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Online Degree Programs With the Most Job Security

Mar 3, 2011 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

It’s not easy choosing a career with staying power—especially in a difficult economy. With a shifting economic climate, it can be difficult to predict which skills will be in demand for decades to come—and which are just a passing trend. However, no matter the economic climate, some careers are a safe bet. Here’s a look at the online degree programs that lead to jobs with built-in security.

Teaching certification and licensure

As a public school teacher, you’ll make an average of $55,150 per year at the secondary school level—and job growth is up to about 16% for some specialties. To be a public schoolteacher, you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree as well as teaching certification and licensure—the process for which varies by state. Many school districts encourage online education, particularly for classes leading to certification. The school districts that need teachers the most tend to be high-needs urban and rural areas, and the most in-demand specialties include science and math-related topics.

Criminal justice degrees

Man Holding Sign Hiring

It’s not easy choosing a career with staying power—especially in a difficult economy. With a shifting economic climate, it can be difficult to predict which skills will be in demand for decades to come.




A criminal justice degree could lead to a job as a police officer, detective or investigator, probation officer, correctional officer, and many other careers in the law enforcement field.  Some in this area are growing by an estimated 17%, with earnings of up to $90,570 for leadership careers.  Law enforcement professionals are needed in every community, from small towns to big cities—and the position often comes with excellent job security.

Whether you work in a busy private health clinic or a large public hospital, you need someone to manage the books and systems that store and organize patient information.  And health care facilities are projected to keep needing staff members as the population ages. A health information systems administration or health information technology degree can prepare students for everything from entry-level positions to administrative leadership roles—and there are all degree levels available, from certifications and Associate’s degrees to Master’s degrees in the field.


Geologists are in high demand. Many are employed by the oil industry, but the government and environmental firms hire their fair share as well. As a geologist, you might map sub-surfaces to find potential mineral, oil or natural gas deposits; assist with water resource management and quality; or work in a government research capacity. Projected growth for geoscience positions is estimated at approximately 18%, with annual earnings of up to $127,560 depending on the area you work in.

Paralegal studies

A paralegal studies degree could lead to a career as a legal assistant or paralegal for a law firm, insurance company, or government agency.  It’s a highly secure profession, with projected 28% growth through 2018. It pays well, with average earnings up to approximately $58,540 per year. And it’s relatively easy to get a foot in the door. You can start with an Associate’s degree, or if you already have a Bachelor’s degree in an unrelated subject, you can earn a paralegal certificate within about six months.

Information Technology

In today’s digital age, no company can exist without information systems that gather and manage data and handle internal and external communications. And a company’s survival often depends on the performance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of these systems. Information systems professionals such as computer systems administrators, network administrators, information security specialists, database administrators, and others are projected to be in demand for years to come, with a projected 17% growth for some careers according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.


A Masters in Business Administration gives you valuable business knowledge that will serve you well in a wide variety of industries. If your interest is in a management-level position, holding an MBA degree increases your earnings and makes you more hirable—especially if you already hold significant real-world experience. If you’re currently a working professional, you may be able to get your employer to help you finance your tuition. And many companies encourage workers to earn their MBA’s online—so that class schedules don’t interfere with work schedules.

It’s not easy to find a job that pays well and has great security. But it’s relatively safe to say that no matter how the economic conditions of our country develop, we’ll still need teachers, police officers, and health care professionals, IT specialists will be in high demand, and those with advanced degrees in business have an edge over their competitors in the job market. With an online degree from one of these specialties, you’re likely to have a long-lasting career.



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