These Are The Most Popular Online Degrees For Seniors


It’s never too late to attend college or finally get a bachelor’s degree. In fact, with online learning opportunities, getting a degree is easier than ever!

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As a senior, it might be challenging to make a dramatic move such as pursuing an online degree. However, it could help you dramatically improve your financial and mental well-being.


What Does Statistics Say About Senior Labor?

To hopefully give you some encouragement to pursue a new job or continue advancing in your current career, let’s have a look at promising stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [1]. These might also give you an idea of what to do next.

Here’s what you may want to know:

  • About 40% of people aged 55 or more were working or actively looking for work in 2014.
  • The labor participation rate – the percentage of seniors working or looking for work – is expected to increase through 2024.
  • The projected annual growth rate in labor force is expected to be a whopping 6.4% for seniors aged 75 and more and 4.5% for seniors 65 to 74. In contrast, the projected growth for people aged 55 to 64 is only 0.6%. For younger adults, the growth rate ranges from -1.4% to 1%.
  • Over 42% of workers aged 55 or more were in management, professional, and related occupations in 2016. About 23% were in sales and office positions.
  • The rate of self-employment is considerably higher in seniors 65 or more in 2016 – 16.42%. For comparison, only 8.88% of people aged 55 to 64 were self-employed. For younger workers, the rate ranges from 1.81 to 6.92%. So the rate of self-employment has grown with age.
  • 27% of seniors aged 55 or older were working part-time in 2016, while among people from 25 to 54, only 18% were employed part-time.

With that, seniors aren’t working less, contrary to what you may be expecting! And remarkably, seniors are shifting toward part-time jobs or self-employment – perhaps because they want more free time or more flexibility in schedule management.

If you want to stay professionally active no matter the age, then these numbers might encourage you to do so! You don’t necessarily need to acquire an online degree for that, but it’s perhaps a viable option to consider.


Mental Activity Is Beneficial For Seniors

A great reason to stay professionally active is that mental activity is crucial for brain health [2]. Among other things, mental activity has been found to lower the risk of dementia in people aged 75 or more [3].


The Best Online Degrees For Seniors

Needless to say, which degree you should pursue is a matter of personal preference and expectations. You are free to broaden your expertise in your current career, or you may start a journey in a completely different industry.

Online degrees can be associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or even Ph.D. Associate degrees might be great if you want to get your foot in the door, while bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degrees could help you improve your skills and perhaps even land a higher-earning job.

Popular associate degrees include:

  • Accounting, bookkeeping, or tax preparation.
  • Art.
  • Psychology.
  • Real estate.
  • Child development.
  • Editing/proofreading.
  • Museum technician.

If you want a bachelor’s degree, then your options include:

  • Accounting.
  • Engineering.
  • Medical billing.
  • Psychology.
  • Computer science.

For advancing further in your field, you may get a master’s degree, such as:

  • Master of Business Administration.
  • Master of Arts.
  • Master of Laws.
  • Master of Fine Arts.
  • Master of Engineering.

Finally, the peak of one’s educational path would be a Ph.D. degree. Among your options are:

  • D. in Computer Science.
  • D. in Physics.
  • D. in Chemistry.
  • D. in Biology.
  • D. in Management.
  • D. in Mental Healthcare.

These are merely some of your available options. You can find dozens of other interesting degrees out there. Do some digging to find more information about potential online learning opportunities.


Perks & Benefits Of Online Degrees

Compared to traditional on-campus learning, online learning offers a number of benefits for seniors:

  • Added flexibility in time management. Asynchronous online classes aren’t held in real time and thus allow you to learn at your own pace.
  • Reduced tuition. Many colleges and universities offer reduced tuition or even tuition waivers for seniors.
  • Senior scholarships. If your educational institution doesn’t offer reduced tuition for seniors, you may alternatively apply to senior scholarships for financial assistance.
  • Free auditing opportunities. Many courses allow free auditing, which would be great if you don’t need a certificate or credit hours.
  • Low physical demands. If you have impaired mobility or poor vision, then an online degree would be much more forgiving and convenient for you than on-campus learning.


An Online Degree Could Be Your Entry Ticket To New Career Opportunities

An online degree could be the much-needed refreshment for your career, as well as an entry ticket to new opportunities. Whether or not to acquire an online degree is up to you – to decide, you should first investigate options in the desired field.


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  1. “Older workers: labor force trends and career options”,
  2. “Mental activity is key to healthy brain aging”,
  3. “Mental activity may help prevent dementia”,