Choosing a career these days is about more than just choosing a job that sounds like fun. Not only should it be a career that interests the individual, but also it should be one that is guaranteed to bring in a steady income that can easily support a family and help the individual achieve his long-term dreams. Looking ahead to 2020, there are a multitude of career options in up-and-coming fields throughout the health, technology and science sectors. Because these areas are changing and growing by leaps and bounds, many companies are looking for well-educated and knowledgeable individuals to take on top roles and are offering amazing compensation. Other companies are offering plenty of pay and benefits for those who are willing to take on roles in management and become leaders in their professions.
The great news for those interested in high-paying careers is that they do not have to turn to traditional on-campus college educations to earn their degrees. Instead, each of the following top ten bachelor degree programs are offered completely online, allowing students to merge their college classes with their everyday lives. This is perfect for individuals who already have families and who are searching for new careers as well as for those who prefer to hold down jobs while they complete their college educations.
As the world enters the next decade, it is more important than ever that Individuals be well-prepared for what lies ahead. A bachelor’s degree lays a solid foundation for the rest of one’s life by providing a steady source of income, plenty of future opportunities, excellent job security and numerous options for personal growth. Plus, as proven by statistics published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who have bachelor’s degrees typically earn over $30,000 more each year than do those with only high school diplomas. Here are just a few of the best bachelor online degrees to consider getting in 2020.
1. Bachelors in Engineering Management
Engineering is a typical career path for those who are very detail-oriented and who love both science and mathematics. When thinking about engineering, many think about the many paths within this field, such as mechanical, electrical, petroleum and civil engineering among many others. However, for those who also love leadership roles, a bachelor’s degree in general engineering management may be more up their alley.
With an engineering management degree program, students learn how to combine the specificity of the engineering world with the business side of the management world. Thus, their classes will cover plenty of typical engineering information, including chemistry and calculus, along with numerous business classes, including finance, accounting, operations management and quality control.
This is a solid four-year degree that can be taken online at several top state and engineering-specific universities. Engineering management is one of the most exciting online programs because it is usually classified as a top-paying online degree program offered in 2020. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, engineering management positions paid an average of $140,000 annually as of 2018 for those who also had several years of experience in the field. However, students should keep in mind that it could be difficult to find a job opening in this field as there are currently just under 200,000 engineering management jobs in the United States and the field is only expected to grow by 3 percent by 2028.
2. Bachelors in Information Systems Management
Just above engineering management when it comes to yearly salaries is information systems management, which is a computer and technology-based bachelor’s degree. Most individuals in these roles earn an average of $142,000 per year. This degree is perfectly suited for those who love working with the intricacies of computers and who are very organized and analytical. The degree and subsequent career combines data organization and information technology with management to create an excellent administrative role for those committed to leading this industry into the next decade.
This degree program will center on computer science and information technology, including such classes as programming and software development. Students must also take several mathematics-based courses. At the same time, business-related classes will take students beyond the day-to-day tasks behind a computer and will teach them how to lead teams, control finances and manage major projects.
The good news about this degree is that it comes with an excellent job outlook. With over 400,000 computer and information systems management jobs currently found in the United States, the BLS believes that job openings should grow at an above-average pace of 11 percent by 2028. To get into this role, applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in the field along with at least five years of experience in a computer or information systems-related position or a similar job, such as information technology. Low-level management positions may require even less experience than this. The opportunities for advancement are great in this field as managers will be able to rise to such roles as director or chief technology officer over time.
3. Bachelors in Marketing Management
Marketing management is another excellent leadership-style degree that pays incredibly well. With an average paycheck of $132,000 per year as of 2018, marketing managers can enjoy great job security, excellent benefits and plenty of possibilities for job growth and advancement. Entry-level education is only a bachelor’s degree, which students can easily get online these days.
A marketing management bachelor’s degree program will focus on the basics of advertising, marketing and promotions with a strong emphasis on journalism as well. Students will learn about market research, sales and consumer behaviors and will most likely cover art and technology topics to be well-versed in all areas of marketing and advertising. However, because there is a major emphasis on management, students will further diversify their online classes with courses in economics, finance, statistics and business law.
In addition, ideal candidates for this program and future career should be good communicators who are experts at leading those under them. They must also be able to communicate positively with the public. Moreover, these individuals should be excellent decision-makers who are detail-oriented and who can think critically about the big picture to uncover industry trends. Finally, they should be highly creative because they will need to come up with imaginative ideas for this ever-changing field.
Future job prospects in marketing management are good with the occupation as a whole expected to increase by 8 percent by 2028. As Internet-based marketing continues to soar, these individuals will be in high demand throughout many industries.
4. Bachelors in Human Resources Management
Human resources managers specialize in interpersonal relationships as they work one-on-one with all employees within a business. Not only do they train employees, work out employee salaries and benefits and recruit new workers, but also they must manage the entire human resources team beneath them. They must be proficient in business management as a whole while also focusing on the company’s safety standards, labor management rules and complete organizational behaviors and strategies. Although they are not the CEOs of the company, human resources managers hold some of the most important positions as they are frequently the ones who come most into contact with employees during everyday business matters. Many times, they are the face of the company to the employees.
Although some experience in the field is generally vital for landing nearly any type of managerial role these days, human resources managers are only required to have bachelor’s degrees, which can be obtained completely online. Typical courses will include finance, budgeting, interpersonal relationships, business strategy and information technology. Some students also like to take psychology classes to better understand the human mind as conflict management and communication are going to be integral parts of this role.
There are currently over 150,000 human resources management jobs in the United States with many of them found in professional and scientific sectors. This occupation is expected to grow by 7 percent by 2028, which is a bit faster than average thanks to the numerous employment and occupational laws that are constantly changing. The average annual pay for a human resources manager in 2018 was $113,300 with those in certain scientific and technical roles making over $125,000.
5. Bachelors in Software Development
The time is ripe for computer-lovers as 2020 will surely be a year of increased growth in this field. According to the BLS, the field of software development as a whole is expected to grow by 21 percent, which is much faster than the average of 5 percent expected across all occupations. While there are already over 1.3 million jobs within this field, over 280,000 additional jobs should be added by 2028. Plus, software developers get paid remarkably well with the average earnings listed at $105,000 per year. Those working in software publishing as well as those serving in the manufacturing or engineering industries can get paid even more than this.
Software development is an excellent career path for those who already love to play around with computer technology. Classes teach individuals how to design computer applications as well as how to debug and solve problems with existing software. Students learn about computer programming, software security, database development and coding. Once again, the ideal software developer is someone who is analytical, detail-oriented, organizationally driven and readily able to solve design problems quickly.
Obviously, because this is a computer-based career, it is remarkably easy to take software development classes online for a bachelor’s degree program. Some universities may require students to take hands-on internship programs with software companies or similar businesses before completing their degrees. This job offers great career flexibility and plenty of room for advancement, especially as individuals take on increasing numbers of technical projects to prove themselves.
6. Bachelors in Video Game Design
Video game designers are also in high demand going into 2020 as graphic design and animation continue to become increasingly realistic and more desirable throughout a myriad of industries. These individuals must not only be able to draw and design their own animated work, but also must be able to create special effects for a variety of media. They may work for television or movie studios or could work behind the scenes while testing code for video games.
Because there are so many career paths when it comes to video game design, there are also a variety of online bachelor’s degree programs that interested individuals could take. While computer programming, software development, graphic design and art could all be worthy programs to consider and would provide students with plenty of future job opportunities, the best program is typically multimedia artistry and animation or game design.
Typical coursework in game design programs will include basic humanities classes along with science, programming, digital arts, traditional arts and software development. Specialized classes will include digital storytelling, 3-D modeling and game engine development. At the end of most online degree programs, students are required to create a portfolio of their work or to develop their own video game.
Depending on the area in which they work, students with video game design degrees can make anywhere from $67,000 to $82,000 on average each year. They may work in software publishing, the motion picture industry, computer systems design or video game programming. Today, it is not just the television and gaming industries that require this level of expertise. Instead, increasing numbers of positions are opening up in other fields, including health care.
7. Bachelors in Health Care Administration
For those who would love to get into the growing field of health care but who have no interest in getting their hands dirty in the trenches so to speak, a degree in health care administration or health services management may be just what they need. Health care administrators work behind the scenes in medical facilities of all types and sizes to ensure that the business continues to run smoothly. They must work with the doctors and the rest of the staff while also solving interpersonal dilemmas with patients. In addition, they must stay up-to-date with current occupational and health care rules to ensure that the facility is operating in accordance with the law. Ideally, these individuals are great communicators who are also very organized because they will be responsible for keeping up-to-date records on the facility, patients and employees.
To work as a health care manager in a major facility, such as a hospital, individuals must have a bachelor’s degree in health care administration. This degree will require successful completion of such courses as medical terminology, business administration, health information systems and a myriad of other business and finance courses. For those who wish to progress in their careers, there is plenty of opportunity in this field for job flexibility and upward mobility.
All types of careers in health care continue to blossom as the average age of Americans rises and health care methods change to match new research. Therefore, those with bachelor’s degrees in health care administration can expect excellent salaries and great job opportunities upon graduation. The average annual pay for health care managers was just under $100,000 in 2018, and those working in government facilities can expect up to $10,000 more than this each year. In addition, the job outlook is strong with the occupation expected to grow by 18 percent by 2018.
8. Bachelors in Finance
An online bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or economics can lead to a lucrative career in the finance field with many of these individuals rising to becoming financial managers after gaining a few years of experience. There is an amazing variety of finance jobs currently available with many based on economics, mathematics and law. Those with bachelor’s degrees in finance can find jobs in a vast array of fields, allowing individuals to choose a career path that best matches their interests. Some examples include financial advisors, financial planners, financial analysts, actuaries, accountants and auditors.
A finance degree will feature a variety of classes that focus on basic accounting as well as on business management. Students will learn about business law, portfolio management, taxes, investment principles, risk management and more. All of these classes can easily be taken online.
Annual salaries vary for finance-based occupations, but personal financial advisors and financial analysts can expect to make the most at over $88,000 and $85,000 respectively. Others in the finance field who are paid quite well include financial examiners, accountants, budget analysts and logisticians.
The finance field as a whole is expected to grow over the next decade as many people turn to financial advisors for money management. In addition, businesses of all sizes depend significantly on people with this type of education to manage their finances, direct their investments and improve their bottom lines. Financial specialists can expect to see employment rates increase by 6 percent by 2028 while financial managers will see 16 percent more jobs added in that same time.
9. Bachelors in Information Security
Cybersecurity is a growing need across America and around the world as many criminals are turning to this potent form of technology to target people in all sectors of life. An information security analyst will take all appropriate steps to protect a business’s computer programs and systems. These individuals often work for large firms or for banks and credit card companies. They may also be hired by computer companies or software developers. Typical tasks include monitoring for security breaches, installing data encryption programs and recommending security changes.
A bachelor’s degree in information security or cybersecurity can easily be obtained online these days. While some start this career with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or programming, which will give them plenty of future career options, others choose the increasingly popular cybersecurity degree, which places a special focus on computer and information systems security. Some students also complete a minor in business.
This online bachelor’s degree is bound to set students up for success upon graduation. With an occupational growth rate of 32 percent, the BLS predicts that over 35,000 cybersecurity jobs will be added across the United States by 2028. In addition, this field offers good job security and plenty of opportunities for job growth along with a healthy average annual salary of over $98,000. Cybersecurity areas that pay even more than this include computer systems design and finance.
10. Bachelors in Public Relations Management
A public relations expert works hard to improve the public’s perception of a product or company. These individuals may work one-on-one with a big-name client or may head a division in a large corporation. Their daily tasks could include writing press releases for the media, reaching out to larger audiences and potential clients, developing an improved corporate image and managing the team below them. Many work for not-for-profit companies as well as religious and educational organizations although many large corporations also benefit greatly from hiring someone in this role.
An online bachelor’s degree in public relations is enough to start out in this field, and students should also take classes in communication, journalism and English. With a few years of experience in the public relations field, individuals can often progress to a management role in numerous companies.
The outlook of this occupation is good with open positions expected to increase at a slightly above average rate of 8 percent by 2028. Additionally, public relations managers make an annual average of $114,000 as of 2018, and those in technical and scientific areas can make over $133,000 each year.
Each of these ten degrees is in incredibly high demand, especially as companies look forward to 2020 and the many expected changes in the upcoming decade. Because all of these bachelor’s degrees can be earned entirely online, they offer a great deal of flexibility for busy adults who may feel strapped for time as well as cash. Whether one is interested in science, mathematics, health care or business, there are currently plenty of great opportunities in diverse fields that are just waiting to be filled by well-trained individuals.