Online Degree Programs in Science

Popular Majors in Science

An interest in the field of science reflects a student with an analytical and curious mind who is fascinated with how the world works. A mind such as this will find the variety of majors available in science very appealing. Some of the most popular majors in science include:

  • Biology/biological sciences
  • Geology/ geophysics
  • Fire science
  • Forensic science

Biology/biological sciences have been ranked the fourth most popular major on the Princeton Review‘s list of the Top 10 College Majors. From microbiology to botany, this major provides a range of courses teaching students the inner workings of living things.

A geology/geophysics major is popular with students who have a passion for the environment and a love for the great outdoors. Students in these majors study the physical makeup and history of the earth. Classes in geophysics incorporate quantitative study methods and explore fascinating topics like seismology (the study of earthquakes) and volcanology (the study of volcanoes).

Majors in fire science offer students classes in disaster planning, fire protection services and fire protection service administration. These classes are popular with students who seek leadership positions in firefighting or disaster preparedness/relief organizations.

Forensic science majors remain popular due to the glamorization of forensic scientist careers seen on TV shows like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Bones." Forensic science majors learn how to apply the scientific method to help solve crimes.

How a Degree in Science Prepares You for the Real World

When earning a degree in science, you are not only adding to your education, but in many ways, you are also preparing yourself for your future career.

At both traditional and online schools, students earning their degree in science will need to take courses that involve physical lab work to accompany and supplement their classes, especially for classes like biology, anatomy & physiology and physics. These classes are hands-on, and instructors or lab directors give students real laboratory experience by directing them to do exercises like examining bacteria cultures under a microscope, dissecting various organisms to learn more about their internal structures or studying DNA.

Many careers will demand that candidates be familiar with and thoroughly experienced with lab work, with some examples being clinical and medical lab technicians, medical laboratory scientists and forensic scientists, as well as other general careers in research. With online science degree programs, these labs are done at a location near the student. The writing skills gained by learning to properly write lab reports in your college classes will also help prepare you for the real world. While effective writing skills are always in-demand for any job, it is especially important in a research laboratory, where accuracy is of the utmost importance.

Best Jobs for Science Degree Students

The American Institute of Biological Sciences identifies a number of career paths that graduates with science degrees in biology can pursue. Some of those areas include:

  • Research, e.g., cancer research in laboratory settings or developing and testing drought resistant crops in desert areas around the world
  • Health care, e.g., working to cure and prevent the spread of diseases
  • Environmental conservation and management, e.g., as park rangers or zoo biologists
  • Education, e.g., moving on to advanced degrees in order to become a college professor
  • Science writing, e.g., students who have written their share of advanced research may take up full-time or freelance opportunities writing for scientific magazines and professional science publications, where they can write as experts because of their background in science.

A 2008 list of Top 10 Jobs in Science includes environmental scientists, hydrologists (people who study rainfall and bodies of water), geoscientists, medical scientists and biochemists/biophysicists in the top five. The list is based on projected job growth in the field and also on projected earnings.