, or something else entirely, here are seven potential jobs your online degree could lead you to:
Marketing managers are in charge of planning and implementing effective advertising campaigns and marketing initiatives within their organization. Generally, the goal is to spark interest in a product or service, which typically leads to higher revenue for the company. Besides a deep understanding of marketing principles, marketing managers must also know their company’s industry inside and out in order to advertise effectively. Additionally, they must have a strong aptitude for both managing a team of marketers and working closely with other departments within their company. To become a marketing manager, you’ll need at a bachelor’s in marketing or business, with a masters being preferred in some cases, as well as several years of experience in the marketing industry.
Median Pay: $133,380
Job Growth: Marketing manager positions are expected to grow by 10 percent between 2021 and 2031, which is much faster than average(1).
A sales manager oversees a company’s sales team, and thus is responsible for the performance of the sales department. They must keep up with changing factors within their industry that might have an effect on sales or profit, and they must be skilled at networking in order to effectively gain customers. The base requirement for entering this role is a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a relevant field such as business, though some companies look for candidates with a masters as well. Besides your education, your years of experience working directly in sales will also be taken into major consideration, as a deeper understanding of the job is likely to make you a better, more effective manager overall.
Median Pay: $127,490
Job Growth: Sales manager positions are expected to grow by 5 percent between 2021 and 2031, which is as fast as average(2).
Software developers essentially create the systems behind the computer programs and apps we all use in our daily lives. There are branches within the field, as some developers work on programs that mostly concern consumers, while others create systems for larger organizations, including financial corporations and the military. In any case, they need a strong background in computer technology and programming, with most developers holding a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. If you are creative, have a knack for puzzles, and have an affinity for new technology, this is a high-paying, in-demand career that will allow you to utilize your talents to their full potential.
Median Pay: $120,730
Job Growth: Software developer positions are expected to grow by 26 percent between 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than average (3)(12).
Construction managers do exactly what the name implies -- they are in charge of managing construction projects. This includes planning, budgeting, supervising, and cost/material estimating. Besides overseeing the construction site, construction managers must also focus on coordinating with clients and ensuring that their demands are met. Larger-scale projects may hire multiple construction managers, each of whom is responsible for a particular subproject, such as the electrical components or the laying of the foundation. Besides a relevant bachelor’s degree, it’s usually helpful for prospective managers to have considerable experience working as a general contractor on a construction site prior to applying.
Median Pay: $98,890
Job Growth: Construction manager positions are expected to grow by 8 percent between 2021 to 2031, which is faster than average(4).
Financial analysts advise their company or organization on money allocation, with the goal of increasing profits. They must study the finances of the company, the money trends within their industry as a whole, and the larger economy in order to make sound recommendations. Becoming an analyst typically requires, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree in math or finance, with an MBA or math-related master’s being preferred by some institutions. Many analysts also go on to take exams and earn certificates such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in order to increase their odds of hiring and earn higher salaries. While this field may not be for everyone, those with a strong attention to detail, a deep interest in the economy, and the communication skills necessary to convince others of your financial predictions can certainly thrive in this role.
Median Pay: $95,570
Job Growth: Financial analyst positions are expected to grow by 9 percent between 2021 to 2031, which is faster than average(5).
Civil engineers are responsible for conceptualizing and implementing infrastructure projects. They work in both the private and public sectors to ensure that critical systems are built and maintained adequately. They may work in an office setting or directly on a construction site overseeing projects. They must possess the computer skills necessary to utilize the software used in designing infrastructure, as well as a deep understanding of government regulations regarding structures and construction projects. While engineers working in the private sector often earn a higher salary, government positions may offer better benefits. In either case, civil engineers enjoy great pay and job stability, making this an appealing industry for those interested in studying mathematics.
Median Pay: $88,050
Job Growth: Civil engineer positions are expected to grow by 7 percent between 2021 to 2031, which is faster than average(6).
Radiation therapists operate machinery that administers specified doses of radiation to a patient as a means of fighting off cancer. Along with the training and skills needed to properly operate the machinery, radiation therapists are also responsible for explaining treatment plans to patients and observing patients for adverse reactions after the treatment is completed. As they work directly with patients during one of the most stressful periods of their lives, these therapists must be extremely personable and compassionate. To become a radiation therapist, you’ll need a degree in radiation therapy and the proper licenses required to work in the field in your state.
Median Pay: $82,790
Job Growth: Radiation therapist positions are expected to grow by 6 percent between 2021 and 2031, which is as fast as average(8).
Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts help businesses solve problems using mathematical calculations. Along with strong skills in organization and analytical thinking, these analysts must be business-savvy as they are often required to formulate solutions for all sides of their organization -- this makes understanding both the industry itself and all aspects of how a particular organization is run key. Computer science and mathematics are the two major areas of study for prospective analysts to focus on in school. With great pay and an incredibly high expected growth rate over the coming decade, this is definitely a career to consider.
Median Pay: $82,360
Job Growth: Operations research analyst positions are expected to grow by 23 percent between 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than average(8).
Psychologists observe and study the emotions, behaviors, and interactions of their clients with the world around them. Being a psychologist can mean a variety of things, with some primarily conducting scientific studies on the human condition, some working from a private practice assisting clients, and some working as part of a healthcare team with doctors and social workers. While most psychologists go on to earn a doctorate, certain positions only require a master’s in psychology and a license to practice in the state in question. Many psychologists choose to specialize in certain techniques or in treating particular disorders. As the entire field involves working with and trying to understand and assist other people, psychologists must have advanced communication skills and be highly organized. For those looking for a career that both allows you to help others and teaches you about the inner workings of the human mind, the field of psychology is full of opportunity.
Median Pay: $81,040
Job Growth: Psychologist positions are expected to grow by 6 percent between 2021 to 2031, which is about average(9).
Architects design and oversee the construction of various structures, including houses, commercial buildings, and bridges. They regularly meet with clients and general contractors to determine the project's goals and any limitations they may need to keep in mind. Building designs typically include not only the basic structure, but also critical structural systems such as electrical connections and plumbing. Architects must understand local and federal regulations when it comes to building. Skills-wise, they’ll need strong drawing abilities for initial design sketches and an advanced knowledge of computers to utilize architecture software. Besides earning a degree, they will also need to pass the Architecture Registration Exam to legally work in the field.
Median Pay: $80,180
Job Growth: Architect positions are expected to grow by 3 percent between 2021 to 2031, which is about average(10).
Registered nurses provide critical patient care in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. The day-to-day functions of a nurse can vary significantly, as patient needs change over time. Besides patient care, they also frequently assist other medical professionals including doctors and provide medical education and advice to the public. All registered nurses must obtain a degree or certification in nursing as well as the state licensure in the state they plan to work. From there, many nurses choose to earn added certifications or licenses that may allow them to specialize in a particular type of healthcare.
Median Pay: $77,600
Job Growth: Registered nurse positions are expected to grow by 6 percent between 2021 and 2031, which is as fast as average(11).
Did You Know?
Out of over 800 occupations reviewed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 174 require a bachelor’s degree to qualify(13).
Jobs in Computer and Information Technology are expected to grow by 15 percent between 2021 and 2031, with 682,800 NEW jobs being added(14). What could you do with a bachelor’s degree?
Workers with a bachelor’s degree earn on average $5,336 a month -- that’s $2,100 MORE than those with just a high school diploma(15).
Filter Your College Search
Median Annual Wages by Occupation†
- Marketing Managers $133,380
- Sales Managers $127,490
- Software Developers $120,730
- Construction Managers $98,890
- Financial Analysts $95,570
- Civil Engineers $88,050
- Radiation Therapists $82,790
- Operations Research Analysts $82,360
- Psychologists $81,040
- Architects $80,180
- Registered Nurses $77,600