Online Schools in Kentucky

Online and Hybrid Programs in Kentucky

Kentucky has two major metropolitan areas -- Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, and Lexington, Horse Capital of the World. Both cities are located in the northern part of the state. According to College Stats (collegestats.com), which aggregates information from the U.S. Department of Education, of the 10 largest colleges or universities in the state, 60 percent are also located in the northern part of the state. Online schools in Kentucky could help with accessibility, by providing students who don't live near these major metropolitan areas more educational options.

Kentucky online schools offer programs that can lead to associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as non-degree certificates in major Kentucky industry sectors. Although the nature of some educational programs, called hybrid programs, requires on-site attendance for some portion of the program, students who live outside the immediate area of the college or university should generally be able to minimize their travel to the university. However, online schools in Kentucky also offer programs that are 100 percent online, offering the opportunity for students to work and study from home.

Online Colleges in Kentucky Could Help to Meet Job Demand

Two of the largest occupational categories in terms of overall employment -- healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, and office and administrative support occupations -- account for almost 25 percent of the projected job growth in Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2020 (kylmi.ky.gov) report. The highest growth from 2010 to 2020 in Kentucky is expected to be in personal care and service at 25.3 percent, healthcare support at 25.1 percent, and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations at 25 percent, according to the report.

The University of Kentucky offers online and hybrid programs in some of these areas. These include an online Bachelor of Science in Clinical Leadership Management, Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Doctorate in Rehabilitation Sciences, and Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy. The school also has an online Doctor of Nursing Practice, commonly known as a DNP, and a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling, as well as graduate certificate programs for distance education and early childhood education.

Kentucky Online Schools Offer Programs for Working Professionals

Online programs have traditionally been an excellent way for working professionals to obtain additional education without having to leave their jobs or sacrifice time with their families. Online schools in Kentucky can provide similar resources. Eastern Kentucky University (eku.edu), for example, offers online programs for working professionals in nursing and psychology, fields that are projected to grow in the state through 2020.

For nursing professionals who are looking for more training, the school offers graduate degree nursing programs with concentrations in public health administration or education, rural health or psychiatry/mental health, as well as post-MSN certificates. The school also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Clinical experiences for all programs that require them are completed where the student lives.

Sullivan University (sullivan.edu) offers online programs for business professionals seeking master's and doctoral degrees in business administration and public management. Admission to Sullivan's online degree programs requires that the student have satisfactory scores on the Graduate Management Admission Test, GMAT, or Graduate Record Exam, GRE, and have a bachelor's or master's degree, depending on the program level. Specific programs may require work experience.

Other programs of interest to working professionals may be found at the University of Louisville (louisville.edu). The school offers nine fully online graduate degree programs in content areas such as justice administration, engineering management, higher education, social work, and others. The university also offers online continuing medical education and professional development coursework that may be relevant to healthcare professionals who already work in the field.

Industries with Projected Job Growth in Kentucky

As of December 2012, 8.8 million Kentucky residents were employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov). A significant number were employed in education and health services, accounting for more than 1.7 million jobs for Kentucky residents. Jobs in trade, transportation and utilities were the second most prolific, accounting for employment of 1.5 million residents. Finally, jobs in the government sector also were prominent, accounting for approximately 1.4 million people.

According to a report conducted for the Kentucky Department of Workforce Investment (workforce.ky.gov), the following five industry sectors have been targeted for future development in the Commonwealth of Kentucky: automobile and aircraft manufacturing; transportation, distribution and logistics; business services and biotechnology research and development; health care/social assistance; and energy creation/transmission. Online degrees in Kentucky could be helpful to any student wanting to gain skills to potentially pursue a career in one of these fields.

Sources:
Bluegrass Community & Technical College
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kentucky Economy at a Glance, 2013
CollegeStats, List of Largest Colleges and Universities in Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky University Online
Jefferson Technical and Community College, Finding Online Classes
Kentucky Labor Market Information, Kentucky's Target Industry Sectors, 2011
Sullivan University Programs Online
University of Kentucky Distance Learning
University of Louisville Online Learning Graduate Programs