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Online Schools in Maryland

Hybrid and Online Degree Programs: Making Education Accessible

With more than 50 colleges and universities located within the state's borders -- including a number of public and private institutions -- Maryland's residents have a wealth of higher education choices to select from. One option that has become increasingly popular among Maryland's students is earning a degrees online. Thanks to a number of brick-and-mortar schools that are offering distance learning opportunities, students can conveniently earn online degrees in Maryland without commuting to campus or attending class at a specific time.

This flexibility may be particularly attractive to those who are juggling a full-time job and family responsibilities. Online schools in Maryland may also be helpful for those who want to attend some of the more popular colleges and community colleges in the state, many of which are located in the Baltimore area. Additionally, those who find driving to school cumbersome, particularly given the heavy traffic that can occur is some areas, may find that online degrees in Maryland can help avoid this obstacle and allow for more effective time management.

Online Schools in Maryland Help Meet Occupational Demand

From renewable energy to aerospace, Maryland is increasingly focused on scientific discovery and advancement, which has exponentially increased the job opportunities for the state's workforce. In fact, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (dllr.state.md.us) estimates that from 2010 to 2020, there will be a 21.4 percent increase in the amount of science and technology jobs available to Maryland workers. Careers for biomedical engineers in Maryland are predicted to grow by 70 percent from 2010 to 2020, and those for biochemists and biophysicists are predicted to grow by 42 percent during the same time, according to CareerOneStop, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. In recent years, Maryland officials have launched several initiatives that are designed to create renewable energy around the state.

In order to achieve the goal of sustainability through solar and wind power, researchers and companies alike are working toward innovations. Additionally, some of the state's colleges are offering programs geared toward these careers. For example, Johns Hopkins University (www.jhu.edu) offers online master's degree programs in environmental sciences and policy, and energy policy and climate. In these programs, students learn about climate change, environmental monitoring, energy production and delivery, and environmental planning and management. As a side note, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation estimates that opportunities for environmental engineering technicians in Maryland are predicted to grow by 45 percent from 2010 to 2020.

Similarly, the University of Maryland College Park (www.umd.edu) has a master's degree program in sustainable energy, which can be completed on campus or online, and includes coursework in environmental risk analysis, wind energy engineering, and energy auditing. Home to a dozen military installations and numerous aerospace companies, Maryland has various opportunities available for those who want to pursue careers in areas like cyber security, avionics, biodefense, and aerospace engineering. In fact, jobs for aerospace engineers are estimated to grow by 11 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is higher than the predicted increase nationwide. To help prepare students training in military careers, the University of Maryland University College (www.umuc.edu) offers a number of advanced online science and technology degrees, such as master's degrees in information systems and services, homeland security and information assurance, information technology management, and cyber security and digital forensics.

Distance Learning Benefits for Working Professionals in Maryland

For busy professionals who want to advance in their careers, several schools offer online degree programs in Maryland that allow students to conveniently work toward the education they want while juggling their current jobs. For example, the University of Maryland University College offers a number of online advanced degrees for professionals in the health care field. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation reports that health care jobs should increase approximately 27 percent by 2020. In order to prepare students to fill these roles, the school has online master's degree programs in health administration informatics and health care administration. In order to be admitted to these programs, applicants should have work experience in the health care field, in addition to having completed undergraduate coursework in health care management, statistics, and finance.

Similarly, Towson University (towson.edu) has an online undergraduate degree program in allied health, for students who want to prepare for managerial positions in the health care industry. In order to apply for the program, students are required to have a two-year degree prior to admission. For students who are interested in pursuing the science and technology jobs that Maryland is expected to create in the coming years, the school offers an online master's degree in applied information technology, where students learn database management, information security and assurance, information systems management, and software engineering. In order to be admitted into this program, students must either have a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field or they must be employed in an information technology job. Job growth in database management is predicted to increase by 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to CareerInfoNet.

Industries for Job Growth in Maryland

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were about 2.6 million working professionals around the state as of August 2013. The vast majority of workers -- about 509,000 people -- in Maryland were employed by state government during that time. In addition, other popular industries in the state include education and health services, which accounted for more than 428,000 jobs, professional and business services (about 427,000 jobs), and leisure and hospitality (with approximately 249,000 jobs).

There are a number of online schools in Maryland that offer degree programs in many of these sectors, as well as education. According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, education jobs are expected to increase by 13.9 percent by 2020. Also, another growing industry will be the financial sector, and securities-related jobs are expected to increase by 16.8 percent in the coming years.

Sources:

Maryland Higher Education, Colleges, Universities, http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/edhigh.html

Maryland Population, http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/pop.html

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Maryland Industry Projections, 2010-2020, 2013, http://www.dllr.state.md.us/lmi/iandoproj/industry.shtml

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Energy and Sustainability, http://www.choosemaryland.org/industry/Energy/default.aspx

Johns Hopkins University, Advanced Academic Programs, http://advanced.jhu.edu/registration/schedules/index.html

Johns Hopkins University, Environmental Studies, http://advanced.jhu.edu/academic/environmental/

Johns Hopkins University, MS in Energy Policy and Climate, http://advanced.jhu.edu/academic/environmental/master-of-science-in-energy-policy-and-climate/degree-requirements/index.htm

University of Maryland College Park, Sustainable Energy Online, http://advancedengineering.umd.edu/programs/sustainable-energy/online-courses

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Aerospace and Defense, http://www.choosemaryland.org/industry/AeroDefense/default.aspx

University of Maryland University College, Graduate Programs, http://www.choosemaryland.org/industry/AeroDefense/default.aspx

University of Maryland University College, Master of Science in Health Care Administration, http://www.umuc.edu/grad/gradprograms/mhca.cfm

University of Maryland University College, Master of Science in Health Administration Informatics, http://www.umuc.edu/grad/gradprograms/mshai.cfm

Towson University, Allied Health, http://www.towson.edu/chp/alliedhealth/onlineoption/index.asp

Towson University, Applied Information Technology, http://grad.towson.edu/program/master/ait-ms/

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maryland Economy at a Glance, August 2013, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.md.htm

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