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Online schools in Indiana

Indiana is a state committed to helping its residents get ready for the jobs of the future. Its Career Ready initiative is working to get 500,000 Hoosiers a degree or postsecondary credential by 2018 — that's how many additional skilled workers the Indiana Commission for Higher Education says are needed to meet employer demand in the coming years. Right now, only one-third of the state's residents have a postsecondary education, but approximately two-thirds of Indiana jobs require an education beyond high school.

Access to jobs is only one reason students may want to consider getting an advanced education in Indiana: They may also want to be a part of one of the many college-centric city communities throughout the state, some of which that host nationally recognized institutions such as Indiana University and Notre Dame: Bloomington, South Bend, Terre Haute, Valparaiso and West Lafayette, among them.

However, you don't have to study on campus to get a degree. Online colleges in Indiana offer many of the same certificate and degree programs as those available through traditional schools. Once you have the right credentials, you may find you're able to work in some of the hottest industries in Indiana.

To find out more about the state, its educational options, and potential careers, explore the different sections of this guide. They include:

Online education in Indiana
In-demand degrees
Colleges in Indiana

Why Indiana needs online education options

In addition to improving the career readiness of its workforce, Indiana has been working hard to create an economic climate that encourages business growth. It seems to have been largely successful, coming in as the top Midwest state with a business-friendly climate according to rankings such as those in the 2014 Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States study.

Companies aren't the only ones that benefit from a pro-business environment. As employers expand and settle in the state, they bring jobs. Among the key industries in Indiana are advanced manufacturing, energy, aerospace and aviation, tourism and information technology.

However, many of these industries may require a highly trained workforce. With the Census Bureau reporting only 23.2 percent of Indianans older than age 25 had a bachelor's degree or higher in 2013, businesses may have difficulty finding the skilled employees they need in the state. Unfortunately, for adults without a degree, enrolling in a traditional campus-based program may be unrealistic.


The Census Bureau reported only 23.2 percent of Indianans older than age 25 had a bachelor's degree or higher in 2013, which is good motivation to get your degree in the state — businesses may have difficulty finding the skilled employees they need without you.


Online colleges in Indiana offer an alternate method of learning that can help returning students get the degree they need while minimizing interruptions to their work and family schedules. Depending on the program and institution, degrees may be earned entirely online or through a combination of online and on-campus coursework. What's more, many online courses are set up so students can access study materials and complete assignments at whatever time of day is most convenient for them.

Examples of online colleges in Indiana

When online degrees were first offered, they were often limited to colleges and universities that specialized in distance learning. As greater numbers of students began to look for flexible ways to earn a degree, many traditional institutions began to adapt their curriculum for online use. Today, students have a range of online colleges in Indiana from which to choose, including some of the most recognizable schools in the nation.

  • Indiana University
  • Kaplan University
  • Purdue University
  • Grace College and Seminary
  • The Art Institutes

Other online schools in Indiana may include career and technical schools, community colleges and public and private universities. Some of these schools may focus solely on fully online degree programs, while others may provide degree completion programs which are geared toward those who have already earned college credit in the past. Hybrid programs are another option, and this method of learning combines online coursework with on-campus requirements. It's often used for programs that have clinical requirements, such as those in the health care field.

If you're interested, start exploring what online degrees might be offered near you by checking out this map, which shows the location of all colleges in Indiana that have online offerings, based on 2013 data from the NCES. (Mobile users will need to visit the full Schools.com site to use the map.)

Smart degree choices for Indiana workers

Selecting a school is only one decision a student must make — choosing a field of study is another. For those who want to capitalize on Indiana's positive business climate, it may make sense to enroll in a program related to one of the state's key industries. For example, engineering, computer science or hospitality could be smart choices.

Another way of choosing a field of study is to consider future job growth in the state. The chart below highlights the education needed for some of the fastest growing occupations in Indiana. The job growth data comes from estimates made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education

Occupation

Expected job growth (2012-2022)

Associate degree in Dental Hygiene

Dental hygienist

34.7%

Master of Health Science

Physician assistant

30.4%

Master's degree in Psychology, Social Work or Counseling

Marriage and Family therapist

28.6%

Postsecondary training

Phlebotomist

28.5%

Associate or bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education

Preschool teacher

22.5%

If income is a factor when it comes to selecting a field of study, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports highly trained medical professionals have the highest annual salaries in Indiana. The following figures represent 2014 average incomes.

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons - $244,550
  • Obstetricians and gynecologists - $242,390
  • Internists, general - $240,570
  • Psychiatrists - $229,980
  • Physicians and surgeons, all other - $221,190

While the vast majority of top-paying jobs in Indiana are in the health care field, workers can earn annual incomes of six-figures in other occupations as well. Economists, airline pilots and architectural and engineering managers are among those with average annual salaries in excess of $100,000.

Colleges in Indiana

When it comes to colleges in Indiana, students and prospective students can select from small Bible colleges and art institutes to fully online schools that were pioneers in the field. With today's online options, Indiana students can even choose to earn a degree from an institution located in another state without ever having to relocate there.

In addition, some of Indiana's oldest colleges and universities now offer both on-campus and online degree and certificate programs. Here are a couple of the schools that you may be surprised to hear have online programs:

    • Notre Dame: The University of Notre Dame is known for many things, not the least of which is its nationally recognized football team. Founded in 1842, the Catholic university is highly competitive and enrolled fewer than 13,000 students in the 2012-2013 school year. While the school doesn't offer online degree programs, business and nonprofit professionals can earn Executive Certificates online through the Mendoza College of Business.
      • Indiana University: According to Liveability, the flagship campus of Indiana University is located in one of the nation's top college towns. The university was founded in Bloomington in 1820 and now supports Big Ten sports as well as a beautiful, walkable campus. For those who aren't able to learn onsite, Indiana University offers more than 100 degree and academic certificates online.

      For those who aren't able to learn onsite, Indiana University offers more than 100 degree and academic certificates online.


      • Purdue University: Purdue University has been educating Indiana students since 1869 and counts Neil Armstrong among its alumni. It's a school steeped in traditions from the big bass drum that gets rolled out for home games to the old oaken bucket that gets passed to the winner of the Purdue-Indiana football game. Its current online degrees include an associate degree in veterinary technology in addition to 18 master's degrees and 6 graduate certificates.
        • Valparaiso University: Operating as an independent Lutheran institution, Valparaiso can trace its roots to 1859. Today, the school has five undergraduate schools as well as a graduate school and law school. With fewer than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled, the school has a small campus community. For those who prefer to learn online, Valparaiso University currently has six online master's degree programs.
          • Indiana Institute of Technology: Known as Indiana Tech, this school focuses on technical education and career-oriented skills. It was founded in Fort Wayne in 1930 and has since expanded to include regional campuses in Indiana and Kentucky. Online students can select from 18 undergraduate and 8 graduate programs at Indiana Tech.

            While these are some popular options for education in Indiana, they are not the only choices. Listed below are other online schools in Indiana. Some provide specialized education in a specific area such as vocational training or technical degrees; others offer a broad liberal arts education that could be applied to a variety of career paths. If you want to follow Indiana's initiative to get Career Ready, you can start by requesting more information from the colleges and universities listed below.

            Sources
            1. Indiana Info, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, accessed May 2015, http://iedc.in.gov/indiana-info
            2. Indiana Tech, http://www.indianatech.edu/
            3. Indiana University Online, http://online.iu.edu/
            4. "10 Best College Towns," Liveability, accessed May 2015, http://livability.com/top-10/college/10-best-college-towns/2012/indiana/bloomington
            5. Notre Dame Online, http://www.notredameonline.com/programs/
            6. Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
            7. Purdue University Online, http://online.purdue.edu/
            8. Career Ready Goals, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, accessed May 2015, http://www.in.gov/careerready/2380.htm
            9. Career Ready Quick Facts, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, accessed May 2015, http://www.in.gov/che/files/150420_CareerReady_QuickFacts.pdf
            10. At a Glance, University of Notre Dame, https://www.nd.edu/about/at-a-glance/
            11. Indiana Quick Facts, U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/18000.html
            12. Indiana, "Occupational Employment Statistics," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm
            13. Online Master's Programs, Valparaiso University, http://www.valpo.edu/grad/online.php

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