On Line Degrees

Portrait of a young nurse with her team in the backgroundOnline degrees can prepare students to move up within the nursing profession, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics says has high demand for new employees.

Universities don't only make headlines with new gyms, natatoriums and fundraising initiatives these days. Each month, more schools announce plans to offer new online programs.

That's good news for adults eager to boost their employment prospects through online degrees, which give students the flexibility to work where they want, when they want.

"When you factor in responsibilities like a full-time job or childcare, there’s more possibilities for working adults with online coursework, " Chris Foley, director of the office of online education for Indiana University, said in an email. "What’s more, students have more options because they don’t have to just look at colleges that are within a commuting distance."

Although students can earn online degrees in everything from politics to popular culture, here are a few online degrees that prepare adults for the Best Jobs of 2015. U.S. News considers a number of factors in its rankings of careers, including employment rates and salary.

Online MBA and Online Business Degrees

Online business degrees are the most popular degrees among graduates and undergraduate students, according to a recent study.

And perhaps for good reason: market research analyst, marketing manager and accountant are Nos. 14, 15 and 16, respectively, on the 100 Best Jobs list.

Michael Micai, who works as an IT manager in Philadelphia, says his company’s management has responded enthusiastically to his pursuit of an online MBA degree through the University of Maryland—College Park's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

"They’re giving me new tasks to take advantage of what I’m learning – and while I'm learning – from my business information analytics courses, " he said through email. "I’m expanding into more strategic tasks including managing team projects and building metrics and reports."

Online Graduate Nursing Degree

Joining the health care industry is a good bet for those looking for career stability. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a high demand for health care professionals over the next decade, brought about largely by the aging baby-boom generation.
Seven out of the top 10 careers on the best jobs list are tied to the health care industry. Nurse practitioner takes the second spot, while registered nurse is No. 9.

Adults looking to advance in the field have a variety of online graduate nursing degrees available, including a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Science in Nursing (BSN Option) and a Master of Science in Nursing (RN Option).
Sean L'Huillier, an emergency department charge nurse who lives in Arizona, says he wanted to go back to school to get a family nurse practitioner degree, but couldn't do so at a brick-and-mortar campus because he was working full time and raising three boys.

He ended up enrolling in Georgetown University's Nursing@Georgetown online nursing program , because he was drawn to the interactive real-time online classroom. "I will now have more control over my future career and be able to direct the care of my patients with the confidence that Nursing@Georgetown has instilled in me, " L'Huillier, who is in the second year of the program, said in an email.

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