Last updated on November 24th, 2023.
Going back for your degree at any age can be an exciting adventure. There is so much to learn, and your degree can help you to reach your goals, even later in life. An online degree is often the very best, but which online degrees for seniors is considered as the best once.
- Information Technology
- Library Science
- Business Administration
There are many great programs out there to help seniors gain a degree and get the knowledge and education they desire.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best online degrees for seniors and learn where some seniors are able to get their degree for free.
What States Have Free College to get online degrees for Seniors?
As a senior, you may want to go back to get a degree, but the idea of taking out a student loan at that age can seem daunting and you may not have the cash to pay for it yourself. The good news is that many states have free or reduced rate college courses for seniors who qualify.
All states offer at least some free courses at college for seniors. Many, like Alabama, offer free tuition to any two-year college and Alaska will offer a free education, though the seniors will need to pay for books as well as room or board. Some states only offer a certain number of credit hours or free so it is important to look up your options based on your state.
Some of the states who offer free college for seniors include:
- Alabama: Free tuition at two-year colleges
- Alaska: A waiver for tuition only.
- Arkansas: Waived tuition fees for any state college
- Connecticut: Free state and community college
- Georgia: These credits can count for the degree but for that to work, the individual must apply through the standard admissions.
- Illinois: Seniors can get for-credit courses at the college but must pay textbook and lab fees.
- Kentucky: Seniors can take tuition-free courses in Kentucky, but only in courses that space is available.
- Louisiana: Seniors can get free tuition and half-priced books for the classes.
- Maryland: Seniors can attend any school in the University of Maryland system for no tuition.
These are just some of the discounts seniors can get when attending schools throughout the United States. Some states, including Florida and California, offer free classes to seniors, but they will not count for credit. This is a great way to learn something new but will not allow you to get the degree program that you desire so it is best to find another choice.
It is important to take a look at what the school offers. Many do offer free courses that seniors can audit, but they will not count for a degree, even if you take them online.
What is a Good Degree for an Older Person?
There are many great degree programs that you can choose that are offered online. These work great whether you are looking for an online degree right out of high school or one for a senior who is ready to learn more and make some big career changes.
An associate degree is a good degree for an older person if they have never been to school before or are looking to change career fields. This helps them to gain in-depth knowledge and can often open doors for new careers in half the time. For those who want to further their careers, a bachelor’s or master’s degree is great.
The specific type of degree you want to get will depend on a number of factors including:
- How much time you want to dedicate to a new degree.
- Whether you are switching industries or not.
- What you need to learn
It may be a good idea to explore some of the options open. Even if you want to switch careers, working off your past education and experience may be a useful step that will save you a lot of time. Changing the focus is often enough to help you on your career path.
How Long Do Most Online Degrees Take to Finish?
When you are looking at degrees, it is a good idea to learn how long each degree program will take and how many hours are involved. This will help you make a plan for getting everything done. There are some variations to the degree depending on what you need to learn.
Many online bachelor’s degrees can get done within two and a half years. Since many classes can be done within five to ten weeks, instead of the traditional 18 weeks of in-person class semesters, and classes can be taken all year long, getting an online degree can be done in a few years.
The total time it takes to complete your degree will depend on a few factors including:
- Which course you take. Gaining an associate degree takes less time than a Master’s.
- Which school you go to. Online programs through different schools can change the timeline.
- Whether you take classes continuously. If you have to take partial semesters or take time off, time to completion will take longer.
- What courses you took ahead of time. If you already have an associate degree, getting the bachelor’s done will be faster.
- Your work experience: Some online schools allow you to use previous experience to count towards credits.
Working with a counselor at the school you wish to attend is often the best way to figure out how long the degree will take. They can look through your experience and previous school courses to map out the best plan so you can get your degree in no time.
The 5 Best Online Degrees for Seniors
There are many fantastic online degrees for seniors that they can choose when they are ready to go back to school. Some of the options they can consider include:
When you use the associates degree, you can learn a lot of different topics including:
- Managerial accounting
- Financial accounting
For those who would like to become a CPA, there may be some prerequisites that you need to meet before turning to take the test. The licensing will vary depending on your state, but it often requires some professional hours and obtaining a bachelor’s degree so consider taking that course first.
A degree in psychology could be a good tool to add to the resume and offers many ways to help other people. The courses can be tough but rewarding for those who are ready to get out there, even at an older age.
Some of the different careers you can choose when finishing this degree include:
- Forensic psychologist
- Corrections psychologist
- Family and marriage therapist
- Career counselor
- Special education teacher
- School counselor
With so many options available, this is one of the best online programs to study. You may need to do some hours on your own to gain more personal experience with the field. Having a general knowledge of how the mind works can provide lots of insights that will help further your career in any field.
3. Information Technology
If you like to work with computers and technology, then an online degree in information technology will be one of the best choices can be a good option for you. Many companies are looking to hire professionals who will be able to help them with their computers and networks.
Some of the different things that you will study with this kind of online degree includes:
There are a lot of different components that can come into the world of information technology. You may need to find your right niche to ensure you are learning the right information for the type of career that you can go with.
Some of the specializations that are common and popular right now includes:
- Digital systems
- Embedded systems and how they work in technology
- Systems administration
The United States has a high demand for workers in this field and it has been high for a long time. Since it requires a higher degree and is more complicated, there is a shortage of workers that is expected to stay that way for some time.
4. Library Science
It is possible to get a master’s degree in library science within just a year and can be a good option for those who got a bachelor’s degree in the past and would like to further themselves as well.
While working inside the library is a great place to start with this degree, there are other options that can be used including:
- Helping set up playgroups for mom’s with small children.
- Setting up meetups for crafters and other groups
- Setting up reading groups for different interests
Someone who is really organized and likes to help out others will find it is possible to do this in a variety of ways after they get this degree. With the right library science degree online, you will have the skills you need to make this happen.
5. Business Administration
All degrees in business can be useful for furthering your career at any age, but an MBA is one of the most common options to use to really put yourself over the top. If you have already worked in the field of business, this can help. you get through the program faster.
There are different ways that you can use this kind of degree including:
- Learn more skills to further your career at your current job.
- Meet more contacts to help you grow.
- Start your own business and gain the confidence to give it a try
There are a lot of individuals who do not start their own business until they are older than 50. The MBA may be the tool that you need to finally give it the try. Plus, you will get to meet a lot of new people while working through the degree, which can encourage you to more success.
Choosing the right online degree will take some time and a bit of inner reflection to find what will work the best for you. These five degrees can provide interesting information, lots of job opportunities, and the choice to do it completely online.
When you are ready to go through and start your online degree, make sure to check out a few of the top degrees above and get started on this new adventure. If you’re a mom and reading this we’ve got an article tailored just for you.