Online Bachelor’s Degrees
There are several options available in modern education to earn a college degree. From technical schooling to undergraduate degrees and advanced graduate studies, students have the opportunity to choose a degree program that matches their unique goals. Out of all of the options available today, an online bachelor’s degree program remains one of the top choices for students that want to earn a reputable degree on a schedule that fits into their busy lives.
Throughout the country, top accredited schools have begun to offer a wide range of online bachelor’s degree programs for their student body. Now more than ever, higher education students are comprised of working professionals and adults who are juggling family obligations in addition to their education. An online bachelor’s degree program offer a unique mix of high-quality curriculum and flexible class schedules to make earning a degree a viable option for these untraditional students.
If you are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree online, there are several factors that you have to consider. To give you a broad overview of what it means to enroll in an online bachelor’s program, we have put together the following information on careers, admissions, and the most popular bachelor’s degree programs.
Highest Paying Bachelor’s Degree Careers
Earning a degree equates to more than just a piece of paper showing that you graduated college – it can also be the ticket to a high paying career! According to a study published by the Pew Research Center, millennials with a bachelor’s degree earn $17,500 more every year than those with just a high school diploma!
In the brief table below, we have put together a list of the top five highest paying bachelor degree programs available:
|Bachelor’s Degree||Career Summary||
|Petroleum Engineering||Designs and oversees the production and methods of retrieving oil and natural gas from beneath the earth’s surface.||
|Systems Engineering||Develops computer systems for their clients and ensures smooth integration of messaging systems.||
|Actuarial Science||Typically works for insurance companies by using statistical data to help determine the details of insurance policies.||
|Computer Science & Engineering||Responsible for software and web development to assist their clients in developing and maintaining computer systems.||
|Electronics & Communications Engineering||Works with electronic products and communications to develop hardware and software for efficient operation.||
*Degree data provided by Payscale.com
As you can see, all of the careers listed above offer six-figure salaries after 10 years of working in the professional field. While some of these degrees may not be able to be pursued solely through online education, many schools offer flexible options to help students get started in working towards professional bachelor’s degrees through distance education courses.
What is an Online Bachelor’s Degree?
Like a traditional bachelor’s degree, an online bachelor’s degree provides you with a solid education over the course of a four-year study program. Many professional careers require a bachelor’s degree as the minimum educational requirement to enter into the field, so it is a popular choice for students interested in pursuing work in a number of different industries.
Earning a bachelor’s degree online comes with several exciting advantages for students, including:
- Ability to complete your degree program in a quicker timeframe
- Reduced cost of tuition in certain circumstances
- Flexible scheduling options that are designed to fit into your busy life
- Access to virtual student services and online resources
- Ability to connect with a diverse group of students and instructors across the country
Typically, an online bachelor’s degree is comprised of general education courses followed by career-specific education. After graduation, many students have the skills needed to enter directly into an entry-level position within their field. If you’d like to further your education, you can then enroll in a graduate degree program.
Types of Online Bachelor’s Degrees
While there is a wide selection of specialties that you can concentrate in with an online bachelor’s degree program, this level of degree is typically divided into two categories – Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. While there are overlaps in the classes required, the primary difference between the two programs lies in the focus of the coursework over the duration of your education.
Online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree
An online Bachelor of Science degree is a program that is typically focused specifically on the subject matter of your major. Throughout the course of your education, you will take a number of specialized credits that apply directly to the specific course of study that you have chosen.
With the technical nature of the fields associated with B.S. degrees, common majors within this type of degree program include:
- Computer Science
In order to graduate with a B.S. degree, you will typically be required to complete 120 semester credits, or 40 different courses. With this program of study, you will focus on honing your technical skillset and the practical skills needed to succeed within the workplace. Due to the flexibility of online education, it may be possible for you to accelerate your degree program and graduate in less time than students in a traditional college setting.
Online Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree
For students who want to explore a broad range of subjects in their education, a major in a Bachelor of Arts program may be the best option. During the course of this degree program, you will cover a variety of liberal arts subjects that include humanities, English, and social sciences. There is generally greater flexibility in a B.A. degree to choose electives that interest you throughout your journey towards graduation.
There are several popular career paths that those with a B.A. degree can pursue, and some of the common majors include the following:
- Modern Languages
Like the B.S. degree program, students enrolled in a B.A. degree will be required to complete 120 credit hours before graduation. You may also be interested in pursuing a minor that relates to your major course of study in order to further specialize your skillset and gain an edge in the competitive job market.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Admissions and Transfer
Students who are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree come from many different walks of life. Some students may enter into a four-year degree program straight out of high school, while others may be adults returning to school to expand on their two-year associate’s degree. Whatever your reasons for wanting to enroll in an online bachelor’s degree program, there are several key factors that you need to know regarding the admissions and transfer options available to you.
Application to an online bachelor’s degree program is typically a fairly straightforward process, but the requirements can vary based upon the type of institution in which you are enrolling. If you are beginning your journey at a local community college, you will typically have a less in-depth process for enrollment. This type of school generally only requires that you submit your official transcripts along with your application in order to begin the enrollment process. For students who are looking at a public or private university to pursue their online studies, there may be additional documentation required, including personal essays or professional recommendations.
Regardless of the type of college or university you are applying to, it is always in your best interest to meet with an academic advisor before beginning the process. These college faculty members can help guide you through the enrollment and course selection process so that you can ensure you are taking the steps needed to reach your long-term goals.
The cost of tuition is often a major concern for students that want to pursue an online bachelor’s degree. Over the last several years, the price of going to college has continued to increase, which places a larger financial burden on the students. Luckily, some colleges offer discounts for students enrolled in online classes, and you can get additional financial aid through the FASFA, student loans, and scholarship programs.
Transferring Schools with an Online Bachelor’s Degree
For students who have started their degree at a two-year school, such as a community college, it may be necessary to transfer to a four-year institution in order to complete your degree program. If this is the case for you, be sure that you touch base with your academic advisor to find out your school’s policies for transferring credits. Most schools have articulation agreements with specific colleges that make it a seamless process when it is time to transfer your degree program over to a new school.
If you are enrolled in a four-year university for your online bachelor’s degree and you wish to switch schools, the transfer process may become more complicated. Most credits are not guaranteed to be transferrable, and you will need to be able to prove that your completed courses match the course descriptions for the program at your new school.
Every college has its own unique policies when it comes to transferring in the middle of a degree program, so be sure to thoroughly research the policies of your current and future school before committing to this transition.
How do I know if an Online Bachelor’s Degree Right for Me?
As discussed previously, an online bachelor’s degree program has the potential to make a quality education accessible to adult students who are balancing other obligations in addition to their schooling. There are many advantages to taking your bachelor’s degree courses online, but this method of study requires that students be highly self-motivated and have the ability to learn independently.
With advancements in technology and the prevalence of accredited schools offering online programs, students are given every opportunity to succeed within their online bachelor’s degree program. If you are interested in advancing your career and earning potential, there is no better time than now to take the first step towards your future by considering the options available through an online bachelor’s degree!