How Do I Choose the Right Online Bachelor’s in Education Program?

If you can't decide on an online bachelor's in education program, the following criteria can help you pick the best program for your goals.
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Updated on April 6, 2023
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  • Students who want flexible course schedules may benefit from online programs.
  • Online bachelor's in education programs offer remote learning at a more affordable cost.
  • Check each program's accreditation, coursework, and job placement rate before you apply.
  • You can teach in public or private schools with an online bachelor's in education.

Gone are the days when online degrees were not valued. For those who need flexibility, an online degree is a great choice to accommodate a busy lifestyle.

The variety and prestige of online schools have changed drastically in the last decade. Education is the third most commonly offered program by subject area in the U.S., according to a study by Northeastern University, with 3,443 programs offered in 2016. Since then, the number of programs has continued to grow.

Choosing the right online program is simpler than you think as long as you keep important educational and employer-oriented criteria in mind.

The Benefits of an Online Bachelor's Degree Program

An online bachelor's in education program provides you with various benefits. Students who need flexibility, especially those with jobs or families, may find that an online program suits their schedule better than in-person learning.

In addition, online programs can make classes more diverse. This is what alumnus Paul Bauer, director of systems improvement and evaluation at Northwest Education Services, found true in his program.

For Bauer, online education "broadens the typical profile of a student to be more inclusive for a variety of life influences (no family, young family, single, people with disabilities, multi-job, deployed service members, etc.)."

Prospective students who want to complete a specific bachelor's degree in a city different from the one they reside in can take advantage of online learning options. Plus, on average, online programs are more affordable than on-campus options.

Popular Online Education Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below

What to Look for in an Online Education Program


You can check the Department of Education (ED) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to verify if an online program is accredited. Not only does accreditation indicate the professional standards of a school, but it can also affect credit transfer and job prospects for students.

Employers view accredited schools more favorably and seriously than their nonaccredited counterparts.If the ED or CHEA does not accredit a program, then you cannot receive financial aid as a student.

Completion Success Rate

See if your prospective online program offers statistics on its students' completion or graduation rate. Schools with a high dropout number may be a red flag.

Success Rate of Placement After Completion

For most people, an online bachelor's program allows them to improve their future career prospects and earnings. Joe Ross, president of Reach University said, "Make sure your online BA program provides the skills and credentials needed for a higher-paying job and that graduates of the program actually get higher-paying jobs upon graduation."

Instructional Design

All colleges and universities are not created equal. Skim through the online programs that interest you to see which ones offer coursework and specialties that align with your career goals.


One of the most important and practical criteria to help you choose an online program is cost. You may not necessarily want the most affordable option if it doesn't feel right or align with your goals. However, since you can search nationwide for an online program, try to find the best balance of cost and education quality.

Things You Should Know About an Online Education Program

The lack of in-person support and oversight can be one challenge of online learning. Search for a program that provides student advocates or advisors to help keep you on track. They can also help you access the resources and opportunities each program offers.

You should also search for practical training in online programs. Though most schools provide a solid theoretical foundation in their bachelor's in education programs, some also offer on-the-job training.

April Heft, a professor of teacher education at Oxford Teachers College at Reach University, offers an example with her university's apprenticeship program.

"Apprenticeships programs, like Reach, identify candidates already working in an educational setting [who] have the desire to obtain the skills essential to teaching, such as theoretical education and application. [They] provide on-the-job learning to students, enhancing and building on the day-to-day work they are already doing in the classroom with students."

April Heft

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Education Programs

Can I become a teacher with an online degree?

Yes. To become a licensed teacher, you need at least a bachelor's degree in education. As long as the school is accredited, a bachelor's degree from an online program is equal to one from a brick-and-mortar college.

People who have completed an online bachelor's in teaching go on to teach in public schools, private schools, and early childhood and adult education programs.

Are online degrees respected?

It depends on the school. Some online schools have made headlines for charging their students for useless degrees. However, you can also find many respectable schools online with challenging coursework and rewarding job prospects.

Before selecting an online program, check the school's accreditation with the ED and CHEA. Check for any notable professors and alumni working in the education field. Employers tend to respect accredited schools with recognizable professors, regardless of whether the degree was earned in person or online.

What is the quickest education degree to get?

Though most bachelor's programs take four years, you can opt for an accelerated bachelor's program online. Most students can finish these degrees in three years by taking more credits at once. A few students even finish the coursework in two years.

Keep in mind: Accelerated means that the coursework becomes a full-time job. Many students searching for online bachelor's programs prefer them because of the flexibility they provide. For students with jobs and families, accelerated programs may be difficult to juggle with other responsibilities.

If you already have an associate degree in education, you can apply for a degree-completion program to earn your bachelor's. This option can speed up your bachelor's degree-completion time. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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