Online Degree Programs: Find Your Match
If you can get that degree at a traditional school, chances are you can find it online, too. From professional certifications to Ph.D’s, you can earn it from home at a range of schools across the country—from exclusively-online for-profit and nonprofit colleges to traditional schools that have expanded to the web.
On Distance-Education.org, you can search for accredited online degrees by type of degree, school name, or type of program. We even make tuition information easily available—so you can comparison-shop. Our website lists information for hundreds of schools and programs across the country. Don’t wait—get started today.
|"86 percent of those studying online are at the undergraduate level."
Source: The Sloan Consortium
Online Associate’s Degree
An associate’s degree traditionally takes about two years to complete. Many people who pursue an associate’s degree plan to put their credits towards a bachelor’s degree, and some associate’s programs are designed to make this easy. Workers with associate’s degrees earn about $8,000 more per year than those with high school diplomas alone.
It’s also generally less expensive. Many students spend two years earning an associate’s degree and then transfer to a bachelor’s program to save money. Here’s a breakdown of the types of associate’s degrees you can earn online:
- Associates of Arts (AA): Associates of Arts degrees generally apply to the
arts and humanities. Many jobs in this area require a bachelor’s, so AA degrees are most often applied towards a bachelor’s degree
at a later date.
- Associates of Science (AS): Associates of Science degrees apply to subjects heavy in science and math. As with the AA, AS degrees are often transferred to a bachelor’s program.
- Associate in Applied Science (AAS): These degrees are designed for students who plan to go directly into the workforce without earning a Bachelor’s degree. Although some schools will accept AAS credits toward a Bachelor’s, it’s not usually the norm.
- Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS): This degree is generally in a technical or vocational field, and it’s not designed for students looking to transfer to a four-year program.
Online Bachelor’s Degree
Bachelor’s degrees take about four years to earn on average, although some distance learning degrees can take as few as two years. Most professional positions require a bachelor’s degree.
Although the cost can be considerable, a bachelor’s degree usually pays for itself. According to current statistics, people with four-year degrees earn an average of $23,000 per year more than those with high school diplomas alone.
There are two types of bachelor’s degrees:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA)
- Bachelor of Science (BS)
|According to the Sloan Consortium, enrollment in online graduate programs grew 19.6% between 2002 and 2006.
Online Master’s Degree
Master’s degrees by distance education can take one to three years to earn, depending on the course of study. In the U.S. and Canada, a Master’s degree is earned after a Bachelor’s degree, and is often a requirement for earning a doctorate. To teach in graduate and postgraduate education, a Master’s is often the minimum required degree. You can earn a Master’s in Arts (MA) or a Master’s in Science (MS).
Those with Master’s degrees typically out-earn workers with Bachelor’s degrees by over $10,000 per year.
- Master of Arts (MA)
- Master of Science (MS)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Online Doctorate Degree
Depending on the subject, a doctorate usually takes a minimum of three years to earn, and can either be started after earning a Master's degree, or often times directly after a Bachelor's degree. With some of these programs, you can actually be awarded a Master's degree while working for your Doctorate.
There are many different types of doctorate degrees. Most, however, fall under one of two general categories:
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D): This is a research-based qualification that can take five or more years to earn. Ph.D’s are often required for careers in higher education. While it is possible to earn your Ph.D through a distance education program, the higher education community has been much slower to accept online degrees than most. However, many other industries that require Ph.D’s are more accepting.
- Professional Doctorates (Psy.D., J.D., etc.): These are practical degrees that prepare learners for careers in their field. Unlike the Ph.D, they provide little graduate research training. Professional doctorates are given to pharmacists, veterinarians, lawyers, radiologists, podiatrists, chiropractors, psychologists, and many others.
Professional certification programs exist to ensure that workers possess the specific skills and knowledge to perform a certain job. Most certification programs are geared toward working learners, and there is wide acceptance of certification through distance education programs. Most of these programs do not require a certain degree to enroll. You can find online certification in hundreds of fields, from education to law to funeral directing.
The distance learning industry has advanced a great deal. With improvements in technology, millions of enrolled students, and growing acceptance among employers, online college degrees are quickly catching up to traditional programs.
And it’s no wonder - online college degrees are more flexible and less expensive overall than traditional degrees. They’re making higher education accessible to millions of non-traditional learners. With an online degree, you’re sure to be ready for the next big career opportunity.
- Undergraduate Certification
- Post-Bachelor's Certification
- Graduate Certification
Many Associate’s degrees are two-year vocational degrees, but many students apply their Associate’s credits toward a Bachelor’s degree later. Graduates of Associate’s programs earn about $8,000 per year more than high school graduates.
The four-year Bachelor’s degree is the most common educational requirement in most professional fields. These degrees frequently pay for themselves—with graduates earning as much as $23,000 per year more than those with high school diplomas.
Need to get certified to perform a job? Online certification programs are popular among employers in every industry. Convenient and flexible, these programs allow full-time workers to complete industry- or state-required certification without disrupting work hours.
Degree completion programs offer a clear path to a college degree, providing credit for prior college and professional experience. They tend to be rigorous and exacting about what qualifies for credit—but for some students with a nontraditional career arc, they’re exactly what’s needed.
Get the highest possible degree in your field—and doors will open for you. Doctoral degree holders often earn as much as $2.2 million more over their lifetimes than high school graduates. Those holding medical and law degrees earn the most—sometimes as much as $4 million more.
One step higher than a Bachelor’s, a Masters is a versatile degree that can give your career an edge in a wide variety of fields. As a Masters degree holder, you could out-earn your peers with Bachelor’s degrees by as much as $10,000 per year.
A specific type of Masters degree designed for business, the MBA is a valuable credential in the corporate world. MBA programs help you hone and develop the skills and expertise you need to succeed in business—and could give you the credential you need to rise in your career.
Post-graduate certifications are not as intensive as a Masters degree—but they can also give you an added edge over your competition in the job market, while reducing the time you spend in school. In some professions, such as teaching at the public school level, they’re required.