Jumping From Minimum Wage to $65k a Year With an Online Degree

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Recent graduates with online degrees are earning $65,000 a year now and they have less debt compared to traditional students. Combine affordability, flexibility, and real career options and it becomes clear why online programs are creating real value.

If you’re stuck at a dead-end job or just ready to get started, use this shortcut to find schools offering incentives to start today.

Online programs are recruiting non-traditional students who demonstrate drive and ambition. 

Combine ambitious students with online programs and what do you get? Awards and recognition is the answer because these programs consistently rank among the best online colleges nationwide year after year. 

We narrowed it down to a handful of online programs as a case study. Where students who came in making close to minimum wage, within a few years after graduation they are all averaging $69,000 in salary. This article explores their online programs and how they are able to help non-traditional students while keeping tuition affordable.


First, a degree from one of these schools leads to real jobs. If you want the corner office, you will have to work for it, but these programs will get you in the door. In recent years the median earnings of a college graduate have been about $27,000 a year. However, recent graduates with a focused education from an online program are averaging $39,000 instead. Take a moment to let that sink in. Graduates with an online degree can earn more than graduates from traditional 4-year universities.

After six years, graduates of these programs can expect to earn around $46,000. Some career paths are more lucrative with one in four graduates earning more than $65,000 after completing their degree. 

To understand why online education is so important for this generation, consider working parents. Attending college remains out of reach for many working parents who might not have time or money to invest in continuing education. Moving courses to the internet has been something like an evolution for single parents. With flexible schedules, parents have demonstrated they can succeed in continuing education.

One particularly moving story comes from Elisa Magagna of Pocatello, Idaho. She was a single parent, age 31 earning $9.50 an hour. But she saw the opportunities a college degree could create. Elisa had to think of a way to get there. “I wasn’t making very much money at all, just above minimum wage.” A single mom of four kids, her goal was “to better myself and my life.” Magagna completed a bachelor’s degree online in business administration in just over three years. She kept working full time while raising her family. Guess what, she graduated in June 2017 and had only $3,000 in student loans. After graduating, her salary almost doubled to just under $20 an hour.

If Elisa’s story resonates with you these programs are looking for students like you.

Working parents who have no time to study on-campus can enroll in one of the more than 200 online degree programs. Online students gain access to some unique perks, such as a dedicated academic advisor, online library, advanced tutoring and 24/7 tech support.


How long does it take to finish an online program?

On campus students can choose to study full-time or part-time, whereas online students can select how many subjects they want to attend each academic period. Full-time students often take two courses per eight week period. Whereas part-time students might take one course.

Under normal circumstances, students can finish their courses in the corresponding time. This is two years for associate’s degrees and four years for a bachelor’s degree. For online students, the time it takes to graduate will depend on how many courses they sign up for every academic period.

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