Online Degrees for People Who Have Busy Schedules

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You lead a busy life. Find an online degree program you love that works with your schedule.

By Rachel Wang

Have a hectic schedule but still want to earn a degree? Forget the commute and inconvenient class times. Look no further than your laptop.

Not only does online education provide you with the flexibility to go to school when it's convenient for you, but the wealth of diverse programs offered means that you can study exactly what you want, too.

Of course, that's not to say that online education is ideal for everyone.

While it's true that studying online can offer great benefits to those with unpredictable schedules, it also requires a great deal of discipline, says Portland-based career counselor Vicki Lind.

Translation: The unmotivated need not apply.

So if you're ready to buckle down and get a college degree, check out these seven surprising programs that you can earn online.

Degree #1: Bachelor's in Psychology

Always wanted to figure out what makes people tick, but haven't had the time to go to school? You could earn a bachelor's degree in psychology online - on your schedule.

"Solid liberal arts programs such as psychology can be completed in an online format, giving students a great background to enter the workplace or pursue graduate studies," says Daniel Cristman, an academic advisor at Moraine Valley Community College.

Click to Find the Right Online Psychology Program.

What You Might Learn: In a psychology program, you could learn about how humans think and feel, says the College Board, an educational organization that administers aptitude tests like the SAT. Common courses may cover different types of psychology - abnormal, cognitive, developmental, and social. Other classes could delve into statistics and research methods in psychology.


Degree #2: Associate's in Fashion Merchandising

Want to explore the business side of style? Don't let your busy schedule stop you. By studying fashion merchandising online, you could pursue your passion for style without leaving your house.

Lind notes that this could be a great option because the program may not even be offered locally.

Click to Find the Right Online Fashion Merchandising Program.

What You Might Learn: Fashion merchandising is about a lot more than shopping for clothes. It explores the manufacturing, promoting, and selling of different fashion items, such as jewelry, clothing, furniture, and all the materials used to make them, notes the College Board.

Common classes may include history of fashion, textiles, retail management, and advertising. Other courses may cover sales and merchandising mathematics, per the College Board.


Degree #3: Bachelor's in Hospitality Administration and Management

If you've always wanted to study the world of hospitality, but your on-the-go lifestyle has prevented you from doing so, good news. There are bachelor's degree programs in hospitality management that you could take online - wherever and whenever it's convenient for you.

Click to Find the Right Online Hospitality Management Program.

What You Might Learn: According to the College Board, hospitality students learn to run travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that serve travelers.

Festival and event management, hospitality finance, and resort operations are a few common courses you could take, notes the College Board. Other options may include marketing and food service operations.


Degree #4: Bachelor's in Human Resources

If you're interested in studying human resources, now is the time. With online programs in the field, you could work on earning your bachelor's virtually anywhere with an Internet connection.

Click to Find the Right Online Human Resources Program.

What You Might Learn: Human resources management programs teach students to handle employment issues such as training and staffing, according to the College Board. Classes might include compensation and benefits, and organizational behavior. You could also explore legal issues in employment, as well as employee and labor relations.


Degree #5: Bachelor's in Accounting

If you're a natural with numbers and math, you might consider earning a bachelor's in accounting online. By not commuting, you'll see just how quickly the hours you save start to add up.

Click to Find the Right Online Accounting Program.

What You Might Learn: Studying accounting lets you and your calculator spend some quality time together without outside distractions.

According to the College Board, coursework may cover tax accounting, cost accounting, and auditing. You might also take classes in business law and accounting information systems. Overall, you should expect to spend a fair amount of time with numbers.


Degree #6: Bachelor's in English

It could be argued that online bachelor's programs in English were designed with bookworms in mind. Why? No commute to class means more time for reading.

Cristman says that online students "need to be independent, self-starters." For English majors, this could be a natural fit.

What You Might Learn: English students read and write about English-speaking people's literature and culture, notes the College Board. For your homework, settle in with a good book - or a whole pile - because typical classes include poetry and poetics, Victorian literature, and literary theory and criticism.


Degree #7: Associate's in Fire Science

Think online education only works for business and accounting? Think again. An online associate's degree in fire science demonstrates just how diverse the world of online study has become.

Click to Find the Right Online Fire Science Program.

What You Might Learn: Like its name suggests, an associate's degree focuses on scientific methods for fighting fire, says the College Board. You might explore the chemistry, behavior, and combustion of fire. Classes may cover firefighting strategy and tactics, fire prevention, building construction and fire protection, and fire service hydraulics, says the College Board. You might take a first aid and CPR class as well.

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