6 online degrees that leave time for the family

Finding the right college program to fit your busy schedule can be difficult. You want an education that won’t take you away from your family, but still makes you competitive in your chosen field. Here are 6 online degrees that leave time for the family, and won’t keep you in a digital classroom forever.


6. Nursing


Image via Flickr from Army Medicine


An online nursing degree doesn’t involve the same time commitment as its in-class counterpart. Completing your bachelors degree can take as little as 18 months, and doesn’t demand 12-hour shifts in an emergency room. The shortened class schedule also gets you into the field and working faster.

Family-Nurse Practitioner: If you’re already a registered nurse, learning to be an DNP online is the ideal method for advancing your career while raising a family. There’s also a healthy pay increase. Nurse practitioners earn a median income of $92,670 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


5. Business Administration

No degree track may understand the need for flexible scheduling more than business. You’re a working parent with a family to raise; you don’t have time for 3-hour lectures. An online Associate’s degree in business administration takes about 90 credits to earn and can take just 30 months to complete, according to Education Portal.

Learn from the Pro’s: look for a university or college with real business professionals teaching their classes. You want to learn from professors with real world experience that you can apply to your new career. Visit college faculty pages and pay attention to each professors’ job history.


4. Criminal Justice


Image via Flickr from Stewart Butterfield

A degree in criminal justice can prepare you to enter a number of career paths, including social services, law enforcement, and loss prevention, making criminal justice a good major.

Check School Accreditation: you want a real degree for your money and not a certificate of participation. Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website here and check to make sure your school has authorization to issue degrees in criminal justice. Without a degree from an accredited school, many law enforcement and public sector careers are off-limits.


3. Information Technology

Modern business depends on skilled IT workers to keep digital systems running and information flowing. Online degree programs in information technology feature tailored curriculums to teach you in-demand skills that you can land you a job quickly, once you graduate. The faster pace education also allows you more time at home and less time in the computer lab.

Personalized degree plans: many online colleges and universities now offer independent study degree paths in IT. During each term, you can complete as much of your degree as you have time for, if you can’t pass all the exams and certifications.


2. Healthcare Administration

A healthcare administrator is a leader in the world of patient care. You won’t write prescriptions or treat injuries, but you will develop hospital policy and management employees. Core credits needed for an online degree in this field run as low as 35 (roughly two semesters), though a full Bachelor’s diploma takes as many as 2 years.

Get That Promotion: many healthcare workers use a degree in healthcare administration to advance through the ranks by standing out among their peers.


1. Paralegal Studies

Law firms across the country need paralegals who can handle ever-increasing case files and client rosters. You can complete an online certification program in paralegal studies in as little as 7 months. This option is best for entering the workforce as soon as possible, though Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees net you more in starting salary.

Top 10 Percent: U.S. News states that the top 10-percent of paralegals in the country earn annual salaries of $75,410. Average yearly pay is $46,990, which provides clear value for the time investment it takes to enter the field.

Time spent with your family builds bonds that last the rest of your life. Choosing the online degree that makes the most sense for schedule can jumpstart your career and keep your home environment stable.


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