Five Smart Online Degrees


These flexible online degrees could help you go to school on your terms.

By Renee Wade    

Are you interested in going back to school, but aren't sure how to fit classes into your daily schedule?

Online education could be a great alternative to traditional classes, especially if you want to:

  • Attend class when it's convenient for you
  • Avoid commuting to school
  • Keep your day job
  • Prepare for a new career

Tom Jewell, Dean of Virtual Studies at Bergen Community College in New Jersey, adds that online classes "serve people who wouldn't be able to get a schedule together if they had to do all face-to-face classes."

Check out these five smart online degree options.

#1 - Online Bachelor's in Business

If you want to learn about the ins and outs of business - without quitting your day job - an online program could offer the flexibility you need.

Smart Factors

  • This online degree was the most popular in terms of online enrollment, according to a 2009 study by Eduventures, an education and consulting company. And it makes sense...With courses that often include business policy and strategy, this program could help you develop relevant skills and knowledge.

Click to Find the Right Online Business Administration Program.

  • If you're looking for job security, an online business degree could be a smart investment. According to a 2010 Forbes article, "Top Degrees Mean Top Jobs", a business administration degree could help one land careers with high job growth, like financial examiner and accountant, which are expecting 41 percent and 22 percent growth from 2008-2018, respectively.

#2 - Online Bachelor's in IT and Information Systems

An online bachelor's degree in IT and information systems could help you learn about cutting-edge technology in a truly innovative setting.

Smart Factors

  • This flexible online degree could allow you to hone your computer and technology skills through courses that will likely include computer networking, database management systems, and systems analysis and design.

Click to Find the Right Online IT and Information Systems Program.

  • If you want in on the fast growing tech industry, this bachelor's degree could lend some support. The computer systems design and related services industry is expecting 45 percent job growth from 2008 to 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

#3 - Online Bachelor's in Health Care Administration

Are you interested in health care and medical management? Then consider an online degree in health care administration.

Smart Factors

  • With this online degree, you might learn about anatomy, physiology, economics of health care, and health policy. These courses can help you acquire the skills necessary to pursue a behind-the-scenes career in health care.

Click to Find the Right Online Health Care Administration Program.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, changes in the health care system means that managers in this field will need to be technologically savvy, as well as educated in more traditional health topics. Earning your degree in health care administration online could help show employers that you're up for the challenges of a new era.

#4 - Online Bachelor's in Nursing

If you're interested in eventually pursuing a rewarding, hands-on career, an online bachelor's degree in nursing could offer the flexibility you need to prepare to pursue registered nursing opportunities.

Smart Factors

  • While clinical requirements will likely need to be completed near you, with this type of program, you'll be able to study theory courses like pathophysiology and pharmacology online - when you want, where you want.

Click to Find the Right Online Nursing Program.

  • Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Department of Labor. So, if you're interested in a flexible online degree that can offer potential job security, this could be a smart option for you.

#5 - Online Master's in Business Administration (MBA)

Want to earn your MBA, but need some flexibility to make it work with your schedule? Consider earning it online.

Smart Factors

  • Earning an MBA is once again looking like a smart investment. According to U.S. News, which surveyed 437 business schools, 75.7 percent of 2010 graduates got hired within three months of graduating.

Click to Find the Right Online MBA Program.

  • Whether you're looking to advance your career or gain leadership skills, an MBA could be a great investment. According to its 2010 list of "Best Master's Degrees for Jobs", Forbes notes that MBA grads can look forward to a high job growth and an average earning potential of $109,000.

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