Online Colleges in Texas
Texas may be the second largest state in the country, but it’s the first in terms of career opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2011) ranks five Texas cities among the top six in the nation for highest rates of job growth from 2004 to 2011. Furthermore, Forbes (forbes.com, 2011) projects that overall employment in Texas will increase 2.9 percent annually through 2015, netting the state 1.6 million new jobs over five years.
Forbes contributes statewide employment growth to an increase in education and health service jobs, as well as Texas’s thriving oil industry. However, despite this fertile job market, many Texans lack the education necessary to fill in-demand positions. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (thecb.state.tx.us, 2012), as of 2010, less than one third of the state’s population possessed a college degree.
Online schools offer Texans more options and flexibility for attaining higher education. Many public and private colleges in Texas now offer full degree programs online, including institutions like Texas Tech and Texas A&M University. Not just for working adults anymore, online education has become a viable alternative to traditional campus-based learning. Online colleges in Texas offer a variety of courses and programs at each degree level, giving more students a chance to receive the training they need for the jobs of tomorrow.
Advantages of Online Education for Students in Texas
For Texans, pursuing an online education has many advantages. Most online colleges allow students to learn at their own pace, completing coursework whenever and wherever they want. This flexible scheduling means working adults can finish their degree, or pursue a new one, without taking time out of the office. Additionally, with the wide range of courses offered online, career-focused students can find the specific knowledge or training they need to further their professional pursuits.
Given the state’s land mass, many Texans live too far from physical universities to regularly attend classes. Online schools give these students access to higher education they possibly couldn’t attain before. Those closer to local universities can pursue hybrid programs, which offer a mix of online courses and classroom learning. In addition, students may be able to transfer credits earned online towards a degree at some brick and mortar universities, allowing them to finish their studies in a more traditional setting if they want to.
Advancements in distance learning also give students the chance to work with peers and teachers around the country. Through online coursework, students gain valuable experience with technologies that are increasingly relevant in today’s workplace. For example, the University of Texas at Dallas utilizes live text chat, web conferencing, and streaming audio to administer online degree programs, such as its M.S. in Accounting.
Trends in Online Education: Public and Private Online Schools in Texas
A growing number of colleges in Texas are beginning to offer courses or degree programs online. Luckily, there are several websites dedicated to providing greater access to these opportunities. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Texas Distance Education website is a searchable database of online courses and degrees offered by primarily public institutions. The site encompasses more than 35 schools with physical campuses in Texas, and currently boasts over 300 available degree programs. Similarly, Virtual College of Texas (VCT), a service of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, is a collaborative of over 40 community colleges that share online courses. The Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus is yet another great resource, and hosts a directory of online education available in the South. Prospective students can search for courses, degree programs, and participating schools in not only Texas, but its neighboring states as well.
Some of the largest institutions in Texas now offer online courses and complete degree programs. The University of Texas System’s Online Consortium provides a gateway to the many programs available at such prestigious schools as UT Arlington and UT Brownsville. With both hybrid and fully online programs, Texas Tech University boasts a wide range of available degrees, from Bachelor of Science in Horticultural to Ph.D. in Systems and Engineering Management. Texas A&M has several graduate level programs, including Master of Agriculture in Poultry Science, while Texas State offers numerous partial online degrees, such as Bachelor of Arts in English and M.S. in Computer Science.
In addition, most national online colleges offer degree programs to students in Texas. Many have been offering fully online degrees for years and have a broader set of programs, courses, and subjects available. Some, including University of Phoenix and ITT Technical Institute, have campuses in Texas where students can attend classes as well.
Entry Requirements and Application Process for Texas Online Colleges
Every school and degree program has different requirements for enrollment. Individuals interested in pursuing an online degree should visit their prospective school’s distance education website for details. Students can also contact an admissions counselor for additional information, or to begin the application process. Many national online schools allow prospective students to instantly chat with an admissions counselor online. To learn more about available programs and entry requirements, request information from one of the colleges below.
Austin Chamber of Commerce
The Best States for Jobs, Forbes, 2011
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus
Texas A&M University
Texas Distance Education
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Texas State University
Texas Tech University
UT Online Consortium
Virtual College of Texas
Online Schools in Texas
This list also contains online colleges that accept students from Texas.
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