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The job market is changing, and careers in the fields of medicine, technology, and STEM are becoming more desirable than ever. Even better, job seekers or avid learners can prepare for these exciting opportunities from the comfort of their own home. Here’s a look at the top 30 jobs, ranked by average salaries, that you can prepare for online. Each post also looks at some of the best online resources or university-based programs as well.
- Software developer. The future belongs to those that can build new platforms and mobile applications. The average software developer makes $90,374, according to national data at Glassdoor. Southern New Hampshire University currently offers a B.S. in Online Technologies with a concentration in Software development. The BS includes a total of 120 credit hours.
- Nurse practitioner. According to the Washington Post, there will be a shortage of 90,000 physicians by the year 2025. Nurse practitioners can help offset this deficit and serve patients in a clinical setting for routine health needs, while making $92,670 annually according to U.S. News & World Report. Herzing University is one of many schools with an online program for family nurse practitioner degree. For current NPs wanting to expand their current knowledge, Duke School of Nursing offers both a Doctor of Nurse Practicing (DNP) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
- Information security analyst. These technology specialists ensure all information stored digitally is secure, and typically earn $80,180, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Penn State Online now offers a B.S. in Security and Risk Analysis for those with an interest in this field of study. Particularly for those already established in information technology, transitioning to cyber security roles
is a well established path that can be achieved (even through free online courses).
- Physician assistant. Much like nurse practitioners, physician assistants can offer extra medical expertise in crowded clinical settings, reviewing patients’ medical history, assessing their conditions, and prescribing medication or discussing preventive health measures. Unlike their doctor counterparts, they typically have less stressful schedules while still earning $86,410 annually. Pace University has an online Master’s degree offering, allowing students to complete the degree on a part time basis, but it’s best suited for students with prior clinical knowledge or experience.
- Market research analyst. Understanding customer data and the competition is a skill many businesses and marketers don’t have, and that’s where market research analysts come in. Typically bringing in upwards of $67,000 annually, these specialists can use their skills at a variety of companies. The International Institute of Market Research and Analytics provides free courses online for those wanting to learn more about this type of career. The 12-week course includes around-the-clock support, quizzes and videos.
- Accountant. Maintaining cash flow and cutting costs are two concerns for any business, regardless of size. A good accountant can crunch the numbers to make improvements that could positively impact their business, and can work in a variety of sectors, including for-profit and non-profit, making $65,080 yearly. Accounting Coach allows everyone from accounting students to bookkeepers to brush up on their financial knowledge for free. The platform includes self-tests, Q & A, and an online dictionary.
- IT manager. The field of information technology has exploded over the last decade and shows no signs of stopping, with most IT managers making $123,950 on an annual basis. In charge of developing and preserving a company’s digital infrastructure. Alison currently has a course on understanding information control designed specifically for IT managers.
- Dietitians. Helping people eat and live healthier is part of a dietitian’s daily job. This type of career can be great for those that thrive on interaction and helping others, and most dietitians report being satisfied in their careers, making anywhere from $49,000 to $65,000 a year, according to PayScale. The University of Northern Colorado is one of the few universities currently offering a distance dietetics program, providing 15 courses online.
- Language speech pathologist. These medical specialists work with a wide range of patients, including children with developmental issues, or adults recovering from serious conditions, such as stroke. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, language speech pathologists typically bring home $73,970 each year. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has an online graduate program for speech language pathology. Students can complete their certification within three years on a part time basis, with just three on-campus visits required.
- Civil engineer. Responsible for designing everything from simple bridges to some of the world’s most famous structures, civil engineers have their pick of working in private engineering firms or for the government, with the average salary starting at $80,770 yearly. MIT Open Courseware provides a wide range of courses available online, including project management, introduction to engineering design, and atmospheric chemistry.
- Computer systems administrator. Managing the day-to-day aspects of a business’s computer system falls on the shoulders of these specialists, who earn $72,760 annually. Purdue University Global offers the gamut of IT-related training, including associates, bachelors and masters degrees.
- Licensed practical nurse. Studying to be an LPN is a great way for many people to break into the medical field while maintaining a flexible schedule. Compensation can vary by state, but these medical providers make an average of $43,448 each year. PracticalNursing.org offers an overview online resources to help students prepare for or renew their licnense. The site also offers information to current LPNs who are considering transitioning to a higher position, such as registered nurse.
- HR specialist. Responsible for hiring the right talent and managing benefits, vacation, sick time, and benefit packages, HR specialists have a varied career and can work in any field, from helping guide start-ups to working for national branded companies. Human resources specialists typically earn $50,019 on an annual basis. Universal Class has a wide range of pay-as-you-go courses for students, covering communication, mediation, and talent management.
- Medical Secretary. Yet another way to break into the medical field, secretaries can be responsible from scheduling appointments for patients, updating medical records in a clinical, hospital, or laboratory setting. These healthcare specialists earn an average of $31,890 yearly. Quick and accurate typing is a skill medical secretaries use on a daily basis, and Keybr.com allows users to test their current typing prowress, showing speed and accuracy.
The AAPC also offers a variety of medical coding and billing courses, at cost.
- Paralegal. For those interested in pursuing a law degree, paralegals can seek full-time employment at a firm or work on a freelance basis for a variety of attorneys. Annually, these assistants earn $46,990 every year. The Center for Legal Studies provides aspiring law students with a variety of legal certification options, ranging from legal investigation to a paralegal certificate. Students can finish in as little as seven week online.
- Administrative assistant. Managers and other team members depend on the organizational skills and support of a great administrative assistant. Salary.com estimates assistants make $37,539 on an annual basis. For aspiring assistants, Office Dynamics has plenty of resources, such as webinars, conferences on demand, and e-books and guides.
- Computer programer. An education in computer science is more desirable than ever. Responsible for writing software code, these specialists are hired at an annual rate of $74,280. Khan Academy offers potential coders a variety of skills to learn at no cost, building everything from websites to animations.
- Creative directors. Curating content and ensuring client needs are met is a tall order, and that’s where creative directors come in. In addition to balancing client needs, directors also focus on mentoring team members to keep creativity flowing. Most creative directors clock in $134,193 annually, according to Glass Door. Full Sail University allows students to earn a B.S. in design at their own pace, focusing on both print and digital design and allows learners to build a robust portfolio.
- Interpreters and translators. Being able to speak, read, and understand multiple languages has great value in the workplace. Interpreters are needed at hospitals and law enforcement in culturally diverse areas, while publishing agencies may need translation services for specific clients. Translators typically make around $42,420 every year. To brush up on foreign language skills, surf over to Babble and select a language from the drop down menu to get started.
- Real estate agent. Helping people find and buy their dream home can be a rewarding career for many. Real estate agents are also focused on making sure sellers get what they want for their property. Focused on customer service and networking with other agents, Pay Scale estimates that most agents bring in $45,070 a year. Open Culture has a lengthy list of free business resources, include a two-part lecture series via Columbia University for real estate students.
- Dental assistant. Going to the dentist’s office can be stressful for both children and adults. Dental assistants are there to put patients at ease in addition to preparing dental equipment for a team of dentists. These medical specialist make an average of $34,500 every year. The Colgate Oral Health Network has a robust listing of free webinars available, and aspiring dental professionals can also sign up for an e-newsletter or read the latest industry news.
- PR specialist. Writing press releases, crafting clear messages for brands and clients––it’s all in a day’s work for a PR person. This type of career is perfect for people who thrive in fast-paced environments and pays $54,193 annually. Udemy has a media starter series, focusing on both print and broadcast media.
- Mechanical engineer. Understanding how machinery works––and how to make it better than before––allows mechanical engineers to earn $63,092 yearly.Responsibilities can vary from designing, building or implementing machinery or robotics. MIT Open CourseWare offers a variety of courses online, including biometric principles, mechatronics, and systems and controls.
- Physical therapist. Tasked with helping patients recover after an illness, injury, or joint replacement surgery, physical therapists enjoy flexible schedules and make $81,030 annually. PTCourses allows students to work towards physical therapist accredited online or via email. Continuing education is also available for current physical therapists.
- Computer support specialist. Tackling software and hardware issues allow computer support specialists to work in a variety of fields, including customer service or as part of an IT team. These tech-based employees make $48,900 annually. Penn Foster opens a computer support specialist diploma online for students or employees needing further on-the-job certification.
- Marketing manager. These professionals are responsible for overseeing a marketing firm’s current and long term goals, earning a median of $127,130 a year. eCornell offers a specialized certificate in marketing strategy for marketers wanting to expand their skills or current marketing managers looking to update their credentials.
- Loan officer. Getting a loan for a home or other project can be daunting for many people. Loan specialists are in charge of helping investors get the best rates possible, working with financial institutions or real estate firms. They typically bring home $59,820 every year. Learn Mortgage offers a variety of online classes, including continuing education, test prep, and pre licensing.
28.Esthetician. Who wouldn’t want to work in the relaxing environment of a spa, helping clients feel better after a stressful day? Estheticians earn $47,430 when working with a hospital or physician’s office on a yearly basis. Online Facial Courses offers multiple facial courses for spa techs starting at $129.
- Personal trainer. With healthcare shifting towards preventive health services, personal trainers and fitness instructors can help people of all ages and walks of life lose weight and feel better. Most personal trainers enjoy a flexible schedule, working with gyms or starting their own business. PTs make an average of $55,344 annually. Action Certification offers a cost effective online certificate program, which includes free recertification and an on-the-job insurance package.
- Teacher’s assistant. Teachers are working in a more challenging environment than ever, with constantly changing curriculum. Becoming a teacher’s assistant would allow people to work in a variety of classroom environments with students of all ages, and can expect to make up to $32,080 a year. Open EDU offers free education courses, including one tailored to understanding what being a teacher’s assistant entails.