Earning an online bachelor’s degree is more than just a personal accomplishment — it’s also an investment in your future. To get the best possible return on your investment, you should choose an in-demand degree that will help you build a satisfying, stable, and lucrative career.
But with so many career paths to consider, how do you know which bachelor’s degree is right for you? This guide to some of the most valuable online degrees can help you answer that question. If you want to learn which degree programs may offer you broader options for employment, need help deciding what to go to school for online, or want to know what online degrees are taken seriously by employers, start here.
Are Online Degrees Worth Pursuing?
If you’re thinking about getting your degree, you may be wondering whether it’s “worth it.” But in the constantly changing business world, there’s one thing that remains consistent: employers value college degrees.
In 2018, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) published research based on national surveys of over 1,000 hiring managers and business executives. According to the data, “A large majority of executives (82 percent) and hiring managers (75 percent) believe that it is very important or essential to complete a college education.”
The research also revealed that even higher percentages of these groups — 88 percent and 85 percent, respectively — “believe that college degrees are worth the time and effort necessary to graduate.” The same year, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported an 86 percent employment rate among individuals with a bachelor’s degree or greater, compared to 79 percent for those “with some college,” and 72 percent for high school graduates.
So, is an online degree equally valuable? Research has indicated that most employers do not differentiate or discriminate based on whether a candidate earned their degree online or in a more traditional, on-campus setting. Meanwhile, NCES statistics show that nearly 7 million students are enrolled in online college courses, with over 16% of students “exclusively” taking their classes online. And with COVID-19 driving more students into virtual classrooms, online degrees are becoming more sought-after than ever before.
What Are the Best Degrees to Get Online?
Depending on the type of degree you earn, you can increase your earning potential and make it easier to support yourself and your loved ones. Your degree can also make you more attractive to employers, giving you a competitive edge — and more job opportunities — even in times of economic uncertainty.
5 Best Online Bachelor Degrees for Employment in 2020
If you’re looking for online bachelor degrees that lead to jobs that pay well and that may be historically considered as recession-proof, you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find five of the most popular — and most promising — online degrees, including data on potential career types, projected job growth, and average salary.
Degree #1: Online BS in Accountancy
- Degree Type — Bachelor of Science in Accountancy (BSA)
- Occupation — Accountant
- Job Description — Accountants work with individuals and/or companies to analyze and maintain their financial records, ensuring compliance with state and federal tax regulations while providing financial guidance.
- Average Median Income — $70,500
- Projected 10-Year Growth — Up to 6% job growth (146,000 new jobs)
- Other Career Options — This type of degree can also prepare you for a career as an IRS auditor, internal auditor, tax preparer, or CPA (subject to additional criteria, such as successful completion of the CPA exam).
Degree #2: Online BS in Computer Science
- Degree Type — Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS)
- Occupation — Software Developer
- Job Description — Software developers are responsible for installing, creating, testing, modifying, and evaluating computer software.
- Average Median Income — $110,000
- Projected 10-Year Growth — Up to 10% job growth (35,400 new jobs)
- Other Career Options — Database administrator, technical writer
Degree #3: Online BS in Information Technology Management
- Degree Type — Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management (BSITM)
- Occupation — Computer and Information Systems Manager
- Job Description — As a Computer and Information Systems Manager, you’ll coordinate team projects, create computer programs, and protect against IT security threats, which is also the focus of our Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program (BSCYB).
- Average Median Income — $142,530
- Projected 10-Year Growth — 11% job growth (38,800 new jobs)
- Other Career Options — Network/systems administrator, computer system analyst, information security analyst (also referred to as a cybersecurity analyst).
Degree #4: Online BS in Nursing
- Degree Type — Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN Completion (RN to BSN)
- Occupation — Home Healthcare Aide
- Job Description — Home healthcare aides provide in-home care and companionship to disabled, impaired, or elderly patients.
- Average Median Income — $73,300
- Projected 10-Year Growth — 11% job growth (140,800 new jobs)
- Other Career Options — Health educator, case manager, critical care nurse, pediatric nurse
Degree #5: Online BS in Construction Management
- Degree Type — Bachelor of Science in Construction Management (BSCM)
- Occupation — Cost Estimator
- Job Description — You’ll analyze factors like labor, materials, and transportation to calculate how much a construction project will cost, then coordinate with engineers, architects, and others to make budget or scheduling adjustments as necessary.
- Average Median Income — $64,040
- Projected 10-Year Growth — Up to 10% job growth (24,200 new jobs)
- Other Career Options — Project manager, construction executive, cost engineer, field engineer
Why is it Important to Choose an Accredited College for Your Online Bachelor’s Degree Program?
Before you think about applying to a degree program, here’s one last word of advice: when choosing an online bachelor’s degree, be sure to select a program at an accredited college or university. There are many reasons why college accreditation is important, but here are a few of the most crucial to keep in mind:
- Only colleges or universities that meet certain quality standards can receive accreditation.
- Employers generally prefer accredited schools and may treat your job application more seriously.
- You might not be able to transfer college credits if your school is not accredited.
- You may be ineligible for federal student aid if your school is not accredited.
National University is proudly accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since 1977. A number of our academic programs have received additional accreditation, such as our Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program, which has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Earn More with an Online Bachelor’s Degree from National University
Getting a job with an online degree can jumpstart your career. With flexible four-week courses and a wide range of 100% online programs, starting a new career has never been easier or more convenient. To learn more about getting an online bachelor’s degree from National University, talk to an enrollment advisor today.