Do you want to earn an online degree?

Check out these five hot online degree options.

What’s the difference between earning a college degree online versus an online degree from a traditional university?

Besides being able to wear your pajamas to online classes, there are actually few differences between online and traditional learning.

In fact, an online degree can provide the same in-demand programs offered on campus.

“What most employers care about is that you’ve earned your degree,” explains career coach Meredith Haberfeld. “In a vast number of jobs, it doesn’t matter to employers whether it was an online degree or not.”

And that’s good news, because a growing number of Americans are finding the flexibility of programs offering an online degree to be a great education option.

For specifics, over 6.1 million students were taking at least one online class during the fall of 2010, according to the report “Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011,” by the nonprofit Babson Survey Research Group.

Want in on this flexibility? Keep reading to find out more about five hot online degree programs and how they can prepare you for your ideal career.

Online Degree #1 – Business Administration

Do you want to gain more knowledge about managing a business? Getting your online bachelor’s or master’s in business administration could offer you the chance to learn how to organize and direct a company’s activities – on your own schedule.

According to the College Board, an organization that administers academic aptitude tests like the SAT, business administration programs usually offer classes in many aspects of business, from marketing and finance to operations management and business strategy.

Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.

Hot factors: Business administration is the largest online bachelor’s degree program in the country – with 257,400 students enrolled nationwide as of 2009. And when it comes to online master’s programs, business also holds the honor of having the most enrolled students at 117,000 as of 2009, according to the “Hot Programs and Hot Markets” study by Eduventures, a research and consulting firm for higher education.

Depending on the company and position, an online bachelor’s or master’s degree in business could help you pursue a management analyst career – an area the U.S. Department of Labor projects to grow by 24 percent between 2008 and 2018.

Online Degree #2 – Education

Do you want to play a role in shaping the lives of today’s youth? An online bachelor’s in education could help you learn the ins and outs of what it takes to run a classroom and how to prepare students with the proper skills and knowledge.

Typical courses in classroom management, philosophy of education, and teaching methods can help you prepare for your student teaching rotation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Click to Find the Right Education Program.

Hot factors: Education is one of the hottest online bachelor’s degrees, with enrollment growing by 22 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to the Eduventures report.

And this hot online program could prep you for a career as an elementary, middle school, or high school teacher – a field where the Department of Labor projects 468,600 new positions between 2008 and 2018.

Online Degree #3 – Information Technology

Have you always had an interest in computers? Pursuing an online bachelor’s in information technology could help you learn how to build and maintain computer systems from the convenience of your home PC.

With IT programs generally focusing on coursework in computer networking, computer systems and architecture, and systems analysis and design, you can receive a broad understanding of the different areas of information technology, according to the College Board.

Click to Find the Right IT Program.

Hot factors: Enrollment in online bachelor’s IT programs increased by 19 percent between 2008 and 2009, with an estimated 98,600 students enrolled, according to the Eduventures study.

And this in-demand degree can help you land a career as a computer network, systems, and database administrator – an industry that’s projected to grow by 30 percent between 2008 and 2018, says the U.S. Department of Labor.

Online Degree #4 – Health Care Administration

Interested in learning about business and health care? Great news: With the flexibility of an online bachelor’s or master’s program in health care administration, you have the opportunity to combine your interests and learn how business plays a vital role in running a health care facility.

Health care administration programs typically offer a combination of business (i.e. accounting, human resources) and health care (i.e. health care policy, health care ethics, and health care law) courses to help familiarize you with all aspects of health care facilities, says the College Board.

Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.

Hot factors: Health care is a hot field, both in terms of degree programs and job opportunities. According to the Eduventures study, enrollment in online bachelor’s degrees in health care grew by 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, while online master’s in health care enrollment increased by 23 percent.

And even better news, a master’s in health care administration could prepare you to pursue a career as a medical and health services manager, a field projected to grow by 16 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. A bachelor’s in health care administration is sufficient when looking to pursue an entry-level health administration position in smaller facilities.

Online Degree #5 – Communications

Are you good at communicating ideas? If so, earning your online bachelor’s in communications could help you adapt your abilities to the field of mass communications, including television, print journalism, or the Internet.

Common classes like interpersonal communications, mass communication, writing, and rhetorical criticism could help you develop as a dynamic communicator, says the College Board.

Click to Find the Right Communications Program.

Hot factors: The number of students choosing to get their bachelor’s in communications online increased by 8 percent between 2008 and 2009 – with 28,250 students enrolled, according to the Eduventures report.

With an online bachelor’s in business, you could prepare to pursue a career as a public relations specialist – a field projected to grow by 24 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

 Thanks to Yahoo Education for the information provided here by Amanda Hearle.


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