Online Bachelors Degree Programs
With immediate access to hundreds of online bachelors degree programs, anyone can earn their Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in three to four years by taking online courses. All higher learning institutions except vocational and community colleges offer four year programs encompassing majors as diverse as culinary arts and biological anthropology. Popular online bachelors degree programs include:
- Criminal Justice
- Information technology/computer science/software engineer
- Business Administration
- Information Technology
- Graphic Design/CAD
- Nursing (registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
Receiving a bachelor’s degree will also increase your earning potential. The Collegeboard Advocacy and Policy Center (CollegeBoard) reports that the average yearly salary of someone with an associate’s degree was around $40,000, while an individual holding a bachelor’s degree can expect to make $50,000. Of course, this depends on the career field in which the person is working but overall, graduates with BAs or BSs will make substantially more money than those with vocational certificates or associate’s degrees.
Descriptions of Online Bachelor Degree Programs
Spanning the legal, psychology and social science fields, criminal justice explores patterns and manifestations of criminal behavior in an attempts to create methods with which society can successfully control all types of crime. Students who decide to pursue a criminal justice career with learn about all facets of the criminal judicial system, including how correctional facilities operate, implementation of offender rehabilitation programs and legal processes involved from the time of an arrest, through trial, conviction and ultimately, incarceration.
Examples of courses comprising criminal justice online bachelor degree programs generally include:
- Crime deterrence and the U.S. correctional system
- Police practices and systems
- American government
- Criminal investigation procedures
- Law enforcement administration
- White collar crime
- Juvenile crime
Other classes correlated with a criminal justice degree are fundamentals of human psychology, basic statistics, sociological theories and ethics.
Students are equipped with the educational background needed to pursue a variety of careers after successfully completing criminal justice online bachelor degree programs. Jobs that often require a criminal justice degree include:
- Police office/detective
- Adult and juvenile probation officers
- Correctional facility security guards and officers
- Federal Bureau of Investigation agents
- Drug Enforcement Agency agents
- U.S. Marshals
- U.S. Customs agents
- Forensic scientists
- Private detective
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS Job Outlook) criminal justice major jobs are expected to experience a seven percent growth increase between 2010 and 2020. Consistent demand for jobs concerned with public safety will create many new openings at both federal and state levels.
Computer Science and Information Technology
Abbreviated as CS, computer science is the mathematical and scientific modus operandi of computers, their hardware, software and programming languages. Computer science is a broad field comprised of many subfields such as computer graphics, coding and information theory, algorithms, software engineering and information retrieval. Often confused with the field of information technology, which tends to deal with web-browsing, gaming, word-processing and website design, computer science is more concerned with the higher level, abstract functioning of a computer system.
Examples of courses offered by online bachelor degree programs emphasizing computer science include:
- Probability, statistics and applied calculus
- Algorithms, object-oriented data structures and designs
- Principles of operating systems
- Architecture of software
- Discrete mathematics
- Information systems security
- Application server programming
Research organizations and software publishing companies hire computer scientists to establish new theories that facilitate the development of innovative technologies regarding computer software and applications. Computer scientists also create virtual reality and robotic devices as well as design computer processors, computer chips and systems that operate high-tech military weaponry.
The BLS reports that information and computer scientist jobs should grow by around 20 percent over the next decade and enjoy continued increases in annual wages.
Online bachelors degree programs designed to provide students with business administration skills is another popular and in-demand degree covering a broad knowledge base regarding economics, financial management, marketing operations and financial/business mathematics.
Students enrolled in a four-year business administration curriculum may specialize in subfields such as principles of accounting, supply chain management, entrepreneurship, real estate and human resource management. Organizational leadership skills, problem-solving within a corporation and understanding various aspects of the business world are also stressed in core classes required for receipt of a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Jobs for degreed business administrators include project managers, business analysts, finance consultants, accounting directors/managers and marketing strategists. All of these jobs deal with the economics of operating a business, profitable management of finances and knowing how to implement effective marketing strategies in order to remain competitive in a certain industry niche.
According to the BLS, the job market for business administration majors will remain competitive over the next ten years due to the high number of students graduating with business degrees. However, the job growth is expected to be around 13 percent, with employees pursuing graduate degrees in business enjoying additional opportunities for advancement and higher salary earnings.
Accounting is the accurate and organized management of money, whether it involves the procedure used to balance a checkbook or information regarding the financial situation of a bank, credit union or multinational corporation. Online bachelor degree programs offering an accounting curriculum that will culminate in a four-year degree generally include such classes as:
- Introduction to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
- Computerized accounting
- Payroll accounting methods
- Income tax
- Principles of auditing
- Principles of economics
- Principles of investing (stocks, insurance)
Students who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting should have excellent mathematical abilities and enjoy working with numbers, finances and commerce. Accountants can be self-employed as tax specialists or work for business as financial analysts who are responsible for deciding how a company spends its capital. Businesses require accountants who specialize in auditing and checking financial statements for any errors that could be costly as well as troublesome in regards to filing yearly taxes.
Tax accountants are always needed by large corporations that consistently require expert advice concerning acquisitions, mergers, tax deferrals and tax code laws. Frequently, an accounting major will pursue a juris doctor degree to work for conglomerates who also need people with legal backgrounds to manage the complicated tax laws dictating any multimillion dollar company.
Careers in which a graphic design degree is needed involve creating visual presentations for the media outlets, magazine advertisements, websites, films, business logos and even billboards. Online bachelors degree programs offering graphic design courses teach students the concepts of creating eye-catching, trending and applicable pictures using colors, forms, images, words and dimensional design. Other course topics include principles of drawing, typography and graphic design materials.
CAD, or computer aided design, is a general term used for computer software programs that allow graphic design artists to create, modify, analyze and optimize their projects on a computer. All major operating platforms such as Linux, UNIX, MacIntosh and Windows support CAD systems.
Degreed graphic designers can pursue careers as art directors, website designers, publications, graphic or technical illustrators and Photoshop artist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designer jobs are expected to rise by 13 percent from now until 2020. In addition, the BLS states that this job experiences a high turnover rate which results in offering more available openings for prospective employees looking for a position in the graphic arts field.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
To be certified as a registered nurse requires four years of college or university work but many RNs return to school after receiving their RN degree to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Many online bachelors degree programs offer a BSN to assist RNs in expanding their career opportunities. For example, with a BSN, a registered nurse will be able to take on supervisory roles in medical clinics and hospitals as well as potentially pursue a nurse practitioner degree or nursing administration role.
Courses involved in an online bachelor of nursing program may involve advanced clinical concepts of nursing, management and leadership skills in nursing, health assessment and practice and business administration. Some registered nurses may wish to specialize in a specific area of nursing when obtaining their BSN, such as nursing home management or community health services.
Online nursing schools differ in their BSN programs and what they offer regarding emphasis on certain areas of nursing so research into these schools may be necessary to find the appropriate degree program.
The nursing field offers a faster than average job outlook with a 26 percent growth increase expected by the BLS over the next decade. With millions of baby boomers entering their 60s and 70s, the need for medical services is even now rising dramatically, requiring trained nurses and other health professionals to occupy openings in medical care facilities that are appearing faster than they are being filled.
Engineers apply practical and scientific knowledge to the design and construction of machines, structures, processes and devices that are intended to perform some type of function. These functions include providing shelter and transportation for billions of people as well as implementation of an infrastructure that facilitates the organized operation of a society.
Just like criminal justice and computer science, engineering is a broad discipline comprised of many subfields such as chemical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering and mechanical engineering. However, all of these areas are primarily concerned with the creation, design and eventual utilization of a structure or device that fills a need or requirement.
Engineering overlaps with numerous other fields like science, biology, medicine, geology, mathematics and even art. Before a students decides to enroll in an online bachelors degree program focused on engineering, he or she should determine what kind of engineering they wish to study in order to take the appropriate classes.
Examples of engineering fields include:
- Aerospace engineering
- Military engineering
- Petroleum engineering
- Nuclear engineering
- Planetary engineering
- Industrial engineering
Even subfields of the engineering discipline are further divided into specialized areas. For students interested in civil engineering, they will eventually need to decide whether they want to become involved with climate, transportation, sanitary or hydraulic engineering, just to name a few of these sub-“sub” fields.
Because the need for engineers of all kinds will always be in demand, the job outlook for this discipline remains positive, with a faster than average growth rate expected by the BLS. Individuals wishing to obtain a bachelor’s degree in engineering should exhibit excellent skills with performing mathematical calculations, using critical thinking to reach solutions to complex problems, be creative and enjoy researching and testing innovative projects from conception to construction.
Hundreds of online bachelors degree programs are now available, offering a fascinating variety of career fields that can provide degree-seeking students the ability to earn above average wages and the chance to excel in an interesting and exciting career.