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Trade School Programs Online: 35 Best Values 2021

The banner awarded by College Values Online to the top degree programs

The traditional college experience isn’t for everyone. Thanks to online trade schools, students who desire a convenient pathway toward career advancement without the four-year stint in a classroom have better options. Besides skipping the lengthy commute for in-person instruction, there are many other advantages to online technical degrees for students in vocational fields. One of the major benefits has to do with cost; according to the College Board, tuition for a two-year school is roughly a third of the cost of a four-year undergraduate degree.

Aside from the cost, there are many other advantages to seeking out technical degrees online. These convenient programs enable busy and working adults to earn valuable credentials while still juggling other responsibilities such as full-time employment and child-rearing, for example. They also provide flexible pathways toward employment or continued education after graduation. Students who desire to transfer to a university after attending online technical colleges can do so easily, while those poised for employment will find that their technical degrees online are highly valued by employers.

In this article, we identify our researched-based selections for the top 35 online technical degrees and programs.

Rating and Ranking the Best Accredited Online Technical Colleges

To develop this ranking of the top online technical colleges, our editors began with an initial pool of 55 two-year community and technical colleges online. In this initial pool, only accredited online technical schools were considered. In addition, schools were required to offer multiple technical degrees online to be considered. Once editors created this initial list, we applied a tuition filter, eliminating the online tech schools with tuition rates of more than $6,000 annually. Finally, we applied our site-wide trade school program methodology. In cases of a tie, the most affordable technical online colleges were awarded the higher rankings.

Click here to see the full methodology!

#35—Trinity Valley Community College

Athens, Texas

Website

Points: 10

Trinity Valley Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

While not one of the most affordable technical online colleges in our ranking, Trinity Valley Community College does boast one of the higher potential ROIs of any other online tech schools highlighted here. The school’s distance learning options include fully online associate’s degree programs such as:

  • Online AA in Sociology
  • Online AA in Computer Science
  • Online AAS in Legal Assistant Technology
  • Online AAS in Information Systems Support and Administration
  • Online AAS in General Business

Hybrid degree programs are also available, as are fully online certificate and diploma programs in various vocational areas. TVCC is fully accredited to award online technical degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,920

#34—Somerset Community College

Somerset, Kentucky

Website

Points: 10

Somerset Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of the youngest online tech schools in our ranking, Somerset Community College was founded in 2002. Today, the school serves students throughout south-central Kentucky and beyond with numerous on-campus and online technical degrees and certificate programs. In addition to over a thousand individual online courses, the school offers fully online associate’s degree programs, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration Systems
  • Online AAS in Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Computer and Information Technologies
  • Online AAS in Culinary Arts
  • Online AAS in Fire/Rescue Science Technology

Certificate and diploma programs that can be completed entirely via distance education are also available. Somerset Community College holds the institutional accreditation required to confer online technical degrees at the associate’s level by the Southern Commission of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,488

#33—James A. Rhodes State College

Lima, Ohio

Website

Points: 10

Rhodes State College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

James A. Rhodes State College offers more than a dozen online technical degrees and certificates through its Center for Distance & Innovative Learning. Fully online degree programs include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Business in Accounting
  • Online Associate of Applied Business in Marketing
  • Online Associate’s in Human Resources

Numerous certificate options are also available via distance learning, including those in:

  • Agricultural Business
  • Team Leadership
  • Digital Marketing
  • Esports
  • Cybersecurity Fundamentals
  • Medical Billing and Coding

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited James A. Rhodes State College to award vocational certificates and technical degrees online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,325

#32—Northcentral Technical College

Wausau, Wisconsin

Website

Points: 10

Northcentral Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Ranked by Niche as one of the best online technical colleges in the nation, Northcentral Technical College serves students throughout the state of Wisconsin and the nation at large with online technical degrees and certificate programs. This includes over two dozen fully online associate’s degrees, including:

  • Online Associate’s in Manufacturing Engineering Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Leadership Development
  • Online Associate’s in Substance Abuse Disorder Counseling
  • Online Associate’s in Sports and Recreation Management
  • Online Associate’s in Safety Engineering Technology

Online technical diplomas and certificates are just as plentiful and span subject areas such as:

  • Industrial Environmental Engineering
  • Human Resource Management
  • Quality Manufacturing
  • Bookkeeping Technology

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Northcentral Technical College to award technical degrees online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,673

#31—Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Fergus Falls, Minnesota

Website

Points: 11

Minnesota State Community and Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Known for its impressive ROI potential, Minnesota State Community and Technical College is also one of the most affordable technical online colleges in the U.S. Students enrolled at M State can choose from a variety of distance education offerings, including over two hundred individual online courses and more than 30 fully online technical degrees and certificate programs. Sample options include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Digital Marketing
  • Online AAS in Computer Programming
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Business
  • Online AS in Human Resources
  • Online Certificate in Cybersecurity
  • Online Certificate in Purchasing and Inventory Management

Numerous short-term diploma offerings are also available online. Minnesota State Community and Technical College holds institutional accreditation to confer technical degrees online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,560

#30—Klamath Community College

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Website

Points: 11

Klamath Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

 Established in 1996, Klamath Community College is a small two-year school with a large online program. Students enrolled at KCC can choose from fully online technical degrees such as:

  • Online AAS in Digital Media and Design
  • Online AAS in Business Technology
  • Online AAS in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAS in Health Information Management
  • Online Associate of General Studies: Psychology
  • Online Associate of Science in Environmental Science

In addition to these technical degrees online, the school also offers various community and workforce education courses via distance education. Klamath Community College is authorized to award these career and academic credentials through accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,497

#29—York County Community College

Wells, Maine

Website

Points: 11

York County Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

A member of the Maine Community College System, York County Community College is one of the most affordable technical online colleges in New England. The school offers several fully online professional certification programs as well as both hybrid and 100% online technical degrees. Those programs that can be completed entirely online include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Information Technology
  • Online AAS in Behavioral Health Studies
  • Online AAS in Business Administration: Finance
  • Online AAS in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Online AAS in Liberal Studies

Students interested in blended learning opportunities may consider the following:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Medical Assisting
  • Online AS in Computer Science
  • Online AS in Education
  • Online AS in Health Studies

YCCC is fully accredited to confer these technical degrees online by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,720

#28—Holmes Community College

Goodman, Mississippi

Website

Points: 11

Holmes Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Nationally recognized as one of the leading online technical schools in the United States, Holmes Community College offers convenient certificate, diploma, and technical degrees online. Examples include:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Technology
  • Online AAS in Medical Billing and Coding Technology
  • Online AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
  • Online AAS in Medical Office Technology

Courses for these programs are offered entirely online, and students can take advantage of convenient accelerated options. HCC is among the fully accredited online technical colleges authorized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,410

#27—Mid-Plains Community College

North Platte, Nebraska

Website

Points: 11

Mid-Plains Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

A small two-year school serving the southwest Nebraska area, Mid-Plains Community College boasts an impressive online division. Distance learning students interested in an associate’s degree can choose from among the school’s fully online technical degrees, including:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Online AA in Criminal Justice
  • Online AA: Library Technical Assistant
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Criminal Justice
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration

Online students enrolled at MPCC enjoy many online support services, including academic advising as well as many of the same assistance afforded to traditional students. Mid-Plains Community College has been accredited to confer technical degrees online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,360

#26—Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Wesson, Mississippi

Website

Points: 11

Copiah-Lincoln Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Highly rated among online technical colleges, Copiah-Lincoln Community College offers nearly three dozen online technical degrees in a wide variety of academic and vocational areas such as:

  • Business
  • Health Science
  • Public Safety
  • Education
  • Human Services

Specific program offerings include:

  • Online Associate’s in Paralegal Studies
  • Online Associate’s in Elementary Education
  • Online Associate’s in Business Administration
  • Online Associate’s in Athletic Training
  • Online Associate’s in Administrative Office Technology

Copiah-Lincoln Community College holds the institutional accreditation necessary to confer technical degrees online by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,180

#25—Northland Community and Technical College

Thief River Falls, Minnesota

Website

Points: 12

Northland Community and Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

A leader amongst online technical schools in terms of potential ROI, Northland Community and Technical College offers over two dozen fully online technical degrees and certificate programs. These offerings span subject areas such as the liberal arts, manufacturing, aerospace studies, business, health sciences, and human services. Standout programs include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Digital Marketing
  • Online AAS: Early Childhood and Paraprofessional
  • Online AAS in Geospatial Intelligence Analysis
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Economics
  • Online AA in Sociology
  • Online Certificate in Production Technology
  • Online Diploma in Practical Nursing

Northland Community and Technical College is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The school is institutionally accredited to award these technical degrees online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,793

#24—Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Cumberland, Kentucky

Website

Points: 12

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of the largest online technical college in terms of the number of programs offered via distance education, Southeast Kentucky Community College is also an affordable option for online students. Those seeking a two-year degree without the commute to campus can choose from degree tracks such as:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Administrative Office Technology
  • Online AAS in Information Security
  • Online AAS in Energy Management
  • Online AAS in Healthcare Facilities Leadership
  • Online AAS in Logistics & Operations Management

Numerous online diploma and certificate programs are also available and include options in:

  • Digital Game and Simulation Design
  • Informatics Fundamentals
  • Computer Aided Drafting & Design
  • Early Childhood Administrator

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College is accredited to offer these online technical degrees and programs by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,488

#23—Kennebec Valley Community College

Fairfield, Maine

Website

Points: 12

Kennebec Valley Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of the best online technical schools in terms of return-on-investment, Kennebec Valley Community College offers a number of partially and fully online technical degrees for students interested in distance learning. Associate’s degree programs that can be completed without any on-campus attendance include:

  • Online Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration: Marketing
  • Online AAS in Mental Health Technology
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Associate in Arts (AA) in Liberal Studies

Other program offerings featuring online courses include:

  • Online AAS in Health Information Management
  • Online Associate in Science (AS) in Radiologic Technology
  • Online Certificate in Medical Assisting

Some hybrid classes are also available. KVCC is institutionally accredited to confer these online technical degrees by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,882

#22—Southeastern Technical College

Vidalia, Georgia

Website

Southeastern Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Points: 12

Southeastern Technical College is a member of the Technical College System of Georgia and also one of the most affordable technical online colleges in the country. The school’s advanced distance learning technology enables it to offer seven different fully online technical degrees, including:

  • Online Associate’s in Criminal Justice Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Cybersecurity
  • Online Associate’s in Business Healthcare Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Accounting

Several diploma and certificate programs are also available entirely online in academic and vocational areas such as:

  • Business Management
  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare Billing and Reimbursement
  • Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Computerized Accounting

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited Southeastern Technical College to award these career credentials and technical degrees online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,127

#21—Wayne Community College

Goldsboro, North Carolina

Website

Points: 12

Wayne Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

The majority of online technical degrees offered by Wayne Community College are Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree programs. These offerings enable students to gain real-world skills in a variety of different vocational areas such as:

  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Business Administration/Operations Management
  • Criminal Justice Technology: Forensic Science
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Software Development
  • IT Business Support

Numerous online diploma and certificate programs are also available. Wayne Community College has been fully accredited to offer these technical degrees online by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked it among the best online technical colleges in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,524

#20—Marion Technical College

Marion, Ohio

Website

Points: 13

Marion Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

In terms of a student’s potential return-on-investment, Marion Technical College is one of the nation’s best online tech schools. In addition to numerous online courses, the school offers several fully online technical degrees, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Business Management
  • Online AAB in Human Resource Management
  • Online Associate’s in Office Administration
  • Online Associate’s in Real Estate
  • Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology

For added convenience, these programs are offered on a part-time or full-time basis. Residents of any state in the United States aside from California are eligible to apply for these distance learning offerings. Marion Technical College is one of the many accredited online technical colleges in our ranking accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,565

#19—Lake Region State College

Devils Lake, North Dakota

Website

Points: 13

Lake Region State College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Established in 1941, Lake Region State College has since made a name for itself as one of the best, most affordable technical online colleges in the country. Through its Center for Distance Education, the school offers several fully online associate’s degree programs such as:

  • Online Associate in Arts (AA) in Business Administration
  • Online Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Law Enforcement
  • Online AAS in Marketing
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online AAS: Fitness Training Technician
  • Online AAS: Speech Language Pathology Paraprofessional

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Lake Region State College to confer these technical degrees online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,843

#18—Nicolet Area Technical College

Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Website

Points: 13

Nicolet Area Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Nicolet Area Technical College has received national recognition as one of the best and most affordable technical online colleges. The school’s MyWay initiative enables distance learners to earn academic and vocational credentials entirely online. Some of these fully online technical degrees include:

  • Online Associates of Applied Science (AAS) in Accounting
  • Online AAS: IT Computer Support Specialist
  • Online AAS: IT Web Software Development
  • Online AAS: Industrial Mechanical Technician
  • Online AAS in Electromechanical Technology

Diploma and certificate programs available via distance learning span vocational areas such as:

  • Automotive Service
  • Welding
  • Office Assistance
  • Information Technology

Nicolet Area Technical College is institutionally accredited to award professional certificates and technical degrees online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,505

#17—Central Georgia Technical College

Warner Robbins, Georgia

Website

Points: 13

Central Georgia Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

A member of the Technical College System of Georgia, Central Georgia Technical College is also one of the most affordable technical online colleges in the country. Here, students interested in earning an associate’s degree via distance education will find over a dozen different fully online technical degrees to choose from, including:

  • Online Associate’s in Computer Programming
  • Online Associate’s in Logistics Management
  • Online Associate’s in Cybersecurity
  • Online Associate’s in Sports and Fitness Management
  • Online Associate’s in Website Design/Development

Even more fully online options are available for students interested in a short-term certificate or diploma program. Sample areas of study include:

  • Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Medical Coding
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Computerized Accounting
  • Pre-Nursing

CGTC is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award technical degrees online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,042

#16—Lenoir Community College

Kinston, North Carolina

Website

Points: 13

Lenoir Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of the best accredited online technical colleges in terms of affordability, Lenoir Community College offers fully online technical degrees and certificates in subject areas like:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Information Systems
  • Emergency Management
  • Office Administration
  • Aviation Management

Fully online associate degree offerings include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in General Business Administration
  • Online AAS in Pilot Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • Online AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
  • Online AAS in Emergency Management

Online courses are delivered via asynchronous distance learning technology. Lenoir Community College holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,568

#15—North Central Missouri College

Trenton, Missouri

Website

Points: 14

North Central Missouri College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Established in 1925, North Central Missouri College is now home to an impressive distance learning division. The school offers all of its general education courses online as well as ten fully online technical degrees and certificates. Sample program offerings include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAS in Behavioral Health Support
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Development
  • Online Certificate in Financial Management
  • Online Certificate in Business Management Essentials

Online tutoring is available to distance education students enrolled in one of the above programs. NCMC is fully accredited to award these online technical degrees by the North Central Association of The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,670

#14—Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Website

Points: 14

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

A member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College also happens to be one of the most affordable technical schools in the country. In addition to four physical campuses, the school is also home to a strong online learning program, offering numerous online courses as well as entire degree programs that can be completed via distance education. Online associate’s degree programs available from ECTC include:

  • Online Associate in Arts (AA) in Social Work
  • Online AA in Elementary Education
  • Online Associate in Science (AS) in Engineering
  • Online AS in Physical Therapy
  • Online Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Administrative Office Technology
  • Online AAS in Air Conditioning Technology

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges  has accredited Elizabethtown Community and Technical College to award these technical degrees online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,488

#13—Volunteer State Community College

Gallatin, Tennessee

Website

Points: 14

Volunteer State Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of the younger online technical colleges in our ranking, Volunteer State Community College was established in 1971. In recent decades, the school has built a robust online learning program, offering fully online technical degrees and certificate programs. Here, students interested in an associate’s degree program can choose from options such as:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Online AAS in Computer Information Technology: Programming
  • Online AAS in Fire Science
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Psychology
  • Online AA in Political Science
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Information Systems
  • Online AS in Criminal Justice

Entirely online certificate programs are available in many of these same areas. The school also offers a standout certificate program in Sleep Diagnostics Technology. VSCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,312

#12—Stanly Community College

Albemarle, North Carolina

Website

Points: 14

Stanly Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of the most affordable technical online colleges in the South, Stanly Community College offers an ever-increasing number of online courses and degrees, including trade school programs. The curricula for these programs mirror that of the school’s on-campus programs, and interactive video is used to enhance engagement. Fully online degree programs include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Information Technology
  • Online AAS in Agribusiness Technology
  • Online Associate in Arts (AA) in Teacher Preparation
  • Online AAS in Human Services Technology
  • Online AA in Business and Accounting

In addition to these technical degrees online, a variety of online certificate and diploma programs are also available. Stanly Community College is fully accredited to award these academic and vocational credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,674

#11—Vance-Granville Community College

Henderson, North Carolina

Website

Points: 14

Vance-Granville Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

A leader amongst online tech schools, Vance-Granville Community College offers a variety of fully online and hybrid programs for the distance learner. Fully online associate’s degrees available via VGCC include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Accounting & Finance
  • Online Associate’s in Business Administration
  • Online Associate’s in Supply Chain Management: Trucking Operations Management
  • Online Associate’s in Information Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Criminal Justice Technology

Online options exist for students interested in a diploma or vocational certificate as well. Vance-Granville Community College is institutionally accredited to confer online technical degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $1,948

#10—Riverland Community College

Austin, Minnesota

Website

Points: 15

Riverland Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

A mid-sized public community college serving parts of southeastern Minnesota, Riverland Community College has built a substantial distance learning program. The school offers just over two dozen online technical degrees and certificates, including standout programs such as:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS): Administrative Assistant
  • Online AAS in Accounting
  • Online AAS in Supervisory Management
  • Online Certificate in Game Design
  • Online Certificate in Mobile Apps and Virtual Reality
  • Online Certificate in Tax Preparation

Most of the school’s on-campus programs also feature some online and distance learning components. Riverland Community College is a member of the Minnesota State system and is fully accredited to confer technical degrees online by The Higher Learning Commission. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,826

#9—Barton County Community College

Great Bend, Kansas

Website

Points: 15

Barton County Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of the nation’s first online tech schools, Barton County Community College has been offering online classes since 1999. Today, the two-year college offers fully online associate’s degree and certificate programs in in-demand subject areas such as:

  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Health Professions
  • Military Studies/Leadership
  • Public Safety, Corrections, and Security
  • Industrial and Energy Technology
  • Business/Economics

Customized training opportunities are also available online, including those in:

  • Military Training
  • Hazardous Materials and Emergency Management
  • OSHA Safety

BCCC is fully accredited to confer these technical degrees online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,776

#8—Richmond Community College

Hamlet, North Carolina

Website

Points: 15

Richmond Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Richmond Community College prides itself on providing a supportive environment for distance learning students seeking online technical degrees. Enrolled students interested in virtual learning can elect a number of different fully online associate’s degrees, including:

  • Online Associate’s in Accounting
  • Online Associate’s in Healthcare Management Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Associate’s in Human Service Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Criminal Justice Technology

In addition to these full technical degrees online, the school also offers a number of different online courses and certificate programs. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Richmond Community College to award these online credentials.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,536

#7—Eastern Gateway Community College

Steubenville, Ohio

Website

Points: 16

Eastern Gateway Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

Eastern Gateway Community College’s robust online learning program enables it to reach students throughout the country with online technical degrees and certificate/diploma options. Among its numerous fully online associate’s degree programs are offerings such as:

  • Online AAS in Health Information Management
  • Online AAS in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAB in Professional Office Management
  • Online AA in Teacher Education
  • Online AAS in Social Work

Students with university aspirations will also find a general AA degree online as well as an online Associate of Individualized Study option. Hybrid and certificate programs are also available. EGCC is fully accredited to award technical degrees online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,026

#6—Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Clarkston, Georgia

Website

Points: 16

Georgia Piedmont Technical College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of the best online technical schools in terms of the number of fully online programs offered, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is home to more than 50 certificates, diplomas, and technical degrees online. These programs span subjects such as media, business, public safety, and technology, for example. Specific plans of study include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Health Information Management Technology
  • Online AAS in Marketing Management
  • Online AAS in Cyber Forensics Technology
  • Online AAS in Design and Media Production Technology
  • Online Certificate in Criminal Justice Fundamentals
  • Online Certificate in Visual Basic Programming
  • Online Diploma in Business Technology
  • Online Diploma: Computer Support Specialist

Although coursework can be completed entirely online, distance learners are required to participate in a proctored component for each class they take. Georgia Piedmont Technical College is authorized to confer technical degrees online through accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,178

#5—Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Salisbury, North Carolina

Website

Points: 16

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

As one of the most comprehensive online tech schools in our ranking, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College offers more than 250 online courses, enabling students to obtain a diploma, acquire a certificate in their chosen field, and obtain technical degrees online. Fully online degree offerings include:

  • Online Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Emergency Medical Science
  • Online AAS in Information Technology Information Systems
  • Online AAS in Healthcare Management
  • Online AAS in Business Administration Marketing
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education

Students can also pursue over three dozen online certificates and diplomas entirely online. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is institutionally accredited to confer online technical degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,632

#4—Clovis Community College

Fresno, California

Website

Points: 16

Clovis Community College-35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of the most affordable technical online colleges in our ranking, Clovis Community College offers a number of different fully online and hybrid courses and degree programs for vocational students. Some of the school’s 100% online technical degrees include:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Behavioral Science
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies
  • Online AAS in Business Administration
  • Online Associate of General Studies

Fully online certificate programs are also available and include:

  • Online Certificate of Completion in Criminal Justice
  • Online Certificate of Achievement in Game Design
  • Online Certificate of Achievement in Networking

Online academic counseling is also available to support individual academic achievement. Clovis Community College holds institutional accreditation from the WASC Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $1,616

#3—Shoreline Community College

Shoreline, Washington

Website

Points: 17

Shoreline Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

The very best online technical school in our ranking in terms of potential ROI, Shoreline Community College is also one of the nation’s most affordable technical online colleges. The school offers thirty distinct programs for distance learnings, including fully online technical degrees such as:

  • Online Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in Accounting
  • Online AAAS in Business
  • Online AAAS in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAAS in Health Information Technology

Numerous online certificates are also available in in-demand vocational areas like:

  • Health Data Analyst
  • Criminal Justice Advocacy
  • Project Management
  • Medical Coding and Reimbursement

Shoreline Community College is a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) participant. It is institutionally accredited to confer online technical degrees by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,076

#2—Pitt Community College

Winterville, North Carolina

Website

Points: 18

Pitt Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

With tuition rates of less than $2,000 per year, Pitt Community College is one of the country’s most affordable technical online colleges. The school also has no shortage of online offerings for prospective students, including online technical degrees, certificates, and diplomas. For students seeking a vocational or technical degree online, PCC offers nearly two dozen options, including:

  • Online Associate’s in Business Administration: Human Resources Management
  • Online Associate’s in Nuclear Medicine Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Health Information Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Associate’s in Industrial Management Technology

A mandatory orientation is required for all distance learning students, but this component can also be completed entirely online. Pitt Community College is one of the nation’s fully accredited online technical colleges, thanks to its affiliation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $1,940

#1—Nash Community College

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Website

Points: 19

Nash Community College 35 Best Online Technical Degrees

One of several online technical colleges in our ranking accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Nash Community College offers a wide range of online technical degrees, certificates, and diplomas. For students seeking a two-year degree, options include:

  • Online Associate’s in Information Technology: Healthcare Informatics
  • Online Associate’s in Emergency Management
  • Online Associate’s in Criminal Justice Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Accounting and Finance
  • Online Associate’s in Office Administration: Office Software Specialist

Online certificate programs are available in fields such as:

  • Health Sciences
  • Business and Information Technology
  • Law and Criminal Justice
  • Emergency Management

A variety of online student resources are available to NCC’s distance learning students, including online tutoring, advising, and technical support.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,666

Types of Online Technical Schools

Online technical schools aren’t one-size-fits-all institutions. Instead, there are several different types of online technical colleges available. In this section, we will discuss some of the options you’ll have at your disposal when searching for online technical degrees.

Accredited Online Technical Colleges

If you’ve just started to consider the idea of online technical schools, you may be wondering if the prospect is simply too good to be true. Questions regarding the legitimacy of online tech degrees are not uncommon. Rest assured, though, if the schools you are researching are accredited by an accrediting body approved by the U.S. Department of Education, they are indeed the real deal. On the other hand, if you can’t locate any accreditation information for an institution despite doing your due diligence, then you may be wise to continue your search for online technical colleges elsewhere.

Pro Tip: The U.S. Department of Education keeps an online database of accredited schools nationwide. Use the search tool to locate information regarding any postsecondary school’s accreditation status.

Hybrid Versus Fully Online Tech Schools

One of the key differences among online technical schools is their course delivery format. While some online programs profess to be distance education offerings, they actually require some campus attendance. These programs are better categorized as hybrid degree programs. True online programs, sometimes labeled as “100% online” or “fully online,” do not require students to make any trips to campus whatsoever. Instead, these programs rely on distance education technology such as teleconferencing to bring teachers and students together in virtual environments.

Asynchronous Versus Synchronous Online Tech School Programs

Even fully online programs can differ in terms of scheduling requirements, though. This is because some of these programs are primarily asynchronous offerings, while others are synchronous in nature. The difference between these two formats is that asynchronous programs are more self-paced, while synchronous degree plans require students to attend online classes at certain pre-determined times. There are benefits and drawbacks to both asynchronous and synchronous options. For instance, asynchronous programs are more convenient but lack the interactivity that synchronous programs may offer.

Part-Time Versus Full-Time Technical Schools Online

Whether you want to attend an online technical school on a part-time or full-time basis, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a program to fit your scheduling needs. While many schools offer one or the other format exclusively, some cater to both full-time and part-time students. If you’re still unsure as to which scheduling option is best for you, consider how much time per week you’ll be able to devote to your studies. Students who work full-time may find a part-time online technical degree program to fit better, for example. Just keep in mind that part-time programs will have longer completion times.

Types of Online Technical Degrees and Programs

Just as all online tech schools are unique, so too are the programs these institutions offer. Online technical degrees are just one part of the equation. Below, we’ll take a more in-depth look at what the best online technical colleges have to offer.

Online Industry Certificate Programs

If you’re interested in online tech schools but you’re not excited about a lengthy degree plan, then you might want to consider one of the many online certificate programs available. These programs offer advanced training in various trades and industries and can be completed in just months as opposed to years. Depending on the program, an industry certificate can prepare students for entry-level employment in a vocational field or advancement in a current area of employment.

Online Vocational Diplomas

Vocational diplomas are similar to industry certificate programs, but they may be more involved. Translation? You may have to take more courses to earn a diploma versus a certificate, and these courses could prove more challenging as well. The upside is that a diploma program could hold more weight to a potential employer than a certificate. Neither will be as impressive as online technical degrees, though.

Online Associate’s Degrees

Ready to take a deep dive into an online technical school program? Then, you may be ready for an associate’s degree track. Many technical schools online offer Associate of Applied Science degree programs, often referred to as AAS programs.  These two-year degree programs provide enrolled students with real-world skills and the opportunities to apply them via virtual experiential learning activities. Other online technical degrees include Associate of Science (AS), Associate in Arts (AA), and Associate of Applied Business (AAB) programs.

Online Technical School Programs: Curriculum

Students interested in attending accredited online technical colleges may have questions regarding the curriculum for technical degrees online. For instance, you may be wondering how many classes you’ll be expected to take as well as precisely what you’ll be studying. While the exact curriculum details for your program will depend on the school you attend and the degree or certificate you’re seeking, you can expect that online technical degrees will be more streamlined than other undergraduate programs. That’s because these programs do not usually require a general education component, meaning you will not be required to take classes outside of your chosen subject area. For example, students enrolled in an online medical assistance program will take only courses in healthcare; they won’t be required to take introductory college math or composition classes like they would be for a four-year degree plan.

Popular Online Technical Degrees

If you’re interested in earning a technical degree online, you’ll be happy to learn that there are many options to choose from. No matter what industry or employment field you’re looking to join, there’s probably a technical degree online to fit your career interests. Below, we’ll provide details on some of the most popular options available to prospective distance learning students.

Online Associate Degrees in Business Administration

Though most lucrative careers in business administration require at least a bachelor’s degree, online technical degrees in business administration can represent the first step towards a four-year degree and/or a foot in the door to the corporate job of your dreams.

Online technical schools commonly offer multiple degree plans in business administration since the field is fairly broad. Some programs may feature concentrations and specialization options in areas like marketing, finance, human resources, and more. Below, we’ll list some examples of course titles common in online business administration associate degree curricula.

Sample Course Titles for Online Technical Degrees in Business Administration

  • Business Systems Analysis and Design
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Principles of Management
  • Business Statistics

Online Associate’s Degrees in Behavioral Science

Like online technical degrees in business administration, associate’s degrees in behavioral science cover a wide range of sub-fields, including psychology, sociology, and human services, for example. Some of these two-year degree programs provide sufficient preparation for entry-level careers, while others are ideal for students interested in university transfer post-graduation. Online technical degrees in behavioral science will vary widely in terms of curriculum details. Even so, we’ve listed some sample course titles below for the sake of example.

Sample Course Titles for Online Technical Degrees in Behavioral Science

  • Applied Human Growth and Development
  • Professional Success in Behavioral Science
  • Deconstructing Social Problems
  • Statistics for Behavioral Science

Online Associate’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education

Students interested in working in early childhood education can take the first step toward a successful career by pursuing online technical degrees in the discipline. Such a degree can qualify graduates for entry-level jobs as teacher’s aides or provide them with a solid foundation for a bachelor’s degree program. Curricula for these technical degrees will address topics in child development, educational policy, and instructional techniques, for instance.

Sample Course Titles for Early Childhood Education Technical Degrees Online

  • Wellness in the Early Childhood Setting
  • Educational Philosophy for Teachers
  • Infant and Toddler Care
  • Working with Preschoolers

Online Associate Healthcare Degrees

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more jobs will be added to the healthcare industry than to any other occupational field in the coming years. Online technical degrees in this burgeoning field can qualify graduates for high-paying jobs in the medical field, such as diagnostic medical sonographer, cardiovascular technologist, and nuclear medicine technologist, for example. Course titles associated with healthcare technical degrees online will vary depending on your chosen specialization and/or career path. Still, we’ve listed some sample classes below for general reference.

Sample Course Titles for Online Technical Degrees in Healthcare

  • Managing Healthcare Human Resources
  • Healthcare Law, Policy, and Regulations
  • Medical Terminology
  • Health & Human Disease

Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Technical Degrees

The decision to attend an online tech school is a big one. Once it’s made, you’ll be required to devote a fair amount of resources toward earning one of many available online technical degrees. With a lot of work and a little luck, the investment will pay off brilliantly. Still, it’s normal to have concerns. Below, our editors will address the most common questions about online technical colleges and their offerings. Keep in mind that the information provided here is general in nature and not intended to replace information from a school representative about a specific college or technical degree online.

Q: How much do online tech schools cost?

A: Expenses associated with earning an online technical degree or certificate will vary depending on the school you attend. The most affordable technical online colleges boast tuition rates of less than $2,000 annually.

Q: How long does it take to earn technical degrees online?

A: Online technical degrees can take up to two years to complete, but accelerated options may be available for some programs. These programs can shorten your completion time but may require more time and effort in the short term.

Q: Can I do trade school online?

A: Yes! More and more two-year schools are offering their technical degrees online. To find a program that interests you, check program options at your local community colleges, or search online.

Q: What are the best online trade school programs?

A: While our editors can rank online tech schools according to certain factors, we cannot determine which program will best fit your individual needs and preferences. As you consider your options, keep in mind that the best online trade school programs for you are those accredited offerings that meet your budget, schedule, and career goals.

Q: What are the highest paying online associates degrees?

A: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the highest paying jobs requiring an associate’s degree for entry are air traffic controller, radiation therapist, and nuclear technician.

Q: Are technical school degrees in demand?

A: Many of them are, yes, but it depends on the degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most in-demand technical degrees are environmental science, paralegal studies, healthcare, and web development.

Sources:

CVO Staff:
April 2021

Related:

This concludes our list of the top 35 best value online technical degree programs.

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