Online Colleges in San Antonio, TX

Students of online colleges in San Antonio, Texas, can be part of a city that is a focal point of several important industry initiatives. Earning a degree online can help students who are unable to commit to a campus program or who are interested in studying subjects not offered at a local university. Depending on the program, online schools may offer scheduling flexibility -- a potentially attractive feature for time-constrained students. For example, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (uscensus.gov, 2013), 26.8 percent of the San Antonio population in 2010 was comprised of individuals less than 18 years of age, and 7.6 percent was less than five years of age. As such, online colleges could be a more viable option for student parents and others who need to balance family, work and educational responsibilities.

Notable Industries in San Antonio, Texas

Individuals taking online classes in San Antonio may be in a good position to take advantage of several industries included on the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation's (SAEDF) list of major industry clusters (sanantonioedf.com, 2013). Examples include:

  • Aerospace / Aviation: San Antonio can be a great city for individuals interested in aerospace and aviation. The Texas Workforce Commission reported that as of 2010, the San Antonio region employed 8,558 individuals in this industry -- a statistic that rose to 13,616 when military personnel (e.g., officers in the Air Force or Air National Guard) were included (sanantonioedf.com, 2013).

Those who wish to pursue a career in aerospace can pursue one of several educational avenues. Hopeful aerospace engineers, for example, may benefit from earning a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering or a related engineering discipline -- a typical requirement for the career according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012). Students who wish to become an aerospace engineering or operations technician, on the other hand, often need an associate degree and can benefit from courses in math, drafting, and science, bls.gov states. Other students may pursue an aviation science degree as preparation for a career as a commercial or airline pilot. During or after their degree program, students can take advantage of proximity to a number of aviation companies and centers, including Port San Antonio, Kelly Aviation Center, Lockheed Martin Technology, and The Boeing Company. They also have the opportunity to build upon what they learn with a visit to the Texas Air Museum.

  • Bioscience / Health Care: This industry includes both direct health care services, such as hospital and nursing home care, and indirect services, such as pharmaceutics and biomedical research. Bioscience and health care have had a significant impact on San Antonio's economy, especially with companies such as Medtronic, BD, and InCube Labs starting initiatives or establishing branches in the city. SAEDF (2013) reports industry salaries and wages totaled $6.5 billion for 141,251 workers in 2009. Additionally, SAEDF reveals, one-sixth of the city's workforce is employed in the bioscience and health care industry as of 2013, which contributed a net total of almost 33,000 new city jobs during the last 10 years.

Individuals interested in becoming a part of this industry have a number of career and educational options. For example, students interested in becoming a registered nurse can work towards an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Depending on their level of education, individuals with a nursing degree may also be able to qualify for administrative or research-focused positions. Biomedical engineering is another potential career avenue for this industry. Professionals in this career, bls.gov reveals, typically need at least a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering or other engineering discipline.

  • Environmental Technology / Green Industries: San Antonio could be an ideal place for students who want to contribute to the environmental projects, as it is home to several green initiatives. Mission Verde, for example, is one that aims for innovation in green jobs projects, green retrofitting, green venture capital and green infrastructure. The city also houses a Green Jobs Leadership Council, a committee that advocates public policy in an effort to produce jobs in a green economy. San Antonio, along with Bexar County and the state of Texas, also provide a number of incentives for businesses moving towards greener operations (sanantonioedf.com, 2013).

Individuals hoping to contribute to San Antonio's environmental initiatives may want to expand their knowledge on the various factors that go into creating a greener environment. Various types of degree programs can help them do just that. Those who wish to become an environmental scientist or specialist, for example, may benefit from a bachelor's degree program in environmental science or another natural science - a common requirement for the career, bls.gov states. Students interested in environmental engineering often need a bachelor's degree in this or a related engineering discipline, such as chemical or civil engineering, to enter the field.

  • Manufacturing: According to the 2013 Texas Manufacturers Register, San Antonio boasts 56,912 manufacturing jobs and has the fourth-largest manufacturing market in Texas -- behind Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth. A 2011 study by Trinity University further revealed that the city's manufacturing industry had an economic impact of $22.5 billion and an average annual salary that was 11 percent above the overall industry average. Several manufacturing companies also have operations in this city, including Lockheed Martin, Frito-Lay, and Cox Manufacturing.

Students interested in tapping into San Antonio's manufacturing industry may benefit from earning a degree in industrial engineering, a career field that often entails working on production schedules and manufacturing methods and maximizing manufacturing efficiency. Those pursuing managerial positions in manufacturing, on the other hand, may want to work towards a degree in business administration. Bls.gov adds that semiconductor processors, another potential career avenue, may need a bachelor's degree in a physical science discipline or in engineering, though associate degrees are also a common requirement.

Taking online college courses in relevant subjects may help students work towards a career in one of the above or other industries. Individuals interested in attending an online school in San Antonio should discuss their options with an admissions counselor. See online colleges in Texas for more education options.

Additional Resources for Students Interested in Online Colleges in San Antonio:

2013 Texas Manufacturers Register and Industrial Database, Manufacturers' News, Inc., Accessed May 16, 2013, http://www.manufacturersnews.com/info/texas-manufacturers-register

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/aerospace-engineering-and-operations-technicians.htm

Aerospace Engineers, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/aerospace-engineers.htm

Aerospace, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Accessed May 16, 2013, http://www.sanantonioedf.com/industry-clusters/aerospaceaviation

Biomedical Engineers, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/biomedical-engineers.htm

Bioscience/Healthcare, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Accessed May 16, 2013, http://www.sanantonioedf.com/industry-clusters/biosciencehealthcare

Environmental Engineers, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/environmental-engineers.htm

Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm

Environmental Technology/Green Industries, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Accessed May 16, 2013, http://www.sanantonioedf.com/industry-clusters/environmental-technology-green-industries

Industrial Engineers, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/industrial-engineers.htm

Manufacturing, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Accessed May 16, 2013, http://www.sanantonioedf.com/industry-clusters/manufacturing

Registered Nurses, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm

Semiconductor Processors, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/semiconductor-processors.htm

San Antonio, State & County QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, Jan. 10, 2013, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48/4865000.html

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