Online Degrees in Mississippi
Like many post-industrial states, Mississippi is taking steps to reinvigorate its professional and service sectors. The state's manufacturing base was hit hard by the economic downturn of 2008, and severe weather in 2011 dampened recovery. Yet there are signs of a nascent knowledge-based economy in Mississippi. According to the Southern Regional Education Board, the "fastest-growing, highest-paying jobs require education beyond high school." Online degrees in Mississippi can help state residents build their skill set for opportunity ahead.
The latest report of Mississippi's college attainment shows a skilled workforce still under construction. Historically, the state has ranked near the bottom in measures of higher education. According to 2009 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, only 19.6 percent of adults over age 25 in the state had a bachelor's degree, the second-lowest educational attainment behind West Virginia. The National Center for Education Statistics reports a 48 percent four-year college graduation rate as of 2007, compared to 55 percent nationally. The numbers do, however, show an upward trend; college attainment stood at 14.7 percent in 1990 and 16 percent in 2000.
The state's legislators, along with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), aim to accelerate college education levels by improving K-12 programs and making college more accessible and affordable. Gains in the past decade reflect the entry of historically underrepresented students into academia. Women are leading the surge in enrollment, reports SREB, with 19,600 more women enrolled in 2007 than in 1997 (compared to 5,100 more men). Black and Hispanic student enrollment also increased by 50 percent during that same period, compared to a 17 percent increase overall.
Improving access to college is a top priority for the state's higher education advocacy programs, Mississippi Higher Education Initiative (MSHEI) and the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). MSHEI fosters partnerships among high schools, colleges, community groups and local businesses. The foundation focuses on economically distressed Appalachian counties, administering high-impact grants as well as recruitment and internship programs. Mississippi IHL sponsors Think Higher Mississippi, a resource site with links to IHL funding programs such as the Nursing Education Loan Scholarship Program (NELS), career planning resources and other information.
Financial aid programs in Mississippi promote college access. According to SREB, 86 percent of Mississippi college students received a financial aid grant and 48 percent took out a loan in 2007. The average loan amount for Mississippi college students was $4,000. Learn more about Mississippi financial aid at the IHL resource site.
Mississippi online degrees are extending the college classroom into the homes and laptops of Mississippi residents. Distance learning programs offer flexibility, allowing students to pursue a college degree at their own pace, alongside work and family commitments. Resources for online degrees in Mississippi include:
- Mississippi Virtual Community College (MVCC), a program linking all 15 of the state's community colleges. Mix and match online classes from any of these institutions, en route to an associate degree or professional certificate.
- Mindleaders manages a series of online workforce training programs at Mississippi community colleges.
- Mississippi Electronic Campus (MS e-Campus) offers a searchable list of accredited Mississippi online degrees and college programs at public universities.
- National private universities offer online degrees in Mississippi at all levels
A college degree connects Mississippians with career opportunity. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 54 percent of all jobs in Mississippi are projected to require some post-secondary training by 2018. In the decade between 2008 and 2018, 214,000 job openings are projected for workers with a college education compared to 128,000 for high school grads. In addition to better job opportunities, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nationwide, workers with a bachelor's degree earned a median weekly wage of $1,038 compared to $626 for high school grads.
According to the June 2011 Mississippi Economic Outlook report, the state's economy is making a steady comeback. The manufacturing sector has not recovered since shedding an estimated 33,700 jobs, or 20 percent following the 2007 downturn. Instead, 2010-2011 numbers show growth in knowledge-based jobs. Professional and business jobs gained 11.3 percent in 2010, the Mississippi Center for Policy Research and Planning (MCPR) reported in May 2011, buoyed by demand for trained administrative personnel. Health care grew 3 percent, and information technology added jobs to the tune of 1.6 percent.
Both the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Mississippi Center for Policy Research forecast steady growth in professional careers.
- Business careers are expected to brighten Mississippi's economic picture. Overall, the MCPR expects 2.6 percent annual growth in professional and business services throughout the 2011-2016 period. Financial jobs should grow at a rate of 0.5 percent. The BLS predicts 7.5 percent growth in management roles in the 2008-2018 decade, with nearly 15 percent growth in advertising, marketing and sales managers and 19 percent growth in business operations specialists. Mississippi marketing managers earned an average wage of $75,380 in 2010.
- Education presents opportunity in administrative roles. K-12 administrators in Mississippi can expect 17.4 percent growth and a state average wage of $69,920. Special education teachers should see nearly 30 percent growth and a $44,100 average salary.
- Health care should grow 2.4 percent annually, according to MCPR. Health care practitioner jobs should grow 24 percent overall, with strong opportunities for registered nurses (29 percent), occupational therapists (30 percent) and physician assistants (35 percent). Registered nurses in Jackson, Mississippi earned $60,780 in 2010.
Online degrees in Mississippi offer an access point to these and other college-level career opportunities in the state. A bachelor's degree offers the most versatile qualification for professional careers, including business and health care roles. With funding and flexible learning programs, a college degree is in reach for Mississippians.
Online Degree Programs in MississippiThis list also contains online schools that accept students from Mississippi.
Earn a Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master's or Doctorate for less at Baker College Online.
Continue your education with Strayer University.
At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.
Capella courses focus on real-world application, so you’ll gain skills and knowledge you can apply right away.
Why ASU? At ASU, learning online is effective, flexible and smart. Every program delivered online is developed by the same excellent faculty who teach on our campuses, and is designed to engage students and professors in meaningful ways. The result? Our students are an integral part of a New American University.
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
- M.S. in Leadership: Disaster Preparedness & Executive Fire Leadership
- M.S. in Nursing: Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems
- M.A. in Teaching - Teacher Leadership (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure)
Keiser University offers degrees in fields that are in demand and provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.