Six Popular Online Degrees for Shy People

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Is your shy personality preventing you from going back to school? Check out these degrees that you could pursue online.

By Terence Loose

Want to go back to school, but worried your shy personality will hold you back? Maybe you're terrified at the thought of learning in a room full of students...

Good news: classrooms and lecture halls are no longer prerequisites of higher education. In fact, shy people can go back to school from the privacy of their own home, thanks to online education.

"I think online education is a great tool for those who are shy," says Dr. Suzanne Anthony, a clinical psychologist and former college instructor and administrator. She adds that online education allows shy students to "speak up" or present their work in an environment that's more comfortable for them.

Think online education is right for your shy personality? Check out these six degrees...

Online Degree #1 - Bachelor's in Business Administration

Do you hope to one day join the boardroom at a successful business firm, but aren't quite ready to join the classroom? An online bachelor's degree in business administration might be just the thing to satisfy both those needs.

Why it's Right for the Shy: Anthony says taking courses online might help those who are anxious about the face-time of an in-classroom program. She adds that "a degree in business administration is such a versatile degree that I could see these graduates going into a wide range of fields and positions. So they might be able to pick a career that perfectly fits their personality."

Click to Find the Right Online Business Administration Program Now.

But just what might you study? According to the College Board, a nonprofit research organization that promotes higher education, a business administration and management degree could teach you how to help an organization plan and organize their activities. Common courses might include financial management, business statistics, human resources management, economics, and marketing.

Related Careers:* Financial Analyst, Human Resources Manager, Financial Manager


Online Degree #2 - Bachelor's in Computer Science

Do you find the schmooze-free world of computers a wonderful place to be? Then you may want to consider pursuing an online degree within this techie industry. Specifically, a bachelor's degree in computer science.

Why it's Right for the Shy: "I could see a shy person really gravitating toward computers," says Anthony. "And in today's world of social media, [a degree in computer science] can still offer a lot of social interaction, so it could be a very healthy choice for the shy."

As for what you'll study, here's what the College Board has to say: You'll likely learn how humans and computers interact, from a scientific perspective. Courses such as artificial intelligence, software engineering, digital system design, and the theory of formal languages are typical.

Click to Find the Right Online Computer Science Program Now.

And it's a degree that lends itself to online learning since it has to do with computers - which are instrumental in the online educational experience, says Velvet Miscione, a counselor at  Coastline Community College in California.

Related Careers:* Computer Programmer, Software Developer, Computer Systems Analyst


Online Degree #3 - Associate's in Paralegal Studies

Are you fascinated with the law? Have you thought about pursuing a degree in the field, but aren't too keen on having all eyes on you during a classroom mock trial? You might consider earning an associate's degree in paralegal studies online, where mock trials aren't the focus of the program.

Why it's Right for the Shy: "A majority of a paralegal's coursework - how to research the law, how to write and prepare legal documents, and use law libraries and computer programs - would be a good fit for a shy person because they don't require presentations in front of others and such. The fact that it's online as well only makes that more true," says Anthony.

Click to Find the Right Online Paralegal Studies Program Now.

Considering the College Board's description of this major, Anthony's assessment rings true. The College Board lists courses like civil procedure, ethics, litigation, and legal research and writing as typical for the degree. It also adds that students could pick up legal research skills, conduct investigations, write legal briefs, and keep legal records.

Related Careers:* Paralegal, Legal Assistant


Online Degree #4 - Bachelor's in Graphic Design

Are you eager for your creative side to thrive, but not so pumped about the idea of being on stage or performing? Pursuing an online bachelor's degree in graphic design could be the perfect tool to express your creativity - while staying in your comfort zone.

Why it's Right for the Shy: "Many creative people are actually shy as well. And since graphic design relies a lot on computer work, but also allows a person to fulfill their creative side, I can see this as a great choice for those creative shy types," says Anthony. "And since it relies so heavily on computer work, this degree seems a great fit for online learning as well."

Click to Find the Right Online Graphic Design Program Now.

As for what graphic design students study, the College Board says they work on both design and computer skills to help them create a look for books, magazines, CD covers, websites, and more. Students may also get the chance to study coursework that includes graphic design techniques, history of graphic design, Photoshop for designers, and typography.

Related Careers:* Graphic Designer, Desktop Publisher


Online Degree #5 - Bachelor's in Accounting

We're going out on a limb here, but we're guessing that most accounting majors don't need to minor in performing arts or speech. In other words, if you're shy - and you love numbers - an online bachelor's degree in accounting may be the role you've been waiting for.

Why it's Right for the Shy: "Accounting programs work with online education very well," says Miscione, who adds that it's "a very attractive field of study for the shy because students tend to work with numbers more than people."

Click to Find the Right Online Accounting Program Now.

And from the look of the commonly offered courses in this degree, Miscione's observation seems to hold true. The College Board says typical major courses in this field include auditing, cost accounting, and tax accounting. You'll probably also learn how to analyze, record, interpret, and communicate an organization's financial information, adds the College Board.

Related Careers:* Accountant, Auditor, Personal Financial Advisor


Online Degree #6 - Associate's in Health Information Technology

Have you always wanted to study something related to medicine and patient care, but want to avoid face-to-face time with patients? Then here's something to consider: With an online associate's degree in health information technology, your studies will likely focus more on data than bedside manners.

Why it's Right for the Shy: This major is a very good choice for the online and shy student who wants to prep for a career in the health care field, but doesn't necessarily like the hands-on aspect that the nursing field might require, says Miscione.

Click to Find the Right Online Health Information Technology Program Now.

Still don't know if this degree is right for you? Maybe this bit of info will help: Typical courses, according to the College Board, are medical terminology, health care law, introduction to coding, and health care statistics.

Related Careers:* Medical Records Technician, Health Information Technician


*All potential careers information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition. Related careers were determined on the basis of the Handbook, which referenced the degree as being either required, preferred, or good preparation for the related career.


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