Top 10 Online Degrees
for High-Paying Careers

See also: Careers for Graduates

Knowledge is power! This has never been truer than it is today, and it’s critical to your success to adopt a lifelong learning philosophy. Not all courses are created equal, so we’ll look at the top 10 ten online degrees for high-paying careers.

You don’t want to put the time and effort into life skills development without reaping the rewards. Let’s look at the best degrees to study that ensure you’ll benefit from the financial rewards.

Selecting the Best Online Degree for High-Paying Careers

This is the first challenge. You don’t want something that isn’t going to reach your income expectations. You also don’t want to study for a degree you have no aptitude for.

Consider the following aspects when determining the best route to follow to enhance your life skills:

  • Do you have a natural interest and aptitude for the subject?

  • Is there a viable and sustainable workplace market for people with this education?

  • Is the potential pay in line with your expectations?

  • Can you see yourself enjoying and working in the professions available for the specific degree?

Before embarking on a course of study, do your homework and some self-evaluation. Study the job market, research the industry, reach out, and talk to people who have studied your preferred course and worked in the related industry.

The Benefits of Online Degrees

What’s appealing about online degrees is that they’re significantly more affordable than traditional studies. They also provide more flexibility, and most allow you to study at your own pace while working and gaining valuable experience while not incurring crippling student loans.

Another benefit is that you generally do your studies from any location. Certain courses require some practical work, but you have a lot more freedom of movement with online degrees. This guide will help you find the right courses for you.

Top 10 Online Degrees for High-Paying Careers

While there are many excellent certified and valuable free online courses, an online degree could set you on the path to rapidly achieving your career and financial goals.

Here are some of the leading recommendations.

1. Marketing

While marketing is a broad term, it will always be an essential skill in any business. It’s a dynamic field to study and practice, so one must keep up to date with evolving trends. A quality degree in marketing will open a wide range of lucrative options for qualified candidates with a flair and passion for marketing.

Options for an online marketing degree


  • Accredited degree courses
  • Wide range of options
  • Impressive reputation

An excellent place to look for one of the best online marketing degrees is Coursera. They have a solid reputation and work with leading international companies and universities.

You can pursue a bachelor’s or master’s in marketing with various credible and recognized universities.

Demand for marketing professionals is high and unlikely to decline, but finding a niche and honing your skills and experience is vital.

The average salary for a marketing manager is $116,000 to $150,000.

2. Software Engineering

Another lucrative degree to study online is software engineering. Information technology is driving modern business, and software is the foundation. It’s a rapidly growing career option and one that can pay particularly well.

While there are many free or certificate courses, a degree will give you the edge in this expanding field.

Options for an online software engineering degree

Arizona State University

  • ABET-accredited (international standard)
  • Hands-on learning
  • Leading academics

According to Forbes Advisor, ASU offers one of the leading software engineering degrees. The degree is ABET-accredited, ensuring you of quality and international recognition. It’s a practical and pragmatic degree that will equip you with the necessary skills to achieve in software development.

The developers and lecturers include some of the leading minds in this field.

The base salary for a software engineer is around $117,000. Naturally, with a bit of experience and skill, you can earn more.

3. Human Resources Management

Despite the hype around AI and other developing technologies, human resources will always be necessary in business. If anything, it’s now more critical than ever.

Poor hires, underperforming staff, low motivation, and high staff turnover cost companies a vast amount of money and precious time. This is a fascinating area of study that is rapidly evolving.

Options for an online human resources management degree

Walden University

  • Well established
  • Flexible
  • Expert Staff

Walden boasts more than 50 years of experience guiding and educating professionals through online learning. They’re flexible and offer a range of 5 degree courses that focus on HR management.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) put the median salary for HR professionals at $64,000 per annum.

4. Cybersecurity

With the rise of big data, cloud computing, IoT (the Internet of Things), AI, and other technologies, cybersecurity is an ever-present concern for companies big or small. A degree in cybersecurity will always afford multiple opportunities, many of which pay exceptionally well.

Options for a cybersecurity degree


  • Multiple options available
  • Proven online study programs
  • Affordable pricing options

You can follow a highly rated degree through Coursera in computer science, IT, or computer engineering. Add cybersecurity as your major, and you should see many opportunities.

Pay potential will vary according to your degree and experience level. The annual salary can range from $93,000 to $165,000.

5. Political Science

A degree in political science can take you on several paths. Politics is constantly evolving but certain to never go away. Many online institutions offer a degree in political science. Look at each offer’s options and benefits to determine the best choice for your needs and goals.

Options for a political science degree

University of Arizona

  • Decent retention and graduation rate
  • Good student-to-faculty ratio

The University of Arizona has a lot to offer prospective political science students. You can follow a BA degree that will prepare you for a career in education, government, business, or law.

A political science degree can earn you from $43,000 to $128,000, depending on your direction. If you succeed in politics, the potential earnings are fantastic.

6. Finance

Finance is a critical aspect of any company or organization. Without correct financial management, the institution wouldn’t be sustainable. A degree in finance will allow you to work in various roles for various companies or organizations.

Consider what aspect of finance you wish to major in, which will help guide your choice.

Options for a finance degree

Penn State

  • Affordable
  • Good Reputation
  • Flexible options

The infamous Penn State has a highly rated finance degree. The program is AACSB-accredited. There are multiple options, and the degree will open many doors for you.

A degree with a major in finance will see you earning a median annual income of $76,500 a year.

7. Accounting

While many fear AI will reduce the demand for accounting, it’s unlikely to eliminate the demand for good accountants. A quality degree in this field will teach you much more than crunching numbers. While automation can simplify and speed up the process, accounts are needed to make sense of the numbers, make predictions, and recommend direction.

Options for an online accounting degree

University of West Florida

  • AACSB-accredited
  • Well established
  • Reasonable rates

The University of West Florida offers a respected and well-accredited online accounting degree. They have a respectable CPA pass rate. The faculty are well qualified, and the degree offers a range of opportunities for graduates.

Accounting is a lucrative career with an average annual salary of $94,000.

8. Environmental Science

There is an ever-increasing concern for the environment and sustainability. This makes a career in environmental science a viable option. There is little doubt that there are significant environmental concerns worldwide, and there is a great demand for those with the necessary qualifications.

Options for an online environmental science degree

Columbia Southern University

  • Responsive support
  • Multiple options
  • Leading education technology

Based in Alabama, Columbia Southern University is a fully online university. It was established in 1993. They deliver a personal approach to online education, focusing on quality tuition and educational technology.

The earning potential for graduates with a degree in environmental science averages $64,000 per year.

9. Applied Statistics

If you have an aptitude for statistics, a degree in applied statistics (data science) should allow you many options. While AI helps with analysis, big data continues to push out a phenomenal amount of data points for all aspects of business. Those educated in understanding the numbers have a host of opportunities.

Options for an online applied statistics degree

Arizona State University

  • Wide range of majors
  • Real-world education
  • Proactive tuition

ASU will give you the analytical and practical skills to achieve in applied statistics. They offer flexibility and various majors according to your interests and goals.

The average salary for those with an applied statistics degree is $97,000.

10. Nursing

While nursing is a practical skill, it does require extensive theoretical knowledge. This can be done online. Ensure the institution is accredited and experienced in online tuition. A bachelor’s degree in nursing will put your career on the fast track, allowing you to move up the ranks as you gain experience. There is always a high demand for suitably qualified nursing staff.

Options for an online nursing degree

University of Florida-Online

  • Affordable
  • Fully online
  • Highly rated

This degree is accredited and entirely online. Naturally, you’ll need to gain practical experience, but the knowledge gained will be a great start to a lucrative and rewarding nursing career.

Nurses can expect to earn an average salary of $121,000.


While there are advantages to campus life, online learning provides many benefits. It allows you to study at an affordable rate while working and gaining experience. Select your online institution wisely and enhance your career options and earning potential.

About the Author

Pam Brown is a linguist who left her job in a high school because she needed a new challenge in her young life. With her impeccable knowledge of the English language and her passion for literature, she makes one hell of a writer and lector.