Be the Breadwinner: 10 Online Degrees Employers Want to See

Have you ever considered earning an online degree but were stopped short by the overwhelming sense of not knowing where or how to start? Have you ever wanted to catapult your career and make more money but weren’t sure which degrees could get you there? Has the stigma of an online degree deterred you from taking courses from home?

There are several misconceptions of online education that may be prohibiting you from earning your degree your way. The truth is that most employers do hire online degree holders. What’s more exciting is the fact that your online education can pave the way for some pretty sizable salaries.

We used real-time job analysis software from to identify the 10 most in-demand degrees you can earn online.* Take a look at the chart below and then familiarize yourself with some of the lucrative career options that align with each degree.

Top 10 online bachelor’s degrees


Now you’re familiar with the top 10 online degrees in demand. But what types of careers and earning potential can these degrees lead to?

We identified three careers and the median annual salary for professionals in each position.** Take a look and identify which options could lead you to the paychecks you’ve been dreaming about!

1. Business management

Online business management programs  typically include coursework focused on management, marketing, employment law, organizational leadership and information systems. Some options allow you to earn a degree in as little as 18 months!

Career options:

2. Computer science

Coursework for online computer science programs is designed to give you a thorough understanding of the mathematics and programming languages you need to develop complex software products. You’ll learn the concepts and design principles of computer architecture, operating systems, networks, distributed computing environments, and algorithm analysis.

Career options:

3. Nursing

RN to BSN programs are available online and are designed specifically for registered nurses to achieve their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. The program will help you gain in-demand nursing skills employers are seeking and can be completed in as little as one year.

Career options:

4. Engineering

Online courses for most engineering degrees will be heavily focused on mathematics and sciences, with specializations in environmental, mechanical and computer engineering. 

Career options:

5. Biology

An online degree in biology will prepare you for careers in the medical field, genetics or animal and plant sciences.  An online environmental science degree, for example, will prepare you for a lucrative career in the ever-expanding “green jobs” market.

Career options:

6. Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering programs will be similar to other engineering degree programs but with specialized components. An online master’s degree program in mechanical engineering will be even more specified, consisting of coursework involving bioengineering, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and other similar courses.

Career options:

7. Electrical engineering

Like the previous two online degrees in engineering, an online electrical engineering degree will be heavy in math and sciences with specialized concentration courses. An online master’s degree will really focus in on the specialized sub-fields of the career: signal processing and communication systems, electronics and more.

Career options:

8. Computer Engineering

Along with the other online engineering degrees, these programs will focus on math and sciences with specializations geared toward computer engineering. Courses this program may include (get ready for a mouth-full) are microprocessor systems design and digital systems structure.

Career options:

9. Communications

An online program in communications might be misunderstood as just simplistic courses in spoken and written communication. However, students should also expect coursework in design and layout, graphics and media writing. Students may even choose to structure their degree toward new and constantly-changing forms of communication such as social media platforms or mobile-web communication.

Career options:

10. Human Resources

Students enrolled in an online human resources program should expect coursework geared toward employment law, performance management, compensation benefits and similar subjects. Some degree programs allow you to graduate in as little as 18 months while acquiring valuable skills in both human resources and leadership.  

Career options:

Make your move toward the money

Now you know about the exciting earning potential that can be achieved with an online degree.  Determine a few career fields that interest you and do a little research by clicking the related links located in each section.

In the meantime, start learning more about earning a degree online by following the Rasmussen College College Life Blog. You’ll gain valuable insight about trends in online education, advice from other online learners and tips and tricks for finding success in the online classroom!

Do you know someone who might be interested in learning about the highest paying online bachelor’s degrees? Share this article!

* (analysis of 5,899,318 job postings requiring a bachelor’s degree, May 15, 2013 – May 14, 2014)
**Median annual salaries taken from the U.S. Department of Labor. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

About the author

Megan Ruesink

Megan is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. She hopes to engage and intrigue current and potential students.


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