How to Choose Your Online Degree

woman sitting on bed studying

If you're like other professionals choosing to go back to school online, you may already know what career benefits you'd like to see from your degree. Still, you may have many questions on which degree will yield those benefits.

Your path may become clearer the more you research what you want out of online education. As a working adult, you have the benefit of an established career. Use your satisfaction with your current career to guide your decision on which degree will get you where you ultimately want to be.

Enhance Your Career Path

If you’re already working in the field that you love, you’re in luck. You have your foot in the door and likely have a network willing to support you in honing your career through education. Use your passion for your current field to identify a program that will create upward mobility. According to research from The Brookings Institution (2016), “Education can play a pivotal role in improving social mobility.”

Change Your Career Path

Perhaps you feel it’s time for a change. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016), Americans make between five and seven career changes over the course of their working lives. Pursuing a degree outside of your current field may provide you the opportunity you need to transition into a new career. US News (2017) notes, “Online learning allows working adults, wherever they live, to switch careers.” Going back to school for an online degree in the field you want to be allows you to take a first step towards that transition without sacrificing your current trajectory.

Reinvent Yourself

Another benefit of going back to school online is the opportunity to pursue your passion through a related degree. Choosing an online degree that aligns with your passion is a great way to explore your interest and seek opportunities that complement your current field. As The Princeton Review (2017) explains, “If you love what you're studying, you're more likely to fully engage with your classes and college experience, and that can mean better grades and great relationships with others in your field.” Finding a degree that is relevant to your existing field—but not the same—may offer you additional opportunities while enhancing what you currently offer the workplace.

When it comes to choosing your online degree, take an assessment of your goals, passion, and where you want to be long-term. Do your research and find the degree that speaks to you.



Written by Kelsey Bober, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education



Hsu, T. (2011, August 5). College graduates earn 84% more than high school grads, study says. The LA Times. Retrieved from

Brookings Institution, The Hamilton Project. (2016). Thirteen economic facts about social mobility and the role of education. Washington, DC. Retrieved from

The Princeton Review. (2017). Guide to choosing college majors. Retrieved from

Friedman, J. (2017, January 10). 10 facts about juggling career goals, online education. US News. Retrieved from

US Department of Labor, NLS FAQs (2016). Washington, DC: Retrieved from

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