Online learning has become extremely popular over the last decade. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly half of American adults now take at least some classes online. And according to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment in online courses increased from 2 million students in 2000 to almost 20 million in 2017.
Finding the right online degree program can be challenging with so much competition. That’s why we’ve put together this list of top online degree programs for working adults.
These programs are designed to provide flexible schedules and allow you to complete your coursework anywhere in the world.
Is It Possible to Get a Degree Entirely Online?
Yes, it is possible to get a degree entirely online. In fact, many of the best online degree programs are geared specifically toward working adults. Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for the best online degree program for you:
First, make sure the program is accredited. This is important whether you’re taking courses online or offline. Without accreditation, your degree may not be recognized by employers.
Second, consider your schedule and learning style. Many online programs offer flexible scheduling options that allow you to study at your own pace. If you’re a visual learner, look for programs that offer video lectures or interactive course materials.
Finally, don’t forget to factor in the cost. Fortunately, many online programs are more affordable than traditional brick-and-mortar schools.
What are the Best Online Degree Programs for Working Adults?
Here are the 15 best online degree programs for working adults:
- University of Southern California
- Texas Tech University
- Pennsylvania State University
- University of Florida
- Arizona State University
- University of Massachusetts Amherst
- Auburn University
- Indiana University Bloomington
- The Ohio State University Columbus
- Northeastern University Boston
- Liberty University
- Colorado State University Global Campus
- Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania
- Regent University Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan
1. University of Southern California
USC is a private research university located in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1880 by railroad magnate and philanthropist Leland Stanford and is the oldest private research university in California.
The school is one of the “Big Five” U.S. research universities, which includes Columbia University (a founding member), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Chicago, and Johns Hopkins University.
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2. Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University is a public research university located in Lubbock, Texas. The school offers a variety of bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees—including online programs for working adults.
Some of the programs offered here include Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, Management Information Systems, and Industrial Distribution majors, Supply Chain Management majors.
The university also offers tuition discounts to students who live within the state and some graduate degree programs at other universities in Texas.
The school has over 8,000 students and is ranked by U.S News & World Report as one of the best colleges in the West region.
3. Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University is a public research university in University Park, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855 as Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania, the school was renamed the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania in 1862 and Penn State College of Agriculture in 1863.
In 1919 it was renamed again to State College to distinguish it from the other campuses. This was its name until 1953, when it became The Pennsylvania State University.
The university has an annual enrollment of over 105,000 students across its 24 campuses spread throughout eight counties with five satellite locations and additional regional campuses throughout the Central Pennsylvania region.
Pennsylvania State University is one of the online degree programs for working adults.
4. University of Florida
The University of Florida is a public, land-grant, space-grant research university located in Gainesville, Florida.
University of Florida is a member of the Association of American Universities. The university has also been classified as having a very high research capacity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
5. Arizona State University
Arizona State University is one of the online degree programs for working adults.
The university is a public research university in Tempe, Arizona, founded in 1885. It is the oldest public institution of higher education in Arizona and one of the oldest universities west of the Mississippi River.
It offers programs through its seven colleges as an academic center for studies in fields such as engineering, science and technology, social sciences, liberal arts and humanities, health sciences, and business administration.
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6. University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst public research university in Amherst, Massachusetts. The university offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to over 24,000 students.
It is the largest university in New England and the flagship campus of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system.
7. Auburn University
Auburn University is a public research university in Auburn, Alabama.
The university is home to more than 27,000 students from all 50 states and over 100 countries around the globe.
With its main campus located on more than 5,000 acres near downtown Auburn, it’s easy to see why this area is considered an ideal location for students looking for both rural peace and urban excitement.
The school has been ranked as one of the best universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report and was also listed as one of America’s best colleges by Forbes magazine for 2019.
8. Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana University Bloomington is one of the online degree programs for working adults.
The school offers a wide variety of online degrees that can be completed in as little as one year.
The School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) offers a Bachelor’s degree in public administration, which can be completed online and on-campus.
The school also offers an online Master’s degree in Environmental Management that focuses on sustainability issues such as climate change adaptation strategies or managing ecosystem services.
For working adults who need to balance work with their studies, Indiana University Bloomington has programs specifically designed for them.
Adult learners who were high school graduates prior to enrolling may choose from undergraduate level certificates such as Accounting Certificate, Business English Certificate Program, Chinese Language Training Certificate Program, Computer Aided Design Technology Diploma Program, Criminal Justice Studies Certificate Program, Early Childhood Development Certificate Program, Digital Media Production Diploma Program.
9. The Ohio State University Columbus
The Ohio State University is another school that offers online degree programs for working adults.
Ohio State offers over 140 undergraduate majors and over 200 graduate degrees, with more than 300 programs in total.
The university has been named a top 25 public university by U.S. News & World Report in multiple categories, including national universities and best values among public universities.
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10. Northeastern University Boston
Northeastern University is ranked no. 1 for best online bachelor’s degrees for working adults and no. 1 for best online graduate business programs for working adults by U.S. News & World Report (2019).
Northeastern University offers an MBA degree that can be completed entirely online through its Global Network Education program. The curriculum focuses on core business subjects, including marketing, finance, and organizational behavior, as well as experiential learning opportunities such as case studies and field trips.
11. Liberty University
Liberty University is a private, non-profit university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty University is another school that offers online degree programs for working adults.
The university offers more than 550 programs of study in more than 900 areas of study at its Lynchburg campus and online.
Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which is one of the six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
12. Colorado State University Global Campus
Colorado State University Global Campus is an online degree program that offers more than 60 degrees and certificates. All of the CSU Global programs are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and many are also approved by professional licensure boards.
The university’s online offerings include online associate degrees in business administration, criminal justice, project management, social work, and more.
Graduate students can choose from an MBA with a concentration in accounting or human resources management, a master of science in organizational leadership; a master of social work; or a doctorate in organizational leadership.
CSU Global also offers several online bachelor’s degree completion programs for adult learners who already hold an associate degree or have completed at least 60 credits toward their bachelor’s degree.
These programs have been designed specifically for working adults who need flexible schedules and supportive learning environments to continue working while pursuing their education goals.
13. Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania
Villanova University is a private research university located in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.
The college offers degrees in theology and philosophy and other online programs for working adults.
14. Regent University Virginia Beach, Virginia
Regent University is a private Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The university offers online degrees in over 40 undergraduate and graduate programs through its College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Divinity, School of Leadership Studies, and School of Nursing & Health Sciences.
Regent has an online student body of over 8,000 students from all 50 states and multiple countries around the world; 47% are male students, while 53% are female students.
Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
15. Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Central Michigan University offers an online degree program that allows you to earn a degree without having to physically attend classes on a regular basis.
Many people who wish to pursue an education but must balance work, and family responsibilities find working adults’ online programs helpful because they are able to take care of their responsibilities while still pursuing an education.
Additionally, online programs often cost less than traditional campus-based degrees because they don’t require any additional expenses, such as housing or transportation costs.
This can help students who are looking for ways to improve their current situation both economically as well as academically focus on their studies rather than worrying about how they will pay for other expenses associated with attending school full-time at one location after another (iTunes U).
Enrolling in this school gives every one of these privileges.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many different online degrees available, so it really depends on what you’re interested in and what you’re willing to put into it. That said, some degrees may be easier to obtain than others. For example, a Bachelor’s degree in English may be easier to obtain online than a Bachelor’s degree in engineering.
There is no easy degree that makes the most money. Different degrees lead to different career paths, and each has its own set of challenges. Some degrees may be easier than others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they lead to higher-paying jobs. It’s important to choose a degree based on your interests and goals, not just on earning potential.
The most useful degrees in 2022 will depend on the job market at that time. However, some degrees that are always in demand include engineering, computer science, and nursing.
We hope this list has given you a good idea of the best online degree programs for working adults. If you think we missed any great ones, let us know in the comments.
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