The Most Popular Online Degrees

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The Most Popular Online Degrees

These online degrees are experiencing a lot of traction among college students.

Online education is here to stay, and it's quickly becoming the norm. In 2012, about 6.7 million college students, or 32 percent of the college student population, were enrolled in at least one online college course, according to Eduventures, a company that provides research, data, and consulting services for the higher education community.
But is online education worth it? According to a separate 2013 Online College Students survey, 12 months after completing their program of study, 66 percent of survey respondents felt that it was a good investment.
Many responded that they were already reaping such benefits as a new job, a raise, or a promotion, notes the survey, which was jointly conducted by the Learning House, Inc., and Aslanian Market Research.
If your interest has been piqued, keep reading for the most popular online degrees, according to the 2013 survey. You might just find the right degree for you to pursue, too.

Online Degree #1: Business Administration/Management

Find Degree Programs If you have natural leadership and organizational skills, you may want to consider pursing an online bachelor's degree in business administration.
You wouldn't be alone. In fact, business administration and management was ranked the most popular degree in the 2013 Online College Student survey.
Why It's Popular: Business administration is the most popular on-campus degree, so it's logical that it would be the most popular online as well, says Abraham Snell, an adjunct professor at a technical school in Birmingham, Alabama that offers both traditional and online courses.
A lot of interactions between businesses and consumers happens online, says Snell, who also earned an executive MBA in a program that combines distance learning with classroom attendance. "Learning in an online environment prepares students for these types of interactions," he explains.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Business Administration Program.
What You Might Learn: If you pursue an online degree in business administration and management, you'll take classes in business ethics and law, operations management, and business policy and strategy, reports the College Board.
Potential Careers:*

Online Degree #2: Accounting

Find Degree Programs Landing in the second spot of popular online degrees was accounting, according to the survey. You might want to pursue a bachelor's degree in this field, too, if you happen to love crunching numbers.
Why It's Popular: In general, accounting degrees are popular because it offers stability, says Snell. Companies will always need to hire employees with accounting skills, he explains.
He adds, "And since the degree involves web-based accounting information systems, it's perfect for an online education format."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Accounting Program.
What You Might Learn: According to the College Board, your coursework  as an accounting major might include business law, accounting information systems, and auditing.
Potential Careers:

Online Degree #3: Information Technology

Find Degree Programs If you're the person that everyone else calls to troubleshoot their computer problems, you might want to earn an online bachelor's in information technology.
And it seems that other students have the same good idea: According to the survey, this degree was ranked the third most popular online degree.
Why It's Popular: "Technology is booming, and students are attracted to the various high-paying jobs offered in this field," says Snell, who teaches information technology."
"Also, IT majors are usually online for hours at a time, conducting research, and writing computer programs, and the type of people who would enjoy working alone welcome the opportunity to learn in an online format versus a classroom setting," Snell says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Information Technology Program.
What You Might Learn: If you pursue an information technology degree, you might take classes such as C++ programming, computer networking, and database management, according to data from the College Board.
Potential Careers:

Online Degree #5: Finance

Find Degree Programs If you're intrigued by the inner workings of Wall Street or the bottom line of companies, a bachelor's in finance online might suit you. And you'd be joining many other students, as according to the survey, finance was the fifth most popular online degree.
Why It's Popular: "Many students are drawn by the lucrative salary potential [of this degree]," says Snell. "Also, an online format is conducive to working on complex computer programs, creating and managing budgets, and learning the dynamics of stocks and bonds."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Finance Program.
What You Might Learn: Ready to get started? If you pursue this major, your coursework may include investments, financial markets and institutions, and international finance, according to the College Board.
Potential Careers:

Online Degree #6: Psychology

Find Degree Programs Psychology came in at the sixth spot of most popular degrees in the Online College Student survey. If you enjoy analyzing what motivates people to act a certain way, you might want to delve deeper with an online bachelor's degree in psychology.
Why It's Popular: Psychology is a popular degree, because it teaches highly desirable job skills, including how to interpret, predict, understand, and control behavior, according to Susan Whitbourne, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of the Psych Today blog.
"The content of the subject area is appealing, and the online format allows the opportunity for colleges to reach students outside their geographical area to provide challenging, rigorous and content-rich classes, which can also include case studies on current events," says Dr. Robert Stokes, assistant vice president of academic affairs for part-time and continuing studies at Villanova University.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Psychology Program.
What You Might Learn: As a psych major, you would typically take neuroscience, general and abnormal psychology, and research methods in psychology, reports the College Board.
Potential Careers:

Online Degree #7: Health Care Administration

Find Degree Programs Rounding out the list as the seventh most popular online degree in the survey was health care administration. So if you're interested in health care but don't want to be hands-on, you might want to earn an online degree in health care administration, too.
Why It's Popular: "Online education is very popular with health care administration students because it can provide a comprehensive overview of the health care delivery system and prepare students for entry-level positions in the health care field," says William Riley who is a professor and the director of the School for the Science of Health Care Delivery at Arizona State University.
"Many of these learners work full-time, and the online format provides a means to receive a top education while continuing to work."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Online Health Care Administration Program.
What You Might Learn: Health services administration majors take a variety of classes including accounting, health care law, and anatomy and physiology, according to the College Board.

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