It would not be surprising if say 10 years from now, people would be opting for 100% online degrees rather than packing lecture halls at a university. While not guaranteed, higher education is definitely moving toward more online-focused programs to keep up with the growth of the Internet and how ubiquitous it is in our lives.
Remote learning has become somewhat of an unofficial staple at many prominent universities, allowing students to participate in online classes at accredited colleges.
While that is all well and good, how do you accurately sift through all of the classes available to you? College credits take a lot of time and effort, and it’d be a shame if you poured all of your heart and soul into what effectively turns out to be a course that doesn’t offer great returns on your investment.
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Sometimes an online course can teach you even more than face-to-face education could. While not exactly everyone’s cup of tea, once you get used to a robust online program and a schedule that particularly fits your needs, you will absolutely thrive in an online environment.
These classes can also be taken in tandem with in-person or hybrid courses, bolstering your schedule and enriching your learning experience in a multitude of ways.
We will go over the cost of the courses, the prerequisites in order to apply, which schools offer these courses, (and if you can transfer credits), and finally, what opportunities they can award to you upon completion.
Which Online College Classes to Choose and Why
While we can simply list useful courses that will benefit nearly everyone, it’s best that we lay some groundwork first. The focus on STEM majors (those being science, technology, engineering, and mathematics degrees) has never been more prevalent. This means that pursuing something in those fields is theoretically more conducive to a thriving career after you graduate.
While we’ll list a bunch of STEM courses, the guide will also feature schools that really hit it out of the park in terms of courses that cover future job availability and usefulness.
While these courses influence our school rankings, it really does boil down to what your major is, what you’re interested in, and more.
The featured programs and schools will be a mix of general courses, side by side, with more specific avenues of education. Some of the best colleges offer a wide array of other services to make the online transition even more comfortable and more natural.
We’re talking about career services to help you post-graduation, talented advisers, and fantastic technical help for those pesky glitches and bugs in the online program you use every day.
With all of that out of the way, let’s begin our comprehensive list of the best online college courses and where to find them.
Database Management Systems Course at University of Minnesota Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities boasts a fantastic graduation rate of roughly 80%, offering nearly 20 undergraduate degrees, 16 online masters, and nine doctorates. While there’s a lot to choose from, the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management seems to be the best choice for those looking for fantastic jobs in the future.
Information Technology Management, while a seemingly vague term compared to something like history or literature, provides the graduate with a slew of great jobs, some in web development, cybersecurity, and database administration. Some of these are:
- Systems engineer
- Applications developer
- Computer applications support specialist
- Systems analyst
The entire major is very solid, so it was challenging to narrow down which course stands out more than others. But the potential for a good education coupled with a great career outlook makes this major and online course an absolute slam dunk in the long run.
Computational Thinking & Doing at Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a reputable institution that has over 4,000 students enrolled in its online program. It offers a whopping 110 total online degrees, making the school an absolute standout for a variety of subjects and opportunities for dedicated online students.
This course is part of the Applied Science: Informatics major at the school, and it offers a bevy of great technological options for courses and learning. Computational Thinking & Doing is a course that teaches you all you need to know about how computers work, think, and act.
It’s a course that is programming-heavy, filled with sophisticated algorithms and other technical aspects that will have you better understand the world of computers in terms of prompts and commands. It provides the student with the basics of what they need to know about programming and other essential tasks that can be accomplished with computers and systems.
This is one of the best courses to take as it lays a valuable groundwork for you to explore other aspects of computing, opening up the proverbial door for you in your job search after you graduate. It allows you to become a data scientist, programmer, and many other professions.
Online classes usually last between 7 to 8 weeks, with the same tuition rates as students that go to the campus itself. They are guided by great advisors and a reliable tech team to ensure the courses move smoothly to completion.
Network Security At Drexel University
This class is part of the Bachelor of Science in Computing and Security Technology major. Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, is famous for its technology-based majors and ranks as some of the best out there.
Network security is vital to a career in cybersecurity. It is one of the core requirements for completing the major, and consists of topics like how to make sure software, hardware, and cloud computing are safe from hackers and other parties.
Drexel’s program has earned nearly universal acclaim from security experts and governmental organizations. Military Times ranked it as one of the ‘Top 10 Cybersecurity programs in the U.S.’ in 2017.
With these fantastic endorsements, it’s no surprise at all that graduating with this bachelor’s degree is basically a job guarantee after you graduate from the program. Along with being an online class, Drexel University offers this major and course in hybrid and physical forms, allowing nearly everyone to benefit from the fantastic program.
Security careers can manifest themselves in incredibly lucrative jobs. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of Information Security Analysts earn a median income of approximately $100,000 a year, and similar jobs are growing at a rapid rate as compared to other occupations. It’s experiencing a 32% increase, which is hugely significant in terms of job growth.
This job and others like it are achievable through courses like Drexel University’s Network Security and the online Bachelor of Science in Computing and Security Technology major.
Quality Assurance and Technical Documentation at Ohio University’s eCampus
Quality Assurance and Technical Documentation is part of the impressive major program of Technical Operations Management (B.S.T.O.M.). It heavily emphasizes statistics and detailed information to succeed as a quality assurance engineer.
This means that you learn the tools of the trade to ensure that a broad range of products or services pass a bunch of quality checks, making sure that everything runs smoothly. With no shortage of new services—whether they be startups or from corporations—this class is a fantastic option.
In quality assurance, a person needs several vital skills to succeed. It would be best if you had an inherent eye for detail, a set of skills to fix the problem, the ability to create dynamic solutions, and the knowledge of ins and outs of things like programming languages and how to fix mistakes in programming.
If you consider yourself a motivated and driven individual with an eye for detail as well as a penchant for editing and making sure everything runs smoothly, this could very well be your foot in the door to a lucrative career.
Organization of Programming Languages at Oklahoma State, O.S.U. Online
Oklahoma State’s online program is truly something else. It pulls out all the stops when it comes to serving its online students with some genuinely innovative and quality resources for further learning like flashcards, advisors, and excellent career service. As a benefit, those who are in the state receive tremendously low tuition compared to those out of state. Even if you are out of state, you can still find yourself paying a significantly smaller sum than other universities.
This helps those who are taking the course Organization of Programming Languages in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree. Overall, students will have to complete 120 credit hours and maintain a 2.0 GPA to pass. The specific class goes over the basics and fundamentals of programming languages and the bigger picture they create in technology as a whole.
Knowing how to program as well as its history can open up a ton of occupational opportunities. You could be a programmer, a software developer, a web engineer, a data scientist, and a whole lot more. The salaries of some of these careers quickly skyrocket into the six-figure range, depending on experience and years worked.
An added bonus to many of them is that you sometimes only need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field to reap all of the benefits. While master’s degrees may be a more typical requirement in the future, they aren’t necessary to succeed in jobs and careers.
Overall, this course has the most potential of a successful outcome if students opt for the online route.
Final Thoughts on the Best Online College Courses
With this detailed list, we hope to create a useful and notable school rankings resource guide for you to better plan your higher education path. If you independent learners out there perform a program and school search, you can take the information here and even go a step further to whittle down your personal tastes and preferences to find schools that compensate your time through more detailed search results.
Keep in mind that the information published, while we believe are the most solid courses, may vary from person to person in terms of preference and personal educational journey. Online college courses allow for those who are fresh out of high school, in college already, or those looking to ditch their 9 to 5 jobs to achieve something more.
While the schools and courses published on this site are some of what we believe to be the best, doing some research on your own can be extremely useful. Perhaps you’ll be able to find other string of courses, guides, or reports to help you out.
We hope that this ranked guide goes a long way to form a big picture in terms of higher learning and what you could accomplish with it!
Which of the college courses listed do you think would be most useful to you moving forward in your higher education journey? Let us know in the comments!
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.