or all the adults out there thinking that it’s too late: We’ve got some good news for you. From hospitable degrees working with patients or clients, to tech majors for the introverts, here are the most rewarding and practical degrees for adults returning to or beginning their college journey.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  1. Best degrees for adults
  2. Questions to ask yourself
  3. Available Programs

The Best Degrees for Adults

Whether working, taking care of your child, busy with family, or having a tough time getting started, here are a few of the best degrees for returning or new adults in college.


If you have a knack for numbers and a not-so-flexible-life, an accounting degree might be the best route you can take.

A person writes in a notebook with pen and clicks a calculator
To the numbers guys out there, a degree in finance or accounting is direct, relevant, and obtainable.


A big challenge adult college students face is managing time with jobs, children, and overall life events. Accounting is a great option for busy adults because it is a degree easily obtained online. Offered as an associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, students can earn their degrees between two and six years depending on the degree level option.


With an accounting degree, adults have many options in the job field. From an accounting assistant or certified public accountant, or any office position requiring knowledge of accounting principles, adults have multiple job opportunities available to them with an accounting degree. Other jobs include financial managers, financial analysts, budget analysts, and banking examiner. The average annual wage for jobs in accounting is about $77,250.


Find yourself in leadership positions, taking on a lot of responsibility, and always striving to find the next best thing? A degree in business might be perfect for you.

A woman writes on a dry erase board
A career in business or business management is a great option that requires leadership qualities and responsibility.


Used in almost every area of our daily lives, a business or business management degree can be earned at an associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Most business degrees can be earned online for various career positions.


Adults with degrees in business and management can work in sales, human resources,  finance, information security, and marketing, but the range of jobs available and ready for graduates is large. We engage in business everyday, from tangible items like clothes and groceries to intangible services like therapy and doctor’s visits. The consumer market is ever-growing, so a business degree is obtainable and progressive. Annual pay ranges drastically with upwards of $93,000 so finding the best fit for you is important.


Like business, marketing is a constant in our day-to-day lives. According to Statista, revenue from the US ad industry will grow by 2.6% in 2023, a record-high.

A person holds a credit card in one hand while online shopping on a silver laptop
Consumerism is becoming more and more widespread and standard every day. Hop on the trend and earn a business degree that may earn you big in the future.


Consumerism as a result of advertising is prevalent throughout social media pop up ads, sponsored content, email marketing, Google ads, online shopping, etc. More widely used than ever before, a degree in marketing can be completed online with a great outcome of finding a job after graduating.


With a degree in marketing, adults can earn an annual average of $133,000 in jobs such as a marketing research director, director of digital marketing, product marketing manager, or brand marketing manager. Part of the highest paid individuals, a job in marketing is relevant and essential.


Part of our daily lives, communication is key when it comes to your work and personal relationships.

A man sits and talks on his cell phone while smiling with a cup of coffee and a laptop on the table in front of him
A communications degree will not only earn you a great job but can also improve your relationships.


Communication is an important part of not only our relationships, but our personal successes. With good communication, you can create more opportunities for yourself in the future. Communication majors include studies in mass media, technological communications, and advertising, with many pathways in-between. For the creative, ambitious and well-spoken, a communications degree might be best for you.


Available in multiple degree levels, communication, reading, and writing skills (which go hand in hand) are helpful in areas such as television, media, journalism, digital media, and even marketing. Choosing different concentrations like business or media, a career in communication is relevant and always valuable. Earning an average annual income of $62,000, jobs in communication are versatile and diverse.


Rewarding and essential, a degree in nursing typically takes two to four years depending on the program.

A woman stand over a senior man on an ipad with a hand on his shoulder
Highly sought-after and progressive, a career in nursing is unique and versatile.


In-demand and necessary, a degree in nursing can be obtained mostly online with some kind of in-person internship in a healthcare setting. The healthcare industry requires qualified individuals who are compassionate and hospitable as well as determined and committed.


A degree in nursing can earn you a career as an LPN, RN, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, or nurse educator. Earning between $48,000 and $123,000, your degree level determines your job, and therefore, your salary. As an important industry, nursing can be a very rewarding career in industries like patient care, technology, research, health promotion, and healthcare safety and quality.

Questions to Ponder

Before starting your journey in a new career path, it is important to consider what is best for you–not just what makes the most money in the long run. From busy family schedules to a busy life, the “best” option might not be the best for you. Consider these few questions to help you find the perfect degree.

  1. What unique abilities do I have?
  2. What am I most interested in? What kind of personality do I have?
  3. What interests do I have that are immediate? What interests do I have that are long-term?
  4. What are the major downsides of my chosen major?
  5. What education or training and time do I need for my chosen career?
  6. Will my degree earn me skills that will be relevant in the developing future?
  7. What is my ideal work-life balance?

College Programs for Adults

Finding your perfect degree can be a difficult task. Here are a few options for your diverse interests that also offer online programs.

A woman in a yellow turtle neck sits at a table in a library surrounded by shelves of books
For the working parent or individual, online courses can be much easier to attend than in-person.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

Offering flexible degree programs, Southern New Hampshire University offers multiple different degree level options, allowed transfer credits, and 24/7 online class availability when it is convenient for you. At a low tuition rate of about $15,000 and an acceptance rate of 92%, adults can apply for grants and financial aid easily.

Arizona State University (ASU)

To obtain any business related degree online, adults can enroll in Arizona State University’s online programs, with an overall acceptance rate of 88.2%. Studying with professional accountants and business leaders, adults can start new or transfer to ASU for $11,348–$29,438 depending on your area.

Chamberlain University (CU)

Chamberlain University offers 100% online nursing programs to earn your BSN in as few as three years. Through scholarships and grants, students pay around $19,000 per year with evening and weekend learning options. With an acceptance rate of 90%, Chamberlain University is a great option for aspiring nurses and healthcare workers with small classes and no waiting lists.

Purdue Global (PG)

Offering flexible, 24/7 online classes and a diverse set of degrees obtainable, Purdue Global prepares students for entry-level employment in fields like public relations, advertising, and management. Through financial aid packages, grants, and other benefits, Purdue Global is an online University tailored to busy, working adults. With an acceptance rate of 100%, PG has a low annual tuition of around $10,000.

Which Degree Program Will You Choose?

Whether you are looking for a new beginning in a career path or you want to continue your journey in a different area, we’ve got you covered. With flexible options for a hectic schedule, you can obtain your ideal degree by asking yourself a few questions, considering your options, and finding the best fit for you for a fresh start in life.

Jul 26, 2023