The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 174 career fields in the U.S. typically require a bachelor’s degree to get a job in the industry. The good news is that projected job growth in those fields is anticipated to be 10% from 2016 to 2026. Do the math and it’s clear that an accredited online bachelor’s degree can add value to your career.
What can a Bachelor’s Degree Do for Me?
The median wage for the jobs that require a bachelor’s degree was over $72,800 per year in 2017, according to the BLS. Conversely, the median annual wage for all occupations was just shy of $38,000.
Some collegiate subjects can help you to be ready for the job market in one of today’s leading careers like healthcare, science and technology, or criminal justice. Other bachelor’s degrees provide a traditional education in humanities, such as in languages and the arts, or even general studies, as a start for further academic pursuits.
What if I’m too Busy to Get a College Degree?
Many college students are serving overseas in the military, have health complications that prevent them from attending classes on campus, or have work and family responsibilities that dominate their schedules. If you want the flexibility to fit class time and study time into your personal life, you can pursue your educational goals with an accredited online bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree from a university usually takes about four years of full-time schooling to complete, whether it is earned online or on campus. You will need to be able to find at least 15-20 hours per week to devote to online classes and assignments for your courses throughout the semester.
What Are the Best Accredited Online Bachelor’s Degrees?
With so many major and minor study areas to choose from among the 30 accredited online bachelor’s degree programs, the choice of which degree you will pursue is uniquely yours. There are degrees in technical and scientific fields that are rapidly hiring the best college graduates at good salaries, and there are degrees to prepare you for graduate studies after your bachelor’s degree.
Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each program is scored individually. It’s then compared to all other universities offering that degree to determine the final score you see by each ranking. Accredited Online College considers the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of programs offered on-campus and online. To learn more, visit our methodology page.
Capella University delivers a learning experience that blends academic theory with practical knowledge to help you build a solid foundation for your career. Two online learning formats are available through Capella; you can choose either GuidedPath or FlexPath learning to fit your needs and educational goals.
With FlexPath, you can earn a bachelor’s in business in 18 months and under $18,000 based on the fastest 25% of students. Your program length and cost will vary by transfer credits, the per-session cost, and how quickly you complete courses. Books, supplies, and other fees apply.
Capella University offers choices of more than 20 specializations, minors, and degree concentrations online. You can earn a degree in an area that expects strong career growth in the coming years, such as information technology, nursing, health sciences, or business.
American Public University offers affordable tuition and a full range of higher educational opportunities, with more than 100,000 degrees awarded since 1995. With 87% of its students being working adults, APU understands how to build an education that works around a busy life schedule.
Offering classes online that begin monthly and go for eight to 16 weeks, APU puts the power of learning in your hands and on your time frame. The accredited bachelor’s degrees at APU online all require 120 semester hours for completion.
You can earn a degree in one of many subject areas at APU. From traditional disciplines such as philosophy, marketing, or political science to cutting-edge fields of study like reverse logistics management, cybersecurity, or emergency and disaster management, you’ll be prepared to enter your career field in stride.
Penn State World Campus offers a range of accredited online bachelor’s degrees that are backed by an outstanding reputation for academic excellence. The education and training you get with a Penn State online bachelor’s degree help to prepare you for a future of career growth and success.
At Penn State World Campus, online bachelor’s degrees are offered in many diverse areas, including agribusiness management, digital multimedia design, and energy and sustainability policy. Alternatively, many students pursue an accredited bachelor’s degree as a step toward advanced education in their field, such as a bachelor’s degree in law and society prior to law school, or an organizational leadership degree that leads into an MBA program.
Liberty University’s online programs provide a rigorous and faith-based education that will challenge you to learn with purpose and to apply what you learn in your life and work. Here, you can choose from more than 130 bachelor’s degree programs, all of which are designed to give you the tools needed for professional and personal success.
Most degree programs at Liberty offer the option of fully online learning and come in a convenient eight-week class format. With that flexibility, you can complete your studies amid the obligations of family and work and build a solid future in the career field of your dreams.
A few of the most popular online bachelor’s programs at Liberty are in aviation, elementary education, religion, and social work.
The mission of Ashford University is to provide high-quality educational programs that are accessible and affordable for the needs of all people pursuing advancement in professional and personal life.
With an educational history tracing back to the 19th century as Mt. St. Clare College in Clinton, Iowa, the school has grown into today’s Ashford University. Now, Ashford Online Center makes academic offerings available to anyone, anywhere with an internet connection and the ambition to learn.
Currently offering accredited online bachelor’s degrees in a vast range of topic areas that you expect of a quality university, Ashford serves students who want to develop career skills and build a future in business, public service, healthcare, the arts, and much more.
Known for academic excellence and faculty who are respected researchers and experts in their fields, Washington State University is one of the country’s most lauded institutions of higher learning. With Washington State University Global Campus, the same education is available for anyone to access remotely.
Employers and other institutions respect a degree from WSU, as it represents a thorough and challenging education from a top university. Best of all, Global Campus graduates who earn a degree online get the same highly regarded college degree as their peers on campus.
With undergraduate degrees available in areas such as business, communications, science and technology, social and behavioral sciences, you can easily find a program that fits your career needs. You can even pursue an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree that synthesizes diverse subject areas into an excellent foundation for further academic pursuits.
From the respected institution of higher learning in Philadelphia, Temple University brings accredited online bachelor’s degrees to the world with remote classes. It should come as no surprise that earning a challenging and thorough education from an outstanding institution like Temple University is a strong start toward a good career.
Temple’s Bachelor of Business Administration program, for example, provides an exceptional education and is delivered online by the renowned faculty of the university’s Fox School of Business. Online students also have study options in disciplines like accounting, business management, and human resource management to prepare for positions that require a bachelor’s degree. Best of all, Temple provides multiple program start dates, study schedules, and learning formats to ensure that your online education is as convenient as possible.
Walden University promises to deliver “Education for Good” with academic concepts supported by practical skills to help you develop a strong basis for your career. Walden offers accredited online bachelor’s degree programs in nine main areas, including nursing, education, psychology and counseling, information technology, and more.
For students who are ready to finish a degree they started at another school, Walden accepts a generous amount of transfer credits. In fact, previous college classes can add up to 75% of the credits needed for your online Walden degree.
Helpful online support services are also available as you progress through your classes so that you can count on getting the guidance you need throughout the entire schooling process, from application to graduation. So, if you’re interested in pursuing a degree on a schedule that works well with your life, then you should check out Walden University.
One of the top institutions of higher education in the country, with a history of legendary college football and basketball programs, Texas Tech University delivers an outstanding educational experience, whether you are learning on campus or online.
Here, you can choose from a variety of accredited online bachelor’s degree programs covering the entire spectrum of career and academic pursuits. Texas Tech Online offers programs in subjects ranging from architecture to wind energy, to dozens of other topics in between. Alternatively, a Texas Tech general studies degree can provide a thorough, traditional education to prepare you for advanced academic pursuits and life success.
Through Texas Tech University, you can earn a degree that is backed by the stellar reputation of a top national university, all with the convenience and flexibility of distance learning.
Florida International University educates the community and prepares adult learners for career advancement. Now providing the same education that is taught by the excellent instructors who are available on campus, FIU Online brings the classroom to your computer, wherever you have an internet connection and the desire to succeed.
Gain the skills and practical knowledge you need to enter a new career field or advance further in your current job on a flexible schedule with FIU Online. Degree programs are offered in dozens of subject areas to prepare you for a career or to enrich your life skills.
Degree programs through FIU Online include a Bachelor of Science in the Internet of Things, a BBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and those in dozens of other specific subject areas to get you ready for the rigors of many rapidly growing career fields in the coming decade.
As one of the nation’s leading research and educational institutions, Oregon State University has created the opportunity for you to pursue an education on your schedule with the flexibility of distance learning.
As Oregon’s largest university, OSU attracts students from all over the U.S. and beyond, with its student body representing more than 100 countries. More than 24,000 students study at the university’s main campus in Corvallis, OR, however, another 7,467 people benefit from the same educational opportunities wherever they are, with online courses.
Ranked among the elite programs in the world in forestry and oceanography, OSU delivers the learning to you with a spread of online bachelor’s degree programs to fit your career goals.
The Ohio State University is among the top universities in the country, with world-renowned faculty and a reputation for educational excellence. With an online bachelor’s degree from Ohio State, you can carry a highly respected education into the job field, along with the skills and knowledge needed to work on some of the critical issues and industries of our times.
Ohio State has earned some impressive rankings in key areas, such as a No. 1 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best undergraduate programs and a No. 17 ranking on its list of the best public universities. What’s more, Ohio State alumni were ranked No. 17 among the Nation’s Most Employable Grads by Times Higher Education.
So, if you want these accolades to speak to your alma matter, then check out Ohio State Online’s bachelor’s programs in areas like dental hygiene, nursing, health sciences, and more.
As one of the nation’s outstanding public research universities, the University of Iowa serves more than 32,000 students from every state in the U.S. and 114 countries worldwide. From its campus near the Iowa River in Iowa City, UI has one of the top medical centers in the country and is renowned for its Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
With the distinction of having 43 faculty and alumni who have won a Pulitzer Prize, UI stands out for academic excellence. Best of all, the online bachelor’s degrees you can earn here deliver the same knowledge and training that students have access to on campus.
Through UI’s Distance and Online Education, you can choose from accredited degree programs in areas like enterprise leadership, political science, and sport and recreation management, to name only a few of the solid options available.
The Extended Campus of the University of Oklahoma provides you with an opportunity to earn an accredited online bachelor’s degree from a top-tier university. OU Extended Campus delivers an accessible education that can serve as a foundation for a strong career or as the first step toward a graduate degree in your area of study.
With an intuitive and accessible learning management system, students of OU Extended Campus interact with instructors and peers in class from wherever they may be. Classes are available in entirely online, hybrid, or on-site formats.
Enrollment at OU Extended Campus includes the support of a network of individuals who are committed to your success. Remote students have access to guidance from student services advisors, a technical support team, and a specialized distance-learning librarian, all of whom are available to answer questions to help you with your academic journey.
The main campus of Utah State University is based in the scenic Cache Valley town of Logan in northern Utah. If you can’t make the stunning commute, don’t worry – Utah State now serves students far and wide with remote learning. Through USU, you can earn an accredited online bachelor’s degree in one of ten study areas and on your own schedule.
USU has an outstanding reputation for agricultural studies. If agricultural is your passion, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness, otherwise you can pursue bachelor’s in economics, psychology, or integrated studies as a start toward a career or a step along an academic path toward a graduate degree.
What’s more, all of the accredited online bachelor’s degree programs combine Utah State’s experienced faculty and challenging classes with a flexible learning format through the school’s online learning management system.
Colorado State University is known for rigorous education and an active campus in Fort Collins, CO. With online bachelor’s programs ranked No. 11 in the country by U.S. News & World Report for 2020, CSU offers much-needed and highly regarded college degrees that can be accessed on your schedule.
Some of the degrees available through Colorado State Online include those in areas like anthropology, computer science, horticulture, human development and family studies, and natural resource tourism.
Filled with the same challenging course materials and necessary academic information as a degree earned on campus, an online bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University is an investment in yourself and the promising trajectory of your future career.
Grand Canyon University is known for providing affordable college degrees to students in the northern Arizona area. Now, with GCU online, a well-rounded education is within your reach, wherever you are, and can help you to advance your career or continue your academic pursuits.
Here, you can earn your online bachelor’s degree and prepare to step into the workforce in growing fields like healthcare, education, criminal justice, or the many industries within science, technology, and engineering. What’s more, accredited online bachelor’s degree programs at GCU include full access to resources and support that students on campus enjoy, such as student counselors, technical assistance, and the extensive collections of the GCU library.
Kaplan University is now Purdue University Global, offering outstanding education designed for the specific needs of busy adults who want to earn a degree. With the flexibility to fit classes and coursework into your own schedule, Purdue University Global offers more than 175 degree and certificate programs available online.
The accredited online bachelor’s degree programs from Purdue University Global include a broad range of traditional subjects. Many of the most popular degree programs are targeted toward growing career fields, including nursing, information technology, criminal justice, and fire sciences. No matter what program you choose, though, a bachelor’s degree earned through Purdue University Global will prepare you to enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to take on today’s toughest problems.
The University of Central Florida provides exceptional higher educational opportunities to the communities surrounding Orlando. Now, even if you can’t enjoy the sunshine of Orlando, you have remote access to the same respected faculty who teach classes on UCF’s campus. UCF Online students also have access to all the resources and support that a university student needs to succeed in today’s competitive workforce, available entirely online.
UCF Online’s programs are ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s top online undergraduate degree programs in the country. With over 20 bachelor’s programs and 35 minor options to support your degree, all of which are available fully online, you can find the educational path that best fits your career.
UCF Online accepts transfer credits from students who have already started an accredited college degree, or it allows you to launch your college career from the beginning, offering all the support and resources of a respected institution of higher learning.
Arizona State University is respected as a leading institution of higher learning in the country, as well as a fierce competitor in NCAA sports. For students who need an accredited bachelor’s degree from a top-ranked university, ASU Online provides remote, flexible, and convenient learning opportunities.
At ASU, choose from a full range of accredited online bachelor’s degrees in subjects like women and gender studies, digital photography, biochemistry, or dozens of other wide-ranging major topics to build a foundation for the future. Additionally, you can rest assured that you’ll be learning from the same leading faculty who provide ASU’s on-campus education, who will take great care in preparing you for the first step into your career field.
From its campuses in Daytona Beach, FL, and Prescott, AZ, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University educates the next generation of aviation professionals and leaders in many fields. Embry-Riddle offers a plethora of degree programs that are unlike what is available at typical universities.
For example, Embry-Riddle’s BS degree in Unmanned Systems Applications will prepare you to work in the developing field of drone vehicles across all domains, such as air, space, ground, and maritime applications of unmanned systems.
Through Embry-Riddle’s online education, you can learn about major industry issues in emerging new fields, like airspace integration, interoperability, propulsion and power, and regulation. Best of all, you’ll be studying under instructors who are experienced and knowledgeable in the technologies that are entering wide use in many industry-related and military applications.
West Texas A&M University educates tomorrow’s community leaders with rigorous academic instruction from outstanding faculty. Nationally recognized for academic excellence on campus, WT now offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs that are delivered in a variety of remote formats.
Accredited bachelor degree programs from WT are available either fully online, online with several in-person requirements, or in a hybrid format wherein a majority of the program is delivered online. More than a dozen degrees are offered in the 100% online format. It should come as no surprise, then, that WT’s online programs are ranked among the best distance-learning programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Supported by a reputation for educational excellence, the University of North Carolina Wilmington offers bachelor’s degrees in many areas to prepare students for careers or graduate degrees. Ranked No. 7 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for its online bachelor’s programs, UNCW’s dedication to academics is evident.
Online undergraduate degrees at UNCW are available in diverse subject areas across the academic spectrum. Here, you can choose from programs in criminology, elementary education, international studies, and clinical research, in addition to an RN-to-BS nursing program for nurses who want to further their education.
At the University of Illinois at Springfield, you can start a college degree or transfer credits you’ve earned previously to continue on the path toward your educational goals. With 52 online programs designed to help you advance toward your degree in a multitude of specialties, you can be ready to enter the workforce in a new field or build on the career you already have.
UIS is proud to provide students with accredited online bachelor’s degree opportunities that are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Plus, by taking UIS courses online, you gain a flexible and affordable way to earn your education while balancing life responsibilities.
If that weren’t enough, all students who enroll in one of UIS’ online degree programs, whether they are in- or out-of-state, pay the e-tuition rate, which is significantly lower than the traditional rate paid by students from outside the state.
Lone Star College aims to make higher education accessible and affordable so that the benefits of a college degree can extend to everyone who is willing to make the effort to learn.
Among the three bachelor’s degree programs available, in addition to many associate’s degree and professional certificate programs, Lone Star College has a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Cybersecurity that prepares graduates for work in the information technology field. Being accredited, the degree provides students with the knowledge needed to pass many industry certification exams in cybersecurity.
Additionally, Lone Star College offers an online BS in Nursing that allows Licensed Registered Nurses to develop further professional qualifications to add to their knowledge and resume.
The third bachelor’s program available online through Lone Star College is in energy, manufacturing, and trades management, which provides a path for students with an AAS in a related area to build upon their education and further develop their career qualifications.
Located roughly between Louisville and Nashville, and with regional campuses in three other communities throughout Kentucky, Western Kentucky University is a regional provider of high-quality higher education. On the WKU campus, on a hilltop in Bowling Green, KY, students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in a spread of subject areas.
Now reaching far beyond its geographic region, WKU offers accredited online bachelor’s degree programs that are accessible to students wherever they have a computer and an internet connection. WKU offers bachelor of arts degrees in criminology and sociology and bachelor of science degrees in 11 different specialties, including dental hygiene, health care administration, and organizational leadership.
All of the online courses in the bachelor’s degree programs at Webster University meet the same academic standards as the school’s traditional, on-campus classes. As a remote learner, however, you get the additional advantage of 24/7 access to your college courses from anywhere in the world.
Whether you are a full- or part-time student, a graduate or undergraduate, you will benefit from Webster’s educational excellence. Entire degree programs are available online in many areas that are in demand, such as criminology, psychology with an emphasis on mental health, data analytics, and media communications, to name only a few of the disciplines available.
Formerly known as the University of Maryland University College, the University of Maryland Global Campus brings education to you with ease. UMGC provides ample opportunities to pursue a degree or professional certificate online and on your schedule.
Offering accredited online bachelor’s degrees in subject areas such as computer networks and cybersecurity, UMGC can prepare you to enter the cutting-edge field of information technology security. Or, you can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies that may lead to a graduate degree. Alternatively, you can earn a BS in Gerontology and Aging Services that will equip you for the challenges of a growing niche in the healthcare field. At UMGC, the educational pathways are numerous, so you’re sure to find a degree program that matches your professional goals.
Widely known for exceptional athletic programs and stellar academics, the University of Alabama has developed “Bama By Distance” for the students whose responsibilities to military, work, or family keep them from attending a traditional degree program on campus.
Bama By Distance offers over a dozen bachelor’s programs that span a variety of academic disciplines. The educational programs, in partiuclar, contain the same challenging and thorough academic coursework as their on-campus equivalents, though the non-education programs are still accredited and held to the high standards of UA. Other available online degrees cover subjects like mechanical engineering, food and nutrition, and consumer sciences.
Even if you are far from the University of Arkansas’ Fayetteville campus, you can still pursue a bachelor’s degree from this esteemed institution. Providing helpful flexibility for busy adults who are seeking a four-year degree from a top public research university, the U of A presents a wealth of unique programs spanning its different schools and colleges.
Some U of A Online programs are designed to provide a solid foundation for higher academic pursuits, while others are tailored to the needs of a career track. The online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Supply Chain Management, for example, educates you on the fundamentals of industrial production and delivery that is essential for entering the field in stride. Alternatively, you can pursue a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies that is perfect for customizing your ideal higher education. Whatever your goals may be, U of A Online aims to help you reach them.
Will I Earn More Money in My Job With a Bachelor’s Degree?
Yes. Research and studies consistently show that workers with a four-year college degree from an accredited university have higher salaries than those with less education.
However, statistics and averages do not give you a guarantee of any exact result in your unique case. Many variables factor into the final result, such as the type of degree you get, the school you get your degree from, how much time you put into learning and succeeding in your academic and professional efforts, and more.
At the end of the day, though, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a remarkable earning difference between careers that usually require a bachelor’s degree and those that don’t, with an annual median wage of $72,830 in 2017 for career fields that needed a degree versus $37,960 for those that do not.
Is an Online Degree as Good as a Traditional Degree?
Yes. Employers recognize that those universities that offer accredited online bachelor’s degree programs provide the same challenging and rigorous educational opportunities to all students, whether fully on campus, in a hybrid online format, or 100% online. Plus, schools generally make no distinction on your degree or transcript to indicate that your education was completed remotely.
Of course, modern times are rapidly changing the world of education. Even in early 2020, most schools and universities have transitioned their students to online learning formats in response to COVID-19 concerns. It is becoming an undeniable fact, regardless of the future of on-campus education, that online learning is as effective and valid as traditional, classroom-based learning.
With that being said, not every college degree is equal to others. Employers and graduate school entrance officers will pay attention to things like the reputation of your university and its faculty, accreditation of the school, and the program’s courses and requirements to be sure that you received an education that is equivalent to a residential degree program.
Are Online Degrees Offered in the Area That I Want to Go Into?
Most likely there is an online bachelor degree program in the specific career field that you are interested in pursuing. Among the 30 top accredited online bachelor’s degree programs, there are Bachelor of Arts and Science degrees in all the traditional subjects available at any top-tier university, as well as some subject areas that may not have existed in a college course catalog just a few years ago.
There are online bachelor’s degree programs designed to prepare graduates for jobs in technical and scientific fields, education, healthcare, criminal justice, business and management, and many more fields of study. Many schools also offer minors or emphasis areas within your bachelor’s degree program to focus your studies more precisely on the topics you need to master for job success.
Many students earn a bachelor’s degree as a first step toward a graduate degree, whether that be an MBA, JD, or a master’s degree in one of the dozens of other subject areas essential for career training.
How Long Does an Online Bachelor’s Degree Take?
For new university students who don’t have any previous college credits, a bachelor’s degree usually takes about four years of study to complete. Online learning is very flexible and is designed to fit around your life and work, however, so it may take longer than four years to earn your degree if you are engaged in schooling part-time.
For students who have enough time in their schedules to fit a full-time degree program, it is possible to earn a degree in a shorter time. Most schools consider the four years of a bachelor’s degree program to include summer breaks between each school year. A motivated student could pursue classes all throughout the year and finish a degree even faster.
What Is an Accredited Bachelor’s Degree?
Colleges and universities that offer accredited college degrees go through regular audits and assessments of their classes, faculty, and school policies to ensure that they maintain the highest educational standards and help students to reach their learning goals.
Accreditation also helps colleges and universities agree to accept transfer credits from other institutions of higher learning. While there are different accreditation agencies around the country, most institutions of higher learning accept an accredited online bachelor’s degree from another U.S. college or university because they can rely on the accrediting agency that evaluated the other school.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out the Top 30 Fastest Accredited Online Graduate Colleges and the Top 12 Accredited Online Colleges With Low Tuition!