Online Colleges in Atlanta, GA: College & Program Info
Why Go To Online Schools in Atlanta
The city of Atlanta is a beacon of diversity, as shown by the residents and businesses that call it home. African-Americans make up 54 percent of the population, Caucasians represent 38 percent, and Hispanics account for 5 percent according to the 2010 U.S. census (census.gov). In addition, the city's official website reports that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has created a hub that has helped over 1,000 global businesses lay down solid roots, and over a dozen Fortune 500 companies are based in Atlanta (atlantaga.gov, 2013).
There have also been strong initiatives by Mayor Kasim Reed to strengthen the police and firefighting forces. In the Winter 2013 edition of the city's "Phoenix Magazine" (atlantaga.gov), Reed said he hopes to make sure the city is "not only fiscally sound but fully prepared to do the truly big things."
Having a college education could help residents be prepared for upcoming business initiatives like these. Online universities in Atlanta may offer working adults the chance to enroll in a degree program that can fit their own schedules. It may also help parents in the 35,000 family households with children under the age of 18 (uscensus.gov, 2010) who wish to complete a college education, but have a limited amount of time to spare for classes.
Game Changing Online Programs in Atlanta in 2013
Georgia Institute of Technology - Massive Online Master's Degree in Computer Science
Early in 2013, the Georgia Institute of Technology announced that it will begin offering an Online Master of Science in Computer Science degree during the Fall 2014 term. While online college programs in Atlanta are not new, the format in which Georgia Tech is offering this particular degree certainly is. The new master's degree will be awarded based exclusively on the completion of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Georgia Tech has teamed up with MOOC provider Udacity and AT&T to offer this first ever MOOC graduate degree. The new program will cost students just a fraction of what an on-campus graduate degree does, with the total tuition initially expected to have a price tag below $7,000. Tuition will be paid based on either the individual courses taken or on the entire program itself. Enrollment in the pilot program will be capped at just a few hundred students. These students will be recruited by Georgia Tech and AT&T, which has donated a substantial sum of money to help get the program off the ground. The courses for the program will be available on Udacity free of charge to anybody who wishes to enroll. However, they will only be available for college credit to those who have applied and been accepted to Georgia Tech. Students who do not qualify for the graduate degree but do complete courses may be eligible for a separate credential from Udacity and Georgia Tech.
Emory University - Semester Online
Emory University is striving to become one of the top universities with online classes in Atlanta, and in the nation. Emory has joined some of the nation's leading universities to create Semester Online, a for-credit online educational platform. Partnering with Emory are Brandeis University, Boston College, Northwestern University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, and Washington University in St. Louis. The online courses will be taught by instructors from each of the universities in the consortium. Courses taken through Semester Online are available for credit at the student's "home" university. These courses will be taught in real-time, and enrollment will typically be capped at 15-20 students per course. Students will be able to take unique courses from some of the nation's top professors, while faculty at the consortium's universities will have new opportunities to collaborate with colleagues at partner institutions. The online format will also allow students to plan their education around life events like travel, internships, or work opportunities. Tuition costs for these online college programs in Atlanta will be on par with the rates that students pay for on-campus courses. The classes will be made available for credit to students at participating universities, but will also be available to students enrolled at other schools throughout the country, although credit may not be available to those students.
Career Options for College Graduates in Atlanta
For people interested in furthering their careers, there are a number of postsecondary schools located in the city, including Spelman College, the University of Georgia, Georgia State University and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Atlanta residents may be able to study online at traditional universities like these, but there are also online schools with a national or local presence that might help them qualify to enter fields such as:
Public Safety Careers
In speaking about his objectives, Reed was quoted in "Phoenix Magazine" as saying, "When people elect you to office, the first thing and most important thing they want you to do for them is to take care of the basics." Since being chosen to become mayor, the Atlanta Police Department has hired about 600 officers, bringing the total city force to 2,000 in 2013. Atlanta Fire and Rescue also added more employees during his tenure (atlantaga.gov, 2013). For people interested in protecting others, studying public safety or criminal justice may be an option. While becoming a police officer or firefighter requires additional academy training, having a background in one of these fields may help open even more career options.
Many improvements have been made to city's transportation capabilities. A combination light-rail, trail and green space system, the Atlanta BeltLine, will help connect 45 different neighborhoods to each other. May 2012 saw the opening of the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. This terminal plans to service 80 destinations in 50 different countries, and has generated about 1,700 maintenance and operational jobs to date (2013) according to "Phoenix Magazine." With these upgrades for the travel sector of Atlanta, some of the interconnected systems may be run through computers. Having a background in IT fields such as computer programming, information systems security, or network administration may help qualify people who are interested in applying for work in the travel and transportation industries.
While it is home to many Fortune 500 headquarters, Atlanta is also attempting to bolster the startup community around the city. Actor, writer and director Tyler Perry has his studios headquartered in Atlanta, as does Sara Blakely, the creator of "Spanx." The "Start Up Atlanta" initiative was put in place to help foster entrepreneurship by placing funds, information and potential partners in contact with people looking to start their first venture according to "Phoenix Magazine." Earning a degree in entrepreneurship, business administration, or management may help individuals take advantage of resources like this one.
How to Find Online Colleges in Atlanta
There may be other opportunities in the city for individuals to pursue, and degrees which can help impart the necessary skills and knowledge for people looking for a career. For more information about possible degree paths, please click on one of the colleges offering online programs to Atlanta residents below.
Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing, Online Master of Science in Computer Science, http://www.omscs.gatech.edu/
Emory University, http://www.emory.edu/home/index.html
Semester Online, http://semesteronline.org/
"History," City of Atlanta, Accessed May 13, 2013, http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=624
Phoenix: City of Atlanta Magazine – Winter 2013, Accessed May 13, 2013 http://issuu.com/jahannes/docs/phoenix_magazine_winter2013?mode=window
Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics, Atlanta, GA, 2010, United States Census Bureau, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1