7 Flexible Degrees To Earn From Home

Flexible Degrees

Avoid the trek to campus and earn your degree when and where you want.

By Andrea Duchon

If you think higher education means drudging to campus every day, then you may be happy to learn about an option that lets you learn from virtually anywhere: online education.

"Online learning works very well if you work full-time or if the program or school you want to attend is not available in your area," says Anthony Edwards, instructor and manager of e-campus outreach for Tarleton State University. "Additionally, earning your degree online can allow you to keep your job while attending school."

Just keep in mind that while online study does offer flexibility and convenience, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a walk in the park.

Still interested? Keep reading to learn more about seven exciting online degree programs.

Bachelor's Degree #1: Computer Science

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If you're analytical and fascinated by the inner-workings of computer systems, you may want to earn your online degree in computer science.

As a computer science major, you can expect to study how humans interact with computers in a scientific way, says the College Board, the organization which administers the SAT. Your coursework might include classes like artificial intelligence, digital system design, and software engineering.

Why Online? Online students can connect with their online professors and receive real-time evaluation and guidance from almost anywhere and on their own time, says Wendy Wiesmiller, senior program director at Drexel University Online.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.

Potential Careers:*

Bachelor's Degree #2: Accounting

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Do you have a head for numbers and details? If so, you may want to consider an online accounting degree program.

In an accounting program, you might learn how to analyze information about an organization's financial performance and risks. Classes could include accounting, auditing, and business law, says the College Board.

Why Online? An online accounting program could be an excellent option, because it allows students to learn from instructors who are often working professionals, says Lauren Anuskewicz, senior director of engagement at Colorado State University-Global Campus. These experienced professionals can offer students insight into a wide variety of industries where accountants are in demand, she explains.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.

Potential Careers:*

Bachelor's Degree #3: Business Administration

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Are you hungry to learn about what it takes for a business to succeed? Earning your degree in business administration online could satisfy your thirst for knowledge.

This degree could prepare you to plan and control an organization's activities, says the College Board. And if you choose this major, you could take courses such as operations management, economics, business statistics, and marketing.  

Why Online? An online degree in business administration enables students to develop strong business capabilities and cultivate leadership skills, says Wiesmiller.

"By pursuing this degree online, students are instantly connected with leaders and peers from all over the world," she notes. A school's business network could potentially span continents, fostering international relationships and experience that may make students stand out to potential employers, adds Weismiller.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.

Potential Careers:*

Bachelor's Degree #4: IT and Information Science

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Do you wonder what's coming next in technology? Then perhaps you'd like to satisfy your curiosity firsthand by earning your online degree in IT and information science.

In an information technology program, you may learn about computing systems and how they support business and communication needs, notes the College Board. And you may take classes in C++ programming, computer networking, and web technologies. On the other hand, as an information science major, you might learn how to create systems to store data and take classes in database management, information architecture, and information retrieval and data mining.

Why Online? "Given that IT is all about technology, this field is a logical fit for online education," says Edwards.

Wiesmiller adds that online IT and information science programs prepare graduates to develop and apply contemporary information science theories and methods to the generation, management, and sharing of data - an increasingly useful skill to have.

Next step: Click to Find the Right IT and Information Science Program.

Potential Careers:*

Bachelor's Degree #5: Graphic Design

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Do you consider yourself a visual or tech-savvy person? You may want to build upon your knack for beauty and technology by earning an online degree in graphic design.

In this program, you could gain the skills necessary to create and polish the look for everything from magazines to websites, says the College Board. You can also expect to study courses like typography, Photoshop for designers, and graphic design techniques.

Why Online? "Graphic design is a high-demand skill in our increasingly digital workplaces," says Edwards. This program is well-suited to online study, he adds, because online students learn to use computer programs like InDesign and Dreamweaver - the same tools graphic designers use to create graphics and websites.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Graphic Design Program.

Potential Career:*

Bachelor's Degree #6: Health Care Administration

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Interested in the world of health care but can't imagine dedicating years and years to med school? Earning your online degree in health care administration could help you pursue your dreams while still offering you the flexibility you need.

According to the College Board, in a health services program, you'll learn the ins and outs of running a health care facility. Typical courses could include anatomy and physiology, economics of health care, health care law, and human resources management.

Why Online? Because many of the changes in health care involve technology (electronic health records, updated equipment, etc.), distance education is an ideal way to study health care administration, says Edwards.

"Online degree programs in health care administration are popular, because they offer a great way to gain the skills and training necessary to work in the health care industry without pursuing a clinical path like nursing," says Anuskewicz.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.

Potential Career:*

Bachelor's Degree #7: Psychology

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Are you a good listener and problem solver? If you're also intrigued by the human mind, you may want to embark on the study of psychology online.

Psychology students often learn about how humans act, think, and feel and take courses like perception and sensation, learning, personality, and neuroscience, according to the College Board.

Why Online? The online study of psychology has been well-developed into a comprehensive learning experience - including the ability to connect to expert psychologists and researchers from all around the world, Weismiller explains.

"With online education, psychology students are given unprecedented access to the latest research, whether finished or in progress, that covers different populations, countries and subject matters. By connecting everyone in real-time, it allows for an open dialogue on the subject matter," she explains.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Psychology Program.

Potential Career:*

* All potential careers listed from the 2014-2015 U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook. The Department of Labor cites the associated degrees as common, required, preferred, or one of a number of degrees acceptable as preparation for the potential career. In some instances, candidates might require further schooling, professional certifications, or experience, before being qualified to pursue the career.

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