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Online Schools in Hawaii

Online and Hybrid Degree Programs: Accessible Education

Depending on their location, students in Hawaii seeking higher education might find limited options. Made up of a series of islands, the state’s geography can prevent individuals from attending traditional postsecondary institutions. Those living on Oahu, the most densely-populated of the Hawaiian islands and home to Honolulu, the state capital, have access to more educational opportunities than individuals who reside in other areas of the state.

However, distance learning has helped remove geographical barriers to postsecondary education. Online colleges in Hawaii can help students complete degree programs that could translate to expanded job opportunities or career advancement.

Distance Learning Helps Fill Hawaii Jobs

Hawaii online colleges offer programs that can prepare graduates to take on growing positions in the state, such as medical and public health social workers, as well as mental health and substance abuse social workers. The University of Hawaii at Manoa (manoa.hawaii.edu) has an online master of social work program, which is available to residents of Oahu’s neighboring islands. Classes can be accessed through interactive television and online delivery, and the program requires students to travel to Oahu once a year to attend on-site training for face-to-face instruction.

A site coordinator is available for students on each island, offering academic advising. The program is designed to address the need for credentialed professional social workers in rural areas with limited social services. The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (hiwi.org, 2010) projects that the number of medical and health social workers will increase 30 percent between 2010 and 2020. Mental health and substance abuse social workers are also expected to grow 22.6 percent during that time.

Hawaii Pacific University (hpu.edu) offers an online master of arts in organizational change program. Offered completely online, and available to students anywhere, the program includes online readings, virtual team discussions, and group-centered simulations and projects. Coursework teaches about research methods, management principles and business concepts from fields including anthropology, information systems, psychology and sociology.

The program can help prepare graduates for employment as directors of organizational development or change management, working in areas such as business, government, health care and social services. According to the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (hiwi.org, 2010), training and development mangers are projected to increase 29.3 percent between 2010 and 2020. Overall job growth for business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow by 12 percent during that same timeframe.

Online Degree Programs: Educating Working Professionals

Offering flexible programs that allow for study from anywhere with an internet connection, online colleges in Hawaii can benefit working professionals. Based in Honolulu, Chaminade University (chaminade.edu) has an online master of business administration program. Most students average two courses per 10-week quarter, and typically complete the program within 18 to 21 months. The curriculum combines coursework in business management with practical instruction in management functions.

Core courses aim to provide students with the ability to manage others and make effective decisions, preparing them to take on business occupations. Between 2010 and 2020, the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (hiwi.org, 2010) expects business operations specialists to increase 12.3 percent, adding more than 2,000 positions during that time.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo (hilo.hawaii.edu) offers an online doctorate of nursing practice program, which is designed to prepare students for an advanced level of nursing science. Students can enter the program at two entry points: BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP. Coursework covers the administration of nursing systems, direct care of individual clients, management of rural population care and development of health policy.

The program is specifically tailored to develop nursing leaders and educators, imparting the ability to utilize clinical research to improve health care. The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (hiwi.org, 2010) projects that the number of registered nurses will increase approximately 21 percent between 2010 and 2020. Meanwhile, nursing instructors and postsecondary teachers are expected to grow 15.4 percent. The program aims to address that occupational demand.

Industries for Job Growth in Hawaii

Approximately 650,000 working professionals were employed in Hawaii in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012). Government was the state’s leading employment industry, accounting for nearly 125,000 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities positions made up more than 115,000 jobs, making it the second-highest industry for employment in Hawaii.

Online schools in Hawaii can assist individuals looking for career opportunities in technology, an industry that’s projected to see job growth in the state. The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (hiwi.org, 2010), estimates that the number of systems software developers will increase by 38.9 percent between 2010 and 2020. Demand for network and computer systems architects and administrators is also expected to grow by 23 percent during that time.

Sources:
State of Hawaii
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Hawaii Pacific University
Chaminade University
University of Hawaii at Hilo
Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Occupational Employment Projections in Hawaii, 2010-2020, 2010
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hawaii Economy at a Glance, 2012

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