Choosing your college major is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a student, and can impact your future career path. If you’re not sure which degree is right for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of students in the same situation.
When you're preparing to go to college, looking at the most popular college majors may aid you in making a decision, because many prepare students for careers within in-demand fields and industries.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most popular online college majors at ASU Online, as determined by academic year 2021 enrollment statistics. But first, let’s consider what makes certain degrees popular.
What makes a college major popular?
Although everyone has different reasons for earning a degree, there are some common qualities that attract more students to the most popular online degree majors, including:
- High salary and competitive benefits.
- Industry growth and development.
- Plentiful opportunities for entry-level employees.
- The need to earn a specific degree to advance on a career path.
It might not be a surprise to learn that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees are especially popular. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), STEM occupations are projected to grow 10.5% between 2020 and 2030.
Some degrees on the list represent a required step for professional advancement in a specific field, while others highlighted here can support individuals who want to create an impact for people in need. Degree seekers may also be able to specialize their skill sets further in some of these tracks, choosing to follow particular paths that interest them.
The 10 most popular ASU Online majors
There are ASU Online’s 10 most popular undergraduate degree programs for academic year 2021.
1. Online Bachelor of Science in information technology
Information technology plays a pivotal role in ensuring organizations are connected, efficient and able to reliably and securely store, retrieve and send information. An information technology degree can open doors to many career options where you can design, implement and administer computer-based information solutions.
ASU Online’s program is ABET accredited, which signifies that the knowledge and talents you can develop will be relevant, applicable and of especially high quality. This computer science program emphasizes long-term career growth, preparing you to build upon your professional experiences, leading you to take on leadership roles in the future. It also focuses on high ethical standards, which are a vital consideration when working with sensitive IT assets.
Employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 11% from 2020 to 2030, according to the BLS, with a median annual wage of $151,150 as of May 2020.
2. Online Bachelor of Arts in psychology
The Bachelor of Arts in psychology supports individuals who want to pursue this degree for advocacy reasons or to develop a deeper understanding of mental health. It also helps build broadly applicable skills in areas including:
- Communication and writing.
- Critical thinking.
- Qualitative and quantitative research.
After you earn this social science degree, you could assist in psychological research or continue your studies with a master’s degree and doctorate. Graduates also work in a variety of fields where strong knowledge of human behavior is valuable, such as business, social work and medicine.
3. Online Bachelor of Science in biological sciences
The Bachelor of Science in biological sciences can be a great choice if you have a general interest in biology but do not yet have a specific concentration in mind. As a student, you’ll explore topics such as genetic and environmental causes of diversity, how organisms evolve and how these factors influence health and disease.
If you would like to specialize further, this degree is offered with the following concentrations:
- Biology and society.
- Biomedical sciences.
- Conservation biology and ecology.
- Genetics, cell and developmental biology.
The curriculum for this ASU Online biological sciences major also addresses important requirements for learners who want to meet premed student qualifications, take the MCAT or apply to graduate programs in biological sciences or other science-related disciplines.
4. Online Bachelor of Science in liberal studies
A bachelor’s in liberal studies is a flexible degree that can benefit graduates across a variety of disciplines. In fact, you can tailor your learning experience by choosing courses from more than 20 disciplines.
Some of the industries liberal studies majors find roles in after graduation include:
- Human resources.
5. Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing — RN to BSN
If you’re already a registered nurse (RN), earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing can open up more career opportunities and improve outcomes for your patients. As the field of medicine continues to grow and transform, nurses with more advanced degrees can play crucial roles, supporting patients and research.
The BLS projects growth for RNs, with employment projected to grow 9% between 2020 and 2030.
Our online nursing degree is accredited by the Arizona State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. To qualify for this program, you must have your RN license or have passed the NCLEX exam. Students currently earning an associate degree in nursing at a regionally accredited college can pursue both degrees at the same time through the RN to BSN concurrent enrollment program.
6. Online Bachelor of Science in engineering – electrical engineering
Electrical engineers play crucial roles in creating, testing and supervising the production of electrical systems in everything from vehicles to medical and communication equipment. After earning a BSE in electrical engineering, you can compete for a variety of roles related to this field and help solve modern engineering problems.
The degree is provided by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, which was ranked as one of the top 25 ABET-accredited engineering schools in the nation.Accreditation from ABET, which certifies postsecondary programs in engineering and science, is a sign of quality. As a student, you’ll have the opportunity to also earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering through the 4 + 1 accelerated program. Both the graduate and the undergraduate engineering degrees can be completed in as few as five years this way.
7. Online Bachelor of Arts in business — business administration
Broadly applicable talents and knowledge are a trend on this list of the best online degree majors, so it’s only natural for this business administration degree to be included. Management and leadership are core needs for almost every business. By completing this business major, you can develop skills relevant across industries, including:
- Demand forecasting.
- Financial strategy.
- Inventory planning.
- Purchasing of services.
- Strategy development.
This degree will support your efforts to compete for a relevant career in a broad range of business capacities by preparing you to be a general manager or business owner. You could also work in any industry with customers, employees, suppliers or stakeholders from various levels of government in different countries.
According to the BLS, employment in management occupations is projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations, and will result in about 906,800 new jobs.
8. Online Bachelor of Science in criminology and criminal justice
Students in this bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice program online learn about criminal justice, crime and its consequences from a variety of perspectives. Graduates go on to serve in many different roles, such as victim advocate, law enforcement professional or parole officer. Internships, study abroad programs and flexible scheduling all support enriching and meaningful learning.
You can choose to pursue a graduate degree in this field as well and complete both in as few as five years through the 4 + 1 program option.
9. Online Bachelor of Science in software engineering
As technology continues to play increasingly important roles for individuals, businesses and governments, software engineers will support continued innovation and development in this field. For the related roles of software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers, the BLS projects employment growth of an impressive 22% from 2020 to 2030.
Earning a bachelor’s degree in software engineering can prepare you for careers related to software development, administration and deployment, and other options in the technology industry. A project-based curriculum helps to build knowledge of theory and practical skills that will guide and support your goals. Plus, the ABET accreditation for this program demonstrates the quality of educational standards that can support positive career outcomes.
10. Bachelor of Arts in organizational leadership
Do you want to be an effective manager and lead teams in your field of choice in the public, private or nonprofit sector? Learn how to set strategic goals, motivate employees and much more with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational leadership.
Key skills gained in this program include:
- Conflict management.
- Critical thinking.
- Decision making and problem solving.
- Strategic planning.
Choosing a major that supports your professional goals
Students can excel when they take the time to align their proven academic strengths and areas of professional interest with a specific degree. You should also consider the following as you plan for your future:
- The availability of entry-level employment and related career paths.
- Opportunities to network, complete internships, engage with experiential learning and similar benefits.
- The reputation of the college or university you select and the quality of instruction provided.
- Starting salary and reasonable expectations of professional advancement.
ASU Online majors bring together experienced instructors with opportunities to learn and grow both inside and outside of the classroom. You’ll also benefit from chances to build professional networks with eager and dedicated students.
Interested in seeing the full range of programs available from ASU Online? View all of our degree programs.