15 Online Degrees and Programs That Are In-demand in 2021

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Historically, web-based college programs have led to fulfilling career paths, supporting the notion that the efficacy of online learning is at par with face-to-face education. Proving this is a 2009 study created for the U.S. Department of Education, which revealed that there are no substantial differences found in online trainings and classroom-style instruction.

Now, you may have encountered this question: “Should I take my classes online or should I stick to the brick and mortar style of learning? Will web-based education work for you? Deciding on the best college for online degrees in 2020 will help shape your future.

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Online Learning Skyrockets in 2021

Shoulder view of woman log in to online learning course with digital tablet computer at home.E-learning education concept.Global study

In an unforeseen turn of events, universities and colleges in the United States and around the globe were urged by local and national governments to close down temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports reveal that this mandate is affecting roughly 90% of the world’s total learners. In the wake of the nationwide college closures, educators and school administrators shifted their programs and coursework to a learning platform that ensures continuous access: online.

Although deemed as a temporary solution, the rapid shift from conventional, in-person classes to digital learning is projected to create a lasting and profound impact on the country’s educational system. Experts say online learning could be the “new normal,” as students learn to acquaint themselves with it. Even some schools and universities that already offer online classes and courses prior to the pandemic have now shifted to full-time online virtual programs.

Online Learning Benefits

One thing that would discourage you from taking online courses and earning online degrees is a lack of experience. If you’re used to the conventional setup, you are likely to be apprehensive about the prospect of online learning. You might have doubts about it.

Here are the upsides of distance learning to help you get started or keep you confident if you’re an online student:

Career growth

career word

A survey about online college students, which was conducted by The Learning House shows 44% of students who studied online have reported having better jobs after completion of online study. 45% of all online students have received a pay increase, and 47% of those who graduated in online programs have received job promotions.

These statistics are realistically promising, and there are far way more opportunities waiting for you after you finish your online programs.

Cheaper Tuition

Black Piggy Bank with Dollar Signs with the word tuition

Generally speaking, online tuition fees cost cheaper than campus-based education. This is primarily due to lower overhead expenses needed to operate the programs. It follows that when you won’t need to go to the campus, you can also save up on transportation costs, and other fees for course materials. There are also a lot of flexible options for you to complete your program in less time. One of which is through transfer credit. It is the accreditation of your previous experiences whether it’s on-job training or a previous accelerated subject.


Calendar app on tablet computer with planning of the week with appointments, events, tasks, and meeting. Hands holding device, time management concept, organization of working hours planner, schedule

In a classroom style of learning, most of the class meetings have already been fixed and set and you can’t change it so you have to work your way around the schedules. On the contrary, with distance learning, you get to plot your own schedule depending on your availability. If you are tied up with other commitments, then this sure is the best way to go. This allows for better time management that allows you to enjoy your life outside of school. You can even indulge in some new hobbies and live that balanced life you’re aiming for.

Networking Opportunities

Social media business network connection and networking concept image of blackboard / chalkboard.

Studying online elicits numerous opportunities to form networks with other students overseas. This will allow you to collaborate on some ideas and projects with different individuals coming from different continents. It’s a win-win situation since this exposure and setup can allow you to know more about other country’s cultures as well.

Demonstrated Self-Motivation

You’re proving that you can manage your time and be self-motivated by completing your master’s degree online, which are two of the top ten employability qualities companies look for in recruits. You demonstrate your ability to handle numerous activities, manage priorities, and adjust to changing work situations by getting an online degree.

New Technical Skills

Your online degree also means you have extraordinary technological abilities, a major advantage for any job seeker. You’ll probably have to use digital learning resources, master new tools and applications, and solve common problems as part of your education. An employer may trust you to know how to use popular collaborative tools, content management systems, and basic troubleshooting after a program’s worth of technological challenges, large and small.

15 Most Sought-after Online Programs

Higher education as an industry underwent drastic changes over the last few decades, primarily because of the onset of technology and tech-driven consumer or students. As you adapt to the change, you have to decide on a degree that will lead to favorable career pathways.

Below are 15 online degrees and programs that are in demand in 2021, all of which give excellent chances at employment. This list consists of undergraduate and graduates degree programs, as well as certificate and diploma programs that promise stable and lucrative careers.

To help you make better academic decisions, this list also highlights the high-ranking schools and best colleges for online degrees in 2021 that offer such programs

Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Business Administration Jon

Business Administration majors acquire education and training in the areas of management, leadership, business ethics, economics, accounting, international business, and more. This online program encompasses a broad range of topics that equip students with in-depth knowledge of business operations.

An Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration qualifies you to run your own business, or oversee management operations in industries such as manufacturing, banking, information systems, and e-commerce. The job demand for holders of an Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree is projected to rise to 7% by 2029. The average income for this occupation is $69,820 and is higher than most of the median wages reported in 2019, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

These top-rated online universities offering the Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration:

Illinois Online
Norwich University Online
University of Florida Online 

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Online Bachelor of Programming and Computer Science

Two Computer Engineers Talking, They Connect Printed Circuit Board to a Laptop and Start Coding. In the Background Computer Science Research Laboratory with Robotic Arm Model.

If you are interested to learn about computers and interested in the analysis and development of software and hardware, the Online Bachelor of Programming and Computer Science is your best degree option.

According to the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), there are many benefits for studying computer science, and the growth of this industry is borderless and limitless. Businesses and employers in the Information technology industry these days are continually hiring programmers and software developers. Based on the University of Wisconsin’s information, People in this industry earn an average of $60,000 – $100,000, and this is projected to grow in the coming years until 2029.

Some of the top-rated universities that offer online degree programs in Programming and Computer Science are the following:

Harvard University
University of Florida
Oregon State University

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Online Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering

Team of engineers discussing blueprint at meeting

There is a continuous growth in the construction industry as demand for buildings and infrastructures, roads, utility site projects. With a Master’s in Civil Engineering, you obtain advanced competencies for a wide range of specializations to match your interest. The core classes focus on various engineering principles and processes in the areas of construction engineering, infrastructure management, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, and environmental engineering. Such expertise will give you a professional advantage and land you in top engineering firms.

Now even in the comforts of your own home, you earn a Master’s in Civil engineering. It is said that a civil engineer earns approximately $86,000 and higher, depending on the firm and company you are working for.

Schools and universities that offer great quality education for a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering are as follows:

Kennesaw State University
University of Central Florida
Michigan State University

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Online Master’s Degree in Data Science Program

Data Scientist

Data Science involves extracting, analyzing, planning, and managing data to be used for insights and strategies implemented by companies. This online degree will showcase subjects in statistical analytics, risk analysis, data mining, machine learning. Data science also requires some basic knowledge of statistics, machine learning, and information technology, as it all collaborates together.

Glassdoor has named Data Scientist as the best job for three consecutive years. This job is one of the highest in-demand jobs and is predicted to grow into 11.5 million job opportunities in the year 2026. Thus, it is also one of the jobs that have a lucrative pay scale.

Top ranking schools offer Online Master’s Degree in Data Science, including:

University of Denver
University of Southern California
University of Virginia

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Online Human Resources Management Degree Programs

Serious hr manager asking questions to candidate at interview. Mature executive sitting at cafe table and reading contract to client. Recruitment or partnership concept

It is estimated that the demand for Human Resource Management positions will rise by 22% within the next 10 years. Businesses worldwide focus on enhancing employee satisfaction and improve employee turnover, so they continue to need HR managers that can help develop strategies that can increase employees’ productivity.

If you decide to pursue this career path, you can enroll in an Online Bachelor’s in Human Resources Management program featuring courses in HR laws and regulations, career management, job training, and work systems. The average pay that an HR manager earns annually is $61,000.

Look over some of the best schools that offer the Online Human Resources program such as:

Michigan State University
Walden University
Daymar College

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Online Certified Nursing and Health Care Assistant Programs

Nurse Assisting Patient Undergoing Renal Dialysis

Often called “nursing aides”, these certified nursing assistants provide health care such as bathing, feeding, and grooming patients. They collaborate along with the other front liners of the hospital. The training online includes thorough discussions of the tasks that you need to perform as you assist doctors and nurses. Some tasks include support in diagnostic procedures and technical treatments of the patients.

If you are aiming to proceed to a nursing degree, this certification will prepare and lead you to that path. According to PayScale, individuals reported earning an average of $64,000 for this job.

Several high-ranking schools that offer programs in Online Certified Nursing Assistance are as follows:

University of Louisville
Pima Medical Institute
Howard Community College

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Online Clinical Psychology Programs

beautiful young female psychologist doctor using mobile digital tablet recording all information from her patient talking.

There is a high demand for psychologists and counselors in different areas and fields of industry in society. If you prefer to follow this path, you can land a job in a private business sector, schools, or educational institutions, or you may practice to be a general psychologist and open your own clinic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary of a clinical psychologist is around $70,000 annually.

Different degree and diploma or certificate programs are available online which are specialized in Cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology, child development, human psychology, and other areas of study.

Some of the top-rated schools that offer Online Clinical Psychology are the following:

Alcorn State University
Florida Tech Online
Walden University

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Online Software Engineering Programs

Software engineer leaning back on his chair when reading technical specification

Another promising and booming field of expertise in today’s current technological era is as a software developer. It is the best time for you to take advantage of upgrading your skills and specializing in one of the branches of information technology. If you enroll in this distance learning program, you will have a chance to develop additional knowledge in any agile software development techniques, Python and Java programming languages, and mobile app development for Android.

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average salary for software developers is $102,000. It is projected to grow even higher until the year 2028.

Here are some qualified schools offering Online Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering:

Boston University
Western Governors University
Pennsylvania State University

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Online Communication Degree Programs

Female reporter at press conference, writing notes, holding microphone

Having a degree in Communications depicts a wider and more diverse career path for you to take. It is all about conveying effective information to your target audience and you may work in several fields of industries. Depending on your preference, you can specialize in fields such as Journalism, Economics, and Social Media.

Communications managers earn roughly an average of $62,000 annually. 

Here are some of the high-ranking universities that offer Online Communication degrees and certificate programs:

Harvard University
University of Louisville
University of Florida

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Online Cybersecurity Degrees and Certificate Programs

In the System Monitoring Room Senior Supervisor Controls Work of the Operator. They're Surrounded by Monitors Showing Relevant Cyber Security-related echnical Data.

Cybersecurity jobs are in high demand as more cyber-attacks are getting commonplace in different industries worldwide. As much as all companies would like to build a secure server and system, no company is immune to such occurrences. The statistics at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that jobs regarded in information security are bound to grow until the year 2028, and this is unsurprisingly increasing as more companies are adding digital platforms to their business operations.

There are many job occupations that you can land with this course; you can work as a cybersecurity engineer or an information security analyst which earns approximately $99,000 on average.

The following universities offer great quality education in Online Cybersecurity degrees and programs:

Drexel University
Boston University

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Online Web Design Certificate Programs

Group of creative and happy coworkers working on web design with computers in the office

A web designer is responsible for creating websites and developing associated applications and platforms. In most cases, they work as independent contractors, however; it’s possible to work for a variety of industries too. Nowadays, businesses and companies always make sure to be visible and active on the World Wide Web, and this is why these employers need to hire web designers.

A web designing course will introduce different courses such as basic creation of webpages, computer programming, graphic design, cyber law, web page creation.  The average salary for web developers is $70,000. 

Top-rated online schools offer Online Web Designing programs, including:

Shaw Academy
American Graphics Institute
Rappahannock Community College

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Online Machine Learning Certificate Program

Chief Project Engineer Holds Briefing for a Team of Scientists that are Building Machine Learning System. Displays Show Working Model of Neural Network.

If you are the type of person who is up for some challenging machine learning, then this online course is compatible with you. We live in a world where automation is currently trending and everything is improvised according to convenience. Society is changing and is welcoming the new generation of AI concepts and machinery. That is why if you choose to pursue this specific expertise, you will have a plate full of career opportunities. This course conceptualizes learning algorithms, solving constrained optimization problems, ethical implications of using machines in everyday tasks.

Indeed, which is a job site, presented a report on their site about the best jobs in 2019, and it shows that machine learning jobs are the fastest growing and the highest-earning job as well. Because of its high demand, more courses online are made available for students who are interested.

Here are the top-rated universities that offer the Online Machine Learning Course:

MIT Professional Education
Stanford University Online
Harvard University Online

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Online Digital Marketing Certificate Programs

Young businessman presenting new marketing plan at office

The job market for digital marketing is noticeably booming. The digital skills have been widened and broadened and there are many brands and businesses that have shifted from traditional marketing to digital one. There are a lot of benefits why you might want to partake in this career, considering the higher pay and wider array of job opportunities, and of course, this is continually growing and expanding in the near future.

The digital marketing course will provide you with knowledge and confidence in pursuing different marketing concepts. Similar to traditional marketing, it entails strategies to sell a brand, product, or service. But instead of sticking to the basics and classic methods, the digital platform is filled with creative and exciting ways of marketing. The median salary for this job is $102,000 depending on certifications, years of experience, and the industry that you work in.

These are some of the high-quality education providers of the Online Certification in Digital Marketing:

Harvard Extension School
University of Wisconsin Stout
American Marketing Association

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Online Blockchain Development Certificate Programs

Programmers and developer teams are coding and developing blockchain and software.

Another information technology-related course is the BlockChain Developer Program. A blockchain developer’s job is geared towards developing and augmenting blockchain protocols. In this course, you will be learning how to create blockchain systems, and create web applications with the support of blockchain technology. Choosing this as your occupation situates you at a cutting edge since the demand for this job is increasing as well.

The potential growth of blockchain in the future will depict a huge impact on the way system of businesses operates. Blockchain management is more than just dealing with cryptocurrencies. The average salaries for blockchain developers start at $150,000.

Top-rank schools offer Online BlockChain Developer Program, including the following:

Cornell University
Kingsland University
Georgetown University

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Online Project Management Certificate Programs

Female coach explaining project management studies on paper over glass wall in headquarters

Project managers have always been in high demand. They are the key person that manages and maintains the project goals and objectives to be fulfilled. There are several constraints that bind a project; therefore, it is crucial to hire someone who can deal with everything effectively. This course will enhance your organizational skills. You will acquire optimum problem-solving abilities.

The Project Management Institute reports that there is an ongoing high number of hiring for project managers and by 2027, a total of 88 million project managers are needed for projected-oriented roles. According to Glassdoor, project managers earn an average of $60,000 yearly.

The following universities provide programs for Online Project Management Certificates.

Bellevue University, in particular, offers a number of undergraduates and graduate online degree programs for project management, as well as certificate and training programs.

University of Texas
Colorado State University-Global
Bellevue University