Online Degrees in Pennsylvania
According to the Lumina Foundation, there is a pressing need to increase the number of college educated adults in America, including in Pennsylvania. The Lumina Foundation, a private entity that seeks to increase the number of adults in the U.S. with college degrees, reports that 57 percent of Pennsylvania jobs will require some form of college credential by 2018, but that only 46 percent will have one by that time.
Levels of Educational Attainment for Pennsylvania Adults (age 25-64) in 2010
Percentage with Degree
Some college, no degree
Graduate or professional degree
In a 2003 report, the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) reasoned that while increasing classroom capacity was one possible way to help more adult learners acquire a good education, it “will not meet the needs of many adults who are unable to attend classes because of constraints in their lives, such as their work schedule, transportation, and child care.” The NCSALL went on to say that distance education could prove helpful.
By providing an option that allows busy individuals to take classes on their own schedule, online degree programs may help Pennsylvanians better qualify for the expanding college-level employment opportunities in the state. Increasing educational access for working professionals, parents, and the 18 percent of Pennsylvania residents with some college credits and no degree could help the state reach a higher level of college attainment.
Available Online Degree Programs in Pennsylvania
Online Associate Degrees - These are typically two-year degrees granted by junior, community or technical colleges. Associate programs help graduates better qualify for entry-level positions in Pennsylvania. For those interested in a numbers-oriented profession, an associate degree in accounting can help lead to careers as basic financial clerks. Students in an accounting program often learn about business law, financial statements, and how to produce and analyze spreadsheets with applications like Microsoft Excel.
To browse schools offering online associate degree programs in Pennsylvania, click here.
Online Bachelor’s Degrees - Bachelor’s programs generally take four years to complete and require more upper-division coursework than an associate degree. Students in Pennsylvania can choose from several online bachelor’s programs, including one in computer information systems. The curriculum typically covers networking fundamentals as well as various programming languages, including Java and C++. Graduates who earn this degree may be able to obtain a job as a computer systems analyst, helping a company enhance and maintain their current IT infrastructure or develop newer ones. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry expects employment of computer systems analyst to grow by about 12 percent statewide from 2010 through 2020.
To browse schools offering online bachelor’s degree programs in Pennsylvania, click here.
Online Master’s Degrees - Master’s degrees are earned through demonstration of advanced knowledge in a specified topic of study, and can help individuals progress in their careers. For example, health policy professionals looking to move into management positions may be interested in a Master of Public Health degree. Students study the patterns and effects of health and disease in different populations and can gain knowledge of management theories and practices as they pertain to health care facilities and policies. Graduates may go on to pursue more senior roles in medical and health services.
To browse schools offering online master’s degree programs in Pennsylvania, click here.
Online Doctoral Degrees - Online doctorates typically include two to three years of coursework, followed by a thesis proposal, research and defense. Many individuals pursue doctoral degrees to move into careers as researchers or postsecondary educators. Those looking to oversee the various aspects of student and instruction valuation may consider an education Ph.D. in curriculum assessment and accountability. This program trains individuals in the proper evaluation of students and delivery of instruction; the trending amalgamation of technology and other innovations with current practices in education; and the theories of educational leadership in postsecondary institutions.
To browse schools offering online doctoral degree programs in Pennsylvania, click here.
Colleges and Universities Offering Online Degrees in Pennsylvania
- Penn State University has many online degrees offered through its World Campus program, including a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising/Public Relations. Instructors teach students how to craft messages and advertisements that function in various media platforms, including online social networks, television, radio and billboards. Working in an online format may allow students to better hone their written communication skills as peer-to-peer interactions and homework assignments are conducted through online channels, such as email or forum postings.
- The University of Pittsburgh offers a number of online graduate programs through its Pitt Online service. Among them is a Master of Education in English and Communications. Students can choose three to four areas of interest to focus on, including literature, linguistics, film and sociology. In order to receive their degree, students will have to pass a comprehensive exam that showcases their ability to relate learned material toward practical applications. There is also an oral component to the final exam, so students will need to visit the campus at least once in their final semester at the University of Pittsburgh.
- The University of Pennsylvania offers medical professionals continuing education courses that can be accessed online through the Perelman School of Medicine website. These online classes do not have a tuition cost thanks to sponsorships by medical companies. Completion of each section grants students one American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award (AMA PRA) Category 1 Credit. Modules use case studies in order to facilitate learning, and medical professionals who participate in the courses will be tested both before and after each section.
- Lehigh University offers several masters’ level degree programs, and students can participate in two ways. The Classroom LIVE application allows students to stream lessons synchronously, allowing them to participate with classes in real-time from wherever they happen to be. The Classroom ONLINE application allows students to access lessons, notes and other class functions on their own schedule if they are unable to attend a live session.
For more information on degree options, please browse through the online colleges below. A counselor will contact you to discuss specifics and answer any questions you may have.
Expanding Access to Adult Literacy with Online Distance Education, National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, 2003
Long-term Occupational Employment Projections 2010-2020, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry
Pennsylvania, Lumina Foundation, 2012
Penn State University
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
Online Degree Programs in PennsylvaniaThis list also contains online schools that accept students from Pennsylvania.
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