Online degrees have been growing in popularity over the years. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that 15 percent of all college students in the United States studied online in 2018. Most universities offer accelerated online degree programs for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
From an accelerated accounting program to an accelerated bachelor’s in science of nursing, you can pursue a whole range of online degrees.
Obtaining an online degree can also help you from a professional standpoint. In today’s highly competitive job environment, a higher education degree can make you stand out amid a candidate pool of thousands of other applicants.
For adult learners especially, accelerated online programs are a great option for pursuing your degree alongside work and family responsibilities. As a flexible alternative to traditional in-person classes, accelerated online programs allow students to complete their degree on their own time and enter their desired career sooner.
Completing your degree online is also a great way to save money. Accelerated online programs offer reduced tuition rates, as well as scholarships and grants.
Finding the right online degree program for you is key. Hundreds of schools offer accelerated degree options; however, not all programs are created equal. Certain online schools are better known for different fields of study. Establishing your degree completion goals early on can help you determine which accelerated program is best for you.
How an online degree can be accelerated
From criminal justice to business administration, a variety of online programs can be accelerated. Opting to accelerate your degree program is a great way to save time and money while jumpstarting your professional career.
What are the benefits of choosing an accelerated degree program?
One of the main benefits of choosing an accelerated degree program is the time frame. An accelerated degree allows you to complete and earn a degree within your field of study at a faster rate than a traditional program. Earning your degree faster can help you enter the workforce sooner.
Oftentimes, accelerated programs last half the duration of traditional online programs. Typical college classes usually last about fifteen weeks whereas accelerated courses are generally compressed into five-, eight-, or ten-week sessions. The extent to which your degree is accelerated depends on the program. In some cases, online schools will allow you to choose the time frame in which you want to complete your degree.
Additionally, online universities offer a wide range of accelerated degree options across all fields, allowing you to pursue academic studies you are passionate about. For example, you can accelerate a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, business administration program, or associate’s degree to name a few.
Finally, an accelerated program can save you money on tuition. According to Investopedia, students who opt for an accelerated program can save more than $9,500 on tuition.
You will not only save money, but you can also potentially increase your starting salary. Your new bachelor’s or master’s degree is a key leveraging tool you can use when applying for jobs.
How do accelerated online degrees work?
Accelerated online degrees work under an expediated structure. As a result, students are required to study and learn the materials at a fast pace. If you choose to pursue an accelerated degree, it is important to maintain effective online learning habits by staying organized and studying consistently.
Although the duration of an accelerated degree program is shorter than that of a standard program, the credits are the same. The course materials are typically comprised of prerecorded videos, supplemental readings, assignments, and sometimes live lectures.
In most cases, online programs use a virtual learning management system, which tracks the student’s progress, coursework, schedule, and grades. These systems allow students to complete assignments at any time from anywhere. Learning management systems are also a way for professors and students to maintain a level of communication, as professors often post comments and feedback within these portals.
Also, most online degrees are structured around an asynchronous setup. In other words, real-time student-teacher interaction is not required. This provides students with the flexibility to work their accelerated degree around their own schedules. Thus, if you have a full-time or part-time job, opting to pursue an online program can provide you with the ability to juggle both your current job and schooling for your degree.
Finally, completing your degree online does not mean you will have limited resources available to you throughout your degree completion process. Many accelerated online programs offer financial aid services along with career planning and job search help.
Online students can also contact their professors at any point during their online classes. Although professors and students do not meet face-to-face, students are usually encouraged to email their professors whenever they have questions about coursework.
What programs work best with accelerated online degrees?
In general, accelerated bachelor’s degrees and accelerated master’s degrees work well with online programs. This is because there is a wide range of accelerated program options under both degree categories.
Accelerated degrees in health care, technology, criminal justice, and business are often the most common programs for students. Currently, these occupations also have some of the highest-growing rates, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This increase in employment need along with the flexibility of online schooling has made these degrees a favorable option for students to pursue.
Popular master’s programs that work best with an accelerated online degree framework include a master’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in graphic design, and a master’s degree in accounting.
Validity of accelerated online degrees
Before you decide if pursuing an accelerated degree is the right option for you, it is important to research which industries accept online degrees. Be sure to check that your field typically accepts accelerated online programs before you sign up.
Likewise, it is also a good idea to review different programs’ accreditation processes. While there are many valid options for online degrees, there are websites that advertise scams. Determining whether a particular online school or program is accredited can help you avoid registering for an online degree program that is not officially recognized.
How does accreditation evaluate online degrees?
Accreditation is essentially a school’s stamp of approval. When a school or university is accredited, it is officially recognized by an accrediting agency. Therefore, if a school is accredited, their programs meet certain standards and requirements that validate its curriculum.
Online degrees are evaluated by either accrediting agencies under the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
The accreditation process for online programs is slightly different than that of traditional in-person programs. To be accredited, online programs often must provide explanations of how students and faculty interact. Like the college accreditation process for in-person programs, online programs also must submit evidence proving that their programs meet established standards.
Once a university has been approved for accreditation, accreditors continue to review online programs after initial accreditation. This allows accreditors to ensure that the schools are continuing to meet educational requirements.
Researching your online program’s accreditation process can be tedious. However, understanding this information is key when determining which online school you should enroll in to pursue your degree.
There are two types of accreditation you should be on the lookout for when reviewing any online program: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation means the entire university or school is recognized. Programmatic accreditation means the school’s specific programs are recognized.
It is important to first check if the online university is accredited. If the school is accredited, then check if the online bachelor’s degree or online master’s degree is accredited as well.
Some online programs do not have programmatic accreditation for each of their degrees. While some industries still recognize the degree if the school itself is accredited, other industries have stricter standards.
Which industries typically accept online degrees?
With the current rise in online degree programs, more industries are starting to hire applicants who received their bachelor’s or master’s degree online. In fact, recruiters often recognize a candidate’s time management skills after learning they received their degree online.
Industries that have traditionally been more accepting of online degrees include business, information technology, health care, and ESL teaching. However, the list does not end there. Many in-person colleges and universities offer online degree options for most of their programs.
It is also important to highlight that employers are not solely considering your degree type and the prestige underlying the program. For example, employers are not scanning your résumé to see if you completed the best nursing program. Rather, they are considering your job-related experiences and personal skill set alongside your schooling.
As a result, where and how you receive your degree is not the only considered factor during the job application process.
If you do choose to pursue an online degree, however, remember, accreditation goes a long way. Most employers will check to see if your online degree program is accredited. As a result, it is important to find an accredited school that has the program you want to study.
Where are online degrees typically not accepted?
As noted above, online degrees have grown more prevalent, and therefore most industries typically recognize an online degree. However, there are some industries that tend to prefer traditional programs over accelerated online degrees. This is mainly because the coursework itself depends on in-person, physical resources.
Degrees falling under the categories of art, engineering, and the hard sciences usually require students completing lab or studio work. Hands-on experience is emphasized within these industries, and recruiters look for students who have a demonstrated history of in-person experience. Thus, employers tend to look for traditional programs when hiring applicants within these fields.
It is important to note, however, that although employers usually prefer traditional degrees for these industries, students who pursue an online degree in art, engineering, and the hard sciences can still receive a beneficial education.
What to expect when working on an accelerated online degree
Whether you choose to pursue an accelerated bachelor’s degree, accelerated master’s degree, or an accelerated associate’s degree, you can expect the pacing of the course to be faster than a traditional program. However, if you establish a schedule at the start of your accelerated degree program, you can better manage your time and workload.
Additionally, in most online learning environments, students do not meet their professors at a set time each day of the week. Online degree programs emphasize students who can self-discipline and work on their own time. Although the structure of an online course is slightly different than that of a traditional classroom, the level of education is equal in quality.
What are online classes like for online degrees?
The structure of online classes is similar to in-person classes. Students will usually be given a syllabus at the start of the course, and this document will outline course expectations, learning goals, and upcoming homework assignments.
In most online degree programs, classes do not meet on a set schedule. Instead, students are provided with readings to complete and videos to watch on their own time.
Classes for online degrees also usually have discussion forums that encourage students to converse with one another. These online platforms are a great resource for students to ask each other assignment and study questions.
Professors may incorporate group projects as well to foster a sense of classroom community. In general, these types of assignments are usually completed over videoconferencing software. Some online degrees require students to attend live lectures over videoconference, so be sure to familiarize yourself with your specific program’s expectations.
Furthermore, certain fields of study require in-person components to the online course. For example, if you are considering obtaining a bachelor of science in nursing, or BSN degree, you may have to work in a hospital or doctor’s office at some point during your program.
Similarly, business students pursuing an MBA may be required to complete an in-person internship or attend on-campus networking events. The goal of these supplemental activities is to prepare and expose students to their future working environments.
Finally, testing styles and protocols greatly vary depending on the accelerated online program. For example, programs that are heavily based on math and science usually have tests throughout the degree completion process.
Different universities use different testing regulations. While some online programs administer tests virtually, other programs require students to complete tests at an in-person testing center with an administered proctor.
For liberal arts programs, such as an online bachelor’s degree in English, history, communications, or sociology, tests may not even be a part of the online course curriculum. Rather, students may be expected to write research and analytical papers throughout the program.
Regardless of whether your online degree involves testing, your professor will communicate these expectations in the course syllabus.
What is the pacing like for accelerated online degrees?
Pacing for an accelerated degree is faster than that of a traditional program. Most accelerated bachelor’s degrees require two years to complete, and most accelerated master’s degrees require one year to complete.
Because the length of an accelerated program is shortened, students and professors have more information to cover in less time. Some students may find this compressed, fast-paced structure overwhelming in comparison to their previous educational experiences.
The workload for accelerated online degrees often varies with the program. Different subjects require different types of assignments with their own time commitment.
However, according to an article from U.S. News, students pursuing an online degree program taking three classes per week—the average number of classes—can expect to spend fifteen to twenty hours per week on coursework. This is often a surprise to students, so it is especially important to stay on top of the workload at the onset of the course.
In general, pursuing an online master’s degree tends to be more time consuming than pursuing a college degree. This is simply because classes for accelerated master’s degrees are more intensive and challenging. As a result, the higher the degree, the more work involved.
How can you prepare for accelerated online classes?
Start by outlining your schedule. If you are an adult learner planning on juggling a full-time or part-time job with your degree, it is especially important that you establish when you will dedicate time to complete your online courses.
Creating a schedule will help you stay organized and on top of assignments. Because most online degree programs are asynchronous, students are responsible for completing the coursework on their own. While this comes with flexibility, it also comes with an added level of obligation.
It is also a good idea to review some of the material before your course start date. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by the fast pace of the accelerated program. Studying early can also help you better retain information, making new topics easier to learn.
Finally, stay organized throughout the online program. Falling behind on one assignment can snowball throughout the course. With the fast-pace learning structure, it can be difficult to catch up on an accelerated online program.
Best accelerated online degrees
Determining the best accelerated program for you depends on which higher education degree you want to pursue.
Every online school has programs it is known for. While one school may be recognized for its accounting degree, another school may be better known for its nursing program. As a result, it is important to identify the field you want to study and research respected programs within that industry before you begin your application process.
Finding a school known for your program will help you establish connections within your field as you pursue your online bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.
Where can you find well-known and accredited online degree programs?
With hundreds of online programs advertising accelerated degree programs, finding a well-known and accredited school can be overwhelming and exhausting.
At Best Value Schools, we have web pages outlining accredited online degree programs throughout the United States. Our lists of schools are categorized by state, so you can better navigate each program.
Furthermore, if you have a specific university in mind and want to verify that it is accredited, you can also search the name of the school in the US Department of Education’s toolbar.
How do you know if an online degree program is right for you?
Before you begin your search for online degrees, ask yourself if online classes are the best option for your learning style. Online learning is not a one-size-fits-all option.
Some students perform better in traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms. Students who are active learners and highly self-disciplined often perform well within an online learning structure. On the other hand, students who like frequently interacting with professors and participating in class discussions may perform better in an in-person learning environment.
Also, it is important to take your current lifestyle into consideration. If you are working a part-time or full-time job and are unable to commute to and from campus, then online schooling may be the best option that fits your schedule.
However, if you have the time to live on or commute to campus, then attending a physical university may be an option worth considering. Some students prefer spending time on a campus, as they feel there is a learning culture that surrounds the school.
After you have decided whether an online degree program is the right option for you, you can start the process of choosing the program that best fits your goals. There are a variety of factors to consider when determining which degree program is right for you.
Tuition cost, time commitment, specific programs, graduation rates, potential career paths, and alumni networking are all aspects to consider when researching online undergraduate and graduate degrees.
First, establish what types of jobs you would like to apply for once you complete your degree. After you have identified your professional path, you can determine the specific degrees and programs required to enter that field.
For example, if you are a prospective student hoping to become a psychologist or therapist, you will first need to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology. From there, you will need to receive your master’s degree and then PhD.
After you have outlined your career path and specific program, identify which online programs are within your price range. On our site, we have lists with some of the cheapest online degree options for prospective students. This is a great place to start your search for degree completion programs once you have decided on an area of study.
Which are considered the best accelerated online degrees?
Everyone is different. What might be the best program for one student may not be the best option for another student. However, in terms of overall programs, some schools are recognized for different fields of study.
For additional online programs that are the best in their field, check out our site for more information!
Now more than ever students are seeking alternative pathways to earning degrees and allow them to meet other personal obligations simultaneously, such as work or family. With more accredited schools offering high-quality and affordable online degrees this education model has become more widely available and accepted by employers. The online learning model has evolved to be engaging and flexible. Some programs offer an extremely flexible learning schedule while others are synchronous with the school’s term schedule. With a more flexible schedule, students are able to continue working full or part-time as well as fulfill other personal obligations that they may have. Many schools offer accelerated online degrees allowing students to graduate sooner. Some programs allow students to earn as many credit hours per term that they choose to, accelerating the degree that much more. A fast online degree means students generally assume less debt and are able to enter the workforce sooner with the opportunity of earning a higher income.
Students can earn any level of degree online; associates, bachelor’s, master’s, PhD and Doctoral Degrees. Be sure that the school and degree being earned are fully accredited. When a student earns an associate degree online from an accredited institution and program they are able to transfer those credits to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program elsewhere should they choose to. The same applies to degrees at other levels, be sure to research the accreditation of the school and program prior to enrolling. Employers will also honor a degree from an online school and program when it is accredited.
|1||Hodges University||Fort Myers, Florida|
|2||Georgia Military College||Millidegville, Georgia|
|3||Allen Community College||Iola, Kansas|
|4||Faulkner University||Montgomery, Alabama|
|5||Keiser University||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
Accelerated online degrees are divided into degree levels
Here are the Top 10 Accelerated Online Associates Degrees
A private institution, Hodges University where working adults are the focus of their educational models and programs. Faculty and support services are available to guide and support students through their entire experience to ensure success not only in completing the degree program of their choice but also in their future career. Hodges University offers 12 online degree programs, with one award winning accelerated associate degree in Paralegal Studies. This degree can be completed in as little as 18 to 24 months depending on how many credit hours students complete each semester.
Georgia Military College
For students seeking a career in criminal justice, Georgia Military College provides a few different paths to a degree that opens those doors. Students can choose between an associate of science in criminal justice, an associate of art in criminal justice, or an associate of applied science in criminal justice. All three are fully accredited and can be accelerated to be completed within 18 to 22 months. These degree programs are ideal for students planning to advance their degree to the bachelor’s level.
Allen Community College
A public community college, Allen Community College offers a few different accelerated paths to earning an associate degree online. These degrees are ideal for anyone seeking to further their education to a bachelor degree level and desire to complete their associate degree quickly. Currently Allen Community College offers nearly forty majors and some fast associate degree programs that students can complete is as little as 18 to 24 months. Some of the fastest programs include an associate in arts in psychology, and associate in arts in sociology, and an associate of applied science in business management. Courses are presented in 8-week terms or 16-week semesters.
Faulkner University is accredited and offers two accelerated associate degrees online. Students can earn an associate of art/science in liberal arts. This degree focuses on writing, reading, critical thinking, and research. Graduates with this degree are often able to transfer smoothly to a college offering bachelor’s degrees. Faulkner University also offers an associate in science in computer information and science. This program focuses on the practical skills and knowledge of computer software engineering, database systems, programming languages, and computer networks.
An accredited institution in Florida, Keiser University offers accelerated associate degrees that students can complete in less than 24 months. Each of the degrees is accredited and prepares graduates for entry level positions or to transfer to a four year college to earn their bachelor’s degree. Accelerate associate degree programs are offered in the following majors; associate of arts in accounting, criminal justice, homeland security, health services administration, information technology, medical assisting and more! Students complete their associate degree online in under 24 months.
Those seeking a variety of accelerated online associate degrees will find what they are looking for at Grantham University. With 11 different associate degrees that are all entirely online and can be completed at an accelerated rate, students can begin an exciting career in less than two years from starting their degree. Some of the online associate degrees offered include an associate in science in electronics and computer engineering technology, engineering management technology, medical billing and coding. Associate in arts degrees are also available in majors such as paralegal studies, multidisciplinary studies, general studies, and criminal justice.
Bismark State College
Bismark State College offers a variety of online associate degrees in applied science that students can complete entirely online. Bismark State College is accredited and provides high-quality online associate degree programs in a variety of fields. Students desiring an accelerated pathway to complete their degrees have the opportunity of completing an associate degree in as little as 12 to 14 months time. Some of the degrees that students can enroll in and complete quickly include an associate of applied science in administrative assistant, cyber security and computer networks, and an associate in arts in business administration.
San Antonio College
As one of the member colleges of the Alamo College District in Texas, San Antonio College has been recognized as one ot the top 100 community colleges in the nation. Students can enroll in one of the fast-track associate degree programs they offer online including the associate of arts or applied science in criminal justice, corrections, and law enforcement. Students can earn their degree in 24 months or less from this accredited institution. Students also have access to online support, tech support, academic advisors and more when they enroll in an online course to ensure their success.
Vista College Online offers high-quality online programs in vocational fields of study that students can use to either transfer to a four year degree program or springboard into a career with the foundational knowledge and skills for that field. Courses are entirely online and associate degree programs can be completed in as little as 18 to 24 months, depending on the program. Some of the accelerated online degrees include an associate in science in medical insurance billing and coding, business administration and leadership, logistics and operations management, and criminal justice.
The Top 10 Accelerated Online Bachelors Degrees
Northeastern University operates a large distance learning program utilizing the internet as the platform for course delivery to students across the nation. With satellite campuses in Seattle, Toronto, Silicon Valley and Charlotte, Northeastern University draws students to enroll in their engaging programs each year. Focusing on experiential learning and professional experience, students are able to draw upon both to make connections and increase their knowledge and skills while attending online courses. Ten accelerated bachelor’s degrees are offered online including liberal studies, information technology, human services, political science, and finance and accounting management.
Indiana Wesleyan University
Affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, Indiana Wesleyan University is the largest private institution in the state of Indiana and serves over 13,000 students annually. Providing some of the fastest online degree programs in the state, Indiana Wesleyan University makes earning a degree more affordable and accessible than ever. Each program curriculum combines professional studies with liberal arts and the Christian values of the Wesleyan Church. Some of the degrees include social media marketing, hospitality management, human resource, and business information systems. Students receive online support and academic advisors upon enrolling.
For those seeking a bachelor’s degree, Liberty University has one that is right for everyone. Liberty is a private Christian University that has been educating students through distance learning for over 30 years. With 130 online bachelor’s degrees to choose from students have access to the degree that will help them reach their goals. Courses are flexible, allowing students to login in when it works for them, allowing students to meet their personal, family or other obligations while earning their degree. Courses are offered in an 8-week course format allowing students to earn credits faster and accelerate their degree.
University of Memphis
University of Memphis provides that largest online degree curriculum in the state offering students over 30 online bachelor’s degrees. Delivered in an asynchronous format that allows students to login and attend classes when it fits their schedules, grants the flexibility that many adult learners need. University of Memphis also provides numerous support programs to ensure the success of each student, such as the Finish Line Program and the Prior Learning Assessment Program. Each of those programs helps accelerate an eligible students degree significantly. Examples of online Bachelor’s degrees include healthcare leadership, liberal studies, philosophy, English, African American studies, and more!
Champlain College Online
Champlain College Online offers a distinct catalog of associate degrees, undergraduate certificates, baccalaureates, master’s degree programs, and graduate certificates dedicated to the needs of adult learners. Through career-focused academic programs, accelerated classes, and intentionally small online classrooms led by devoted scholar-practitioner faculty, students can expect more from Champlain’s innovative programs. Choose from 60+ programs across business, information technology, healthcare administration, and cybersecurity, that are designed with the busy adult learner in mind.
Colorado State University Global
Colorado State University Global provides a dynamic online educational experience for enrolled students. CSU Global was the first fully online and fully accredited college offering full degree programs. With customized personal learning paths that ensure student success throughout their educational experience, not just access to courses and materials. Today, CSU Global caters to over 19,000 working adults that are pursuing their educational goals while balancing work, personal and family obligations. Another unique benefit CSU Global offers is their tuition lock guarantee, where as long as a student remains continuously enrolled they rate for tuition will never increase. Fast online degrees include finance, accounting, human services, marketing and more!
Western Governors University
A unique and nearly entirely online institution, Western Governors University provides degree programs to working adults across the country. With no physical campus, WGU operates entirely online with the exception of its headquarters. Using a competency-based education model students are able to accelerate their degree based on what they already know. Students can test out of courses as well as complete a course as soon as they demonstrate competency in that course, no waiting until the end of the term to move on. Faculty members are available to provide one-on-one help and instruction when needed, otherwise students complete coursework independently on their time frame. WGU offers degrees in the following four major subject areas; education, information technology, healthcare, and business.
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University offers comprehensive, innovative, and affordable online bachelor’s degrees to students across the country. With a set tuition regardless of residency, students throughout the nation can enroll in an accredited university and earn their bachelor’s degree. EKU offers flexibility when students log in to their courses and they are established in a convenient eight-week format. Students can choose to enroll part-time or full-time, depending on what fits their current schedule. Bachelor’s degrees include a variety in business, healthcare, homeland security, sports management, paramedic/emergency medical services and more.
California Baptist University
A private institution, California Baptist University offers over 20 online bachelor’s degrees that meet the needs of working professionals. Flexible, affordable, and the most up to date programs taught by experts in the field, CBU assists students every step of the way to ensure their success as online students. Students have academic and career advisors that will walk them through course selection, resume writing, interview skills and more. Students also have access to CBU’s Academic Success Center among other online support tools. A sample of bachelor’s degrees offered include early childhood studies, accounting, cybers security, human services, graphic design, marketing, and more.
The top 10 Accelerated Online Masters Degrees
California Baptist University
A private institution, California Baptist University offers 15 online Master’s degree programs in various fields of study. The Accounting program is accelerated and can be completed with only 30 credit hours and is entirely online. Students receive additional knowledge in their fields of study and opportunities for certification exams to further their credentials. CBU offers many degrees in education as well as MBA programs and communication, among others. For those seeking to earn an advanced degree in under two years CBU provides accelerated programs at an affordable cost with expert faculty administering the instruction.
University North Texas
University North Texas has an expansive online educational program that delivers high-quality education in an innovative format that is engaging for the students. UNT provides numerous accelerated online degrees at the Master’s level including Educational Leadership, Supply Chain Management, Digital Communication Analytics, and more. Some programs can be completed in as little as one year, others taking 18 months depending on how many courses students can complete each semester and their previous prerequisites. The programs are entirely delivered in an online model that allows working professionals to further their education while continuing working in their profession.
Ball State University
Ball State University makes earning a degree, achieving career advancement and personal fulfillment easier than ever before with multiple learning models available. Students can choose from 23 online degrees, some offer hybrid and on-campus learning models as well. Students can complete some programs in as little as one year if they are able to commit to attending classes each term, including summer. Other programs can be completed in 18 to 24 months. A sample of online Master’s Programs include Applied Behavior Analysis, Business Education, Data Science, Interior Design, Music Education and more.
With over 130 years of experience in education, Trine University has expanded their non-profit institution to include a high-quality arm for distance education in an online format. Master’s degrees are set up to be flexible and available for working professionals to assist them in advancing their career and future opportunities. The 100% online MS in Engineering Management is one of their fastest online degrees that allows students to complete the program in as little as one year with only 30 credits required for graduation. Other online programs include a MS in Criminal Justice, a MS in Business Analytics, and more
Southern New Hampshire University
For those seeking a fast MBA program from an accredited institution, Southern New Hampshire University provides 18 specialized MBA programs that can be completed in as little as 15 months. Those are not the only accelerated master degrees SNHU offers though, they also offer degrees in Information Technology, Education, and Finance. When students enroll in two courses per ten-week term they are able to accelerate the completion of their degree. Students that take advantage of this platform can learn at their own pace and schedule while continuing meeting other professional and personal obligations.
Boston University has been offering online education since 2002 and has been changing lives and opportunities of its students around the globe ever since. With fully accredited programs and expert faculty developing innovative delivery methods, students receive an outstanding education and future career opportunities as a result. With 18 fully online Master’s Degree Programs in various fields of study, there is a program for most professionals seeking to advance their education. A sample of the accelerated programs include a MS in Taxation Law, a MS in Social Work, a MS in Health Communication, a MS in Higher Education Administration, and more.
As a global leader in experiential learning, Northeastern University provides numerous online degrees that can be completed faster than at a traditional institution due to the experiential methodology held by the institution. Northeastern University has satellite campuses across the country as well as a main campus in Boston to meet the needs of students choosing a hybrid method of learning as well. Boasting over 60 graduate programs available online, Northeastern University has something for everyone. Some programs can be completed in as little as 12 to 18 months, such as Urban Informatics, Taxation, SPorts Leadership, Public Administration, Legal Studies, and many more.
Benedictine University has been educating students since 1887 and has campuses in Illinois, Arizona, Vietnam, and China. The majority of online Master’s Degree seeking students are also working professionals and are completing an advanced degree while they continue to work in their current profession. Every online student has access to the same personal support as traditional students do, from course materials to faculty and advising. With highly qualified instructional designers using innovative tools and techniques, as well as the most current content that industry leaders require from recent graduates. Online students are set up for success upon enrolling.
University of Miami
Those seeking to take control of their career opportunities will find that earning an online Master’s degree from the University of Miami will help increase their professional opportunities as well as help achieve personal goals. With fast online degrees in areas such as Education, Business, and Finance students learn from experts in their fields while expanding their foundational knowledge and skill set in their given field of study. Some of the programs can be completed in as little at 18 months. Students will learn from industry leaders and finish faster than at many other institutions.
The Top Accelerated Online PhD Degrees
Concordia University offers doctoral programs that are entirely online and can be completed in as little as 3 years. If students are able to enroll in more courses per semester they can complete their degree that much faster. Each degree requires a 6 credit dissertation the final semester. View what the admission requirements are here. Currently Concordia offers three accredited online doctoral programs including a Doctorate in Business Administration, a PhD, EdD Leadership in Higher Education Leadership, and a PhD EdD Leadership in Organizational Leadership Specialization.
University of Cumberlands
University of Cumberlands offers a dynamic and fast track program for those seeking a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Students can complete this rigorous degree in under three years and have many options to specialize their degree in the field that will benefit them the most. University of Cumberlands offers the following areas of specialty content; business, criminal justice, education, history,english, math, nursing and more. The online EdD program is for educators to enable them to make cutting edge contributions in a variety of academic leadership roles and settings.
Winona State University
Winona State University provides two entirely online doctoral programs and eight hybrid programs with part online and on campus. The online doctoral programs include Education and a Master of Accounting. Prospective students are encouraged to book an appointment with an Adult Entry Advisor to walk through goals and needs prior to being connected with a specific program advisor. Know what the admission requirements and prerequisites are before applying, see those on each program’s specific site.
A private institution, Otterbein University provides online doctoral programs for those in nursing that desire to advance their career and education. Students can choose from a family NP, a psychiatric and mental health NP, and a Doctor or Nursing Practice. Each program consists of online courses with the requirement to attend campus 2-3 times per semester. Each program can be completed in as little as 3 years.
A private Christian institution, Union University offers two fully online doctoral programs and one hybrid doctoral program. The fully online degrees are a Doctor of Education and a Doctoral Education Specialist. Within these programs students can choose to specialize in instructional leadership, teaching leadership, or leadership in school reform. Application requirements for the education specialist and doctor of education programs include a bachelor’s degree and recommendation letters. The hybrid program is a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
Texas Tech University
A public institution, Texas Tech University has offered online degree programs for years and has developed engaging course material that is both innovative and current with industry needs. Prospective students should contact a Graduate Student Services coordinator to determine which application materials they must submit. Fully online doctoral programs include Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership Policy, Family and Consumer Science Education, Special Education, and more. The Education programs require a Master’s degree in a related field.
The online degree programs offered by Clemson University are developed by instructors that are committed to providing quality education. Using cutting edge technologies and providing students with extensive online support including theri Center for Career and Professional Development that boasts a blog, online workshops and specialized resources. Online doctoral degrees include healthcare genetics, parks, recreation, and tourism, and rhetoric, communication, and information design.
University of Florida
University of Florida offers some more specialized online doctoral degrees among the most common in healthcare and education. Admissions varies from one program to another so it is important to know what your particular program of interest requires. Each program requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, some require a master’s degree. Online doctoral degrees include classical civilization, Latin and Roman Studies, Educational Leadership, Nursing Practice, and more.
Endicott University offers entirely online doctoral programs where each program is organized into cohorts. Students enjoy a flexible online schedule while still being able to collaborate and discuss material with other peers in the same program. Cohorts have no more than 20 students at a time. Online doctoral programs include Educational Leadership in Higher Education, Educational Leadership in K-12, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Nursing Practice. See each programs specific admissions requirements for enrollment.
To meet the growing demands of non-traditional education needs across the country many institutions for higher learning have turned to online programs. With no need to attend a campus and relocate many students can now obtain a degree easier than ever. WIth more professionals seeking to earn a fast online degree while continuing their career, schools have developed accredited and innovative programs to meet those needs.
Completing an accelerated bachelor’s or master’s degree can help you pursue a field you love and jumpstart your professional career. With the current rise in online education, hundreds of universities are offering online degree programs across a wide range of fields. Accelerated degree programs offer numerous benefits including flexible schedules, reduced tuition costs, and faster completion rates.
Getting a higher education is something that more and more adults are considering these days. With many accelerated programs to choose from, easily accessible classes, and prices for every budget, there is no better time than now to invest in your future. But how do you choose a college?
Fully online education has come a long way. With its growth in popularity over the years, online learning has encouraged many schools to allow at least some online classes throughout their programs. These opportunities give more people, such as working adults, a chance to manage daily life and school.
As the online education world grows, so does how you can achieve your degree. A new up and coming favorite: accelerated online degrees. These courses allow you to not only get through classes at your own pace and from literally anywhere you have an internet connection, but now you can earn a degree in a short amount of time.
Accelerated online degrees are popping up everywhere. Colleges are trying to get more people signing up for their courses than ever before. Is an accelerated online degree right for you?
Benefits of an Accelerated Online Degree
There are many benefits to accelerating your way to an online degree. However, the most alluring being a shorter time to finish. Most of the accelerated programs we looked at can earn you a degree in a five to ten weeks session, depending on the courses you take. That is almost half the time of traditional classes.
When browsing the internet, you are more likely going to be clicking on the schools offering an eight-week session compared to the more traditional fifteen. That means you can earn your degree in less than two years with an accelerated degree program.
Another popular reason people choose accelerated degrees is financial gain. On average, students save over nine-thousand dollars on tuition when choosing the accelerated programs. That doesn’t include the amount of money you spend on school supplies, transportation, and housing.
In addition to saving money, you can also use your degree as leverage to make more money when applying for jobs. Having a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a specific field gives you the advantage of not only getting the position you want but negotiating a higher start rate.
Finally, there is such a wide range of courses offered through degree completion of an accelerated online degree program that anyone can find a perfect fit. Whether you are just starting in the workforce or already have a career and want to move up the ranks, there is a program for you.
Types of Accelerated Online Degrees
With achieving your online degree faster and cheaper than ever and the number of courses offered has broadened vastly, ensuring there is something for everyone in every field.
An associate’s degree offers a broad education over a wide field, giving you an overview of what you need to know for a specific career. More detailed education about that career will need further education and learning.
Accelerated Associates Degrees
Here are a few of the more sought after Accelerated Online programs offered for your associate’s degree.
Associates Degree in Business
- Business Administrations
- Operations management
Associates in Technology
- Computer system analyst
- Network Computer system administration
- Computer support specialist
- Computer Programmer
- Web Developer
- Cyber Security
Associates In Health Care
- Health Administrations
Accelerated Bachelors Degree Programs
An accelerated online bachelor’s degree program is the most sought after online degree and an area where many adult learners head to stand out more in the job market. Having your bachelor’s degree offers a high increase in annual earning, more economic stability, and a higher networking opportunity.
A Bachelor’s Degree can narrow your job field and give you a better understanding of a more particular topic, making you a great candidate for a career in any given market but a more specific area.
A few popular Accelerated Bachelor Degree Programs available to you are:
Bachelors in Business
- Healthcare Management
- Human Resource Management
- Project Management
Bachelors in Healthcare
- Health Care Administrations, Leadership
- Health Care Administrations, Health Information Management
Bachelors in Information Technology
- Information Technology
Bachelors in Nursing
- RN to BSN
Bachelors in Psychology
- Criminal Psychology
Bachelors in Communications
Accelerated Master’s Degree
Whether you are looking to start a new phase of your life with a new career or want to reeducate yourself and increase your knowledge to move up in the career you already have, an accelerated Masters Degree Online is a good way to get there fast.
Having a Masters Degree will give you a more narrow area of education in a specific career field you are considering. A Masters Degree will narrow your expertise down even more so than your bachelor’s, making you highly knowledgeable in one given topic. You will find there are a lot more topics you can earn your Masters Degree in for this reason.
Some of the more popular Master Degrees Online are:
Masters of Business Administrations
- Self Design
- Healthcare Management
- Human Resource Management
- Project Management
Masters in Counseling and Therapy
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- School Counseling
- Addiction Studies
Master in Education
- Early Childhood education
- English Language Learning
- Leadership in Education
- Reading and Literacy
- Special Education
- Higher Education
Masters in Health Administrations
- Health Administrations
Masters in Information Technology
- Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
- Information Technology
Masters in Nursing
Masters in Public Health
- Public Health
Masters in Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
Masters in Public Administrations
- Public Administrations
Masters in Social Work and Human Services
- Social Work Advanced Standing
- Social Work
- Human Services
How to Choose an Accelerated Online Degree
When looking for an online degree you have to examine many different factors and make sure you pick one that will fit into your lifestyle without disruptions. Things to consider are cost per course, how much education and experience you have up to date, and what you would like to do with that degree in the future.
What Can You Afford?
When going into any higher education setting, the cost is always a concern. You have to decide what you have room in your budget for and if you can reduce the cost through grants or student aid.
Many schools offer financial aid to help you get started. Some colleges fund students privately, while others through government aid for those who qualify. These are only offered to certain people and can provide a large payout or only cover a small portion of your bill.
Most students will more than likely need to apply for a student loan or work their way class by class.
Thanks to the online learning process application fees are not a factor when deciding to earn an accelerated degree online. So apply to whatever college or program you are interested in will not cost you a penny.
As for books and supplies, most of them will be digital and included in each class. As long as you attend a creditable and professional institution, you should not be charged for anything needed during education. Expenses that you should keep in mind for supplies are as follows:
- Laptop and/or tablet
- Stylus-if needed
- Extra books/reading material not necessarily needed
What Area of Education are You Interested in?
The area of education you are looking for will be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing an online-school, university, or program. Are you looking for a nursing program, computer science degree, Associates degree, BSN program, MBA program, etc?
Getting an accelerated degree offers endless opportunities for everyone. It is important to find what fits you, and not what seems more convenient or easy. If you are already established in the healthcare field with no degree but want to move up the ranks, starting with your Associates in the Health Care Administrations field would be a great fit.
Now, if you already work as a teacher and have your bachelor’s degree in education, the combination of a master’s degree in a specific field such as special education and English language would give you a narrow specialization, making you more attractive to employers with-in those areas of work.
How Much Time Can You Commit To?
Just because the courses are faster does not mean it’s easy. You have to be willing to commit to any program to get the most out of them.
If you are a working student right out of high school, you may be more interested in the learn as you go programs. Online Universities offer flex path learning to give you the flexibility of time. These courses don’t have a specific finished date set, it will depend on your schedule and how much time you can put into the work.
If you are already established in a career and looking for night classes, or you know you can put a great amount of time into learning each day, going to a school that has a start and finish time-frame with a set graduation date would be right for you.
The hard work you have already put in over the years will not necessarily go unnoticed when trying to advance your education. Many schools accept past college credits and work experience, allowing you to complete the program even faster.
Best Online Degree Programs
Finding the best online degree program will be a different road traveled for everyone. Finding the program that best suits your area of interest is the perfect way to start.
Many online schools are recognized for the specific program they offer. Locate a school that is well known for what you want to study, make sure it is an accredited program, and go over the courses and expectations before you sign up for anything.
Here is a list of Accelerated Degrees and the colleges and universities that offer the best courses in that area.
A degree in Business Management can land you a job in many different career fields. Getting an education in operating a business opens a lot of doors once you complete your degree.
Possible career paths with a degree in Business Management:
- Business adviser
- Data Scientist
- Stock market analyst
- Business analyst
- Insurance underwriter
- Management consultant
- Forensic accountant
- Project manager
- Risk Manager
- Administrative Service Managers
Average salary in this field- $70,000- $98,000 (estimate)
Rasmussen University has been teaching kids for 120 years advancing careers and furthering education for their students in the classroom and online. They believe a good education is based on real-life, authentic experiences.
Program: Bachelors and Associates Degree in Business Management
- Accelerated Associate and Bachelor’s Degree 100% online
- Finishes in 18-months for both degree program
- 24 campuses for in-person help
- Accelerated Masters Pathway to an MBA
- 90 credits needed for both Degrees
Final Cost: $28,320
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Regis University is a Catholic University, using their religious beliefs and culture in their education programs. They are proud to help their students grow and come together through information and understanding.
Program: Business Administrations Degree
- Accelerated 100% online Bachelors Degree
- 5 or 8-week terms
- 120 credits to complete a degree
- Scholarships, grants, and financial aid offered
- Combined Bachelors and Masters learning into one for lower tuition
FInal Cost: $66,500
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
California Baptist University is a school that is based on Christian beliefs. Offering Bachelors, Masters, Doctorates, and Credential programs online and in the classroom. They believe everyone is designed for a purpose and base their belief in Christ and His teachings to help every student find their purpose.
Program: Bachelors of Art in Business Administration Management
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Required Units
- Finishes Degree in 16 months
- Grants, scholarships, veterans benefits, employer tuition assistance
- Yellow ribbon family military-friendly school
Final Cost: $29,424
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
In the criminal justice field earning a higher education can lead to some well-paying jobs and a variety of fulfilling careers. A degree in criminal justice can give you opportunities for job placement in the military, government, private correctional facilities, and much more.
Possible career paths with a degree in Criminal Justice
- Corrections Officer
- Criminal Investigator
- Chief of Police
- Patrol Officer
- Security Officer
- Police Capitan
- Director of Public Safety
- Senior Special Agent
Average salary in this field: $63,000- $106,000 (estimate)
Norwich University has been offering higher education for 200 years. They offer courses for earning your Bachelors, Masters, Certificates, and continuing education for the busy adult needing a school that offers flexibility and easy access.
Program: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor’s degree program
- 120 credits required (up to 90 transferable credits allowed)
- Military experience counted towards credits/military discount per credit
- 90 credit hours needed to complete bachelors (must already have associates)
Final cost: $33,750 or $15,000 for active duty students
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Purdue University is an affordable and flexible option for online education for busy working adults. They offer over 175 courses with many of them online and accelerated.
Program: Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
- 10 weeks course terms
- 180 credits required
- Excel-trac program
- Flexible schedule
Final cost: Based on classes taken per term ($2,500 per term)
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Awarded best online school by the U.S News for Bachelors Degrees and Criminal Justice, the University of Oklahoma is known for its great accelerated program. They are highly rated due to their accelerated courses and affordable classes.
Program: Bachelor of Science – Criminal Justice
- Bachelors Degree Programs
- Minor in Criminal Justice (15-hour online program)
- 120 credits required
- Access to 100+ experts from extended campuses
Final cost: $43,482.00 for residence and $105,018 for non-residents
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
With technology rapidly expanding into every aspect of our lives, having your degree to deal with the change would almost guarantee you a job when you finish your education.
Possible career paths with a degree in Information technology
- Software Developer
- Information Technology Business analyst
- Computer Network Architect
- Computer Forensic Analyst
- Information Technology Consultant
- Computer programmer
- Video Game Designer
- Hardware/software engineer
- Multimedia artist/animator
Average annual salary in this field: $76,000- $119,000
Liberty University is an accredited Evangelical University offering students all over the world over 450 online programs. They offer accelerated learning and online classes for Masters, Bachelors, Associates, Graduate, Undergraduate, and Doctoral Degrees.
Program: Bachelors of Science in Information Technology:
- 100% online Bachelors Degree
- 8-week courses
- 120 credits required (up to 75% can be transferred in)
- Flexibility and Structure
- First responder discounts
- Scholarship opportunities
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission
Is Getting a Degree Worth it?
Having a higher education degree will benefit you in the long run. No matter the area of employment you are looking for, studies have shown the average annual income for someone with a degree is astonishingly higher than those who do not.
Let’s take a look at the average annual income for each level of education, the annual job availability, and what jobs you can get.
|Education||Average Annual $||Job type (limited)||Job availability annually (estimated)|
|No education||$22,000- $36,000||Fast Food, Construction laborer, Cashiers, Hostesses, Sales Clerk||141,000 – 826,600|
|High-school or equivalent||$25,000- $30,000||Home Health Aids, Office clerks, Security guards, Childcare workers, Receptionist||139,000-569,000|
|Associates||$30,500- $45,000||Medical Assistant Nursing assistant bookkeeper, LPN, Hairdresser||50,000- 209,000|
|Bachelors||$61,600- $107,000||RN, GM, Operation Manager, Software developer, Accountant, Secondary School Teacher||71,000-204,400|
|Masters||$79,000-122,000||Lawyers, Social Workers, Nurse Practitioners, Physical Therapists||14,000-30,000|
The higher education you have the more money you stand to make, however, depending on your field of interest, the open positions may be a lot lower than others. You will want to factor that in when looking for the right accelerated online program for you.
What Are The Disadvantages of Accelerated Degree
Limited Time Frame
During an average school program, students are given ample time to complete assignments and study for exams.
With the accelerated programs, you must absorb a lot of information in a shorter amount of time, which is a disadvantage to all students, especially those with learning disabilities.
There is also a better chance of missing or late assignments. People choosing online courses are usually doing them because of their already jammed packed schedule. If an emergency pops up or schedules become too overwhelming, sometimes education can be put on the back burner.
Less 1:1 Interaction
Online learning in itself makes direct communication with your professors and staff nearly impossible. To add to the chaos, accelerated programs leave even less time for communication between yourself and your teachers. If you have any last-minute questions, you stand a chance of not getting a response in time.
Another downfall to limited interaction with your teacher is less of a relationship with that teacher. Some students feel they are getting less education if it’s not on a personal level. Teachers tend to go through so many students in such short periods they can barely keep up.
Lack of Connections
One of the greatest joys students remember when looking back on their college years, are the friends and acquaintances they made. Strong bonds are built from experiencing a classroom education.
Even the average online education makes student connections difficult, so to form any type of bond in a short span is not likely to happen. Having a friend or classmate to have study groups with, or reminding each other when assignments are due is a useful tool in college.
There is no classroom door to make it through to meet the bell, no deadlines to encourage you to push yourself to complete an assignment, and no one standing in front of you reminding you about the report due tomorrow. You have to be responsible for it all, unlike in a traditional degree program, whether it’s an accelerated bachelor degree or MBA program.
Many people have a hard time holding themselves accountable when deadlines and assignments are due without a specific date or time frame. Many students can not set up a schedule or time frame that works well with the rest of their daily tasks, putting school work at the bottom of their lists.
How Do Online Classes Cut Down Time From Earning a Degree?
You know that you can earn a degree in half the time of the average school class when attending an accelerated program. But do you know what they do to cut out the time and still give you the information, education, and classes needed to earn the degree?
One way this is done is through work experience. It can be with a job you are paid to do or a volunteer job you have done. Hands-on experience in any field can be counted towards credits earned in your degree program.
Another more obvious way is allowing you to complete an accelerated degree program on your own time, which can be done at a much quicker pace. Instead of taking the time to complete a course in 14-weeks, you can complete an online college degree in seven, which will save you half the time and quite a bit of money.
Finally, some schools will offer tests in place of the actual course to finish a degree completion program quickly. Instead of spending time taking the classes, you can pass a test to prove you know all the material you would learn during that class, which cuts down on time and tuition.
An accelerated online degree program seems to be a great way to quickly and easily acquire a higher education degree and improve your career outlook. Using this form of schooling will give students access to information, class materials, and professors at the touch of a button. If you are already struggling with busy schedules or aren’t interested in attending four more years of college, the accelerated online degree programs available could be just what you need. No more excuses for putting your education on hold.
Furthermore, today’s job market is becoming increasingly competitive. Pursuing an accelerated online degree can help employers notice your application. Adding higher education programs to your résumé can also help you pursue higher paying jobs as well.
Finding the right online degree program for your specific goals can be overwhelming and time consuming. Whether you are in the early stages of searching for different online degree options or have already identified the type of program you want to pursue, at Best Value Education we can help you find the program that best fits your career path and cost range.
Our degree finder app can help you narrow down your search results by category and location.
When we compile lists of the best universities and programs, we spend hours researching and collecting data on tuition cost, available resources, student feedback, graduation rates, and more. To learn about every factor we take into consideration, check out our methodology page.