Five Booming Online Degrees

5 Booming Online Degrees

With these popular online degree options, you can go back to school without giving up your life.

By Renee Wade    

Want to make a career change but need to further your education to get there? Looking to advance your knowledge and skill set, but need some flexibility to make it happen?

Going to school online may be the solution. Online classes allow you to pursue your educational goals on your schedule.

Many people are catching on to the attractive option of online classes, with approximately 5.6 million students enrolled in at least one online class during the fall of 2009, according to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning report by the Sloan Consortium.

Are you ready to join the trend? Read on to learn about five booming online degree programs, and the opportunities that could come with them.

Booming Online Degree #1 - Bachelor's in Business

Online business degrees are booming with nearly 30 percent of all online students enrolled in a business program in the fall of 2009, according to a 2009 study released by Eduventures, an online research and consulting firm.

Click to Find the Right Online Business Program.

Degree details: You can fine-tune your skills in problem solving, number crunching, and decision-making in this type of program. Online courses may revolve around economics, statistics, marketing, and finance.

Booming opportunities: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a bachelor's degree in business could make you attractive to employers in a wide range of fields. A few examples of potential opportunities for business grads: actuary, business consultant, and financial analyst.

Booming Online Degree #2 - Bachelor's in Computer & Information Technology (IT)

Eduventures found computer and IT to be the second most popular online bachelor's degree, with an impressive 19 percent enrollment growth between 2008 and 2009.

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Degree details: In this online degree program, you'll learn about state-of-the-art software programs and solutions, while enjoying the freedom afforded by pursuing your degree online. You could even focus on more specialized topics, like robotics, artificial intelligence, and gaming technology.

Booming opportunities: Database administrator, computer software engineer, computer programmer... what do these careers have in common? They are each projected by the U.S. Department of Labor to see 20 percent (or higher) job growth from 2008-2018 - and a bachelor's in IT could very well put you on the path towards pursuing one of these careers.

Booming Online Degree #3 - Bachelor's in Criminal Justice

This online degree is growing in popularity, with Eduventures noting a 27 percent enrollment growth between 2008 and 2009 - the highest growth of any online bachelor's degree. It is also the third-most-popular online bachelor's degree overall, accounting for almost 10 percent of total undergraduate online enrollment, according to the study.

Click to Find the Right Online Criminal Justice Program.

Degree details: When pursuing a criminal justice bachelor's degree, you can expect to learn about criminal law and criminal justice research methods, according to the College Board, an educational organization that administers aptitude tests like the SAT.

Booming opportunities: The U.S. Department of Labor notes that a bachelor's degree in criminal justice could be a stepping-stone toward a range of careers in the criminal justice system. This degree could help you prepare to pursue opportunities as a probation officer, a correctional counselor, or even a private investigator.

Booming Online Degree #4 - Bachelor's in Nursing

Think you can't earn a nursing degree online? Think again. It's the fourth most popular online undergraduate degree, according to Eduventures, which found that enrollment for online bachelor's degrees in nursing grew 13 percent between 2008 and 2009.

Click to Find the Right Online Nursing Program.

Degree details: Your online nursing degree program could offer courses in anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and more general science courses like chemistry. The good news is that you don't have to miss out on that clinical component to your coursework. Online nursing programs generally still require hands-on clinical work, which could help you prepare for work in a clinic, hospital, or other health care facility.

Booming opportunities: If you want to prepare to join a booming industry, look no further than health care. According to the Department of Labor, employment of RNs is projected to grow by over half a million jobs from 2008-2018. Just keep in mind that once you earn the degree, you'll still need to get licensed.

Booming Online Degree #5 - Bachelor's in Psychology

Psychology is a consistently popular undergraduate college major, according to the Princeton Review, and online psychology degrees are no exception. According to Eduventures, this online degree program grew 6 percent between 2008 and 2009, and it's the eighth-most-popular undergraduate online major.

Click to Find the Right Online Psychology Program.

Degree details: If you enjoy learning about the functioning of the brain and how it affects human behavior, an online bachelor's degree in psychology could be a flexible way to pursue these interests. In this degree program, you can expect to study cognition, intelligence, motivation, emotion, and perception.

Booming opportunities: If you're looking to pursue a career that would allow you to make a difference in people's lives, this online degree is for you. The U.S. Department of Labor notes that this degree could help you prepare to pursue a career as a social worker, a probation officer, or a correctional treatment specialist.

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