This Father's Day, Turn the Channel to Online Education

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By Jennifer Wegerer

Dads, you're masters of balancing work with coaching commitments, music recitals and the occasional romantic dinner. Not to mention, a weekly escape into the life of a TV dad who's funny, resourceful, adventuresome and inspiring. In other words, someone you consider just like you, depending on the day.

Watching TV dads and their achievements, you may have reflected on educational or career goals you set for yourself before you started a family. You may have wondered how to pursue those goals in the midst of life's demands.

Online education programs offer dads an extensive variety of online degree options and courses that they can schedule to fit their lives. Attending an online college gives dads the opportunity to pursue their dreams and still keep their little league appointments and tea party reservations.

So, Dads, as you prepare to celebrate your big day this June, consider the careers and potential online education paths of these five popular TV dads. This list shows what these TV dads might make in real life and what online degree they may have earned to land their jobs. You could pursue the same online degree and get started on one of these career paths.

Homer Simpson

TV Show: The Simpsons, 1989 to present
Job Title: Nuclear Safety Inspector/Technician
Salary: $74,690
Online Degree: Bachelor’s in engineering
While Homer's safety record leaves a bit to be desired, a person in his position would likely hold a bachelor's and an advanced degree in nuclear engineering and would demonstrate the ability to apply scientific and mathematical principles, judgment and common sense. Perhaps Mr. Burns didn't read his own job ad.

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Tom Scavo

TV Show: Desperate Housewives, 2004 to 2012
Job Title: Advertising Manager (original job); Owner/Manager of Scavo Pizzeria (current job)
Salary: $123,450 (original job); $48,560 (current job)
Online Degrees: MBA or bachelor’s in business or marketing and culinary arts
Tom's advertising career suffered some significant bumps, but this father of five endured to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant where he's the boss (when his wife isn't around).

Most likely, Tom would have a bachelor's degree in business with specialized or advanced training in advertising. Combining his business experience with online college courses or a certificate in culinary arts, Tom would position himself for success as the owner and manager of Scavo pizzeria.

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Jack Bauer

TV Show: 24, 2001 to 2010
Job Title: Special Agent for the CIA
Salary: $58,630 plus law enforcement availability pay (LEAP) awarded for the substantial amount of overtime he's expected to work
Online Degree: Bachelor’s in Criminal justice
Watching a day in the life of Jack Bauer makes the rest of us grateful for the mundane. As a special agent in an elite branch of the CIA, Jack would most likely have complemented military training with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

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Elliot Stabler

TV Show: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 1999 to present (though the character of Stabler left the show after the twelfth series)
Job Title: Detective
Salary: $58,630 
Online Degrees: Bachelor’s in criminal investigations and Bachelor’s in psychology
Detective Stabler relies on investigative skills and instincts, training in human behavior, and a bit of muscle to bring criminals to justice week after week. He most likely possesses a bachelor’s degree in criminal investigations with coursework or a second degree in psychology.

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Toby Flenderson

TV Show: The Office, 2005 to 2013
Job Title: Human Resources Representative
Salary: $57,420 
Online Degree: MBA in human resources administration or Master’s human resources management
In managing employee relations at Dunder-Mifflin, Toby demonstrates extraordinary patience, along with some pesky principles that frustrate the branch's regional manager. His online education would most likely include a specialized degree in human resources administration or human resources management.

Find Online MBA Degree Programs