Top 5 Online Community College Courses for a High Paying Job

Students choose online community college courses for a variety of reasons, including lower tuition, no commuting, being close to jobs and family, and completing ongoing education classes as an adult. The courses presented are the best to take to prepare you for a rewarding career in the medical and dental field, earn a certificate in computer science for a raise or promotion, or learn a trade, like HVAC repair, to help you become your own boss. This guide will help you decide what online community college courses are best for you to reach your future goals. Here are the:

Best Community College Courses

young woman sitting at her desk in front of a laptop computer

Image Source: DepositPhotos.com

1. Radiology/Medical Imaging

Medical imaging, diagnostic medical technology, and radiation technology are the process of creating x-ray images of the body’s interior, using specialized equipment, to diagnose issues, help doctors come up with treatment plans, and see fetal development during a pregnancy. It also helps to identify abnormalities.

Pros
• Can be employed with a certification.
• Able to choose a specialty (ultrasounds, vascular system, etc.)
• Can finish online community college courses in as little as twelve months.
• Earn an average of $65,860 per year with an Associate’s degree.
• Opportunities for advancement in career by becoming an educator or administrator.

Cons
• Job demand varies by region.
• Techs may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
• Heavy lifting of patients.
• Possible exposure to radiation.

Prerequisites: High school diploma
Learning Platform: Online and campuses throughout Ohio
Website: Fortis.edu
Fees: Tuition of $12,503
Exams to be Certified: American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS)

2. Computer Science

Computer Science is a generalized course that teaches students the ins and outs of computers, troubleshooting and fixing computer issues, computer and hardware design, computer theory, development and programming, and computer applications. This will prepare them for a variety of careers in computer programing, repair, web administration, web development, Information Technology, and more.

Pros
• Job security (since nearly all businesses use a computer).
• Diversity in the field since students from all walks of life choose to make a career of this.
• Higher earning potential.
• Growing demand.

Cons
• Many math and science class requirements.
• Intensive program; may not allow for much free time.
• Some companies may prefer to hire a graduate from a more specialized computer major.

Prerequisites: High school diploma to start and some online community college courses require a minimum of a ‘C’ to begin core classes.
Learning Platform: Online
Website: Strayer.edu, Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees available.
Fee: $1,435 per course
Exams to be Certified: None

3. Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygienists perform basic dental care tasks during routine check-ups, focused on keeping patients’ teeth and gums healthy and clean. They see patients on their own, unlike a dental assistant who assists the dentist. Most hygienists’ daily duties include plaque removal, polishing, screening patients and taking histories, reviewing oral health history, and teaching brushing and flossing techniques. Also, they may use X-ray machines, administer anesthesia, remove stitches, fill cavities, and work with metal tooth components.

Pros
• Projected job growth of 19% by 2024.
• Great salary; can make over $70,000 per year.
• Flexibility.
• Minimal schooling required. (Online community college courses are available to fit your busy lifestyle).

Cons
• Not much career variety or room for growth.
• Can be repetitious.
• Directly deals with the public, so you may have the occasional unpleasant patient.

Prerequisites: High School Diploma
Learning Platform: Online
Website: Ulm.edu (University of Louisiana at Monroe)
Fees: Resident Tuition of $3,474.90 for twelve credit hours and Non-Resident Tuition of $9,553.80 for twelve credit hours. All Dental Hygiene students are required to pay a fee of $250.
Exams to be Certified: Dental Hygiene National Board Exam to be licensed in at least one state. Also, applicants must have graduated with a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average and completed 120 credit hours in an accredited program.

4. Engineering Technology

Engineering Technology emphasizes the application of specific engineering techniques. Students seek employment in fields such as production, design, manufacturing, and operations. They may also consult on the development of designs for projects, research uses for current technology, and explore technology for space exploration, defense, and electronics.

Pros
• Room for growth into management or supervisory positions.
• High-paying salary right out of school.
• Many job opportunities world-wide.
• Can easily switch to other careers with minimal additional education.

Cons
• High-stress work environment.
• More time spent in school.
• Unpredictable workload.
• Highly competitive atmosphere.
• Several abstract math classes required.

Prerequisites: Must have a ‘C’ or better before beginning core classes.
Learning Platform: Online
Website: Gateway.kctcs.edu (Gateway Community and Technical College)
Fees: $156 per credit hour (out of state/online)
Exams to be Certified: Exams and licenses widely vary by state. Overall, a license is required to be an engineer and some states will allow you to take the exam as long as you’ve completed at least 75% of your course work.

5. HVAC Refrigeration Technology

This is the installation, service, or repair of heating and air conditioning systems or refrigerators in residences or commercial buildings. Technicians should be able to comply with safe work environment, plan routine maintenance, problem solve in emergency situations, and have knowledge in heating, ventilating, air conditioning, electrical and mechanical systems, and refrigeration.

Pros
• Good salary.
• Expected growth of 34% by 2020.
• Can earn more based on ongoing education.

Cons
• There’s a lot of travel involved.
• May have to work outdoors in bad weather.
• Higher rate of injury (burns, shocks, etc.)
• Erratic work hours.

Prerequisites: High school diploma
Learning Platform: Online
Website: Gatewaycc.edu (Gateway Community College)
Fees: $6,518 for an Associate’s degree.
Exams to be Certified: Exams and licenses are only required in some counties.

Summing Up

The above online community college courses are designed to provide you with high quality education that can lead to a, high-paying job. It’s never too late to go back to school and, with this guide, you can begin your new career in the most in-demand fields fast.