Online Colleges in Florida
According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (floridajobs.org, 2011), workers with an associate degree earn more than twice the median wage of workers with just a high school diploma, while graduate degree holders make over three times that amount. Furthermore, their research shows that postsecondary education leads to not only drastically lower unemployment rates, but also much higher job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012) lists the top industries in Florida as education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; government; and professional and business services—all highly specialized fields that typically require college degrees to advance.
Online colleges have become a viable alternative to traditional, campus-based postsecondary education. Florida schools, including institutions like Florida State University and the University of Florida, now boast a range of online courses and programs for various degree levels and professional fields. From working adults seeking career advancement to students starting or completing their first degree, Florida online colleges offer students more options and flexibility for attaining the education necessary to prepare them for today’s workforce.
Advantages of Online Education for Students in Florida
For Florida students interested in higher education, there are several advantages to pursing an online degree. Most online schools offer flexible scheduling, which allows working adults or busy parents to complete coursework at night or on the weekend. Additionally, online colleges in Florida offer students with limited mobility, as well as those living far from local campuses, increased access to higher education. Through online coursework, students are also introduced to emerging technologies, such as video conferencing, that are increasingly relevant in corporate America.
Prospective students can utilize online tools to help find degree programs and plan their academic future. For example, the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus allows students to browse distance education offerings throughout the South. Florida Virtual Campus, a service of the State University System of Florida and the Florida College System, is a similar resource for programs available from the state’s public schools. Students can search for online courses or degrees by level, subject, delivery method, and college. In addition, the site offers online academic advising services, career planning, and electronic access to the library holdings of all Florida public universities, including full-text journals, databases, and eBooks.
Trends in Online Education: Public and Private Online Schools in Florida
Online degree programs are currently available at a wide range of public and private Florida colleges, including some of the largest institutions in the state. While many, such as the University of Miami, only offer courses at this time, an increasing number are beginning to feature full degree programs. The University of Florida offers both undergraduate and graduate programs online, including its Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering. Similarly, the University of Central Florida boasts over two dozen fully online degrees, certificates, and degree completion programs, as well as hundreds of web-based courses.
The Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida website provides access to 31 private, non-profit schools that feature online education options. On top of that, Florida Virtual Campus features 39 public universities and community colleges now offering over 10,700 courses and 650 degrees or certificates online. As of November 2012, the number of programs at each level is as follows:
- Online Associate Degrees: 76 programs from 15 schools
- Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 82 programs from 17 schools
- Online Master’s Degrees: 246 programs from 13 schools
- Online Doctorate Degrees: 27 programs from 6 schools
- Along with state schools, many national online colleges also offer degrees to students in Florida. Many of these schools have been offering online education for several years and host a broader set of courses and programs. Some, such as Argosy University and Everest, also have physical campuses in Florida where students can attend classes. Based in Florida, Full Sail University is a nationally accredited school that offers fully online degrees in art, video game design, music production, and related entertainment fields.
From career-focused two-year degrees to comprehensive doctoral study, colleges in Florida offer a wealth of programs completely online. Prospective students should carefully research school offerings to find an online program that meets their professional and personal goals.
Entry Requirements and Application Process for Florida Online Colleges
Florida students interested in pursuing an online education should contact an admissions counselor to begin the application process. Every school and program has different requirements and although information can typically be found on an institution’s distance education website, speaking with an admissions counselor may prove to be more helpful. Many national online schools have a streamlined application process, where students can instantly connect with advisors online. For more details on available programs, request information from one of the online schools below.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida
Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
Florida State University
Florida Virtual Campus
Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus
University of Central Florida
University of Florida
University of Miami
View Online College Courses in Florida Below
This list also contains online colleges that accept students from Florida.
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