01 July 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Online Teaching Degrees 2020: Top 7 Online Programs

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For those with limited mobility and prefer to learn at their own pace and time, getting a degree online seems like an ideal choice.

In this guide, you’ll learn the different possible academic paths after you earn an education degree. We’ve also discussed the popular specializations, as well as a list of the top online universities and their estimated tuition cost.

What Teaching Degree Program Is Suitable for Me?

Statement Associate Degrees Bachelor’s Degrees Master’s Degrees Doctoral Degrees
1. I am interested in teaching, but I’m not sure if I want to do it for the long-term. X      
2. I want to work immediately after graduation. X      
3. I want to gain basic knowledge of education and possibly pursue further studies. X X    
4. I want to teach in the K-12 education system and be a licensed teacher.   X X  
5. I have a non-teaching bachelor’s degree but I want to be a teacher in a college or university.     X  
6. I have a teaching job right now, but I want to teach in college.     X  
7. I have worked as a professional teacher for a few years and I plan to get a position in the school administration.     X X
8. I am interested in action research and want to actively participate in studies to help the educational system.     X X
9. I have worked as a school principal but wanted to advance my career.       X
10. I aim to become a full professor at the university.       X

Associate Degrees

Associate degrees require you to earn a minimum of 60 hours of credits. In most cases, students who completed associate degrees can work directly in a kindergarten school or in a childcare center, as well as become a teaching assistant.

The projected salary of a childcare worker is around $21,000 to $23,560 annually.

Bachelor’s Degrees

If you want to be an elementary or secondary school teacher, then securing a Bachelor’s degree in education is a must. You must complete approximately 120 to 180 credit hours to earn this degree.

The possible career paths of bachelor’s degree-holder are in education and training sectors like an academic teacher, technical education teacher, special education teacher, or social worker.

The reported salary of a public school teacher in the K-12 system ranges from $55,000 to $60,000.

Master’s Degrees

This program is useful if you want to work as a college professor. If you already have a teaching job, this graduate study will help you land a job as an instructional coordinator, school counselor, corporate trainer, as well as a curriculum developer.

The estimated salary is around $65,000 to $72,500 with an expected salary increase of up to 13%.

Doctoral Degrees

With a doctoral degree, you can work as a school principal, college dean, school supervisor or superintendent, and even as high as executive director of education or university president. In most cases, your job involves supervision and administration.

An elementary school principal can earn around $92,000 to $106,000 per year. Meanwhile, higher positions can give you a salary of up to $150,000 to $200,000 annually.

Early Childhood Education

If you are an aspiring preschool and kindergarten teacher, then this is the most suitable specialization for you.

Early Childhood Education focuses on the theories and principles of teaching kids at a very young age. Children ages 2 to 7 are the target students of ECE. You will learn the teaching methodologies and strategies on how to guide young learners to be comfortable with learning. The strategies here vary from being formal to informal.

Elementary Education

A bachelor’s degree in elementary education allows you to land a job as a teacher in grades 1 to 6. This usually focuses on childhood cognitive development and teaching methods and classroom management at elementary levels.

Some elementary school teachers earn a Bachelor’s degree with a specialized subject area, such as Maths, Physics, and History.

Secondary Education

If you enjoy working with teens, specifically those in junior or senior years, then a bachelor’s degree in secondary education is a good program to take.

You are required to choose an academic subject as your major, like Maths and Science. In the United States, some secondary teachers can also have skills-focused specialization like woodworking and mechanical drawing.

Special Education

Special education graduates have become in-demand recently. In fact, there were around 437,200 job orders in 2018-2019 as per the report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Special education teachers’ responsibilities include training of students who have learning disabilities. Students have different learning styles and preferences, so a special education teacher must design and develop lessons that are tailored to the student’s learning abilities.

Best Universities to Earn a Teaching Degree Online

1. Arizona State University

Arizona State University is a good place to search for quality online teaching degrees. The school is ranked first as one of the leading innovative educational institutions in the U.S.

On top of that, it is also easy to navigate through all the courses and degrees they offer online. You just need to go to their official website at https://asuonline.asu.edu/ and explore the degrees you are interested in.

The popular online degrees offered at Arizona State University are Educational Studies and Early Childhood Education. Both degrees have 120-hours credit, which is around 12 hours per semester. The tuition cost depends on whether you are a resident of the state or not. The estimated cost for residents is $5,819 per semester and $6,824 for non-residents.

2. University of Florida

The University of Florida (UF) offers various online programs, including education-related ones. Out of the universities in our list, they offer one of the cheapest tuition fees per credit hour. On top of that, they also have several financial aid options, such as scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment.

For online courses, Florida state residents only need to pay $129.18 per credit hour, excluding the required fees. For non-residents, the cost per credit hour starts at $212.71.

3. University of Georgia

Teaching degrees at the University of Georgia are mostly under the school’s College of Education. What makes their program unique though is the fact that they have a wide range of degree programs in an online format. They offer certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, and even endorsements.

Popular teaching degrees are BSEd in Special Education, MEd in Middle Grades Education, and several certificates for specialist studies in Dyslexia, Instructional Technology, and Speech-Language Pathology. University of Georgia’s teaching-related programs are highly recommended for special education teachers.

The tuition is a bit pricey though at $4,682 per semester for state residents. There is also an additional $597 student fee.

4. Ball State University

Ball State University in Indiana has a good reputation when it comes to quality education and reasonable tuition fees. The school also claims to have the same level of rigorous academic courses like that in on-campus programs.

For example, the graduate program of the school is small, so the advisor can focus on each student. The Teacher’s College of Ball State University also encourages studies that are not mainstream. Therefore, a lot of their PhD students have freedom in choosing their research topics.

The two most popular education degrees at Ball State University are Applied Behavioral Analysis and Early Childhood Education. They also use a number of tools and technologies in the online learning set-up, such as email and discussion boards. Moreover, they offer both full online programs and blended programs.

Their tuition cost is quite reasonable at $4,069 for a course with 12-18 credit hours.

5. Daytona State College

Daytona is a public community college situated in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is a medium-sized college and is popular for their Liberal Arts and Humanities degrees.

The state college does not offer any bachelor’s teaching degree in an online format at the moment, but they do have an associate degree that allows you to study Bachelor of Science in Education. This makes the school a great choice for those seeking affordable colleges that offer associate degrees.

In addition, feedback from previous students revealed that the majority of the professors in the college put a lot of effort in teaching. Many agreed that the atmosphere and resources are amazing as well.

Being a medium-sized community college, the tuition cost here is very affordable at $91.79 per credit hour for residents and $550.43 per credit hour for out-of-state students.

6. University of West Florida

The University of West Florida has some of the most flexible online degrees in education. Their affordable online programs are accredited. They offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The B.A. Exceptional Student Education is the most popular undergraduate degree while Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction are favored in graduate degrees. The courses here are well-structured and prepare you for the state certification exam.

The school also has a different tuition scheme for undergraduate and graduate degrees. An estimated $218.98 per credit hour for residents and $648.37 for non-residents for all undergraduate programs. The graduate degrees’ tuition fees are a bit higher at $384.60 for in-state students and $1,044.24 for out-of-state students.

7. Fort Hays State University

This Kansas-based state university is popularly known for its higher education programs. This is an institution with great accessibility and quality. The school is ranked as one of the best-value universities in Kansas. Their virtual college programs are award-winning and also regionally accredited.

Courses here are a bit demanding when it comes to quality, but they are all manageable. The professors are fully committed and easily reachable, which are really helpful if you study online.

Those seeking to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education within Kansas can apply for a course here at $218.67 per credit hour. For graduate degrees like Educational Administration (Principal) and Special Education (Gifted Education), the tuition cost is only $287.75 per credit hour.


Deciding whether to take your teaching degree online is already a tough decision to make. There are a lot of factors to consider, including your specialization, university, and tuition cost.

Hopefully, through this guide, you now have an informed decision on which degree program to take based on the career path you have in mind.