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Although you can earn almost any graduate degree online these days, there are some degree types that are in higher demand today than ever before. These degrees tend to be more accessible, provide more options when choosing schools, and lead straight into careers or advance careers for professionals who already have a foot in the door. Areas of study such as business, healthcare, and education offer the most options when it comes to furthering your career through online graduate degree programs and they offer the most competitive and rewarding results after college.

In these three main degrees we looked at the likelihood of your online degree leading to a lasting career as well as to a higher paying salary. Additionally, we evaluated the range of options when it comes to programs and school choices for these particular areas of study.

Business

Earning a fully online master’s degree in Business, such as a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) is particularly enticing for career driven individuals because there are a wealth of accelerated online MBA programs available. Programs can be completed in as little as eighteen months, which is no surprise considering the extremely high demand for MBA graduates in the workforce today. Big business and the corporate workforce is expanding annually across the nation and with an ever expanding global economy, the demand for career minded, educated individuals who hold their MBA are in high demand. Fully online graduate degrees in other areas of business such as Accounting or Management are additionally beneficial for business professionals hoping to advance their careers. Some of the fastest growing careers nationally are Financial Managers, Business Operations Managers, Medical or Health Services Managers, and Accountants.

Education

It should come as no surprise that in the field of education earning your master’s degree online can further your career. Having your Master’s of Education (MEd) will give you the chance to teach the courses you want to and allow you to branch out beyond the traditional classroom through jobs like teacher training or research. In all cases, your MEd will bring a higher salary along with it. The chart below compares the Median Annual Wages for teachers in various careers with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. MEd program’s tend to focus on advanced teaching methods, educational technology training, and on educational philosophy as a whole. Here is a list of Value College’s Top 50 Best Value Online Graduate Education Programs available today!

CareerBachelor’s DegreeGraduate Degree
Early childhood education$39,000$53,000
Elementary education$43,000$57,000
Secondary teacher education$48,000$64,000
Special needs education$45,000$61,000

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Healthcare

Earning an online graduate degree in almost any area of the healthcare field will take you far: you’ll gain access to better job choices, higher pay, work flexibility, and a wealth of professional positions. The most popular online graduate degree in healthcare is the online RN to BSN degree but fully online master degrees can be earned in areas such as Nurse Practitioner, Occupational Therapy, Physician’s Assistants, or Orthotics and Prosthetics, and each is a demanding field in its own right. Students with graduate degrees in Occupational Therapy, for example, earn an annual mean wage of $77,890, with the top 10% making $109,380 in 2013. Nurse Practitioners with master’s degrees extend their careers past basic care are able to assist doctors by performing duties such as prescribing medications or ordering laboratory tests and the demand for nurse practitioners increases annually. The prosthetic industry continues to grow and specialists estimate that employment in this field will increase 36% nationally between 2012 and 2022¹.

At the end of the day, earning your online graduate degree fully online if you plan on pursuing or advancing a career in business, education, or healthcare is a wise move, allowing you access to better jobs, better pay, and a better quality of career life overall.

[1] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm