Online Degrees

Online Degrees

Online College Degrees

Enrollment in online degree programs has been steadily growing, and there is no evidence to suggest that interest in formal online education or, for that matter informal online college courses -- known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) -- is likely to end in the near future.

In the study "Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011," the Babson Survey Research Group described the enrollment rate of students in online degree programs as "robust," and no abatement in enrollment numbers for online education is foreseen. Authors I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman reported that overall enrollment of students taking at least one online college course has remained constant or increased, especially among private and public nonprofit schools. Indeed, the percentage share of online enrollments out of total enrollments has not been in the single digits since 2002.

Additionally, 65 percent of all surveyed institutions reported that online education was a "critical" part of their long-term education strategy. Advantages of online colleges include the flexible schedule, which allows students to enroll in programs when they otherwise might not. Students with families or career-minded individuals who need or want to expand their education but cannot postpone their career or abandon their obligations can pursue their goals by attending an online college.

Growing Acceptance of Online Colleges

In addition to the growing number of students in online programs, an increasing number of academics are coming to accept online education. The Babson study found that 67 percent of academic leaders rated the learning outcomes of online education as the same or better than face-to-face learning. The same can be said for employers, who have learned that online colleges can be as valuable as their traditional counterparts.

In 2008 MSNBC reported that employers were already starting to value online college degrees as highly as traditional degrees. In 2010 U.S. News & World Report referred to an Excelsior College/Zogby International survey showing four in five CEOs and small-business owners considered an online college degree as good as a traditional degree. This article also noted that acceptance is greater than in the past when, according to the founder of, Vicky Phillips, a stigma existed in the minds of employers if a degree was earned at an online school. For example, according to a 2006 New York Times article, 96 percent of small or medium-size companies surveyed said they would choose a traditionally schooled candidate over a candidate with an online degree.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

In addition to increased access to, enrollment in and acceptance of online college degree programs, online college courses are also available. One example of open online courses is MIT's Open CourseWare. In general, these MOOCs have not awarded credit, but Anant Agarwal, president of edX, told The New York Times in November 2012 that he expected the completion of these MOOC programs to be given credit in the same way advanced placement programs are treated now. Inside Higher Ed reports that the American Council on Education (ACE) is assessing credit recommendations for online courses, and on February 7, 2013, Coursera announced the likelihood of some of its courses earning ACE credits.


The Big Reveal: Online Degrees and the Job Search, U.S. News & World Report, 2010 -

Degrees of Acceptance, The New York Times, July 30, 2006 -

Expanding Pathways to MOOC Credit, Inside Higher Ed, February 7, 2013 -

Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011, Babson Survey Research Group -

MIT OpenCourseWare -

Online colleges earning respect -- to a degree, MSNBC, September 7, 2008, Eve Tahmincioglu -

The Year of the MOOC, The New York Times, November 2, 2012, Laura Pappano -

Online Degrees
Home > Online Degrees

Online Degrees


Agricultural Science


Building Trade And Construction

Business And Management





Engineering Technology And Technicians

English Language And Literature

Environmental Conservation

Health Care

History And Social Sciences

Home Economics

Home Services Vocational

Leisure Recreation And Fitness

Library Science

Life Sciences

Performing And Visual Arts

Personal Services

Physical Sciences

Precision Trade

Protective Services


Public Administration And Public Service

Repair And Mechanic

Sales And Marketing

Theology And Religious Vocations