Online Schools in Kansas

Hybrid and Online Degree Programs: Making Education Accessible

Universities and online colleges in Kansas help provide the state's nearly 3 million residents with a number of options when it comes to pursuing a higher education. Overall, more than 100 public and private schools exist in the state to help students pursue an education. These include universities, community colleges, technical institutions, and even specialty schools focused on teaching subjects like real estate and taxidermy, according to the Kansas Board of Regents (kansasregents.org).

However, since many of the campus-based schools are located in the Topeka area or the town of Lawrence (home to the University of Kansas), students living in rural areas may find it difficult to access schools that are built upon a brick-and-mortar tradition. A remedy for this challenge could be for residents to pursue online degrees in Kansas. These degree programs offer a level of flexibility that may be advantageous to those trying to balance their education with a full-time job or a family.

Online Schools in Kansas Help Meet Occupational Demand

Several occupations are predicted to experience an upswing in the next several years, according to the Kansas Labor Information Center (klic.dol.ks.gov). For example, between 2010 and 2020 a significant increase in the amount of jobs in the education field is expected to occur. This includes a 16.2 percent forecasted increase in preschool education jobs, and a 17.1 percent increase in elementary and secondary school jobs in Kansas. Kansas State University (dce.k-state.edu) is helping education professionals continue their training by offering several online degrees in Kansas at the master's degree level. Available through the school's College of Education, these programs focus on academic advising, digital teaching and educational leadership.

Similarly, the Kansas Labor Information Center estimates that the amount of jobs available in the field of nursing instruction will increase. From 2010 to 2020, jobs for nursing instructors and teachers in Kansas are projected to increase by 23.8 percent. In order to train nursing professionals for these new jobs, Fort Hays State University (fhsu.edu) offers an online master's degree program in nursing education. The program includes research and an apprenticeship, as well as core and education nursing programs offered online.

Distance Learning Benefits for Working Professionals in Kansas

Several schools around Kansas offer online degrees designed to help working professionals advance in their careers. For example, Friends University (learnonline.friends.edu) offers online master's degree programs in a number of fields, including management of information systems. Many of the school's online programs allow students to complete their coursework quickly if they desire, and are geared toward meeting the needs of nontraditional students. They can also help adults meet the state's workforce needs. In Kansas, jobs for computer and information systems managers are expected to grow by 18.7 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Kansas Labor Information Center.

For those wishing to make a career change, Washburn University (washburn.edu) offers an online certificate in diagnostic medical sonography. Classes are offered entirely online, which can increase convenience for those already working as a professional in another career. Also, the school has offered a certificate through distance learning for 11 years, suggesting some level of success. Jobs for diagnostic medical sonographers (usually requiring a certificate or associate degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) are projected to grow 43.2 percent in Kansas from 2010 to 2020, according to the Kansas Labor Information Center.

Industries for Job Growth in Kansas

As of December 2012, there were approximately 1.4 million working professionals in Kansas, according to the employment information compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency reports that many of these workers, about 254,000 people, are employed in government jobs. Other popular industries in Kansas include the transportation and utility industries (employing more than 251,000 people), education and health services (employing more than 187,000 people), manufacturing (employing more than 167,000 people), and professional and business services (employing more than 162,000 people).

Several online colleges in Kansas have degree programs to help students prepare for jobs that are expected to be created in coming years. Jobs for radiation therapists are expected to grow by 20.2 percent in Kansas from 2010 to 2020, according to the Kansas Labor Information Center. Jobs for counselors, social workers, and other community and social service specialists are predicted to grow 21.5 percent in Kansas from 2010 to 2020. Online bachelor's and master's degree programs in social work are offered through Washburn University.

Sources:
United States Census Bureau, Kansas
Kansas Board of Regents, Colleges & Universities

Kansas Labor Information Center, Kansas 10 Year Job Outlook 2010-2020, 2010
Fort Hays State University, Nursing Education
Friends University
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kansas Economy at a Glance, 2012
Washburn University, Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Washburn University, Online Social Work Degrees

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