Online schools in New York

Students in New York are never too far from opportunities for higher learning. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), New York is home to nearly 500 colleges, universities, career academies, vocational schools and other postsecondary institutions, located in cities and towns from Plattsburgh to Staten Island and Montauk to Buffalo.

What's even better news for prospective students is the growing number of online schools in New York, which are making education more accessible in multiple subjects at all degree levels. If you're committed to your work and family responsibilities but have aspirations to earn a degree or continue your education, a program of online or hybrid courses might be the opportunity you've been waiting for.

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 New York
• In-demand degrees & industries
• New York colleges

Students interested in a more complete list of New York-based institutions offering online degrees can start by exploring this map, which shows the location of all colleges in the state that have distance education options, based on 2013 data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Once you identify schools that are located nearby, it's easy to explore what online degrees might be offered near you. (Mobile users will need to visit the full Schools.com site to use the map.)

Online colleges in New York

New York City has some of the nation's best universities within its borders, but the cost of everyday living in such a massive metropolis is famously expensive. Taking courses online at colleges in New York can make it a little easier, not only by allowing you to cut down on travel expenses from home to school but by offering the generally lower tuition rates and material costs that come with digital distance education.

Whether you choose to attend a campus-based school or one of the online colleges in New York, it can be helpful to attend classes in a city where plenty of other students are already living and thriving. Here's a list of the cities in New York with the highest overall student populations, compiled using NCES enrollment data:

  1. New York City
  2. Buffalo
  3. Rochester
  4. Syracuse
  5. Albany

Naturally, with a total population more than that of some whole states, New York City has nearly seven times as many students among its population as second-place Buffalo. Here's a breakdown of the five boroughs of the city, in order from greatest student population to least:

  1. Manhattan
  2. Queens
  3. Brooklyn
  4. Bronx
  5. Staten Island

Cities with more students tend to also have more libraries, bookstores, tutoring centers and other sorts of secondary academic services. It isn't necessary to live in one of these academic hubs to enjoy studying at online schools in New York, but it does have a tendency to make the little things just a bit easier.

Here's some data about the top colleges and degree programs in New York, both on traditional campuses and in the virtual environment:

Globally ranked traditional and online schools in New York

According to various national and international collegiate ranking agencies, some of the best colleges in the world exist in New York state. For example, the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) analyzes data about patents, research publications, alumni employment and overall quality of education and faculty to produce an annual list of the top 1,000 schools in the world, which included these New York institutions in 2015:

  • Columbia University: No. 6
  • Cornell University: No. 10
  • New York University: No. 16
  • University of Rochester: No. 81
  • Yeshiva University: No. 171
  • Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute: No. 282
  • University at Albany - SUNY: No. 388
  • Syracuse University: No. 463

Notable online programs at schools on the CWUR list include the online graduate degrees in engineering offered at NYU, Cornell and Columbia, education degrees at Yeshiva University and online graduate degrees in IT at Syracuse.

New York City has some of the nation's best universities within its borders, but the cost of everyday living in such a massive metropolis is famously expensive — taking courses online at colleges in New York can make it a little easier.

Top degree programs at online colleges in New York and beyond

Rankings published by U.S. News and World Report also indicate that some of the best degree programs in the nation can be found online at schools in New York. Pace University, for one, ranked in a tie with Arizona State University and Boston University for the No. 2 rank in online criminal justice programs for 2016. Monroe College in the Bronx also placed well in the criminal justice category, tying for No. 11 with Western Kentucky University.

Students looking to earn their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree online at colleges in New York have three in-state options in the U.S. News top 50: Rochester Institute of Technology (No. 25), Clarkson University (No. 36) in Potsdam and Hofstra University (No. 41) in Hempstead. Aspiring graduate students in education can enroll at the University at Buffalo - SUNY or the New York Institute of Technology for programs that tied at No. 23 nationally, and those looking for an undergraduate degree online can turn to Pace University, where the bachelor's programs placed in the national top 10.

Best degrees to get in New York

Job opportunities in a few specific occupations are poised to skyrocket during the period between 2012 and 2022, according to the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) and the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Here's a quick list of degrees available at traditional and online schools in New York that relate to some of the hotter jobs on the statewide market:

  • Jobs for convention and event planners are expected to increase 42 percent in New York by 2022, and graduates with degrees in public relations or communications are likely to be well-positioned to fill one of the 3,400 emerging positions. Prior work experience in hotels or professional planning can be a big plus, and earning a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential, although not explicitly required for professional practice, may be preferred by some employers. Mean annual wages for event planners in New York came to $61,980 in 2014.
  • Careers in diagnostic medicine are growing in a big way, and a two-year degree in diagnostic medical sonography can be a great way to get started. NYS DOL projections show an expected increase of 40 percent in sonography jobs between 2012 and 2022, with areas of greater population expected to see larger numbers of raw job gains. Annual wages in the state averaged to $69,520 in 2014, with the top 10 percent of earners taking home more than $90,000 for the year.
  • Another health care career that's expected to add thousands of jobs over the next several years is nursing¸ and nursing degrees at essentially all levels can help you gain a foothold in the field. Licensed practical and vocational nurses in New York should see more than 10,000 new jobs open up in their field by 2022, and registered nursing positions are projected to increase by nearly 23,000. The increase in demand for nurses means also that nursing instructors and teachers at the college level should see considerable job growth — the NYS DOL projects a 35 percent increase in nurse educator positions between 2012 and 2022.

Licensed practical and vocational nurses in New York should see more than 10,000 new jobs open up in their field by 2022, and registered nursing positions are projected to increase by nearly 23,000.

  • New York may be one of the best states in the U.S. for graduates with degrees in statistics, at least in the current market cycle. Not only is employment of statisticians with educations at the master's level projected to rise 35 percent by 2022, but business research firms tend to seek out statistical specialists to help produce well-rounded apprehensions of market data. Jobs for market research analysts have a 34 percent growth projection between 2012 and 2022, and those in New York earned a mean annual wage of $73,870 in 2014.
  • One degree that's remained strong on the employment market for years now is a computer science degree, which can lead to a variety of fast-growing and intellectually challenging careers. Employment of apps developers is expected to increase 26 percent, resulting in 10,000+ new jobs by 2022, while computer systems analysts should see 23 percent growth. Those with several years industry experience and some business or management education can move into positions as information systems managers, which paid a mean annual wage of $157,360 in New York in 2014.

There's no degree plan that can guarantee employment once completed, but students who focus on the right subject matter and seek out career advice while in school may be able to take some of the stress out of the job search after graduation.

New York colleges

There are so many campus-based and online colleges in New York that it's practically impossible to list them all. Here's a table that shows a sampling of the institutions in the Empire State and some of their more notable degree programs:

Institution name Online degrees? Top programs
New York University Yes Business, law, nursing, public affairs, economics, engineering (on campus and online), education, math, history, statistics, fine arts, political science, psychology, sociology, social work, computer science
Syracuse University Yes Public affairs, library and information studies, nonprofit management, computer information technology (online), MBA (online), fine arts, education, engineering, law
Rochester Institute of Technology Yes Computer information technology (online), engineering (on campus and online), MBA (on campus and online), photography, multimedia, physics, physician assisting
University at Albany - SUNY Yes

Criminology, public affairs, social work, sociology, public health, education, clinical psychology, economics, earth sciences, economics, math

Yeshiva University Yes Medical research, primary care medicine, biological sciences, social work, law, psychology, graduate education (online)
St. John's University Yes

Graduate business (online), MBA, graduate education (on campus and online), pharmacy, clinical psychology, history

D'Youville College Yes Nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assisting, graduate education

To learn more about online schools in New York and elsewhere, explore the school listings below or contact an admissions representative to ask a few questions or schedule a visit.

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