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The Most Popular Online College Degrees

Aug 18, 2007
Online college degrees are increasingly popular for both traditional students and those who are pursuing higher education while working. The allure can be attributed to a combination of lower costs, convenience (you can attend classes on your own schedule) and the increase acceptance of online college degrees by today's employers.

The most popular online college degrees tend to be those that focus on a particular professional career or practical discipline rather than more generalized degrees such as those offered by traditional campus-based colleges or universities. There are also a higher percentage of students pursuing associate degrees as opposed to bachelor's degrees through online learning. Part of this is because many students seeking an online college degree are seeking to enter the workforce as quickly as possible or are already working and want to improve their chances of promotion. Another reason seems to be that online students prefer to obtain associate online college degrees so that they can take advantage of it in terms of a better job, and then continue with a bachelor's degree while working full time.

Professional Online College Degrees are Industry Focused

Overall the most popular discipline at online colleges is Business Administration. This is a degree that can translate into any number of industries because it is based on business skills and management techniques that almost any type of company can benefit from. Secretaries and lower level employees often study for online college degrees in Business Administration or Business Management so that they are more likely to be perceived as "promotion material." Another popular degree program is accounting; an associate or bachelor's degree in accounting is always in demand by companies that are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified account managers and bookkeepers.

Computer science degrees at all levels are second only to business administration with students pursuing online college degrees. Because the government predicts that the demand for employees with computer programming and database management skills will continue to increase indefinitely, these degrees are an excellent investment in anyone's future.

Medicine is another industry that is desperately in need of qualified individuals with a degree or diploma in a healthcare related area such as medical reimbursement or healthcare management. With the healthcare crisis now facing the United States, experts in understanding how healthcare insurance works and who can manage facilities seamlessly are in short supply. Online college degrees in this area can take an individual from an entry-level position to management quickly.

Online College Degree Programs Keep Pace with Industry Changes

Online college degree programs keep pace with industry changes and shifts in professional demand because they have certain advantages over traditional colleges. Online colleges don't need additional space or facilities to add new programs to their curriculum. When they notice an emerging trend, they can offer a new program as soon as they have located and hired the appropriate instructors. These instructors are usually industry leaders themselves, and they are able to provide instruction that covers the most recent innovations in their industry because many remain a part of the industry, something typical college professors aren't able to do because of scheduling conflicts.

A perfect example of a program that was non-existent a decade ago is Criminal Justice. Students can pursue an online college degree in Criminal Justice from several excellent online colleges. In fact, criminal justice surpassed health care degrees in popularity at online colleges for the first time this past year.

To find out more about the new and evolving opportunities for an online education, contact admissions counselors to discuss your options. They will know the trends and statistics to help you choose the particular college degree program to carry you into a successful future.
About the Author
Andy West is a writer for Virginia College. Virginia College Online offers many Online College Degree programs. Visit Virginia College Online at http://www.vconline.edu to select the online program that is right for you.
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