There are many reasons seniors may seek further education. Some want to advance in their careers, others want to change their career altogether, and others still want to finish degrees they stopped due to family obligations. Regardless of your motivation, you should be able to pursue your dreams and do what you love. So, what are the best online degrees for seniors?
The best online degree for you as a senior depends on whether you are aiming for an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Altogether, the best online degrees for seniors are:
- Business Administration
- Creative Writing
- Pharmacy Technician
- Computer Science
- Marketing and Communications
- Healthcare Administration
These degrees will help you change your career path, enter specialized jobs, and enrich your mind. Read on to learn more details about these degrees and how you can continue your education online as an older adult.
Why You Should Consider an Online Degree
Going back to school is a big step, and you may wonder if it is worth the time and effort. Luckily, online learning can be more flexible and cost-effective than traditional programs, making it perfect for busy adults or anyone who wants to save time and money. This is a personal decision, but there are many reasons that older adults choose to get a degree, and the first step is acknowledging that it is never too late to continue your learning.
Perhaps you want to advance in your career or start a new one altogether. If you are currently working, most online education allows you to take classes on your own schedule and watch pre-recorded lectures when you have time, rather than at a fixed time of day. An online degree can help you learn skills to apply to your current job and make you a strong candidate for a promotion.
Getting an online degree is also a great first step toward a career change. It is never too late to change fields or start a job in an area that interests you. Online schools offer a plethora of major and degree options, and you will almost certainly find one that interests you.
Even if you are not interested in pursuing a career, online education can offer interest and educational enrichment. If you have always dreamed of graduating from college but do not want to enter the workforce, online education offers different degrees at affordable prices that can allow you to fulfill your dreams.
Online Associate’s Degrees
Based on the recommendations of the Plus 50 Initiative, some of the top degrees for older adults who want to return to college include accounting, business administration, pharmacy technician, and computer science. To ensure the value of your degree, you should be sure to pick an accredited institution for your online learning. Doing this will also verify that you can use your associate’s degree credits towards a bachelor’s degree if you wish.
Associate’s degrees typically offer specialized training tailored towards specific careers or fields. This makes them good options for any senior looking to start an entry-level specialized job.
Furthermore, an associate’s degree is a good option for anyone interested in saving money on education, as it typically takes only two years to complete and has lower tuition than the average bachelor’s degree. Moreover, since these degrees take only two years, they are suitable for someone eager to enter the workforce quickly.
Finally, associate’s degrees allow you to learn practical skills that you can immediately use in the workplace. Obtaining your associate’s degree online will allow you to learn quickly and get a job while acquiring less debt than a bachelor’s degree. Fortunately, there are many fantastic online options for associate’s degrees for anyone interested in furthering their education.
Substantial growth is expected in the accounting field over the next few years. Obtaining an online associate’s degree in accounting will enable you to find many entry-level accounting jobs, making accounting a fantastic option for seniors who want to start a new career path. Furthermore, an associate’s degree in accounting will help you earn credits towards a bachelor’s in accounting if that is something you want to pursue.
Not only is accounting a great career path, but it is also very accessible to older adults. Regardless of which college you aim to attend, there will probably be some sort of accounting program. In fact, according to the Plus 50 Initiative, many colleges have online accounting programs specifically tailored toward older adults.
Accounting degrees are also versatile. Most businesses use some sort of accountant, so you could work at a small business, large corporation, bank, or even a government office. Some possible jobs may include a tax preparer or a clerk. With an associate’s degree, you can also work as an accounting assistant for a certified professional accountant.
Typically, an online associate’s degree in accounting takes two years to complete. However, some online programs may offer faster degree paths that allow you to finish your degree in only a year. In your accounting program, you will learn about basic accounting, taxation, financial planning, and businesses.
Overall, an online associate’s degree in accounting will prepare you for several career paths in a growing field.
The plus 50 Initiative emphasizes that degrees in business administration help raise the aging workplace’s value. Additionally, this degree program prepares you for a wide range of jobs and is an excellent way to begin or advance your career.
A degree in business administration will enable you to learn about marketing, accounting, law in business, and human resources. In addition, your courses will likely explore past trends in business, business values, and business ethics. And, you will learn about real-world scenarios while practicing soft skills such as problem solving and communication, which will benefit you regardless of your field.
These are vital skills for entering the business field. Furthermore, the degree program may include classes that teach you how to interact with customers, order necessary supplies, and keep accurate records. These crucial skills will prepare you for the workforce and make you an adaptable candidate for a multitude of jobs. Knowledge in these areas shows employers you are ready for the business environment.
With an online associate’s degree in business administration, you could pursue jobs such as retail manager, human resource assistant, or record keeper. Other careers include marketing assistant, advertising sales agent, or customer service representative.
A pharmacy technician helps dispense prescriptions to customers. If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, you can obtain an associate’s degree. Pharmacy technician associate’s degrees or certificates qualify you to become a pharmacy technician. Over the next few years, the demand for pharmacy technicians is projected to increase by 7%.
During your degree program, you will learn how to help pharmacists fill prescriptions. Furthermore, you will learn the composition of some basic medications and how they are used to treat different ailments and patients. Your coursework will also include the ethics behind dispensing drugs, as well as the legal implications. Finally, you will learn practical skills relating to professionalism to use during the workday.
An online associate’s degree in pharmacy technology will also set you on the path to becoming a pharmacist if you wish. To become a pharmacist, you must complete a bachelor’s degree then go to pharmacy school.
Pharmacy technician is one of Plus 50’s recommended fields for seniors trying to decide on a degree. If you are interested in medicine or pharmacology, this is a great way to pursue those interests without several years of school. There are many online pharmacy technician degrees, and you can enroll with relative ease!
Whether you are looking for a specific career, or just pursuing a passion, getting a degree to become a pharmacy technician can fulfill your needs by providing a stable career path in a fascinating field.
Earning an associate degree in computer science will prepare you for the rapidly-evolving job market. Furthermore, it can help you earn credits toward a bachelor’s degree in computer science, which has large earning potential. The computer science field is one of the most promising and is expected to grow by 15% by 2026.
Computer science coursework involves learning coding and computer programming. You will also learn how to maintain computer systems. Fortunately, computer science coursework also includes many classes that can be used for general education requirements toward a bachelor’s degree if you choose to pursue one.
Computer science coursework is also highly adaptable to an online degree. Lectures can easily be viewed online, and this may even be helpful, as it will allow you to watch the lecture again if you missed something. Discussion boards will allow necessary questions, and you can learn at your own pace to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
With an associate degree in computer science, you can explore a plethora of jobs in the programming and cybersecurity fields. While some employers may require a bachelor’s degree, others will accept associate degrees. Some paths in computer science include computer systems analyst, computer support specialist, and computer programmer. These are growing fields with high salaries.
If you are interested in technology and its growing relevance in today’s world, consider an associate degree in computer science. This job is also excellent for someone reaching for a high salary and a variety of job options.
Online Bachelor’s Degrees
A bachelor’s degree offers broader and more extensive knowledge than an associate’s degree. While associate’s degrees typically prepare you for a more specific job or career, bachelor’s degrees are targeted toward providing vast knowledge in many subjects that relate to your field.
Furthermore, many bachelor’s degree programs have general requirements that all students must fulfill, such as English classes or a foreign language. These classes are intended to give you relevant skills you can apply to your field and everyday life. Likewise, the requirements will help you become a more well-rounded applicant who can excel in a variety of careers.
Most bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete. However, if you already have an associate’s degree, many online schools will accept credits from this degree towards your bachelor’s degree. In this scenario, you can finish a bachelor’s degree in two years rather than four.
Hundreds of great online degree options for seniors and working adults exist, but some of the best options include accounting, healthcare administration, and creative writing.
The demand for accountants and auditors is expected to continue growing through 2028, and most of these positions will require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or something similar. This bachelor’s degree will enable you to become a full professional accountant.
The most in-demand type of accountant is a CPA or certified professional accountant. You can obtain this certification by taking a national exam administered by the state’s board of accountancy. Your online bachelor’s degree in accounting can prepare you for this exam and make you a competitive applicant.
Accountants are responsible for developing financial records and advising the organizations with which they work. They review taxes to ensure they are paid correctly and on time. Moreover, they help businesses run efficiently by reviewing their finances and making recommendations to management. Other roles may include examining financial records for accuracy and suggesting ways for businesses to reduce costs.
With a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you can become a public accountant or government accountant. You can also become a management accountant or internal auditor, but these jobs usually require a CPA license. While working toward your accounting degree, you can also choose a concentration in one of these fields to increase your expertise in a specific area of study.
Reasonably, online accounting coursework will center on classes related to finance and economics. These classes may include microeconomics, managerial accounting, and business law, to name a few. If you are interested in money and how it affects different businesses and organizations, accounting may be right for you.
Many people dream of a career in a health-related field. No matter your age, it is not too late to pursue this dream, and a degree in healthcare administration may steer you in the right direction. This path is excellent for anyone interested in leadership or helping people in their community. As an added benefit of pursuing this career path, the employment of health managers is expected to grow 18% by 2028, which is much faster than most other fields.
This demand reflects the growing need for educated healthcare professionals to enter roles as managers and administrators in the healthcare industry to implement the best practices of healthcare management. Therefore, a degree in healthcare administration can quickly orient you to assume a leadership position in the healthcare field.
Online programs in this degree will follow a set of standardized competencies that apply to all healthcare administration programs nationwide. These competencies are communication, computational skills, critical thinking, and societal context.
The curriculum will also include classes such as healthcare marketing, healthcare finance, and organizational behavior. These requirements will enable you to judge health organizations’ effectiveness and help them adapt to the needs of their patients and society.
Some positions available for those with a degree in healthcare administration include community health manager, health promotion specialist, and health policy analyst. If you want to make a large impact on your community, this degree is ideal, as you can work in a policy-related job to enact change in health policies. Policy-related jobs may entail working at a government healthcare organization or a national health association.
Finally, a degree in healthcare administration can enable you to work in a healthcare setting, if that is what you wish to do. For example, your degree may take you to work at a physician’s office, a pharmaceutical company, or a hospital. Clearly, the options for careers in healthcare administration are broad, and the impact you can have is substantial.
Employment of business operations occupations is expected to grow 7% by 2028, which will add over 500,000 new jobs. Business degrees prepare you for many career paths, and a bachelor’s degree in business is a great next step if you already have an associate degree in business administration. While an associate degree in business prepares you for many entry-level jobs, a bachelor’s in business can further prepare you for higher positions.
An online bachelor’s degree in business is a good option for anyone interested in becoming a financial analyst, sales manager, or operating a small business. If you are a small business owner trying to improve or expand, this degree may help you develop crucial knowledge about how to begin this expansion, such as advanced economic and interpersonal skills.
Many online bachelor’s degree programs will offer course credit for life experience, making this sort of program excellent for seniors with prior business knowledge or experience. Even if you have never worked in a business field, you can fill general education requirements from certifications, knowledge, or training from previous jobs.
Another reason an online business degree may be a good option for you is its specialization. Some programs offer concentrations, such as accounting or nonprofit management, that enable you to tailor your goals to your career path. For example, if you are a small business owner returning to school, you can concentrate on entrepreneurship to gain extensive knowledge about starting and growing a business.
As one of the most common degrees for older adults, the bachelor’s degree in business has become highly adapted to online learning. With flexible options that lead to many careers, this degree can help you further your career or pursue a new one.
Creative writing is a wonderful option for adults thinking about returning to school. It is an adaptable and fun degree that will offer flexible career choices. Especially for older adults with life experience, creative writing can be an outlet for stress or a chance to write about your experiences.
If you are passionate about literature and writing, a degree in creative writing will allow you to learn new skills while exploring something you love. During this degree, your coursework may include a thorough examination of great literature, which will allow you to learn more about writing styles and find inspiration from other writers. Observing other authors will help you explore your own creative voice.
Coursework in creative writing degrees will, of course, be writing-intensive, and you will write in many different genres to learn what you like. Elective courses may allow you to explore other mediums of writing, such as social media and internet blogging. Finally, your program will also aim to teach you how to connect with publishing agencies and learn how to become a published author, as well as how to write for specific audiences to appeal to a publisher.
With a degree in creative writing, you can explore many careers.
As most programs offer targeted classes such as screenwriting, playwriting, and poetry, you will be prepared for several specific jobs. This versatile degree is excellent if you want any form of a writing career.
The career outlook for creative writing degree holders includes screenwriting, public relations, and editing. You could also publish a book or magazine and create pieces of your own. As technology expands, so have jobs for degree holders in creative writing. Online jobs for creative writers include blogging, digital media, and online publishing.
Whether you are pursuing a lifelong dream of becoming a writer or just delving deeper into your interests, creative writing is a fascinating and artistic degree path with evolving career prospects. It is writing-intensive, making it adaptable to an online format, and can be utilized by seniors in many fields.
Online Master’s Degrees
If you already have a bachelor’s degree but dream of obtaining a master’s, several online schools offer master’s programs. However, it can be difficult to decide what the most effective degree is as an older adult.
While there are many master’s options for seniors looking to return to school, two of the most promising are master of business administration and master of marketing and communications. These degrees can help you quickly find a job in your desired field.
Master of Business Administration
A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) is a wonderful way to advance in your business and to work your way up to better leadership roles. Moreover, most Master of Business Administration programs offer cross-disciplinary training.
Most online MBA programs focus on areas such as leadership, marketing, and finance strategies. These skills are meant to prepare you for leadership and management positions in business. Not to mention your courses will be targeted towards upper-level employment. For example, you may take accounting for decision-makers rather than traditional accounting.
Your MBA coursework will include management strategies such as operations, finances, human capital, and organizational management. Other classes relate to global economic leadership and ethics. Some MBA coursework also includes a capstone, which will allow you to further develop your skills in an interactive way. It also enables you to interact with material from all of your courses before graduating and entering the workforce.
Many online MBA degree holders are business owners, executive directors, or strategic officers. Getting a Major in Business Administration online will enable you to advance your career in your business or industry while retaining a flexible and convenient schedule.
Master’s in Marketing & Communications
Compared to an MBA, a Master’s in Marketing and Communications is a more specialized degree that provides deep subject knowledge rather than focusing on softer skills. Employment growth in the marketing industry is expected to increase by 13% in the next four years, making a master’s in marketing and communication a great way to stand out and secure an upper-level job in this growing field.
Through your degree program, you will study marketing trends and communication tactics, both recent and digital. This may include studying mobile and email trends. You will also learn how to effectively run marketing campaigns and predict future marketing trends.
Some job options for those with master’s in marketing and communications include marketing director, brand manager, or digital marketing specialist. Other leadership positions with this degree could include communications director or web analyst, as your program will teach you how marketing techniques have adapted in response to today’s digital age.
Overall, this type of degree is a good option if you are interested in a specialized degree that will help you advance in a particular field. It is also a very flexible online option, as it is heavily research and technology-centered.
In conclusion, everyone deserves the chance to pursue higher education, regardless of age. For some seniors, online degrees in business administration and accounting can help them advance their careers, obtain promotions, or grow a business. For others, degrees such as healthcare administration and creative writing enable them to create a substantial impact on their communities and the world, or just develop passions while exploring new ones.
Whatever degree path you choose, online learning is a great option for seniors and older adults who want to further their education. It is flexible, cost-effective, and has many options for degrees that can empower you to learn a new skill, enhance old ones, and change the world.
- Adult College Completion Network: Plus 50 Completion
- New York Times: Choosing the Best Online Degree Program for You
- All Business Schools: Associate’s Degree in Accounting
- Community College Review: Adult-Friendly Degree Programs at Community College
- Southern New Hampshire University: Associate Degree in Business Online
- Southern New Hampshire University: Online Business Degree
- Franklin University: Best Degrees for Adults Looking to Make Their Next Career Move
- Western Governors University: Online Master of Business Administration
- University of Denver: Master’s Concentration in Marketing Concentration
- Best Colleges: The Best Online Pharmacy Technician Training Programs of 2020
- Antioch University Online: BA in Liberal Studies, Literature, and Creative Writing
- All Business Schools: Accounting Job Description
- Purdue University Global: Online Bachelor of Science in Accounting
- Southern New Hampshire University: Healthcare Administration Degree