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10-Year Careers: High-Growth Occupations For Which You Can Prepare Online

When a person embarks on a new career, there are often two main considerations: how much the position pays and whether there will be ample job opportunities in the future. Luckily, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes both the salary prospects and the projected growth across US occupations, offering valuable insight into the employment needs of the country.

The BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) details the 20 jobs with the highest projected growth in openings between 2018 and 2028, including ten fields which can be prepared for online.

Distance-based educational programs take on varied structures, but typically involve online classes and an in-person training component as well. Didactic coursework can be delivered in one of three formats: synchronous, asynchronous, or hybrid (i.e., blended).

  • Synchronous learning features live communication where students log in from different locations at the same time. This is a fixed form of distance-based instruction, test-taking, or discussion.
  • By contrast, asynchronous learning is more flexible since students can view online lectures or complete assignments within a given timeframe.
  • Finally, hybrid or blended classes comprise both online and in-person components such as laboratory clinicals, preceptorships, or other empirical experiences.

Students interested in online learning should verify three things prior to applying for a program: campus visitation requirements, accreditation status, and state authorization.

First, since most distance-based programs include some days of in-person instruction, it’s crucial to check that these intensive sessions aren’t cumbersome. Second, programmatic or institutional accreditation indicates that a school has met a baseline set of requirements in terms of quality. There are many accrediting organizations and aspiring students should ensure that their program or school has received approval from an entity recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Lastly, state authorization refers to the differing regional laws surrounding online education. If a student’s institution of choice is located in a different state, sometimes he or she may not be able to enroll. This information is generally on school websites or can be ascertained from program coordinators.

This guide explores ten of the 20 fastest-growing careers in the United States: wind turbine technicians, information security analysts, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, speech-language pathologists, statisticians, operations research analysts, genetic counselors, software developers, and mathematicians. What follows is a discussion of each career’s expected growth, salary ranges, and examples of accredited online programs to train for these dynamic fields.

Become a Wind Turbine Technician

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics OOH (2019), wind turbine technicians, also known as “wind techs,” occupy the second fastest-growing job in the country. By illustration, the BLS projected a stunning 57 percent increase in openings in this field between 2018 and 2028, more than 11 times the average growth predicted across all occupations during that time (5 percent). And the addition of 3,800 fresh openings is only part of the good news: this career also pays very well relative to similar occupations requiring some college.

As proof of point, the BLS (May 2019) reported that the 5,960 wind turbine technicians around the country earned an average annual salary of $56,700, 10 percent higher than the mean salary for all US occupations ($53,490). In more detailed terms, here were the wage percentiles in this field:

  • 10th percentile: $39,820
  • 25th percentile: $44,810
  • 50th percentile (median): $52,910
  • 75th percentile: $65,200
  • 90th percentile: $80,150

A majority of wind techs prepare for this career by attending a two-year technical or vocational program, which provides instruction in areas such as electrical maintenance; braking systems; mechanical inspections; programmable logic control operations; and other areas. In addition to coursework, wind techs generally get at least one year of on-the-job experience or an apprenticeship prior to gaining more professional autonomy. They may also pursue certification through an organization such as the Electronics Technicians Association, International.

The US Department of Energy provides an interactive list of wind energy programs across the country, including online training options. For example, the Pinnacle Career Institute based in Kansas City, MO offers an 40-week online wind turbine certificate program. PCI has sent its graduates to work at companies such as Skyclimber, Siemens, Tradesmen International, Granite Services, Vestas, and others.

Distance-based classes include the fundamentals of electricity; industrial safety; principles of wind energy; wind physics operations and maintenance; and alternative energy systems. Additionally, students complete a two-week boot camp at its KC campus to practice occupational safety skills and complete training for three certifications: Tower Climb, OSHA 10 and First Aid/CPR. To find out how much this program costs, please refer to PCI’s net price calculator.

Minnesota West Community & Technical College (MWCT), which has five campuses in Minnesota, provides an energy technical specialist associate of applied science (AAS) degree which can be completed in-person or online. Students choose ten credits in an area of specialization including wind energy and other renewable energy sources such as biodiesel and nuclear power. This 60-credit program includes 35 credits of core curriculum which gives students a solid theoretical framework of electrical and electronic and mechanical systems. To learn how much this program costs, please refer to MWCT’s net price calculator.

For aspiring professionals in this field with bachelor’s degrees, the Pennsylvania State University’s Online World Campus has a distance-based graduate certificate in wind energy, featuring nine units of advanced classes such as wind turbine aerodynamics; analysis of wind turbine performance, aeroacoustics and loads; engineering of wind projects; and other relevant areas. This program costs $821 per credit. Notably, the classes can be applied toward the school’s online master’s degree of professional studies in renewable energy and sustainability systems (iMPS-RESS).

Lastly, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) provides valuable open courses on energy systems, including free training and materials relevant to wind energy. Professor Dick K.P. Yue states, “The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.” Some of the courses relevant to wind techs include an introduction to sustainable energy; environmental policy and economics; and the fundamentals of advanced energy conversion, among others.

Become an Information Security Analyst

The BLS (2019) reports that information security analysts occupy the sixth fastest-growing profession in the United States. Growing at a rate of 32 percent nationally—more than six times the national growth rate for all occupations—the BLS estimates that 35,500 new jobs will be created between 2018 and 2028. Most positions are compensated at a competitive rate for this occupation, which requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information assurance, or a related field.

For instance, the BLS (May 2019) found that the 108,060 information security analysts in the U.S. earned a mean annual salary of $102,470, nearly 20 percent higher than the national average salary for all occupations ($53,490). The wage percentiles for this occupation are:

  • 10th percentile: $56,750
  • 25th percentile: $73,890
  • 50th percentile (median): $98,350
  • 75th percentile: $126,870
  • 90th percentile: $156,580

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in computer programming or a related field, some employers of information security analysts are seeking candidates with master’s degrees such as an MBA or master’s of science (MS) in computer science or cybersecurity. Previous experience in computer systems administration or database administration is also looked upon favorably. Certification for information security professionals is available through providers such as (ISC)².

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers a fully online bachelor’s of science degree in computer science. Students in this 120-credit program learn front-end and back-end development skills sought after for positions such as full-stack software developers. Students examine Python, Java, and C++ programming languages, as well as other industry-standard software development and testing tools. Courses include mobile architecture and programming and current trends in computer science. Notably, SNHU boasts an extremely affordable tuition rate at $320 per credit-hour.

Northcentral University offers a fully online master’s of science in cybersecurity. This 30-credit program can be completed in 16 months and requires ten courses to complete the degree. This program prepares its graduates with current and emerging information security threats and teaches students how to secure computer networks and systems to prevent information security breaches. The curriculum is aligned to the standards taught in the globally-recognized Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) information security certificate program.

The (ISC)² offers ten globally-recognized certifications including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). This certification is the industry gold standard and having it demonstrates to employers that an information security analyst professional is up to date on the latest security threats and best practices for how to prevent them from happening. Training sessions to prepare for the exam are available in-person and online.

Become a Physician Assistant (PA)

Ranking as the seventh fastest-growing career in the US, the BLS (2019) reports that opportunities for physician assistants (PA) are growing at a rate of 31 percent, slightly more than six times the national growth rate for all occupations (5 percent). What’s more, the BLS estimates that 37,000 new PAs will be needed nationally between 2018 and 2028.

To become a physician assistant requires a two-year master’s degree from an accredited program. Candidates also must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) to be eligible to practice under the supervision of a physician.

With a master’s degree and a PA license, a physician assistant can provide most medical services typically performed by a physician including physicals, treatment for diagnoses, and prescribing medication. PAs earn competitive salaries and the mean annual wage was $112,410 (BLS May 2019). Of the 120,090 currently employed PAs in the United States, the wage percentiles break down as follows:

  • 10th percentile: $72,720
  • 25th percentile: $92,800
  • 50th percentile (median): $112,260
  • 75th percentile: $130,530
  • 90th percentile: $157,120

To be admitted into a master’s degree program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) applicants should be able to show at least two to four years of undergraduate coursework in science courses such as biology, chemistry, and anatomy and physiology. Prior patient-care work experience as an EMT, paramedic, or registered nurse is also desirable.

For entry-level health professionals, Allied Medical Training is an authorized National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) training center and offers a hybrid self-paced EMT (emergency medical technician) course, which can be completed as few as three months part-time. Students who need more time can take up to six months to finish.

Approximately half of the course is online and students can expect to spend ten to 20 hours per week reading textbooks, watching videos, and completing quizzes and exams. The other half of the course spent in-person at a training facility in St. Paul, Minnesota and includes 50 hours of instruction over seven days, including the NREMT psychomotor skills exam. When students pass this EMT course and the NREMT cognitive exam, they can apply to become a licensed EMT in their state. Currently, 46 states require EMTs to complete an NREMT authorized program to be eligible for licensure.

Arizona State University offers an online bachelor of science in biological sciences. The curriculum of this program matches the scientific competencies recommended for pre-med students set forth by the American Medical Colleges and Howard Hughes Medical Committee in 2015. Didactic courses include chemistry, biochemistry, math, and physics, as well as laboratory classes that can be completed on campus or through transfer credit. Tuition is $640 per credit for residents and non-residents of Arizona.

Finally, the Yale University School of Medicine (YSM) is addressing the nationwide shortage of PAs by providing an online master’s of medical science (MMSc) degree that prepares graduates for licensure as physician assistants. This program is provisionally accredited by the ARC-PA and prepares clinicians to learn in their communities.

Through a blend of online classes and coursework and in-person clinical rotations and three immersion experiences on the Yale campus, this program is designed to provide a high-quality educational experience without requiring students to relocate. Applicants must have a minimum of 500 hours of paid patient care experience. The cost of the 28-month Yale PA Online program is $108,612.

Become a Statistician

The eighth fastest-growing career in the country is statistician, openings for which the BLS (2019) expects will swell 31 percent between 2018 and 2028, adding 14,400 fresh jobs in this field. It’s also a very well-compensated position. As proof of point, the 47,300 working statisticians in the U.S. earned a mean annual salary of $95,680 with the following percentiles (BLS May 2019):

  • 10th percentile: $52,690
  • 25th percentile: $68,480
  • 50th percentile (median): $91,160
  • 75th percentile: $118,790
  • 90th percentile: $146,770

The typical entry-level education in this field is a master’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or a related subject, although some employers may consider bachelor’s degree-holders with adequate skills and experience. There are many accredited online statistics programs across the country.

For instance, Colorado State University based in Fort Collins provides a 31-credit online master of applied sciences (MAS) in statistics, which can be completed in one year. Distance-based classes include computing skills for statistical analysis; regression models and applications; probability with applications; quantitative reasoning; survey statistics; nonparametric methods; and methods in simulation and computation, among other advanced coursework. This program costs $835 per credit.

North Carolina State University based in Raleigh also offers an online master of statistics degree with didactic learning in linear models; statistical consulting; statistical programming in SAS and R; principles of clinical trials and epidemiology; statistical reasoning with big data; and other relevant subject matter. For NC residents, the program costs $446 per credit, and for non-NC residents, the per-credit cost is $1,295.

Lastly, Stanford University’s Center for Professional Development in Palo Alto, CA provides an online MS in statistics. This program features 45 units of multidisciplinary work across subjects such as probability; stochastic processes; linear algebra mathematics; theoretical statistics; applied matrix theory; programming methodology; data mining and analysis; the theory of investment portfolios and derivative securities; and other areas. Tuition costs $17,493 for an academic year with most courses comprising three to five quarter-units.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Nurse practitioners (NP) occupy the ninth fastest-growing career in the country. In fact, the BLS (2019) reported that NPs would see openings in their field swell 28 percent between 2018 and 2028, more than five times the projected growth across all jobs during that same decade. With the expected addition of 62,000 fresh positions in that ten-year period, the relatively high salary prospects, and convenient online training programs, this healthcare profession is one of the hottest careers for the future.

The BLS (May 2019) found that the 200,600 NPs around the country earned an average annual salary of $111,840 with the following wage percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $81,410
  • 25th percentile: $92,790
  • 50th percentile (median): $109,820
  • 75th percentile: $127,030
  • 90th percentile: $152,160

Most importantly, there is a wealth of online nurse practitioner programs across the country which comprise two elements: distance-based coursework and in-person clinical preceptorships completed in facilities close to a student’s home. Please note that a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) is a typical entry-level requirement for this career, and a majority of online graduate programs in nursing require at least a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) prior to enrollment, although there are exceptions.

For example, Frontier Nursing University of Hyden, KY offers an abundance of online NP programs accommodating different points of academic entry and specializations. Frontier boasts NP program tracks in the family health, women’s health, and psychiatric-mental health subfields. For the distance-based MSN and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) programs, students typically only have to visit campus once per year and complete most of their in-person training at approved local healthcare facilities.

Online classes in the MSN programs include the principles of health promotion; epidemiology and health statistics; evidence-based practice; advanced pathophysiology; advanced health assessment; and pharmacology for advanced practice across the lifespan. The DNP courses include the principles of independent practice; nurse as an educator; translating evidence; and leadership and organizational theory. Programs generally cost $618 per credit-hour and additional fees may apply.

The University of South Alabama (USA) of Mobile also provides various MSN and DNP programs across several specializations: adult-gerontology (acute or primary care); family health; neonatal; pediatric (acute or primary care); family psychiatric-mental health; women’s health; and dual role (family/adult-gerontology acute care).

In the online MSN-PMHNP program, for example, students complete courses such as the scientific underpinnings of advanced nursing practice; an introduction of family psychology; health promotion & disease prevention; healthcare policy and finance; and more. These programs cost $594 per credit-hour for Alabama residents and $1,084 for out-of-state students.

Lastly, Georgetown University has a hybrid NP degree in the family health specialization which requires two on-campus intensive visits to DC. This program can be completed in 19 months at full-time enrollment or 27 months at part-time enrollment. In addition to 650 clinical hours, students take classes such as healthcare ethics; the foundations of health systems and policy; and primary care of the family, among others. The program costs $1,928 per credit-hour.

Become a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)

Also known as speech therapists, careers in speech-language pathology are growing by 27 percent—five times faster than the national average for all occupations, according to the BLS (2019). Between 2018 and 2028, the BLS predicts that 41,900 positions will be added nationally.

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), in association with the American Speech Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), accredits graduate-level programs in speech-language pathology. Graduating from an CAA-accredited program is required for certification and licensure in most states.

The BLS (May 2019) found that the 154,360 SLPs nationally earned an mean annual salary of $82,000. The wage percentiles are as follows:

  • 10th percentile: $49,840
  • 25th percentile: $61,940
  • 50th percentile (median): $79,120
  • 75th percentile: $99,380
  • 90th percentile: $121,260

The University of Florida offers an online bachelor of health science (BHS) in communication sciences and disorders. In this program, students study the physiology of human communication as it relates to speech, language, hearing, and swallowing and clinical treatments typically associated with communication disorders.

Graduates from this program are prepared for master’s degree courses, or can pivot into careers as speech-language pathology assistants, therapeutic support staff, or rehabilitation aids in hospitals and nursing homes. Tuition is $130 per credit.

Eastern New Mexico University offers a fully online undergraduate minor in communicative disorders. This 15-credit program is ideal for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than communication sciences and disorders and want to complete prerequisite courses required for a master’s degree program admissions. Courses in this program include an introduction to American Sign Language, survey of communicative disorders, issues in disability, speech/language development, and language disorders. Tuition for New Mexico residents is $170 per credit and $255 for out-of-state residents.

Western Kentucky University (WKU) offers a hybrid master’s of science in communication disorders which is designed to prepare speech pathologists for work in hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, and schools. This program is accredited by CAA and meets the academic and clinical requirements of ASHA.

Upon completion of the 60 semester-hours and 400 clinical hours, students are eligible to apply for licensure. Clinical hours must be completed in-person via a six week intensive on-campus summer internship. When internship hours are completed, students are eligible to complete three required externships which must be completed in public schools and medical settings. Online graduate tuition at WKU is $707 per credit.

Become a Genetic Counselor

Careers in genetic counseling are growing at a rate of 27 percent, according to the BLS (2019)—the 12th fastest-growing career in the nation. Between 2018 and 2028, it’s estimated that 800 new genetic counseling positions will be added nationwide. Most positions require a master’s degree accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Testing (ACGC), which accredits graduate-level programs and offers certifications required for state licensure.

The 2,390 employed genetic counselors earned an average annual salary of $84,310, according to the BLS (May 2019). Wages vary depending on the level of experience, demand, and cost of living in a particular area. In this profession, the wage percentiles are as follows:

  • 10th percentile: $61,310
  • 25th percentile: $70,740
  • 50th percentile (median): $81,880
  • 75th percentile: $98,110
  • 90th percentile: $114,750

Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska offers an online bachelor of science in biology which aims to prepare students for pre-med programs or health sciences careers. This 127-credit program provides a solid foundation of biology and chemistry laboratory courses as well as genetics, biochemistry, physics, and applied statistics. Tuition for this program is $425 per credit and takes approximately four years to complete.

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine offers a 12-week online course in genetic counseling. This program is designed for students who are considered a career in genetic counseling and want to prepare for graduate-level coursework or fulfill prerequisite courses to be considered for admission.

Students in this program can expect two to three hours of self-study a week and will receive a continuing education certificate upon completion of the course. Completing this certificate program serves two purposes: it allows students to explore the field of genetic counseling before committing to a master’s program, it’s a way to demonstrate one’s commitment to the field to graduate school admissions committees. A six-week summer internship program is also available. Tuition for this program is $530.

Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts offers a hybrid master’s of science in genetic counseling. This 59-credit program offers online didactic courses such as foundations of genetics and genomics and cancer genetic counseling. Independent research and publication are emphasized, and students are taught how to write research proposals and implement research-based projects in genetic counseling.

Students are required to complete 840 hours of fieldwork in four clinical rotations supervised by board-certified genetic counselors in New York, Tennessee, Connecticut, and other states. This program can be completed in 21 months and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. Tuition is $1,135 per credit.

Become a Mathematician

Wherever there are numbers to crunch, mathematicians are needed. According to the BLS (2019), mathematician careers are projected to grow 26 percent between 2018 and 2028, a rate that’s five times greater than the national average for all occupations (5 percent).

Degree requirements depend on the industry and job responsibilities. Mathematicians in private industries typically need an advanced degree in applied mathematics. These professionals can be employed in a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, and scientific and management consulting services.

The BLS (May 2019) shows that the 2,630 working mathematicians in the U.S. earned a competitive mean annual salary of $107,280. Salary percentiles are as follows:

  • 10th percentile: $58,100
  • 25th percentile: $76,170
  • 50th percentile (median): $105,030
  • 75th percentile: $127,860
  • 90th percentile: $162,060

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers online math courses through the edX online learning platform. Course offerings include calculus, differential equations, and Laplace transform. Students do not earn college credit for individual courses; however, students who complete the online calculus or differential equations series will be prepared for the on-campus advanced standing exam and earn MIT credit.

These courses are free and students who complete this program can choose to pay $50 to $100 for a verified certificate as proof of mathematical skill-based competency for college admissions committees or prospective employers.

Indiana University offers an online bachelor of science in mathematics. Students in this program take courses in calculus, linear algebra, modern algebra, real analysis, and mathematical modeling. Electives in financial mathematics or pure mathematics allow students to specialize and prepare for future careers as data scientists, data analysts, and investment analysts.

This 120-credit program allows up to 64 credits to be transferred from an accredited two- or four-year college or university. Applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis. In-state tuition for Indiana residents is $230 per credit and out-of-state tuition is $331 per credit.

Texas A&M University offers an online master’s of science in mathematics. With an emphasis on the history of mathematics, geometry, and modeling, students in this program also learn the latest in information technology skills. This 36-semester-hour graduate program offers enrollment options for post-graduate non-degree-seeking students to take courses, making this an ideal program for those who want to earn mathematics credentials to teach or specialize in computational math. The computational track includes courses in classical analysis, applied math, and statistical analysis.

Become an Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts—professionals who apply mathematical modeling to assist corporate management teams with systems optimization and other goals—occupy the 14th fastest-growing career in the country. The BLS (2019) anticipated a 26 percent increase in openings between 2018 and 2028—the addition of 28,100 jobs. Similar to statisticians and NPs, this high-growth field is well-compensated and most employers call for at least a master’s degree.

The BLS (May 2019) reported that the 99,680 operations research analysts nationwide earned an average annual salary of $90,600 and these wage percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $48,670
  • 25th percentile: $62,780
  • 50th percentile (median): $84,810
  • 75th percentile: $112,680
  • 90th percentile: $140,790

There were several online colleges to meet the training needs in this profession. For example, Columbia University of New York City offers a fully online 12-credit certificate in operations research with classes such as an introduction to probability and statistics; optimization models and methods; stochastic models; simulation; and quantitative corporate finance. This program costs $2,104 per credit-hour and may include additional fees.

The University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering provides an online master of science (MS) in operations research engineering. It comprises at least 30 credits of coursework in areas such as network flows; linear programming and extensions; elements of stochastic processes; performance modeling and simulation; web technology for industrial engineering; and enterprise-wide information systems, as well as electives such as optimization and financial engineering. USC’s program takes 1.5 to two years of full-time study to complete and costs $2,148 per unit.

Georgia Tech in Atlanta also has an online MS in operations research focused on subjects such as wind engineering; data and visual analytics; high-performance computing; power system engineering; statistical digital signal processing and modeling; spatial array processing; nonlinear systems and control; data mining and statistical learning; and numerical linear algebra, among other topics. As one of the more affordable options, it costs $1,100 per credit-hour plus additional fees.

Become an Applications Software Developer

The widespread use of technical devices means computer programming careers are in high demand. According to the BLS (2019), the number of software developers (applications) is expected to grow 26 percent, which is more than five times greater than the national average compared to all occupations. From 2018 to 2028, approximately 284,100 new positions are estimated to be needed in software development—the majority of which are anticipated in applications (241,500) and others in software systems (42,600).

With most positions requiring a bachelor’s degree, the BLS shows software developers earn average annual wages of $108,090 (May 2019). Wage percentiles for this career are:

  • 10th percentile: $61,660
  • 25th percentile: $79,340
  • 50th percentile (median): $103,620
  • 75th percentile: $130,460
  • 90th percentile: $161,290

The UC Berkeley Extension in Berkeley, California offers a certificate program in software development and programming. Intended for students who want to pivot into a new line of work or advance in their current career, this ten-semester-unit program includes five to six courses and 150 hours of instruction. This program teaches students how to code, as well as software development cycles, databases, system administration, security, data communications, and web development.

Through a blend of theory and practice, this program supports career development in information management, systems analysis, computer programming, and consulting. No prerequisite courses are necessary, and courses must be taken for a letter grade (with a letter grade of C or better to pass). Distinctive honors will be bestowed to students who complete this certificate program with a 4.0 GPA. This certificate program must be completed within five years and tuition is estimated at $4,000.

Western Governors University (WGU) has several campuses throughout the United States and offers an online bachelor of science in software development. Offering two tracks in Java or C# (pronounced “C sharp”), students intensively learn programming languages that prepare them for work in big tech centers in the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas or a wide range of computer and mobile devices, including smart appliances and vehicles.

This program includes instruction in web development, network and security, the business of IT, data management, and operating systems. The curriculum also includes test prep for IT certifications at no additional cost such as Cisco’s CCNA, Oracle Database SQL, and Udacity’s Data Analyst Nanodegree among others. Students can transfer credits and choose to study part-time or full-time and can take up to three years to finish. Tuition is $3,225 per six-month term.

Boston University offers an online master of science (MS) in software development. This 32-credit program can be completed in 16 to 24 months. In 2020, U.S. News and World Report ranked this program as the tenth best online graduate computer IT program in the nation. Students with a bachelor’s degree in a field unrelated to computer science can apply for this program if they demonstrate coursework in computer science or take an introduction to software development as a prerequisite. A maximum of two graduate-level courses can be taken at Metropolitan College and applied towards this degree program.

Graduates from this program have the skills to manage groups of programmers and software development projects. Tuition is $490 to $925 per credit, depending on the course number.

Conclusion: How to Prepare for a Lucrative, High-Growth Career through Online Education

The ten careers covered in this guide represent varying levels of academic preparation and industries, but they share three important features:

  • They’re all relatively well-paying
  • They are expected to be high-growth into the coming decade
  • They are all jobs for which a person can prepare online

Notably, eight of the ten careers require a strong background in statistical analysis: nurse practitioner, statistician, operations research analyst, information security analyst, physician assistant, operations research analysts, genetic counselor, software developer, and mathematician.

Prospective online students are advised to seek out coursework in that versatile subject to prepare for a range of careers. Above all, the ability to train online for a job opens up career possibilities regardless of geographic and time-related constraints; while the rapid evolution of technology can be dizzying, so too are the expanding horizons for what people can accomplish.

Jocelyn Blore

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Jocelyn Blore traveled the world for five years as a freelance writer. She lived in Japan, Brazil, Nepal and Argentina. In 2015, she took an 11-month road trip across the US, finally settling into Eugene, Oregon. She currently serves as the managing editor for several websites on distance-based programs in nursing, engineering and other disciplines. When Jocelyn isn’t writing about schools or interviewing professors, she enjoys satirizing global absurdities on her blog, Blore’s Razor.