What are the Most Popular Online Degrees for Adult StudentsAdult students interested in going back to school will find it helpful to look at some of the more popular online degrees to get an idea of what others in their same age range studied. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 5.7 million students now take online classes each year. It also found that more than 2.8 million students take all their classes online. Adult learners can enroll in programs designed to help them better their job prospects or programs that allow them to change careers at a later age.


Business is one of the more popular options for adult learners because these programs are available at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Students can pick programs that let them customize their experiences. Some might prefer a business administration program that features courses on employment laws, human resources, accounting practices and financial laws. Others will want to enroll in programs that offer concentrations in fields of study like accounting, economics or marketing. Graduates will develop the skills necessary to run a new business or to work for an existing business in a leadership or management position.

Criminal Justice

Those with a degree in criminal justice can work as a probation or parole officer, a private investigator and other lower level positions. Some online schools now offer programs that help students meet the requirements needed to attend the police academy or get a job as a police officer in cities across the country. Graduate criminal justice programs delve deeper into some of the subjects associated with this field and can help students learn what they need to do to apply for jobs working for government departments like the Department of Homeland Security and what they will do on the job too.


Popular online degrees for adult students include different nursing programs. These programs include those designed to help students become licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. They can complete their courses online and do their clinical rotations in local hospitals and other medical facilities. Nursing students will also need to take a national examination to get their licenses and pass a criminal background check. Online schools now offer programs for nurses who already have an associate’s degree. There are RN to BSN programs for those who want to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and RN to MSN programs that let students complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees.


Becoming a teacher usually requires some fieldwork. Traditional college programs allow students to do student teaching experiences. They typically do an observation first to see what teachers do in the field before actually taking over a classroom and working with students. Online programs help students find opportunities to do these experiences in local schools at the same time that they take classes online. Graduate programs are open to adult learners who have degrees in fields outside of education and help them get their teaching licenses and learn how to teach specific subjects to students of a certain age range.

Adult learners are an example of the nontraditional students who make up a large percentage of the students enrolled in online programs today. Those students will find it helpful to look at some of the popular online degrees to see which programs appeal to learners in their age range.

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