Busy Mom? Earn Your Degree Online


Are you a stay-at-home mom who wants to go back to school? Check out these online degrees you can earn on your own schedule.

By Jennifer Berry

Did you put school on hold to raise your family? Think you won't be able to make it back to a classroom until your kids are out of the house? Good news: There are other ways to attain an education...

"With online education, it is possible for you to complete your degree and do what you'd like to have done before you started your family," says Andrew McCollough, associate provost for information technology, e-learning, and distance education at the University of Florida.

That's because, generally speaking, online education offers flexibility that traditional programs do not.

"If the kids are napping or asleep, you can sit down and watch your classes as opposed to finding a babysitter to get to class," says John Laibson, director of the online business program at University of Florida.

Starting to think an online education might be a good fit for you? Read on to learn about six flexible degree programs.

Online Degree #1: Health Services Administration

Want to study to pursue a career in health care - but need some flexibility to make it happen? If organization and management are your strong suits, consider earning a bachelor's in health services administration online.

According to the College Board, a not-for-profit organization committed to excellence and equity in education, a bachelor's in health services administration could include classes such as accounting, health care administration, anatomy and physiology, and health care law.

Click to Find the Right Online Health Care Administration Program.

Related career: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, "prospective medical and health services managers have a bachelor's degree in health administration." Other common credentials include master's degrees in health services, public health, or business administration.

Online Degree #2: Business Administration

Ready to develop your business skills but can't travel to a classroom every day? Consider earning an online bachelor's degree in business administration.

"Our lectures are videotaped on campus," says Laibson, who oversees an online business administration program. "Online students are taking the same classes as on-campus students, but the lectures are put online for the students to watch anytime."

According to the College Board, in a business administration and management program, you could learn to "to plan, organize, direct, and control an organization's activities." Common classes might include accounting, business policy and strategy, human resources management, and marketing.

Click to Find the Right Online Business Administration Program.

Related career: Many financial analyst positions require a bachelor's degree in fields like business administration, accounting, economics, finance, or statistics, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But keep in mind that some employers often want a master's degree in business administration or finance.

Online Degree #3: Psychology

Interested in learning more about the human mind and social interaction? An online bachelor's degree in psychology could allow you to work towards your goals without having to leave your kids with babysitters.

In fact, "Psychology majors study the way humans and animals act, feel, think, and learn," according to the College Board. Classes might include topics in cognitive psychology, personality, abnormal psychology, and neuroscience.

Click to Find the Right Online Psychology Program.

Related career: One potential career path for psychology degree grads is a social worker. While the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that a bachelor's in social work is the most common requirement for entry-level careers, they also say some employers could choose candidates with a bachelor's degree in a related field like psychology or sociology.

Online Degree #4: Accounting

Do you have a head for numbers? Want to further develop those skills, but need some flexibility to make it happen? Consider earning an online bachelor's degree in accounting when and where it's most convenient for you.

Through courses in accounting, business law, auditing, and tax accounting, a bachelor's in accounting could help you learn more about recording and interpreting financial information, according to the College Board.

Click to Find the Right Online Accounting Program.

Related career: Most accountants need to earn at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And some employers favor candidates with a master's degree in accounting or in business administration - with an accounting concentration.

Online Degree #5: Communications

Did you put your media career plans on hold after having kids? Perhaps you just want to learn more about how to communicate effectively. The flexibility of an online bachelor's degree in communications could help you fit school into your busy schedule.

And just what will you learn? According to the College Board, mass communications majors can get ready to learn all about mass media and how it affects our culture. Business communications majors, on the other hand, might focus on professional communications - like how to deliver presentations.

Click to Find the Right Online Communications Program.

Related career: "For public relations management positions, a bachelor's degree in public relations, communication, or journalism is generally required," according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And a master's degree in public relations and journalism could be preferred by some employers.

Online Degree #6: Computer Science

Want to prepare for a career in the computer field, but don't know how you'd handle the commute, classes, plus caring for the kids? Consider earning an online bachelor's degree in computer science - where you can also brush up on your technical skills from your home computer.

According to the College Board, classes such as artificial intelligence, introduction to program design, digital systems design, and software engineering can help you "learn about computer systems and the way humans and computers interact from a scientific perspective."

Click to Find the Right Online Computer Science Program.

Related career: If you're interested in one day pursuing a career as a software developer, note that you typically need a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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