Five Online Degrees to Jump-start Your Education in 2012

Five Online Degrees for 2012

Online education offers you a flexible way to go back to school in the New Year.

By Renee Wade    

Do you want 2012 to mark the year you jump-start your education? Great news: the flexibility of an online education could make it happen.

Whether you're a working professional, stay-at-home parent, or social butterfly, an online education offers you a flexible way to go back to school - without having to give up your personal life.

In fact, more students are taking advantage of online education's flexibility, with 35 to 40 percent of all students expected to take classes online by 2014, according to "Hot Programs and Hot Markets," a 2009 study conducted by the higher education and consulting firm, Eduventures.

If you're ready to hit the books in 2012, check out these five hot online degree programs.

Online Degree #1 - Bachelor's in Business Administration

Going back to school is no easy feat. But, acquiring the real-world skills that often come with a business degree could make heading back to school in 2012 worth it.

With common courses like statistics, economics, and business principles, a business degree combines financial and managerial savvy that can help you pursue work in a variety of different fields.

In this online bachelor's in business program, you could also have the added benefit of attending school when and where it's convenient for you.

Click to Find the Right Online Business Program.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries*:
Financial Managers: $116,970
Actuaries: $98,620
Insurance Underwriters: $65,220


Online Degree #2 - Bachelor's in Criminal Justice

Does the New Year inspire the compassion within you? If so, consider earning an online degree in criminal justice.

Geared towards people who want to help people - both victims of crimes and those who commit them - an online bachelor's in criminal justice could help you seek a career in security, law enforcement, and some areas of counseling.

You could expect to take a wide range of law and justice-related courses like psychology, sociology, law, public administration, and intro to criminal justice. And with the flexibility of an online education, you could take these intriguing courses from the comfort of your own home.

Click to Find the Right Online Criminal Justice Program.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries*:
Probation Officers & Correctional Treatment Specialists: $51,240
Criminal Investigators & Detectives: $73,010
Social Worker: $52,270


Online Degree #3 -  Bachelor's in Information Technology

Do you envision 2012 to be the year you become well-versed in the language of technology? Earning an online bachelor's in information technology (IT) could help.

Common courses like computer networking, computer programming, and computer science can help you develop skills in areas such as digital communications and web development.

Earning a bachelor's in IT online also offers you a flexible and convenient way to show employers that you're fascinated - and skilled - with using technology.

Click to Find the Right Online Computers and IT Program.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries*:
Computer Systems Analysts: $81,250
Network & Systems Administrators: $72,200
Software Developers: $90,410


Online Degree #4 - Bachelor's in Communications

If your interests range from media to pop culture to history, communications could be the right online bachelor's degree for you.

Online communications courses typically run the gamut, with courses like media writing, international communications, film, TV studies, advertising, history, and social sciences.

If you think this degree could help jump-start your education in 2012, then you're in luck. An online bachelor's in communications could offer you the flexibility you need when pursing your education.

Click to Find the Right Online Communications Program.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries*:
Editors: $59,340
Reporters/Correspondents: $43,780
Public Relations Specialists: $59,150


Online Degree #5 - Bachelor's in Education

Do your 2012 plans involve pursuing an education that could help you teach others? If so, consider earning an online bachelor's in education from a teacher education program.

A bachelor's in education could help you understand how others learn, and more importantly, foster the skills you need to effectively teach.

To help you better understand learning styles and strategies, this online degree offers you the flexibility to study courses like educational psychology, school health, and lesson planning, all from the comfort of your own home.

Click to Find the Right Online Education Program.

Potential Careers and Average Salaries*:
Elementary School Teachers: $54,330
Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School: $56,010
Special Education Teachers, Middle School: $56,500


* All average salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, May 2010 statistics.


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