Which Online Study Programs are the Most Popular with Women?

Although the average online college students are females in their early thirties, the massive open online course (MOOC) field has been largely dominated by men since the programs first began to gain popularity back in 2012. And the MOOC gender gap has been startling for many, with nine in every ten students in some MOOC's identifying as male. On the other hand, research shows that one in three women see online degrees as more achievable compared to traditional, campus-based programs.

But the lack of women in online programs did not come as a shock for many who track non-traditional classes – especially since science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is such a male dominated area and so prevalent in online education. So which programs are women taking when they sign up for online study?

#1. Business:

The future is looking bright for women in business, and online programs have made it easier than ever before for women looking to advance their business career despite other commitments like work and family. Statistics show that more women are studying business online than ever before, and with options like these MBA programs in Michigan, women are finding it easier than ever to invest in their education without the need to worry about childcare, cutting work hours or neglecting other commitments.

#2. Food and Nutrition:

Statistics show that food and nutrition topped the list of online classes from Coursera that women prefer – over 60% of students enrolled identified as female. These classes teach a wide range of skills from learning to cook (often popular with younger career women) to nutritional science and more. Career options could include becoming a professional health nutritionist, personal trainer (with additional education) or chef.

#3. Teacher Training:

Teacher professional development ranks high in MOOCs that women sign up for, with almost 60% female enrolment. It may not come as a surprise to anybody working in the teaching industry that teachers are predominantly female – data gathered in Australia found that amongst recent university graduates, 85% of primary school teachers and 68% of secondary school teachers are female.

#4. Arts:

Arts and humanities programs rank highly, too, with over 50% of enrolment being female. Programs such as English language and literature, music, fine art and humanities are popular online programs in general and particularly amongst creative students, who often fare well learning online, where they are able to enjoy the flexibility of studying at times that are most convenient to them and tailor their degree program to best suit their needs.

#5. Health:

Health-related programs are also popular with women, with over 50% of students enrolled on health courses identifying as female. This may be due to the large amount of nursing programs now available for studying online – nursing is still a highly female-dominated profession, and thanks to distance learning, more nurses than ever before now have the opportunity to progress in their career by taking a master's degree or even a doctorate in nursing without the need to shift their work or family commitments. Online programs have provided many opportunities for nurses to become family nurse practitioners, for example, or easily learn a specialist area of their progression like anesthesia.

#6. Social Sciences:

Social sciences also see a high enrolment percentage from women – courses such as psychology, sociology, criminology, geography, law, history and anthropology tend to be more balanced in terms of female to male enrolment ratios. This may be largely due to the fact that there are many diverse career paths included in social science programs; social science students learn an extensive range of skills that can be transferred to a variety of professions that may not necessarily be connected to their chosen degree subject. As a result, these degree program choices are often popular amongst students who are still not sure about their future career path and want to make sure that they obtain a qualification that provides them with a variety of transferable skills.

#7. Computing and IT:

STEM subjects are still at the bottom of the list when it comes to women in online education, but with more initiatives than ever to get women into IT, the amount of female enrolments onto programs offering these subjects is on the rise. Computing and coding have long been male-dominated fields, but in recent times, all of that is beginning to change. More educational institutions, learn-to-code platforms and workplaces are encouraging women to learn to code and improve their IT skills.

#8. Other STEM Subjects:

Women still make up the lowest percentage of enrolments on other science, technology, engineering and math online programs as these are fields that have been largely dominated by men even before online learning was possible. However, things are certainly changing for women in STEM – while the gender gap is not close to closing just yet, the number of women with increasing interest in these subjects is on the rise. This is due to several factors, including more initiatives to encourage women to get into STEM and more school campaigns to encourage young girls' interest in these. In the future, STEM will hopefully be more equal in terms of gender.

Online learning is a hugely popular option for both men and women looking to improve their career prospects. And it provides a massive level of flexibility for those who are hoping to get further up the career ladder but cannot avoid their family or work commitments. For many women, online learning is often bridging the gap between pursuing their education/ career and staying at home to raise a family – thanks to online programs, doing both is no longer an impossible option.

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.


When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.


Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.


If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.