20 Accelerated Online Degree Programs for Working Adults

accelerated online degree programs for working adults

More and more today we hear about the importance of having a degree. Having a degree can not only improve your job opportunities but can also qualify you for new jobs if you happen to lose your current job. While public perception of the need for a degree can waver, it’s true that over 44 percent of jobs in the U.S. still require a degree. Attending college and earning a degree can be difficult for working adults.

Some working adults may not be able to quit their jobs to attend school full-time. Or, they may have other obligations that make it difficult. One possible solution is accelerated degree programs. With accelerated degree programs, students can earn the degree much quicker. Another good option is online degree programs. Many colleges today offer accelerated online degree programs for working adults.

Sound interesting or like something that might appeal to you? Continue reading and learn about the many accelerated online degree programs for working adults and what they all have to offer. Below are 20 program types that may be available as accelerated degree programs. Also included are the possible jobs available to graduates of these programs, why they’re so good, and the average annual wages for these positions according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

20 Accelerated Online Degree Programs for Working Adults

1. Accounting

Online accounting programs prepare students for careers as accountants, accounting assistants, auditors, and more. Almost all of the courses can be completed online. In addition to teaching students about accounting rules and principles, online accounting programs also offer additional courses to help students earn their CPA certification.

2. Business

Online business degrees are a great option for students seeking accelerated online degree programs for working adults. The BLS reports that business occupations are expected to grow faster than all other occupations from 2022-2032. Online business degrees can be earned in as little as two years.

  • Budget analysts – $82,260
  • Cost estimators – $71,200
  • Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists – $67,780
  • Human resources specialists – $64,240

Check out our guide on the Easiest Business Degrees.

3. Communications

Communications degree programs help students improve their reading, writing, and listening skills. They also allow students to focus on a specific area of study. It’s a popular field of study because it’s one of the most in-demand fields today. Online communications programs are even offered at the associate degree level, which can be completed in less than two years.

4. Finance

There are many jobs available to those with a finance degree. Online finance degrees provide students with information on budgets, taxes, investment portfolio management, business management, and more. They are also remote programs that are offered 100% online. Online finance degrees offer various job opportunities.

  • Loan officers – $65,740
  • Financial examiners – $82,210
  • Financial analysts – $96,220
  • Accountants – $78,000

5. Nursing

Nursing is still one of the most popular and in-demand fields around today. They also make a great choice for accelerated degree programs whether you’re hoping to work as an LPN, RN, or social worker. Although students may be required to complete an on-site internship, the rest of the program can be done remotely or online.

Check out our guide on the Easiest RN to BSN programs.

6. Education

Education is another good field for accelerated online degree programs for working adults. Individuals already working in an education setting can earn an education or teaching degree in a little over two years. Good teachers are always in demand and online programs make it so much easier to obtain teaching certifications required to join this field.

  • Special education teachers – $62,950
  • Childcare workers – $28,520
  • Preschool teachers – $35,330
  • Kindergarten and elementary school teachers – $61,620

7. Marketing

Whether you’re shopping in your local grocery store or on your favorite website, you’re dealing with some kind of marketing because marketing is what sells products. Online marketing degrees, which can be totally online, are offered in as low as associate degree programs so students don’t have to be in college for several years to join this field. Marketing courses are interesting and fun.

8. Management

Management programs are generally offered through business schools, and many colleges offer online management programs. Management is a great program because it teaches students about economics, business management, organizational behavior, and corporate finance, among others. Management degrees prepare students for management roles in various industries.

9. Business Administration

Like management degrees, business administration degrees are typically offered through a college’s business schools. Online business administration programs are generally bachelor’s degree programs, but they can also lead to an online MBA. Students in the online business administration program can complete almost the entire program online but may be required to complete a supervised internship in a business setting. This field is great because it opens up so many career opportunities.

10. Criminal Justice

With the rate of crime growing every year, criminal justice professionals are constantly in demand. Someone interested in joining this field has many options from which to choose. Online programs like paralegal studies may be 100% online, while police officer programs may require attending a legal program, completing an internship, and passing psychological exams. It’s a great field to get into because of the many career doors it can open.

11. Healthcare

Healthcare is another field that is constantly growing, and online healthcare programs make it easy to join this field. With some programs taking only six months to a year to complete, they make great options as accelerated online degree programs. Some of the online programs can be completed all online while some might require some on-site visits.

  • Medical assistant – $38,270
  • Health information technologists – $58,250
  • Medical records specialists – $47,180
  • Pharmacy technicians – $37,790

12. Healthcare Administration

In the same way that healthcare professionals are in demand, so are healthcare administrators. If you’re looking for a healthcare position without patient contact, why not check into an online healthcare administration degree program? Online healthcare administration programs can take from one to three years to complete, and they prepare students for very good jobs in healthcare settings. Students learn everything they need to know about running and being in charge of a healthcare facility.

13. Computer Science

Computers are everywhere, and as long as we have computers, there will be a demand for computer science professionals. Whether it’s computer support specialists, computer information systems managers, or programmers, these jobs are very popular. There are many accelerated online degree programs for working adults, and most of them can be completed online. Some programs offer bachelor’s or master’s degrees, while others are designed to prepare students for industry certifications.

  • Computer programmer – $97,800
  • Computer support specialists – $59,660
  • Computers and information systems managers – $164,070
  • Computer systems analysts – $102,240

14. Information Technology

Information technology (IT) is a very popular career field that offers many job opportunities. It’s also a great choice for an online degree. Although the programs require lab courses and hands-on training, most of it can be done online anywhere you happen to have a computer or laptop. Some schools have even started offering free laptops for online classes.. There are various online IT programs from the certificate and associate degree levels right up to master’s degrees. Graduates of these online programs are prepared to work in many lucrative jobs according to the BLS.

  • Information security analysts – $112,000
  • Computer network architects – $126,900
  • Network and computer systems administrators – $90,520
  • Computer support specialists – $59,660

15. Legal Studies

Legal studies is a field that not only offers many career options but also one that offers many online studies. Whether it’s a certificate program or an associate degree, students will find many good options in online accelerated programs. What’s really good about this field is that students can join the workforce sooner rather than later. They can also complete the programs remotely for a low cost.

16. Liberal Arts

Liberal arts is another great field if you’re looking for a field that offers many job opportunities without spending years and years in college. Students typically find many online or accelerated online liberal arts programs. This field is a good choice for working adults because the programs can be completed online. Students can usually choose to study a specific area of concentration or just choose a broad liberal arts program with no concentration.

  • Writers and authors – $73,150
  • Editors – $73,080
  • Technical writers – $79,960
  • Public relations specialists – $67,440

17. Public Health

You don’t have to be an RN to work in public health because this field offers many different job opportunities in different areas. The fact that working adults can earn a public health degree online only makes it better. Many of these professions or public health programs do not require hands-on training, which allows the students to complete the entire degree remotely.

  • Health education specialists – $59,990
  • Dietitian and nutritionists – $66,450
  • Social and human services assistants – $38,520
  • Social workers – $55,350

18. Human Resources

This is another career choice chosen by many because of the many career opportunities it offers. Whether it’s a small business or a large corporation, almost every business has an HR department. Human resources is a great choice for someone interested in an online degree. It’s also ideal for someone who is currently working for a business but is interested in advancing or moving into human resources.

19. Computer Information Systems

If you enjoy working on computers and want to earn your degree online, computer information systems might be a great choice. This type of online program is offered at many colleges and universities. If a student has a computer with internet access, they can be well on their way to earning any number of degrees in computer information systems. One thing great about this field is that students can choose the degree level that best meets their needs, budget, and time.

20. General Studies

If you’re looking for a degree but want one with many career options, general studies can be a great choice. General studies is also a degree that can be earned online at your leisure. Online students can choose the degree level they can handle as well as the area of concentration they want to study. This degree is ideal because it has so much to offer.

Why an Online Program?

When schools first started offering online degree programs, few people realized how popular they’d become. They offer many students the opportunity to earn degrees without disrupting their normal schedules. There are so many benefits to online programs.

  • They can save you money on college fees, fuel, food, lodging, and more.
  • Students can study from the comfort of their homes.
  • Students can do schoolwork at their convenience.
  • Employers acknowledge online degrees the same as on-campus programs.
  • There are no worries about the school’s location.
  • Students can earn the degrees while continuing to work at their jobs and meet financial responsibilities.

Getting Started

Once you’ve decided you want to earn a degree, finding the right program is key. A degree is only good if you’re going to use it and it will benefit you. There may be many accelerated online degree programs for working adults like yourself, but you’ll need to research who offers what. Here are some tips on getting started.

Determine what interests you.

If you’re planning on earning a degree, you’ll probably want to work in this career for a while. It’s important to earn a degree in a field that keeps you motivated and interested.

What kind of career options does the degree offer?

Regardless of how much the field interests you, it won’t do you much good if you can’t earn a living from it.

What about schools?

One of the advantages of choosing online programs is that you can choose from almost any school that offers the program, so start researching colleges, and make sure they’re accredited schools. What is the school’s retention rate? What about job placement after college?

What programs does it offer?

Make sure the school offers the program that you want. We think you’ll be amazed at the many accelerated online degree programs for working adults you’ll find.

Determine admission requirements

Once you’ve chosen a school and program, learn about its admission requirements.