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Education

Easy online degrees that will advance your career

Want to advance your career and increase your earning potential? Then consider one of these easy online degrees.
genevieve-carlton
Written by Genevieve Carlton, Contributor on
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Online degrees provide a flexible route to career advancement — and easy online degrees can boost your salary and lead to exciting new opportunities. 

What makes a degree easy? It's more than the content. Flexibility also ranks high. For many potential students, enrolling online makes higher education more accessible.

Our list includes associate, bachelor's, and master's programs with online enrollment options so you can find the right fit for your education and career goals. 

10 easy online degrees to give you a career boost

To showcase the online degrees that can lead to career advancement, we considered factors such as earning potential, program length, and demand. We drew on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), including information on the fastest-growing occupations and the fields with the most new jobs. 

Our list introduces the easiest online degrees that could boost your job prospects and offer a strong return on investment. With one of these respected online degrees, you can pursue careers in diverse industries. 

We listed degrees alphabetically by program name.

1. Online bachelor's in business

Business is the most popular major for undergrads. And it's easy to see why. Business majors benefit from many career options and a strong return on investment. 

According to BLS data, business majors earn a median annual wage of $65,000, which is above the average for all fields of study. 

During an online bachelor's in business, majors specialize in areas like business administration, finance, and accounting

The degree typically takes four years and builds strong analytical and decision-making skills. Business majors also gain people skills like teamwork and interpersonal communication. 

Many online business programs incorporate in-person internships to gain hands-on experience.

2. Online bachelor's in cybersecurity

An online cybersecurity degree can be technically challenging, depending on your strengths. But the degree sets graduates up for in-demand, high-paying jobs

The BLS ranks information security analysts among the fastest-growing occupations, with 33% projected job growth from 2020-30. The field also reports a median pay of $102,600 per year.

Earning a bachelor's in cybersecurity usually takes four years. Majors study information systems, cyber defense, and digital forensics. In addition to technical skills, the degree encourages problem-solving and teamwork. 

Graduates work as cybersecurity analysts, network administrators, security auditors, and cybersecurity consultants.

3. Online master's in healthcare administration

Considering a graduate degree? Master's programs in healthcare administration offer a strong return on investment. They also prepare graduates for one of the highest paying, fastest-growing roles. 

According to the BLS, medical and health services managers earn a median pay of $101,340 per year and benefit from 32% projected job growth from 2020-30. And a master's degree such as an MBA in healthcare management meets the typical hiring requirements for these roles.

Most healthcare administration master's programs take around two years. Graduate students explore healthcare policy, budgeting for healthcare organizations, and hospital leadership. 

After earning the degree, professionals work as healthcare managers and healthcare administrators.

4. Online master's in human resources

Every industry relies on HR professionals to manage administrative needs. And a master's in human resources leads to careers as an HR manager, compensation and benefits manager, or training and development manager. 

These fields offer six-figure median salaries, with HR managers earning $126,230 per year.

During a two-year human resources master's program, graduate students strengthen their conflict resolution, negotiation, and management skills. Human resources requires strong people skills, so graduate programs also emphasize teamwork and strategic leadership. 

Prospective students do not need a background in human resources or business to gain admission to master's programs.


SEE: Jobs for human resources majors: All your options


5. Online bachelor's in information technology

Tech degrees can pay off in big ways. According to the BLS, graduates with a computer or information technology degree report a median pay of $85,000 — or 40% higher than the median for all degrees. 

A bachelor's in information technology trains students in network administration, information security, and data management. 

Majors gain technical skills in areas like web development, cloud computing, and IT management. Soft skills include project management, teamwork, and problem-solving.

 After completing an online IT degree, graduates pursue careers in system administration, cybersecurity, database management, and software development.

6. Online bachelor's in management

Management training helps professionals in diverse fields move into supervisory positions. And earning a bachelor's in management online can help you advance your career or pursue new opportunities. 

During an online management degree, majors study leadership principles, organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, and project management. These courses build key skills like business analytics, strategic decision-making, and team leadership. 

Students also strengthen their communication and teamwork abilities.

With a bachelor's in management, professionals take on roles like management analyst. This growing field reports median salaries of $93,000 per year, with nearly 100,000 new job openings projected each year from 2020-30. 

7. Online bachelor's in marketing

An online marketing degree emphasizes hard skills like data analysis, consumer research, and decision-making. During a marketing bachelor's program, which generally takes four years, undergrads can also gain real-world experience with an internship. 

Graduates pursue marketing degree jobs such as market research analyst. With median salaries of $63,920 per year and an estimated 96,000 new jobs every year from 2020-30, market research analysts also benefit from advancement opportunities. 

With experience, market research analysts can become marketing managers, a growing field that reports a median annual pay of $133,380. 

8. Online associate in nursing

Several online associate degrees stand out for their strong return on investment, including associate in nursing programs. With a two-year associate degree in nursing, graduates can become registered nurses. 

RNs report a median pay of $77,600 per year with 276,800 estimated new jobs every year from 2020-30. RNs also benefit from many career advancement opportunities. An online RN-to-BSN degree helps current nurses take on more responsibilities, and a graduate degree leads to advanced practice roles like nurse practitioner.

While some schools offer online nursing programs at the associate level, keep in mind that you'll need to complete clinical requirements at a local healthcare provider.

9. Online associate in radiation therapy

Radiation therapists administer treatments for patients with cancer or other medical issues. The field offers high salaries for those with specialized training. And an associate degree in radiation therapy offers a two-year route to this in-demand role. 

During a radiation therapy program, students study human physiology and learn how to operate medical equipment. In addition to technical skills, these programs emphasize attention to detail and interpersonal skills. 

After completing an associate degree, radiation therapists typically pursue licensure or certification. Radiation therapists report a median pay of $82,790 per year. 


READ THIS: Best trade school jobs: Top options for 2022


10. Online associate in wind energy technology

It's a less well-known field, but wind energy technology offers major returns for professionals with a two-year degree. 

The BLS ranks wind turbine technicians among the fastest-growing occupations. What does that mean in terms of jobs? The field will see 68% projected job growth from 2020-30.

During a two-year wind energy technology program, learners study electrical and hydraulic maintenance. In addition to understanding mechanical systems related to wind technology, learners also gain hands-on practice by working with wind turbines. Online programs connect students with labs and practicums to gain experience. 

Most wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, learn their trade by attending a technical school. They are also trained by their employer after hiring. In addition to mechanical skills, learners gain strong communication and troubleshooting abilities.

Unless otherwise noted, job growth and salary data are drawn from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of Aug. 8, 2022.

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