College pays off -- at least according to the experts. (See: Is Online College Cheaper). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that both earnings and employment prospects tend to improve with education. That is, of course, if you can get your foot in the door. Job hunting as a student or recent graduate can be stressful, which is precisely why many colleges have dedicated career services programs designed to ease this transition. That includes online colleges, which often strive to extend the same career services to web-based students as they do to campus-based students. From phone-based career counseling to online interview preparation, many online schools, including the following 10, are going the extra mile to help their students find a job they will love.
10 Online Colleges Offering Career Services
- Aurora University: Aurora University offers a number of online bachelor's and master's degree programs that could give students a leg up in the job market -- and a dedicated career services program to help students make that transition. Online students have access to a web-based jobs and internships database as well as career research resources. Both online and campus-based students are also placed on a four-year career development plan that guides them from career exploration and identification to a potential interview.
- Columbia College: Students attending Columbia College's "online campus" might not be able to attend the school's on-site career events and job fairs, but they can still participate in virtual events. They can also access job listings through the CougarCareerNetwork, browse career planning tools through FOCUS, and get interview tips and practice via InterviewStream. Even alumni can take advantage of several CC career services, such as career counseling and job search support. CC offers a number of online degree programs, from associate to master's degrees, plus a handful of professional certificates.
- Florida State University: According to its website, Florida State University gives online students access to the same career tools as campus-based students, plus others designed specifically for the online learner. Students can access career guides, major/career matching information, and even salary and hiring data through The Career Center website. They can also take advantage of FSU's career counseling and job placement services. FSU's distance learning program allows students to earn bachelor's and master's degrees as well as professional certificates across several disciplines.
- Northern Arizona University: Northern Arizona University offers bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degree programs in a number of disciplines both online and off. It also maintains a number of career services that may help students transition to the workforce. All students can research careers and majors through the NAU career services website or attend community-based job fairs. Students can also find web-based resume, interview, and networking tips and can access a database of potential employers and internship contacts. Alumni services include career counseling, resume reviews, and even mock interviews.
- Remington College: Remington College is a nonprofit institution that maintains a number of career services specifically for its online students. Among them: a professional development program that helps students prepare for job interviews, as well as application or resume support services. Remington also collaborates with employers through its Program Advisory Committee to ensure its programs -- which include associate and bachelor's degrees in a number of disciplines -- meet market demand.
- University of Bridgeport: The University of Bridgeport's motto is, "Opening doors. Building futures." The school's career services program is just one example of how it aims to deliver on that promise. Both online and campus-based students can access web-based resume and cover letter resources through UB's Optimal Resume program, and the school's partnership with CareerBeam gives students access to online career matching and networking services. UBJobnet is an online jobs and internship database available to both online and traditional students. As for academics, UB offers a handful of online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in health services and information technology and also offers web-based continuing education for chiropractic professionals.
- University of Massachusetts in Lowell: According to its official website, UMass Lowell is a "nationally recognized leader in online education," offering a mix of online associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in a number of disciplines. It also offers a healthy set of career services for its online students, including email- or phone-based career counseling, online job listings via CareerLINK, and an interview practice application, called InterviewStream. The school's CareerSpots Video Library also features more than 50 short videos featuring career-building advice.
- University of Toledo: Like other schools featured on this list, UT offers a number of undergraduate and graduate degree programs to both online and campus-based students. Its career services also tend to cater to both types of learners. These programs cover everything from career-major exploration and resume support to salary advice. Students can search for jobs via the Rocket Jobs interactive database, find internships through the Intern Ohio program, and coordinate funding for work-study experience within their communities.
- West Virginia University: WVU offers a breadth of online and campus-based bachelor's and graduate degree programs, plus a handful of professional certificates. The school supports students preparing to enter the workforce, too: its Career Services Center hosts job fairs and career listings and helps students prepare for the application and interview process. It also offers ongoing networking and education opportunities.
- Western Kentucky University: Western Kentucky University's online certificates and degree programs aim to help students succeed in the workforce -- as does its Career Services Center. Services designed for online students include career advising, resume consultation, and an online jobs database. The center also helps students find internships, post their resumes online, and even set up mock phone interviews with trained staff.
Online Colleges: Finding Your Match
For most students, college is a career investment, and online colleges that offer career support might help students reach their goals faster. As helpful as career services are, however, they are not the only important factor worth considering when finding the right online program for you: cost, program availability, and class format matter, too. We recommend researching a number of accredited online colleges before committing to any one program.
Please note: This website does not offer employment placement. Career services and job placement programs offered by schools do not, in any way, guarantee employment.
“Earnings and unemployment rate by educational attainment,” Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 22, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm
Aurora University, http://online.aurora.edu/
Columbia College, http://www.ccis.edu/online/
Florida State University, http://distance.fsu.edu/students
Northern Arizona University, http://extended.nau.edu/online.aspx
Remington College, http://www.remingtoncollegeonline.edu/
University of Bridgeport, http://www.bridgeport.edu/academics/online-programs
University of Massachusetts in Lowell, http://continuinged.uml.edu/
University of Toledo, http://www.utoledo.edu/dl/
West Virginia University, http://online.wvu.edu/
Western Kentucky University, http://www.wku.edu/online/