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10 Easiest Online Degrees to Get for the Future

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Managing Editor
Carrie Sealey-Morris has covered bootcamps, careers, and higher education for College Consensus since 2017. Carrie is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where she earned a B.A. in American Studies. 
Founder/Senior Editor
B.A., M.Div.
Jeremy Alder has spent over a decade researching and writing about higher education to provided students with the information they need to achieve their goals. He has significant personal experience with career transitions, working as a freelance writer and editor, non-profit director, community organizer, preacher, teacher, retail manager, and carpenter prior to founding College Consensus. Homeschooled from the second grade, Jeremy is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (B.A., Philosophy) and Duke University Divinity School (M.Div.). He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, five kids, and a Labradoodle named Hank.

Online degrees are becoming increasingly popular with around 33 percent of all college students currently taking at least one class online. Another recent survey showed that one-third of all students will eventually be taking all of their classes online, giving themselves the flexibility of being able to learn from home or even from the corner coffee shop. There’s never been a better time to consider earning a degree from one of the best online colleges.

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Online Degree Programs are Booming

Online degrees became crucial during the COVID pandemic as institutions increased their online courses to keep students on academic track. Degrees received entirely online are becoming more possible these days with the influx of new technology and high-speed Internet connections that allow people to connect to online lectures and forums in only a few seconds. Students can usually chat with their teachers and turn in their papers and other assignments online, keeping them from ever having to set foot on campus.

The Benefits of an Online Degree

The benefits of online degrees are numerous. Students are free to pursue other jobs and interests during normal daytime hours while fitting in their classes whenever they have the chance. This lets them spend plenty of time with their families and make their own schedules. It also gives them the freedom to live far from campus. Other benefits include cheaper classes and accelerated degrees to get into the workforce quickly.

Easiest Online Degree Majors with Good Prospects

While nearly any type of degree can be earned at least partially online these days, some majors are particularly suited for this style of learning. Students interested in these 10 bachelor’s degree programs will notice several distinguishing features. All offer extreme flexibility, can be completed entirely online and provide many future opportunities for career paths and ultimate career growth. In addition, they typically help students land jobs immediately upon graduation in growing sectors of the workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Will Be the Best Jobs in the Future?

In 2018, Dell Technologies published a report by the Institute For The Future (IFTF) predicting that 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet.

Referencing that report, Forbes (2023) suggests that among the skills required for jobs in the future will be:

  • Augmented Working (AI)
  • Critical Thinking and Analysis
  • Creative Thinking
  • Digital Literacy
  • Data Skills
  • Sustainable Working
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Emotional Intelligence

Finally, one of the best barometers of U.S. careers in the future comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of those careers include:

CareerHelpful MajorsGrowth Rate 2022-32
Data ScientistsMath, Computer Science, Business, Engineering35%
Information Security Analysts Computer Science, Math, Engineering32%
Medical and Health Services ManagersHealthcare Related, Nursing, Business28%
Software DevelopersComputer Science, Engineering, Math26%
(Source: BLS, 2022)

What’s the Easiest Online Degree?

It’s important to realize there’s no such thing as an “easy” degree – if it really takes no effort, it’s probably not legit. What makes a degree “easy” depends on various factors, including your aptitudes, interests, and learning style.

Some degrees may look easier because the subject matter aligns with your natural abilities. For instance, if you’re scientifically or technically inclined, you may find engineering, computer science, or mathematics degrees easy. Or, if your interests are more medically inclined, premed, public health, and nursing degrees may be right up your alley. Perhaps you have general interests in a wide range of subjects such as art, literature, social studies, or history, then you may find a liberal arts degree easy.

Additionally, the institution can make a degree program easier by providing:

  • engaging and well-structured courses
  • supportive faculty
  • accessible resources

All of these contribute to a smoother academic journey. A clear understanding of the coursework’s relevance to one’s career goals can also make a degree feel more manageable. However, it’s essential to note that what may be perceived as easy for one person could be challenging for another, highlighting the subjectivity of this perception in the realm of education.

Cost vs Reward

Be sure to consider what you want your ultimate career goal to be and if you’ll earn a good return on your investment. These charts give you some idea of the cost/reward of an easy online degree.

School TypeResidency StatusAcademic Year Tuition & Fees
(U.S. News and World Report, 2023)

Earning a college degree can increase your salary:

Educational LevelAverage Weekly SalaryUnemployment Rate
No Degree but some college$9353.5%
High School Diploma$8354.0%
Less than high school diploma$6825.5%
(BLS, 2022)

What’s the Quickest Degree to Earn?

Online degree programs often offer rolling admission (you can enroll anytime) that can speed up the timeframe for earning a degree. Additionally, online degrees routinely offer accelerated classes that allow you to earn your degree in 1-2 years.

You may have earned an associate’s degree but now want a bachelor’s degree. The good news is that an associate degree will allow you to be admitted as a junior in a bachelor’s degree program.

If you’ve previously attended but didn’t complete an accredited degree, schools will generally accept academic transcripts and apply courses to your new degree program. Other things to consider are whether the college or university awards academic credit for your life experiences, such as military training, employment, etc.

Do Easy Degrees Pay Well?

If we look at some of the relatively easy degrees and their corresponding careers, you’ll find entry-level careers may make earning a degree worthwhile.

You may be surprised that STEM, business, healthcare, social sciences, and other disciplines are relatively easy to earn online and offer good entry-level salaries. College Consensus has identified bachelor’s degrees you can earn online with potential earnings of:

Bachelor’s DegreeEstimated Salary
Communications (public relations, journalism, etc.)$70k
Liberal Arts$72k
Business Administration$77k
Computer Science$109k
(Source: U.S. News and World Report, PayScale, CNBC)

1. Liberal Arts

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Some students have stayed away from this most basic of degrees because they are not convinced that this major will lead to future career growth for them. Because it is not a specified major, they may feel that they will have no marketable skills and will be left at entry-level positions indefinitely. However, because the classes taken under this major are so broad, students will actually be open to a wide variety of possible career paths. Therefore, this is the perfect option for someone who knows he wants a college degree but who is not yet sure what his concentration should be. Most students must complete at least 120 credit hours in such subjects as history, literature, foreign language, philosophy, writing and communication.

Many companies are today hiring individuals with these basic degrees. Companies often want someone with a well-rounded education to whom they can further teach the specifics of the job. Some of the most high-demand jobs these days that require a liberal arts major include intelligence analysis, project management and business development management. Individuals with this degree typically are good at communications, research and basic management. Many times, they are hired for upper customer service management positions, STEM jobs or even defense contracting on the East Coast. Other students go on to get a master’s degree in law or business administration.

As the job market changes, this diversified degree choice may be the best option for many students. Emerging jobs will require new skill sets, and individuals with broad educational backgrounds will fit perfectly in these sectors. Many new jobs will be found in information technology sectors, which are growing at a rate of 13 percent by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. Research analysts, financial analysts and development specialists are other common jobs for people with this degree, and each is growing at a faster-than-average pace.

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2. Computer Science

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Computer science remains as one of the most popular degrees to be earned online as well as one of the fastest to be completed from the comfort of one’s home. After all, this degree looks at how computer and online technologies are used in everyday life. Therefore, it makes sense that this degree could be completed entirely online.

With this degree, students can go on to many fulfilling and exciting careers in computer repair and technology, information technology, software engineering and network communications. The degree is similar to but not entirely the same as a degree in information technology because IT classes also look at the business aspect of computer needs.

The BLS of the United States currently estimates that all computer and information technology jobs are to grow by 13 percent by 2026 with over half a million jobs being added in this sector from 2016 to 2026. Plus, this is a well-paying field with the average worker making $84,000 annually. The highest-paid positions that can be attained with a bachelor’s degree are software development, which can pay over $100,000 annually, and computer and information systems management, which pays upward of $135,000 annually.

A computer science course usually requires 120 credits, which will include such courses as programming, data algorithms and software engineering. Students will also focus on mathematics because this is the backbone of computer science. Advanced mathematics courses, such as statistics and calculus are usually included.

Recommended Online Computer Programs

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3. Business Administration

black business businessman hired 1

Not only is business administration one of the easiest bachelor’s degrees to receive online, but also it is one of the most popular. Much like a liberal arts degree, a business degree opens up a wide variety of possible job options. However, they will all be based in the business world and could include upper management, human resources, health services management, marketing and much more. Many students choose to hone in on one particular aspect of business with a concentration in a particular field, such as health care, finance or communications.

In 2016, business administration was named as one of the topmost hirable degrees. Today, over 9 million Americans who work full time jobs have this degree. Many of them work in the financial, health care and technology industries, all of which are growing sectors. Others are managers of major companies. With a bachelor’s degree in this field, individuals can also go on to master’s degrees in specialty areas, and many have used this degree to become CEOs.

Entry-level business positions usually only pay in the $45,000 range with a bachelor’s degree. However, after working around 10 or more years, most people can expect to make over $70,000. Upper management positions may even pay in the three-figure range. Management analysts often make the highest salaries.

Students usually take a minimum of 120 credit hours and cover a variety of liberal arts classes before concentrating on such classes as microeconomics, accounting, marketing, business ethics, office administration and human resources. Students graduate with well-rounded knowledge bases in mathematics and the sciences.

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4. English

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An online English degree is similar to a liberal arts degree in that it provides a solid foundation for future career growth. It is an easy degree to get online because it does not require much hands-on work other than papers, which are turned in virtually. Courses typically focus on grammar, composition, professional writing, literature, communication, drama and fiction writing. Some students may concentrate in a particular field, such as literature or creative writing. It is the perfect option for those to whom writing and reading come naturally. Bachelor’s degrees typically require 120 credit hours.

This degree opens up a wide variety of doors to possible future careers. Students could go on to be professional writers, teachers or editors. Others use their skills in writing to work in public relations, to become reporters or broadcasters or to write for tech companies. Today, the need for writers is great especially in the online realm. Therefore, an online-based English degree prepares students for what their jobs will be like upon graduation.

Those with English degrees can find a wide variety of jobs, many of which are in rapidly expanding fields. Technical writing is among one of the most popular options, growing 11 percent by 2026. However, even the fields of public relations and high school teaching are growing at a rate faster than the national average, putting those with English degrees in high demand. The median pay range for a new graduate is $40,000 with mid-career salaries coming in at an average of $71,000.

Recommended Online English Programs

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5. Nursing

nursing student

Although most people would not think of a bachelor’s degree in nursing as being an easy degree, it is surprisingly easy to get online these days. All of the lecture-style courses can be done completely online, and nearly all schools allow students to get their hands-on courses, such as clinicals and preceptorships, completed at any area health care facility. Therefore, as long as students live near a hospital or skilled nursing facility, they can complete their coursework without heading to campus.

Most schools require 120 to 125 credit hours along with several hundred hours of hands-on clinical experience. However, many schools provide accelerated bachelor’s degrees, which may be completed in only two years, in order to get nurses into the workforce as quickly as possible.

Students will take a wide array of classes, which will begin with a solid foundation in science, including biology, human anatomy and chemistry. Students will then learn about pathophysiology, pharmacology and clinical nursing. Some schools also require basic statistics courses.

Registered nurses make an average of $70,000 annually according to the BLS and can work in a variety of positions, including bedside nursing, nurse management and home health care. There are a variety of career paths depending on one’s skills and interests. However, the majority of American nurses work in hospitals.

Nursing is an in-demand field with an expected growth rate of 15 percent by 2026 and over 400,000 jobs projected to be added by that time. Nurses will continue to be in high demand because of the aging American population as well as the many changes in medical practice and technology.

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6. Communications

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A bachelor’s degree in communications allows students to focus on both their writing and their speaking abilities, making this a multi-faceted major with many future possibilities. Students will take classes in intercultural communication, public speaking, media writing, digital media and ethics. Towards the end of their 120 credit hours, students can also choose a concentration, such as in marketing, journalism, film production or public relations. Upon graduation, they will go on to a wide variety of fields that are in high demand across the country and around the world.

Two of the most popular and fastest-growing jobs for communication majors are advertising management and marketing management. These jobs often pay well over $100,000 by mid-career. By 2026, they are expected to grow by 10 percent with over 23,000 jobs added. Other popular jobs that pay well include public relations, fundraising management and sales management, which are growing at rates of 7 percent.

Communications is a smart degree to get online because it is fairly general. Science and mathematics classes are not emphasized greatly, and most coursework is easily turned in online. However, students should have high confidence levels because they will need to be comfortable with public speaking. They will also need to be comfortable working with computers because some concentrations focus on the technical aspects of Website design and writing.

Recommended Online Communications Programs

Explore our featured online programs to find the right match for you today.

7. Political Science

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A political science degree focuses on American government, politics, history, cultures, policy writing and legal issues. After covering these foundations, students may choose to specialize, such as in the concentrations of pre-law, international studies or public administration.

This degree is easy to pursue online because it typically involves very little hands-on work other than papers that can be turned in online. Despite its “science” name, a political science degree actually focuses more on liberal arts classes and social sciences in its 120 credit hours. Although students will learn plenty about the inner-workings of government, they will also focus on writing and communication.

While there are not many people who work in specific political science jobs, those who do make an average of $115,000 per year. However, there are many other jobs to be gained with this degree, which helps add to its popularity. Many graduates become fundraisers, work in public relations or get involved as campaign managers. Others are foreign service officers, government analysts, intelligence officers or policy analysts. Still others put their writing skills to use and become current events journalists. This is a rewarding career for those who want to advocate for important causes and use their critical thinking skills to change the world.

Although not every position for political science graduates is incredibly rewarding monetarily, most are rewarding intellectually. For example, journalists may only make $40,000 annually while analysts make around $55,000 per year. However, intelligence officers and foreign service officers can make up to $85,000 per year, and their jobs are expected to increase at a rate of 11 percent by 2026.

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8. Psychology

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Psychologists are in high demand these days as many people are learning how mental and physical health are interconnected. Psychology is one of the most popular online degrees today because of the rising number of jobs in this field and because of the good pay that most licensed psychologists earn. A bachelor’s degree in psychology will set students up for an advanced degree in psychology, which is usually required for setting up one’s practice or working as a licensed psychologist.

However, that is not all that one can do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Those who do not want to go on to earn a higher degree in the field can find immediate jobs in a variety of sectors, including social work, human resources and marketing. Each of these fields requires an excellent knowledge of the human psyche and human behavior.

An online psychology degree is a smart move because it offers flexibility to busy students. The coursework is usually easily completed online without hands-on courses at the bachelor’s degree level. Students will study philosophy, human growth and development, statistics and social psychology all while improving their critical thinking and reasoning skills. Many students can opt for an accelerated course plan that allows them to complete the required 120 credits in far less than four years.

The job outlook is positive for those who choose to stick with their bachelor’s degree alone. Human resources jobs are increasing 7 percent by 2026 and pay an average of $60,000 per year while jobs for social workers are increasing at a much faster pace of 16 percent by 2026.

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9. Marketing

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Marketing is another easy degree to obtain online because it works with one’s natural creativity and includes many fun courses rather than more difficult science-based courses. However, students will need to have good mathematics skills because data analysis is a huge component of success in this field. Classes will also include simple business-based courses. Students enjoy learning about consumer behavior, creating advertising campaigns and using market research statistics to plan long-term gains.

Upon graduation, which can happen in as little as two years with an accelerated course, those with marketing degrees can expect to find jobs in a wide variety of sectors. Not only can they work with advertising and sales, but also they can work on the financial side of businesses, helping with marketing management. Some even go on to work in public relations or e-commerce.

Marketing managers are generally the highest-paid individuals in this sector, making over $120,000 per year on average. Plus, they are in high demand with jobs growing at a rate of 10 percent by 2026. Other top jobs include sales management and market research analysis with these sectors also adding tens of thousands of jobs in the next decade.

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10. Accounting

accountant calculator

An accounting degree is firmly planted in the world of finance, and students must be organized and have great mathematics skills to succeed. However, this is also an excellent online degree to pursue because it uses mainly online technology in classes as well as in the real world. Most online colleges require 150 credit hours but often offer accelerated options. This number of hours is required by states before students can sit for their CPA licensing examinations.

Coursework covers basics of accounting as well as general business classes. Classes in taxes, economics, ethics and law are also typically included so that graduates will be prepared for a wide array of jobs.

While many accounting graduates go on to become CPAs, others become personal financial advisers, business managers, auditors, management analysts and appraisers. Accountants make an average of $69,000 per year while financial analysts make over $80,000 yearly. Personal financial advisers usually make the most in this field at $90,000 per year on average, and their job growth is projected at 15 percent by 2026, which is due to the rapidly aging population that is seeking options for managing money.

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The Easiest Online Degrees Still Take Effort

Students should remember that although each of these online degree majors is listed as being easy, they will still need to put in plenty of effort to succeed in their goals. Any major requires diligence in completing the work and in putting in the time for listening to lectures, reaching out to teachers and studying for tests. However, the beauty of these 10 degrees is that they can easily be completed online, typically in shorter-than-usual periods. Plus, each one is designed to get students ready for exciting and fulfilling futures.

Students should choose online degree programs that match with their natural talents, interests and inclinations. This focus on what comes easily will make one’s online degree even simpler as students enjoy what they are learning and become excited to learn more. However, a great degree of discipline and perseverance is needed to complete any type of online degree.

An online bachelor’s degree will open up many doors to a variety of career paths and will give individuals the solid foundations they need to get entry-level positions in their chosen fields with an emphasis on quickly improving their horizons and growing in their careers. These 10 degree options are wise choices for those who need flexible degrees that can be completed swiftly online while providing the same benefits that their on-campus counterparts do.

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