Online Science Degrees
If you have a technical mind and enjoy in-depth research and critical thinking, then an online degree in science could open up the door to a fulfilling, long-term career! The world of science is extremely broad, and there are many different online science degree programs available today. From computer technology to medical and biological sciences, there is a path for everyone within the field of science!
Online education has become increasingly popular over the last several years, and many top universities are offering popular science degrees with a virtual option. There the many options available; it is best to have a basic understanding of your long-term goals before committing to a science program that suits your interests.
Careers in Science
Science careers cover a broad range of occupations and the experience and educational requirements vary based upon the specific subfield in which you specialize. In the table below, we have put together a sampling of some common science related careers and their average mid-career salaries for your consideration:
|Job Title||Job Summary||
|Fire Protection Engineer||Acts a fire protection expert for businesses by designing fire detection and elimination equipment and procedures.||
|Electrician||Performs maintenance and troubleshooting on electrical equipment after earning a journeyman electrician’s license.||
|Exercise Physiologist||Helps patients restore strength and functioning of the body through the use of customized exercise regimens.||
|Biological Science Laboratory Technician||Works in a biological lab and is responsible for a wide variety of tasks related to plant specimens.||
*Job and salary data provided by Payscale.com
The salary averages in the science field are as varied as the number of concentrations within online science degree programs. The numbers above represent the average annual pay of professionals who have worked 10 years within their field, and you may make more or less dependent upon your specific job role.
Types of Online Science Degrees
Due to the wide range of science degrees available online, there are many different options available to get you started in the career of your choice. Not only will you find the standard degree programs, you also have the option of pursing online vocational training for specific career paths.
Online Vocational Training in Science and Related Fields
Vocational training is unique in that it is focused on hands-on learning without the lengthy time frames of traditional degree programs. There are several science, engineering, and medical vocational programs available to give you a jump start in your long-term career goals.
Online Vocational Programs:
- Wildlife/Forestry Conservation
- Basic Electronics
- Computer Support Technician
- Electronics Technician
- Pharmacy Technician
- PC Maintenance and Repair
- Residential Electrician
- Veterinary Assistant
- Occupational Therapy Aide
- Physical Therapy Aide
If you have a specific vocational training program in mind, it is always a good idea to look into the job requirements and licenses necessary for you to begin work in that field. By doing this, you can ensure that the program you choose will adequately prepare you to enter the workforce.
Online Associate’s Degree in Science and Related Fields
Earning an online associate’s degree in science is now easier than ever with the advances in virtual learning. Whether you are interested in gaining skills that can be directly applied to your career or need a starting point for advanced degrees, there are several concentrations available in science related fields through top universities.
Completing an associate’s degree program will allow you to apply for entry-level positions within your specific concentration. For example, earning an associate’s degree in fire science will give you the skills needed to pursue a career as a firefighter, fire inspector, or fire investigator.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Related Fields
While a typical bachelor’s degree program takes four years to complete, the flexibility of online education can help you reduce that time frame through accelerated courses, credits by examination, or for life experience through your college’s credit for prior learning program. Several online science degrees are available at the bachelor’s level and are popular for students looking to further enhance their specialized skills.
Online Degrees in the Sciences:
- Computer Science
- Fire Science
- Health Science
- Nutrition Science
- Social Sciences
Many high-level science careers require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for entry, and it is common for students to continue on with their studies past the bachelor’s level to continue honing their specialized job skillset.
Online Master’s Degree in Science and Related Fields
After completing a bachelor’s degree, you have the opportunity to enter into a graduate program within your specific concentration. Two of the most common master of science degrees available online include Exercise Science and Biomedical Science.
Online Master’s in the Sciences
There are several in-depth courses that you can expect to see within a master’s degree program for these fields, including:
- General and Organic Chemistry
- Medical Terminology
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Microbiology and Biochemistry
After completion of these online master’s degree programs, students can pursue a wide-range of excitig careers in the field of science.
Science Career Outlook and Salary Information
It can be difficult to pinpoint the career outlook for science degrees as a whole due to the high number of career paths associated with this field. When choosing a degree program that interests you, utilize resources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to help you determine if that specific occupation is sustainable in the long-term.
When considering a few of the common careers associated with science degrees, the outlook appears promising! For example, the BLS projects that healthcare occupations will grow 19% between 2014 and 2024, while firefighters and electricians are projected to grow 5% and 14% respectively. All of these growth trends are at or above the national average for all occupations within the country.
Salary ranges for science majors are also highly dependent on the specific career pursued after graduation. As with most degrees, the more training and education you have, the higher your annual pay rate will likely be. Expanding on the previous example, healthcare occupations have an average annual pay of over $62,000, while firefighters earn around $46,800. Both of these occupations and many others within the fields of science are well above the national average salary for all occupations.
View a list of the top 40 Science careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.
Is an Online Degree in Science Right for me?
If you are interested in pursuing a degree in one of the many science fields, you are probably trying to decide if online education is the right choice for you. Currently, over 3 million students are participating in fully-online college programs, while double that number takes at least one virtual class!
There are many reasons why online learning has become so popular, and there are several advantages to pursuing an online degree in science, including:
- Numerous concentrations to further specialize your science degree
- Flexible scheduling that allows you to log-in anytime and anywhere
- Options for online labs or flexible lab times to help you succeed in core science courses
- Ability to interact with a diverse group of classmates in a virtual setting
Regardless of the concentration you choose, earning an online degree in science is a reputable way to get started in a respected, challenging career field.
Comparing Top Science Degree Programs
There are many options for online science degree programs, and doing your research beforehand is important to ensure you are enrolling in a college that suits your needs. The follow information gives you a good starting for essential questions to ask before committing to an online science degree.
As with traditional degree programs, some colleges offering degrees online are more reputable than others. One way to determine if your degree will be well-received once you enter the workforce is by looking into the program’s accreditation. When a college goes through the accreditation process, an independent agency reviews the educational offerings of the school to ensure they meet high-quality standards.
There are six regional accrediting agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and numerous other agencies that focus on specific degree programs. A few of the names that you may encounter when researching online science degrees include:
- Computing Science Accreditation Board
- Accrediting Board for Engineering & Technology
- National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
There are many online resources available that provide full lists of agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or the Association of Specialized & Professional Accreditors (ASPA).
Student to Faculty Ratio
Online science degrees involve courses with in-depth technical knowledge and the learning of advanced skills. To help support you during the course of your program, it is important to understand your school’s student to faculty ratio average. If your online science courses have large class sizes, it is likely that your professor will not be able to provide each student with the amount of individualized attention that they need.
As you are researching science colleges, take a look at the “Faculty” sections of their websites. Here you will be able to read bio information and see the specific credentials and qualifications of the professors that will be teaching your advanced science courses. This is good information to have when trying to choose a school that offers the highest level educational experience possible.
Academic Advising and Student Services
Top universities set themselves apart from the crowd by offering extensive advising and student services to their distance learning students. These services help to support science majors as they complete their degree program and start thinking about entering the workforce. A few of the services that may be offered by your university include:
- Academic advisement to help students choose the science degree that best matches their goals
- Flexible lab and practicum scheduling
- Peer mentoring for challenging science courses
- Innovative virtual tools to help science students master difficult concepts
- Online library and research assistance
If you are interested in pursuing a career in the field of science, there are countless options to choose from when it comes to concentrations. From research and technology to specialized work in the field, an online science degree could be your ticket to the career of your dreams!