Introduction to online college courses

No matter your goals, you may find an online college or university that can help you reach them. The top college courses are the same for traditional courses, as the boom in classes and degrees are the same across the board. These popular courses and degrees typically reflect the trends we’re seeing in jobs and the economy. Many students have discovered that online courses offer the most flexible means to obtain a degree while that student works or raises a family. From anthropology to zoology, you can find accredited courses that could help you reach your career.

Kaplan University
Kaplan UniversityAssociate's, Bachelor's, and Master's Degrees. Kaplan University offers an entirely online education, perfect for any working professional too busy to attend classes during the day. Kaplan's coursework can be completed from home or office at your own pace.
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DeVry University
DeVry UniversityAssociate's, Bachelor's, and Master's Degrees. A household name in continuing education, DeVry University features courses in business administration, computer information systems, engineering, network and communications management, and health information technology. The innovative curriculum allows students to graduate with a Bachelor's degree in as little as three years.
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Ashford University
Ashford UniversityAssociate's, Bachelor's, and Master's Degrees. Ashford University is one of the oldest online colleges in the nation, as it was originally founded in 1918. AU is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Suite 100, Alameda, California 94501, 510.748.9001, www.wascsenior.org.
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Liberty University
Liberty UniversityAssociate's, Bachelor's, and Master's Degrees. Being an evangelical Baptist school, Liberty University instills in its students Christian moral values. Academically, the school is based in Virginia. But its online presence knows no geographic bounds.
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Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire UniversityAssociate's, Bachelor's, and Master's Degrees. With enrollment growing across the United States and the world, Southern New Hampshire University is truly intercontinental. From SNHU, students will learn real-life knowledge that will help them advance in their careers or enter new ones.
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Walden University
Walden UniversityBachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate Degrees. Walden University offers the Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Science (MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Health (MPH), Education Specialist (Ed.S.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and Ph.D. The online program is convenient for the working professional.
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Post University
Post UniversityAssociate's, Bachelor's, and Master's Degrees. Catering to the everyday educational and life needs of its students for more than 110 years, Post University's associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs also come with full academic and personal counseling services, as well as start-to-finish career placement and training services – offering students multiple career guidance assessment programs as part of admission.
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Strayer University
Strayer UniversityAssociate's, Bachelor's, and Master's Degrees. Strayer University churns out more computer science degree holders than almost any other American university. The faculty at Strayer have actual work-place experience and are perfectly suited to train students with skills they will need as they begin or expand careers, whether in business or technology.
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Capella University
Capella UniversityBachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate Degrees. Capella is perfect for working students who value affordability, class schedule flexibility, and overall learning convenience. Graduates of Capella are usually regarded as highly sought after in the job market for numerous career fields, including business, technology, and law.
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Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon UniversityBachelor's and Master's Degrees. A fast-growing online Christian school, Grand Canyon University offers bachelor's and master's degree-level programs in many subjects, including business, nursing, technology, and more. In 2007, GCU ranked #1 in OEDb's Online College Rankings.
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Boston University
Boston UniversityBachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate Degrees. As one of America's top universities, Boston University confers the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree, including medical and dental degrees. The university is internationally focused, with a large study abroad program that includes campuses in London and Dubai.
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University of Liverpool
University of LiverpoolMaster's and Doctorate Degrees. The University of Liverpool is one of the UK's top 20 research-led universities. The school is furthering its offerings with strategic partners worldwide. Its goal is to double its £123m research budget by 2015. The school provides both exciting coursework and cutting edge professors.
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South University
South UniversityAssociate's, Bachelor's, and Master's Degrees. As a highly-rated provider of accredited education, South University is backed by years of quality programs and working with industry professionals. As a result, graduates enter the work-force with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their careers. Curriculum reflects the industries' standards and best practices.
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What are the Top College Courses Right Now?

Online colleges are on the rise and the top college courses are those that are fairly general and can be applied to many different industries. These courses include business, marketing, product development, and management. All of these courses are typically associated with business or marketing degrees, but prove to be useful in other fields as well.

Are Medical Course Popular?

Medical degrees and certifications are among the most popular degrees for both online and traditional schools. Because of the state of the economy, more people are looking for jobs that are high in demand and also offer job security. The medical field is an area that offers both, and online schools make it easy to earn certification and licenses for assistant or technician positions at a reasonable rate. These programs are also fairly short to complete, with the majority lasting six months to two years. Those who previously could not devote the time to a degree program can now take classes via online study and work at their own pace. Programs that are very short (such as six months to a year) have to be completed within that time, but two-year programs such as associate’s degrees can be obtained on a part time basis. This allows students to work and stay committed to other obligations while attending school part time.

Is it OK for Me to Have an Online Degree?

As long as your degree comes from an accredited source, most industries are welcoming of an online degree. The top college courses are high ranking because they provide students with a foundation for jobs that are high in demand right now. Marketing, product development, and the medical industry are all booming areas. The right candidate for the job matters more than the diploma, but the diploma is an essential tool. If you are vying for a spot against another job candidate and do not have a degree, you may lose the position. However, if you’re equally qualified on paper, but the employer feels you blend well with the company and their message, it is likely you will gain the position over someone with a diploma from a traditional school. Online degrees are becoming acceptable in nearly every field, as it is clear there are many reputable colleges and universities that prepare students for better jobs. You are receiving the same quality of education at accredited online schools; you are just taking a route that’s more comfortable for your lifestyle.

Do I Need Job Experience Along With My Diploma for Top Jobs?

Ideally, a candidate applying for any leadership position has work experience and meets the education requirements for the job. In a tough job market, most employers will not hire someone who has only job experience or only an education. It is a competitive market and it’s important for you to be prepared. The beauty of online degree programs is they allow a student to continue with work while attending school on their own time. A student may even be reimbursed by a company for tuition, so it’s essential for him or her to stay at their position. Job experience is invaluable for any position and a diploma will only magnify your knowledge and skill in a designated field.

Do the Top College Courses Change?

The most popular college courses change with the times, but usually stay the same for about three to five years. After that, the economy may fluctuate, pushing students in one direction or another in terms of trends for college courses according to job opportunities. The medical field is a department that tends to boom during a down economy as people see it as an investment that nearly guarantees any student loans back. Other degrees such as liberal arts or music may or may not return student loans, depending on the economy and how quickly graduates of those degrees are able to find job.

While it is important to explore jobs that nearly guarantee employment for the future, it is also important to pursue a degree that you see yourself utilizing in the work place. It is for this reason that online schools have become so popular. Many students in online programs have found their niche. Those working in positions such as operations management or non-profit employment may have found their jobs by accident by thoroughly enjoying the work they do. To improve their chances of competing for upper level jobs, these people enroll in bachelors, masters, or PhD programs to make them an authority in their fields.

Are Popular College Courses Difficult to Get Into?

At the traditional college, it can be hard to get into very popular courses. For example, many degrees require two foreign language credits. Most students opt for Spanish (often it is the only foreign language offered to students who are non-language majors), and these classes fill up very fast. Online students have better chances at getting into popular courses. Often the most popular classes such as business or marketing are offered abundantly or they allow a large number of students to enroll because it is a virtual class. Regardless of which type of school you attend, you want to register and enroll in courses early. This ensures you have a spot in the classes you need and do not end up not filling your schedule with credits due to a full class.

Are Online Colleges Growing?

Online colleges hit an all-time high of over six million students enrolled in 2010. As of now, it shows no signs of tapering off and students continue to sign up for various courses and degrees. This is due to two factors: online schools have become reputable, and many traditional schools now have online degree outposts. This reaches a wider audience and allows students to work with experienced instructors and put a well-known name on their resumes. Even schools that are not attached to a traditional school have become accredited by the same sources as those household names, allowing employers to trust in an online diploma when hiring people. The other reason is that because of a down economy, many people opt to go to school. Those just graduating from undergraduate or graduate school opt to stay in school versus facing a tough job market. Many who were laid off from work chose to go back to school since they were not able to gain employment.

Online schools are definitely growing and that is a sign that we will have more educated candidates competing for top positions. Online schools continue to improve programs with student resources and outreach to organizations and alumni. As online schools build their programs, they will offer more competition for established schools that have an online extension.

How Do I Explain an Online Degree to a Potential Employer?

Most employers are welcoming of an online degree. If you feel uncomfortable bringing this up to an employer, simply list the school and type of degree on your resume. You do not have to designate that it’s an online degree program. If an employer asks about the degree, do not lie. As long as you attended a reputable school with an accredited program, you have no reason to lie or be self-conscious about your degree. The majority of online degree graduates work full time while completing classes online. This level of multitasking and commitment is impressive to any employer and should be portrayed as such. In an interview, direct the employer to your work experience, what you learned studying for the online degree, and how you plan to apply those things to the work place.

Are All Top College Courses Created Equal?

Just because it’s a marketing course doesn’t mean it’s a good marketing course. Look into the reputation of the school before exploring individual classes or degree programs. You want a high quality of education in conjunction with a degree and courses that are in demand. Make sure the school is accredited and the program has existed for a few years before committing to enrollment. Well-established courses in the most popular fields are worth the time and effort to advance your career. You will learn skills that further your career and make contacts for networking. Being around like-minded students is beneficial to helping you achieve your academic and career goals. These popular courses are proving to be useful in various fields, and the skills learned are useful from one position to another. Marketing and management are things used in almost every field and help take your career to the next level. Computers have made it easy to conduct classes from anywhere in the world, giving you the opportunity to make the most of your skills.

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