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Online degrees are becoming as mainstream as online dating, but just like with online dating, many people are still skeptical; “Sure, it’s convenient,” you may say, “but can I really get a good job with an online degree?”

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: With the right online degree, graduates can do much better than just getting a job; they can earn the credentials to get high-income, respected professional careers that will not just pay the bills, but provide a lifelong source of job security, satisfaction, and esteem.

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The “right online degree” is the important part. Obviously, a degree from a fly-by-night diploma mill will not get you far at all, while an online degree from an accredited, well-known college or university will carry just as much weight on the job market as a traditional degree. There’s also the matter of what field to go in. An online degree in Russian literature is going to be about as useful on the job market as a traditional degree in Russian literature, but a degree in an in-demand field will make graduates stand out when they’re on the job hunt.

Value Colleges has put together their 2017 ranking of the best careers you can get with an online degree. Our ranking was drawn from statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as these two rankings:

Notice that these careers require a range of educational levels. Some entry level positions can be obtained with only a certification, diploma, or associate’s degree, while other professions will require a bachelor’s or master’s degree to get through the door. In many cases, you can begin a career at the entry level and earn a higher credential via convenient, flexible online degree programs while you are working and gaining experience in the field.

1

Nurse Anesthetist

The task of putting a person to sleep for surgery is one of the most essential, and one of the most precarious, in medicine; it’s a job that carries a lot of risk, especially for patients who are very young, very old, or in especially poor health. That job goes to the Nurse Anesthetist, and the person trusted with that job needs to be well prepared. Nurse Anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who provide pain management and, of course, anesthesia before and after surgery, obstetric procedures, and diagnostic tests.

Becoming a Nurse Anesthetist requires an advanced degree, usually a 4 year nursing degree and an MSN degree. Nurse Anesthetists must also earn Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) certification, a challenging certification requiring a bachelor’s degree, RN license, a year of experience, and passing a CRNA program and exam. However, all of that work is well worth it: Nurse Anesthetists can make an average of $104,740 per year, or $50 per hour, according to the BLS, which also finds the field growing by as much as 31%. It’s an amazing option that can be obtained with just an online degree. Get in now, though; the BLS estimates that by 2025 the field will require a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Drexel University MS in Nursing Anesthesia
Texas Wesleyan University MS in Nursing Anestesia
Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia DNAP (Hybrid distance learning)

2

Nurse Practitioner

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If you’ve had a physical, been for a checkup, or visited an urgent care center recently, the odds are better than average that you saw a Nurse Practitioner rather than an MD. Also referred to as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), Nurse Practitioners have taken on an ever-increasing role in the American health care system, as shortages of both doctors and nurses have stretched clinics and primary care facilities thin. NPs organize patient healthcare, attending to both primary and specialty care: everything from diagnostic tests and exams, keeping records, counseling patients, and doing research alongside doctors.

To become a Nurse Practitioner, you must earn an MSN degree; no lower degree qualifies nurses for the position. That means, of course, a 4-year bachelor’s followed by 2-3 years of a graduate program, and all the attendant licensures and exams. Nurses who already have their lower degrees can usually earn an online master’s conveniently. But when BLS statistics show that an NP can expect a salary of $98,190, and a positive job growth outlook of 31% – much faster than the national average – a job as a Nurse Practitioner proves to a be great investment.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Chamberlain University MSN-FNP Family Nurse Practioner
Georgetown University NP-C or FNP-BC (Board Certified)
Herzing University MSN-FNP

3

Operations Research Analyst

When a company or government agency has a data-related problem to solve, they turn to an Operations Research Analyst. ORAs may have to spend some time on-site, making inspections to determine what kinds of problems are plaguing their employer, but most of their time will be spent at a computer running mathematical models, analyzing statistics, or data mining. It’s a heavily mathematical career, one that requires a high level of computer savvy and the insight to turn numbers into solutions, whether for increasing efficiency, saving money, or transforming losses into wins.

Operations Research Analysts need to be steeped in computing and mathematics, but the only degree necessary to break into the career is a bachelor’s. A master’s degree, of course, will give prospective ORAs a better chance on the job market, and the option for a higher position, but talent and drive are the key components. The BLS sees the job outlook for Operations Research as a very fast-growing field, growing at a 30% rate, and the median pay is around $78,630, or $37.80 per hour – possibly more, if you become the guru employers fight over. And all it takes is a strong online degree.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
University of Central Florida  MS Operations Research
University of Maryland – University College  MS Data Analytics
Ashford University  BA Operations Management and Analysis

4

Software Developer

Software development isn’t magic, but for those not in the field, it can often seem that way. The Software Developer is the creative leader and manager who unifies the vision and determines the overall structure of a software project. The job varies depending on the nature of the project – a very large project for a major company may have a number of developers, all with a different goal, leading a whole team (or teams) of programmers, while on a smaller job, the developer may also be writing code and testing beta software. Developers may also perform maintenance and collaborate with other specialists.

Like Operations Research, the entry-level education to become a Software Developer is a bachelor’s degree, though a master’s degree will provide a more direct line to a managerial role. For obvious reasons, the job market for Software Developers is growing (17% according to the BLS); there is more demand for programming than existing professionals can accommodate, and people are needed to lead and guide projects. To meet the demand, online degree programs are popping up like mushrooms. For that demanding work, median pay is around $100,690 per year, though obviously high-performing developers can make much more.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Western Governors University BS Software Development
Bellevue University BS Software Development
Full Sail University BS Software Development

5

IT Manager

While the Software Developer combines a creative role with leadership responsibilities, the IT Manager is all business. An IT Manager’s position requires them to plan and organize everything involving computers for a company. That means tasks from making sure hardware and software are updated or replaced, to doing financial research and making cost/benefit analyses on the organization’s computer needs. The IT Manager hires and organizes systems analysts, developers, security people, and other specialists who make sure computer operations run smoothly.

As with other computing careers, an IT Manager may only have a bachelor’s degree, though in an increasingly competitive field, a master’s degree can still provide an advantage. Median pay for an IT Manager, according to BLS, is an impressive $131,600, amazing for a position that may only need a BS degree. And while much computing work is being outsourced, an IT Manager has a lot more job security than a programmer or analyst, since their direct input and oversight is needed. The field is growing at an impressive 15%, and an online degree is all that is needed to start.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Kaplan University AAS Information Technology, BS Information Technology, MS Information Technology
Walden University  (MISM) Master’s of Information Systems Management
Grand Canyon University MS or BS-to-MS Bridge

6

Computer Systems Analyst

How does the IT Manager know what work needs to be done to improve a company or organization’s computer network? That would be the job of the Computer Systems Analyst. The CSA examines computer networks, runs diagnostics tests, studies usage and procedures, finds weaknesses, and otherwise works to make sure that computer networks are running as efficiently and effectively as possible. It’s a problem-solving career, requiring strong reasoning skills and thorough knowledge of the workings of computers and of business computing practices.

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In most cases, a Computer Systems Analyst needs only a bachelor’s degree to get in the door. Chances are, if you’re good enough with computers to seriously consider becoming a systems analyst, then an online degree program will work just fine for you. The BLS sees median incomes for Systems Analysts coming in around $85,500, and the field is growing very fast (21%) as cyber security, new technologies like cloud computing, and ever-increasing globalization make computing the foundation of just about all business.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
American InterContinental University BS Network Administration
University of Maryland University College BS Computer Science with recommended minor in Information Systems Management
University of Florida Online BS Computer Science

7

Biomedical Engineer

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We love stories about medical breakthroughs and the scientific marvels of the modern world, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, most people have no idea how those things happen. The laboratories we see in news stories may look like sci-fi wonderlands, but all of the equipment, computer software, and procedures have to be designed by someone. That someone is the Biomedical Engineer, a job that uses the practical problem-solving of engineering to create the tools that make medical testing possible.

The most basic level of Biomedical Engineering can begin with a bachelor’s degree, though master’s and doctorate degrees in biomedical engineering are the norm for high-ranking professionals who lead teams or design major facilities. The median pay, according to the BLS, is around $86,220 per year, and as the healthcare field continues to expand, the job outlook is extremely good – rising at 23%. After all, someone has to make all that magic happen.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Colorado State University Online ME (Masters of Engineering – Biomedical Engineering Specialization)
Case Western Reserve University MSBME in Biomedical Engineering
University of Southern California MS Biomedical Engineering

8

Statistician

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Numbers. As many a mathematician will tell you, it all comes down to numbers. And if you’re good with numbers, as well as analyzing, interpreting, and organizing data, you have the makings of a statistician. Data means nothing without someone to analyze and make sense of it, and those who can explain data in such a way as to make it practically useful in the real world are highly in demand – whether that means helping a business better appeal to its demographics, helping the government get aid funding to the people who really need it, or playing moneyball in the big leagues.

It’s a bit tough to get reliable statistics on statisticians – no joke – simply because statisticians work in virtually every field at a variety of income levels, from Wall Street to non-profits, from academia to government. But according to the BLS, the median pay for Statisticians is $80,110 per year. With Big Data becoming ever bigger, the need for qualified experts to interpret and analyze data is growing by as much as 34%. You’ll need a master’s degree for most entry-level positions in statistics, but for someone already working in a similar field, an online degree can be obtained pretty conveniently.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Penn State World Campus Master of Applied Statistics
NC State University MS Statistics
University of Idaho MS Statistics

9

Registered Nurse

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There are a few constants in the job market – we will always need teachers, police officers, firefighters, and nurses. And as the healthcare industry is growing by leaps and bounds, particularly as the largest American generation in history, the Baby Boomers, reach their retirement years, we can be certain that the need for nurses will continue. Registered Nurses do the grunt work of healthcare, directly caring for patients, explaining treatment, and providing support in every kind of healthcare facility, from nursing homes to military hospitals.

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Most RNs have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing, and must pass licensure exams for the state they practice in. Often nursing education prepares nurses specifically for these exams, and many programs will prominently advertise their high passing rates. It’s one of the best-paying jobs out there for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, with the BLS median around $67,490. Because of the unprecedented demand (the job outlook has RN jobs growing by 16%), many, many accredited and trustworthy online degree programs have appeared in recent years to meet the need for nurse education.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Capella University RN-to-BSN
Old Dominion University RN-to-BSN
Grand Canyon University RN-to-BSN, BSN-to-MSN, DNP Online

10

Mechanical Engineer

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Mechanical Engineers design the tools, machines, and equipment that make the modern world possible. They are not the lofty, theoretical engineers, or the big-picture civil engineers, but the ones who figure out the details of how to make things happen, then get the job done. This is the largest and broadest group of engineers, and they do everything from designing mechanical apparatuses to making more effective tools.

The job outlook for Mechanical Engineers isn’t as explosive as many jobs in the computing field, for example, but with the modern world becoming more and more mechanized – and our machines becoming more complex – it’s still a significant growth area, up 5% in BLS statistics. The baseline degree for a Mechanical Engineers is a bachelor’s, and with the increasing need for good engineers, many schools are implementing online programs. With a median salary of $83,590 for Mechanical Engineers, it’s one of the best bachelor’s out there.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
University of North Dakota BS in Mechanical Engineering
The University of Alabama (‘Bama by Distance) BS in Mechanical Engineering
University of Illinois Online MS in Mechanical Engineering

11

Financial Advisor

There are more independent contractors, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and self-employed people than ever before in our modern economy, and the safety nets that once existed for professionals – guaranteed pensions, life insurance paid by employers, and cost-of-living raises – are mostly a thing of the past. Never before have people needed financial advice so badly, and never before has the Financial Advisor been in such demand.

The BLS job outlook for Financial Advisors is incredible – at least 30% growth. That growth is due to a number of factors, the biggest being that the Baby Boom population is aging at one end, while the second baby boom, Millennials, are coming of age and beginning jobs, families, and businesses. As a result, there is more need for financial advice than ever before, from retirement and estates to setting up college funds and investments. With a median income of $89,160, Financial Advisors can make a highly rewarding career with an online degree.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Liberty University Online BS in Business Administration with concentration – Financial Planning
University of Maryland University College BS Finance
Walden University BS in Business Administration

12

Marketing Manager

Advertising is no longer the exclusive boy’s club of Mad Men, or the freewheeling, see-what-sticks atmosphere of yesteryear. Marketing is an art, a science, and a big business, pulling together creative professionals, market analysts, statisticians, and all sorts of disparate minds to launch and direct large advertising campaigns. Someone has to keep all those ducks in a row, and that’s the job of the Marketing Manager.

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In today’s economy, marketing saturates every industry and field – according to the BLS, less than a third of Marketing Managers actually work for an advertising agency, leaving the other in every sector from government to education. BLS median pay puts Marketing Managers at a yearly salary of $124,850, an amazing income for a job that requires only a bachelor’s degree – though it also requires a whole lot of organization, leadership skills, and imagination. Not surprisingly, the field is growing, faster than average at 9%; someone has to come up with the next Most Interesting Man in the World.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Southern New Hampshire University BS in Marketing
Colorado State University – Global Campus BS in Marketing
Ashford University BA in eMarketing

13

Information Security Analyst

As anyone who’s had their Amazon or eBay accounts hacked can attest, cybersecurity is one of the most pressing concerns of our age, and eCommerce is only a part of it: the banking industry, energy infrastructure, and national security are all potentially at risk from hacking, cyberterrorism, and electronic theft. Information Security Analysts are the ones tasked with finding weaknesses in systems, figuring out new protections, and ensuring that viruses and hackers are kept out of our most important systems.

That’s not an easy job, and it’s definitely not a job just anyone can do. It takes more than just strong computer skills to be an Information Security Analyst – it takes an understanding of how systems work, how people exploit them, and how we solve the problems we create. We don’t have nearly enough of them, and the field is growing by 18%. Security Analysts make much-deserved good money, around $90,120 on average. A bachelor’s degree is the entry point, and if you’re good enough with computers to be a Security Analyst, an online degree is probably the way to go.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Western Governors University BS IT- Security, MS Cybersecurity & Information Assurance
PennState World Campus BS in Security and Risk Analysis – Information and Cyber Security Option
Southern New Hampshire University BS in Information Technologies with concentration in Cyber Security

14

Health Administrator

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With the healthcare industry at an all-time high, and still growing, the need for qualified managers, executives, and leaders has never been greater. Healthcare Administrators are the people who oversee the business and organization of healthcare facilities so the doctors and nurses can do what they do best – treat patients. A Healthcare Administrator may be an executive over a hospital or manage a division or clinic, but their jobs are largely the same in whatever context: make sure everything is within regulations, direct personnel, keep finances in order, and ensure a stable setting for healing.

The average salary for a Healthcare Administrator, by the BLS, is $90,500, but pay can go up much higher for hospital executives and other high-ranking managers. With a bachelor’s degree, an administrative assistant or secretary can make a move into management, increasing their income considerably, and an online program can allow a working adult to keep their job while doing it. There’s a lot of work to be had, with 17% growth nationally, so now is a good time to get into a secure profession.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Colorado State University Global Campus BS Healthcare Administration and Management
Kaplan University BS in Health Care Administration
University of California – San Francisco MS in Healthcare Administration and Inter-professional Leadership

15

Accountant

Being an accountant can be a thankless job, no doubt, with all of the accountant jokes and stereotypes, not to mention the blame when numbers don’t add up. But there’s nobody people want and love more come tax time than a good accountant. Whether you’re a corporate accountant keeping track of earnings, payments, and expenses, or a certified public accountant helping ordinary people manage their money, it’s a job that is always needed and always in demand.

Even with an online bachelor’s degree, the median salary for an accountant is $67,190, and there’s much more to be made for a good accountant who can turn losses into profits and vice-versa. According to the BLS, job growth is expected at 11%, considerably faster than average. Since accounting is pretty much all numbers and computers, there is no shortage of accredited, trustworthy online accounting degrees on offer at any kind of institution, from major public research universities to tiny private business schools, making an accounting program one of the most accessible online degrees around.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Washington State University – Global Campus BA in Accounting
Saint Leo University BA in Accounting
UNC, Kenan-Flagler Business School online MAC Program (Master of Accounting)

16

Web Developer

Websites don’t just happen, and if you’ve ever tried to do anything more complex online than post to a blog, you know just how much goes into building a great site. Sure, there are all kinds of digital tools today to help people make an easy website in minutes, but for real functionality, businesses have to call a qualified Web Developer. While a web designer can make a site look impressive, it takes a developer to make it all work, from coding to user experience.

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Web Developers work in a wide range of industries and positions, from freelancers building websites for clients to full-time employees of major corporations who need to keep their employer’s site on and working every day, all the time. While many freelance developers are self-taught, and corporate developers may do some on the job learning, the standard entry level education is an associate’s degree. Income can vary widely, but the median according to BLS data is $64,970, with job growth expected at an excellent 27%. It looks like Web Developer will be a reliable career for quite a while.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Colorado Tech (BSIT) Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology – Web Development
Full Sail University BS in Web Design & Development
Arizona State University Bachelor’s of Applied Science- Internet & Web Development

17

Environmental Engineer

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As people become more aware of the dangers of pollution and the need for proactive solutions to environmental damage, the role of the Environmental Engineer becomes more and more important. Environmental Engineers are the people that government and industry turn to when they need to clean up our messes; they use environmental science, engineering, and biochemical expertise to determine dangers and determine the best way to alleviate them.

It’s a challenging job, and one that requires experts to go just about anywhere – no hanging around a lab or office all day long for the Environmental Engineer. Environmental Engineers may start out with a bachelor’s degree, though a master’s or doctorate may be necessary for higher-level positions. Fortunately for working professionals, many online degree programs are beginning to appear. With a 12% job growth rate and a median salary of $84,560, Environmental Engineers are well-compensated for their work.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
California State University – Fullerton online MS in Environmental Engineering
University of Wisconsin- Madison MS in Environmental Engineering
Worcester Polytechnic Institute MS in Environmental Engineering

18

Civil Engineer

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If you drove over a bridge today, walked a greenway, or even flushed your toilet without worrying where the water would go, you made use of a Civil Engineer’s work. Civil Engineers are some of the most important people in the modern world, because most of the things we consider modern, from sewage systems to airports, exist because Civil Engineers designed them, led teams of managers and workers to build them, and ensured that they would last for decades (or longer).

Obviously, civil engineering is not something you learn to do at a weekend seminar. A bachelor’s degree is the absolute minimum, and for higher-ranking leadership positions, a master’s degree is usually necessary. Many large research universities and smaller colleges have developed online civil engineering master’s degrees for those who already have a bachelor’s and are working in the field, to make the process more convenient, and it’s a good thing – with all of the development and construction going on the in US, the field is growing by 8%. For all that schooling, Civil Engineers make a sizable median income of $82,220.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Norwich University Master of Civil Engineering (MCE)
Old Dominion University Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology (BSET)
Ohio University MS in Civil Engineering

19

Database Administrator

The era of Big Data is truly here, and the masters of all that information are the Database Administrators. Without Database Administrators, all would be lost – literally, since Database Administrators are the ones who manage information storage systems, make and use software to organize it all, and do much of the cybersecurity work that keeps information storage databases safe from hackers (see also #13, Information Security Analyst).

Database Administrator is a highly technical profession, requiring quite a bit of specialized education and a great deal more experience. To break into the field requires at least a bachelor’s degree, and many working Database Administrators find themselves returning to school – often in an online degree program – to increase their credentials to a master’s degree, which can help lead to higher salaries than the BLS median of $81,710. As we increasingly live online, and our information becomes ever more precious, the BLS expects job rates for Database Administrators to increase by 11%.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Western Governors University BS Data Management & Analytics
Southern New Hampshire University BS in Information Technology – Database Administration
University of Denver Master’s in Database Design and Administration

20

Computer Support Specialist

Computer Support Specialists are a varied lot; the field is a broad one, and can encompass conventional employees who work for a corporation, providing support for IT teams, or those who provide help for end-users having difficulties with their personal computers. Computer Support Specialists may work conventional 9-5 jobs, or they may work night shifts, weekends, or other odd hours to provide service any time their clients need it.

Because the field is so wide, Computer Support Specialists may have anything from a simple certification to a master’s degree; it depends on what kind of position they hold, who they work for, and whether they work in managerial positions or not. For the average support job, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is sufficient, and those are readily available from a variety of online degree programs. Median pay, according to the BLS, is $51,470, but it can be much higher, or lower, depending on your place in the hierarchy. Computer Support Specialist jobs are growing by 12%, meaning there is plenty of room in the field for any level of education or experience.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Northcentral Technical College AA in Information Technology – Computer Support Specialist (IT-CSS)
Penn Foster Career School Career Diploma Computer Support Technician Training
Baker College AAS IT Support Specialist

21

Computer Systems Administrator

When most people think of computer careers, they think of the people using the computers – the programmers, analysts, designers, and so on. But it’s important to remember that computers are physical machines – wires, circuits, and other components powered by electricity. The person who puts all those machines together into networks, tests the components, and makes sure that all is running efficiently and seamlessly, is the Computer Systems Administrator. In other words, if the Computer Systems Administrator is doing their job, no one notices.

Fortunately, that invisible expertise doesn’t go unrewarded; the median pay for Computer Systems Administrators, according to the BLS, is $77,810, an excellent salary rate for a profession that only requires a bachelor’s degree to begin. Job growth in the field is only somewhat faster than average at 8%, but with a guaranteed need, and online degree programs readily available, it’s a secure option for people with computer skills.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Bellevue University BS in Systems and Network Administration
Trident University International BS Computer Science
Dakota State University AS and BS in Network and Security Administration

22

Substance Abuse Counselor

It’s a sad but true fact that a Substance Abuse Counselor will never be without work. Whether in mental health or medical facilities, group homes, social services, churches, or prisons, Substance Abuse Counselors help people struggling with damaging and debilitating addictions. Substance Abuse Counselors use a variety of therapy programs, including support groups, one-on-one counseling, and a mixture of medical and psychiatric/psychological therapies.

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With a job growth rate of 22%, Substance Abuse Counseling is a field that shows no signs of slowing down, and as public awareness and understanding of substance abuse increases, the role of Substance Abuse Counselor has a permanent place in our society. The level of education needed to become a counselor varies; some people can work with a certification or license, but in general, a bachelor’s degree is necessary. Online degrees and degree-completion programs are fairly common for those who already have an associate’s. A median pay of $39,980 is not as high as other careers on the Value Colleges ranking, but according to BLS projections, it’s a secure profession, and one that is crucial.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Walden University MS in Addiction Counseling
Liberty University Online MA in Addiction Counseling
National University AS in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling

23

Medical Secretary

As with nursing and health administration, the growth of the healthcare sector has created an unprecedented demand for Medical Secretaries. As any medical professional will attest, no doctor’s office, hospital office, or healthcare facility can function without a Medical Secretary. From record keeping and checking in patients, to keeping supplies and equipment ordered and organized, the Medical Secretary makes sure the clinical experts have everything they need to do their jobs.

Many Medical Secretaries find work with only an associate’s degree and on-the-job training, and an online degree or certification is a perfect place to start for a working adult who already has organizational or clerical experience. Median pay varies depending on the level of responsibility, the size of the facility, and other factors, but the BLS places the median salary at $30,590. With job growth at a much higher-than-average 23%, aspiring Medical Secretaries can expect plenty of options in the future.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:

Penn Foster Career School Medical Administrative Assistant Diploma Program
Kaplan University Medical Office Administration Certificate Program
Herzing University Medical Office Administration Diploma, Associate’s and Bachelor’s available

24

Community Service Manager

The need for managers is a given in business and industry, but most people wouldn’t think of the importance of good managers in the public and non-profit sectors. But public service is one of the biggest industries itself, between all of the municipal, civic, and government services that provide value and quality of life to communities. Community Service Managers run parks and recreation programs, senior centers, after-school facilities, and much, much more, organizing, hiring, and administrating the services that we often take for granted.

Job growth for Community Service Managers is high (10%), especially in programs relating to elder care and to the healthcare system, as increases in those related areas increase the demands on non-profit and public sector programs. Whether working for city, county, or state government, or for the many non-profit community service agencies out there, managers are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree. For their expertise and experience Community Service Managers can expect a median income of $63,530, as well as the satisfaction that comes from making their communities better places.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
University of the Cumberlands BS in Human Services
Antioch University BA in Human Services Administration
University of South Carolina – Palmetto College BS in Human Services

25

Human Resource Specialist

Who manages the hiring process for corporations, hospitals, government, and every other organization? Who makes sense of the overwhelming tangle of retirement, insurance, and other benefits plans and explains them to employees? Who provides training and guidance to new employees, and keeps existing employees in the loop and on the ball? Human Resources Specialists, that’s who.

The income of a Human Resource Specialist may vary. The BLS median pay is $58,350, but some roles, like recruitment specialists who travel around the country to colleges, career fairs, and other events to find the best new hires, may make quite a bit more. A 5% growth average for the field suggests that there is as much need as ever for HR experts, and while a bachelor’s is necessary for responsible Human Resources Specialists, entry-level positions may start with an associate’s degree, earning a bachelor’s online while working in the field.

VC’s top 3 choices offering online degree:
Colorado State University – Global Campus BS in Human Resources
Saint Joseph’s University MS Managing Human Capital
Villanova University MS in Human Resource Development