Many people who choose to pursue a college degree online are looking to gain the knowledge, skills, and credentialing they need to move up the career ladder and provide a better quality of life for themselves and their family. This is an important and admirable goal. Earning an online college degree is not easy. It requires significant time, effort, discipline, and sacrifice. That’s why it’s important to make sure that there will be a payoff at the end. What could be worse than putting in all that blood, sweat, and tears to finish an online degree, only to discover that the degree is worthless?
The truth is, there are a lot of online colleges, universities, and career schools that peddle worthless degrees. That’s why the most important thing when considering where to invest in an online college degree is making sure that you choose a quality, accredited school that employers will recognize and respect. Check out an objective, independent ranking of online colleges and universities to learn more about which online schools are best.
The second most important thing is to make sure to choose a college degree major that you will enjoy and will actually lead to a job with a good salary. PayScaleU’s 2010-2011 College Salary Report can serve as a useful guide. PayScale surveyed graduates of every major university in the United States to determine what they made immediately upon graduation and midway through their career. The survey only included students with bachelor degrees and no higher degrees. The top 10 college majors leading to high salaries can be seen in the following chart.
Annual pay for Bachelors graduates without higher degrees. Typical starting graduates have 2 years of experience; mid-career have 15 years. See full methodology for more.
Engineering majors obviously fared extremely well, taking seven of the top 10 spots. The top nine spots all went to a science major. You can see a full list of college majors and salaries at the PayScaleU 2010-2011 College Salary Report.