Online Degrees For Students Who Like To Venture Off The Beaten Path

Published on: November 17, 2021

There is no shortage of guidance when it comes to online degree programs that are very popular or in demand. In fact, it is easier than ever to see exactly what type of jobs are available for specific degrees and even how much income potential each offers. However, there are also plenty of other degree programs that don't get nearly as much attention. These programs are often overlooked because they might not be as glamorous, popular, or lucrative in terms of earning potential. Nevertheless, they could be exactly what you are looking for if you would like a career path that isn't the same as everyone else. If this sounds appealing or you are simply curious about some of the more unique options out there, then take a look at these degrees you might not even have known existed as online programs.

Master of Science in Foresight

The Foresight (M.S.) is described as helping clients to anticipate significant changes that lie ahead and influence those changes to realize their goals. Students with this degree can become professional futurists who, unlike traditional forecasters and planners, emphasize systemic and transformational change. Futurists are tasked with describing alternative plausible and preferable futures, and the program emphasizes foresight, business, marketing, consumer science, and retailing. There is even an association of professional futurists, and their FAQ highlights what this unique profession entails (

Master of Science in Digital Mapping

Digital mapping might sound obscure, but it is actually a fast-growing industry. Graduate certificates in digital mapping and Master of Science degrees in digital mapping are available as online programs. They are aimed at students with bachelor's degrees in Geography, Business, Design, and Planning. These degrees emphasize the acquisition of technical skills, which range from coding and GIS to web development. Students who complete this degree program will be able to create highly sophisticated web maps that are elegant and impactful. These programs also teach students to think critically about the social dimensions of the maps they make and the data used in their creations. Students who earn Digital Mapping degrees often go on to embark on careers as designers, data scientists, local government GIS technicians, or even data journalists.

Master of Science Degree in Blockchain and Digital Currency

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are not new inventions, but interest in them has surged recently. However, degree programs in this field have been around since as early as 2014. This degree program covers important aspects such as Blockchain Systems and Architectures, Digital Currency Programming, Cryptographic Systems Security, Token Economics, Principles of Money, and more. Students who graduate with a degree in Blockchain and Digital Currency can go on to work in managerial positions in the industry, become senior developers or administrators in the ICT marketplace, or become entrepreneurs. Further studying towards doctoral degrees is also an option. As cryptocurrencies continue to become more commonplace, this type of degree will also become more sought after.

Master's Degree in Social Media

Love them or hate them, social media is here to stay. Some online degree programs have begun popping up thanks to the rising popularity of social media, but they are not just about knowing how to use these platforms. Instead, the goals of social media degree programs are to teach students how they can create effective advertising and public relations campaigns through research. These courses also address issues such as crafting the types of creative narratives that create meaningful engagement from target audiences. Core courses may include: Social media metrics and evaluation. Mass communication theory. Branding using social and mobile media, as well as research methods in digital communication. This type of degree can also open up doors to careers as a brand advocate, content manager, social media manager, engagement coordinator, social media strategist, and more.

Associate Degree In Mortuary Science

Mortuary science, which is the study of the deceased, might sound like the most unlikely type of degree to earn online, but it is actually possible. This type of degree, which is typically aimed at students who want to work as funeral directors, morticians, or embalmers, typically deals with the burial of the deceased and the bereavement of their families. This can include the preparation of the deceased for burials and other general operations involving funeral homes. While the majority of the degree can be completed online, there is obviously also some laboratory practicum involved. For example, the online portion may include the use of 3D cadaver models and video demonstrations from funeral directors and embalmers. In contrast, the laboratory portion can be completed with the college or at an approved sponsored funeral home.

Master of Science in Brewing and Distilling

A degree in brewing and distilling is aimed at any students interested in the malting, brewing, or distilling industries. The craft industry for brewing and distilling has boomed in recent years, and earning a degree in this field will teach students the skills and know-how that are required for this line of work. The core subject areas for this type of degree typically include raw materials and wort preparation, fermentation technology and product analysis, distillation and whiskey maturation, and filtration and packaging. Completing a master of science degree in Brewing and Distilling can take between two and four years.


As online learning continues to grow in popularity, there is no doubt that more degree programs will be joining the ranks of the ones listed above. However, some of the most obscure degree programs are simply too niche for an online learning environment. These include the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Bagpiping Performance, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Puppet Arts, Master in Engineering Management in Amusement Park and Roller Coaster Engineering, and many others. For some people choosing the right degree program is more about pursuing their passion than following the crowd, so it will be interesting to see what other degree programs could become available in the future.

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