15 Online Degree Programs with Great Pay and Career Potential

Updated: November 4, 2022

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    Today, online learning is one of the fastest-growing ways for you to get your associate’s, bachelor’s and even master’s degree — all from accredited schools. The reputations of these schools vary. Their job placement rates do as well. If you look up these two factors, you can pick a school where your degree will be worth your investment.

    The top-paying online programs span a wide range of career fields from business administration and information technology to healthcare and engineering. You can get a degree online in economics, web design, psychology, accounting, software development, database management and much more.

    Just remember, money isn’t everything. There are many online programs out there that not only have great pay, but are rewarding and fun. So, if you’re a motivated veteran looking for an online degree program with a rewarding future, think about these Top 15 Online Degree Programs with the best pay and great career potential.

    Associate’s Degrees

    You don’t have to spend countless years studying to get a well-paying job. It only takes two years to get your associate’s degree online. But there are accelerated programs that can be completed in just over a year. Check out these online associate’s degree programs that can lead to great pay.

    Web Design

    If you love computers and are creative, then making websites may be your perfect career. Getting a degree in web design is ideally suited for online learning. In this program, you’ll learn scripting languages, design techniques and computer security. You may also study content strategies. You will learn how to enhance a site for search engines.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Web developer: $59,568
    • Web content manager: $58,719
    • Web designer: $50,256

    Network Technology

    Every organization has a computer and network system to run its business. An associate’s degree in network technologies can put you in a position of responsibility. Your coursework will focus on programs like Linux, Windows or Cisco DNA Center. Some courses you may take include operating systems, network troubleshooting/design, web design and information security.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Network systems administrator: $60,923
    • Computer network support specialist: $58,413
    • Computer support specialist: $55,540

    Paralegal Studies

    If you want to play a part in the legal process without spending years going to law school, then getting your degree in paralegal studies may just be the ticket. You’ll learn how to do research, prepare documents, review trial transcripts and file appeals. You can also specialize in different areas, such as criminal, family or contract law.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Court reporter: $52,797
    • Paralegal: $48,510
    • Transcriptionist: $48,500

    Bachelor’s Degrees

    A bachelor’s degree is one of the most common degrees employers are looking for when they hire a new employee. With so many online bachelor’s degrees to choose from, how do you know which one is the best for you? We did the research and came up with eight of the best degrees with great pay and career potential.

    Management Information Systems

    Management information systems degrees combine the elements of both business and technology. You’ll focus on how to use computers to make a company’s operations more efficient and effective. Some courses you’ll take include database design, project management, networks, information security and business ethics.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Information security analyst: $98,000
    • Information systems manager: $83,261
    • Computer systems administrator: $81,000

    Marketing

    Marketing is all about influencing people to buy products. In your coursework, you’ll learn about market analysis, product management and promotional strategy. Many marketing programs will have you working on practical projects in a local business.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Search marketing strategist: $90,000
    • Media director: $90,964
    • Marketing manager: $80,000

    Human Resources Management

    People are a company’s most valuable asset. As a human resources manager, you’ll manage an organization’s employees. You’ll learn about labor relations, workplace safety, recruitment, training, compensation, benefits and organizational behavior.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Human resources manager: $89,000
    • Training and development manager: $76,023
    • Human resources consultant: $73,787

    Software Development

    If you want to jump on the fastest-moving train, explore a career as a software developer. People who design and develop software applications will be in great demand over the next 10 years. You’ll get training in programming languages, operating systems, online software development programs and computer security.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Software engineer: $71,436
    • Applications software developer: $69,585
    • Game developer: $64,530

    Cybersecurity

    Every company in the world has a crucial need to protect its computer systems and data from hackers and security breaches. As a cybersecurity engineer, you’ll learn how to recognize potential security risks and defend against attacks. Coursework will cover networks, system architecture, ethical hacking and operating systems.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Network security engineer: $125,000
    • Cybersecurity engineer: $120,000
    • Information security analyst: $90,000

    Database Management

    We live in a digital world. If you are skilled in the design, implementation and optimization of the systems that store all that data, you will be in high demand. Your database-management degree program will have you studying topics like cloud computing, database development, programming logic, data mining and network management.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Database administrator: $74,336
    • Database manager: $59,540

    Finance

    If you like to manage money and want to help others do the same, then a degree in finance might be the perfect fit for you. You’ll learn how to evaluate market conditions and implement a variety of strategies to maximize income or create wealth. In this program, you’ll learn about financial planning, managing portfolios, commercial lending, investment principles and risk management.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Financial manager: $$72,893
    • Financial analyst: $60,781
    • Budget analyst: $60,941

    Accounting

    Every business has a team of accountants to help track all its financial activities and maintain financial health. An online accounting program will have you focusing on creating your analytical and quantitative skills through coursework in financial management, information systems, budgeting, taxation and business strategy.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): $66,542
    • Certified Financial Planner: $$66,631
    • Staff accountant: $50,843

    Master’s Degrees

    A master’s degree opens up even more doors to high-paying jobs. If you are attending full-time, you can get your online master’s degree in about two years. Most students are also working, so it may take longer. Most schools will allow you three to four years to complete your master’s program.

    Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

    What do the Chief Executives of Fortune 500 companies like Walmart and Facebook, and the Harvard Business School have in common? An MBA. An MBA is still one of the most sought-after graduate business degrees. It could set you up for a very successful career in the business world. A full-time MBA program is usually two years, but many accelerated full-time MBA programs can be completed in one year. An MBA includes courses in accounting, finance, marketing, ethics, economics and management.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Business operations manager: $100,930
    • Medical and health services manager: $99,530
    • Senior management consultant: $103,520

    Engineering Management

    If you are an engineer who wants to move into management, then this online master’s degree is just for you. You can develop the people and business skills you need to supervise and manage engineering projects. You’ll learn about quality control, project management and engineering law.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Engineering project manager: $93,430
    • Construction management engineer: $74,730
    • Industrial management engineer: $101,813

    Economics

    An online master’s degree in economics will teach you how to make high-level business decisions. It will give you the training you need to open the door to many high-paying jobs in business. Coursework will include financial analysis, econometrics, economic theory and statistics.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Economist: $124,555
    • Data scientist: $96,009
    • Statistician: $73,546

    Industrial Organizational Psychology

    What online master’s degree can you add to your undergraduate degree in psychology that will land you a great job? You might want to consider a master’s in industrial organizational psychology. You would work for a company to help improve the overall work environment, including performance, communication, professional satisfaction and safety. You’ll learn about research methods, performance evaluation and feedback, labor relations, compensation and benefits.

    Possible jobs and average salaries:

    • Industrial organizational psychologist: $77,114
    • Behavioral analyst: $60,179
    • HR organizational development specialist: $64,482

    Conclusion

    Online degrees are more popular than ever. You can cash in on this great opportunity by earning your associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree in just a few short years. You can find an accredited school that offers a degree that matches your talents and interests and set yourself up for a career with great pay and career potential. Remember to check the professional reputation and placement rate of the school you choose to make sure you’ll have a good outcome.

    Don’t forget your veteran’s benefits! Nearly every school offering online degree programs will work with veterans’ military benefits. All branches of the service offer active-duty tuition assistance to help you on your path to an online degree. The Forever GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-911 GI Bill are there for you after you get out.

    If you’re not interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you can also utilize GI Bill benefits to attend GI-Bill-approved coding bootcamps.

    *Note: All salary estimates from Payscale.com

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