Online Schools in New York

Hybrid and Online Degree Programs Provide Accessible Education

Anchored by the most populous city in the United States, the state of New York is home to nearly 20 million residents and more than 100 postsecondary institutions. However, a sharp contrast exists between the northern and southern halves of the state, and the remote areas of upstate New York are a far cry from the bright lights of New York City.

How can individuals in the rural areas of northern New York access the same educational opportunities as their neighbors in the bustling south? Distance learning offers an opportunity to work toward educational goals, regardless of location. Hybrid and online degree programs can open doors for students and working professionals, providing additional avenues for higher education that could enhance their marketability, provide practical skills and expand career prospects.

Distance Learning in New York: Geared Toward Growing Occupations

Serving as the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States, New York state has long relied on translators and interpreters to help stir its cultural melting pot. Today, enhanced globalization has impacted business, increasing demand for individuals who can overcome cross-cultural communication barriers. The New York State Department of Labor ( projects that the number of interpreters and translators will increase 32.6 percent between 2010 and 2020, ranking among the state’s fastest-growing occupations. New York University ( offers an online master of science degree in translation, training students in either Chinese to English, French to English, or Spanish to English translation. The program is designed to help graduates become professional translators through coursework that focuses on translation theory, while covering business and social terminology in order to facilitate cultural and economic exchanges.

Hofstra University ( has established an online program for students pursuing a master of science in computer science. Designed to allow students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations, all of the program’s course lectures are available online and no campus visits are required. The curriculum focuses on the fundamental areas of computer science, including algorithms, operating systems and programming languages. Coursework also involves web engineering, mobile application development, project management and database systems. Graduates receive training that could help them move into a career as a systems software developer, a role that should continue to see growth in the future. The New York State Department of Labor ( expects the occupation to increase by 27.7 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding more than 5,000 systems software developers during that time.

Online Coursework Benefits Working Professionals

Many online degree programs are specifically tailored for working professionals, who have schedules that don’t allow them to attend campus-based classes. Since 1995, Syracuse University ( has offered an executive master of science in communications management. Designed for experienced public relations professionals, the program requires entrants to have a minimum of five years of work experience, and allows coursework to be completed entirely online anywhere there is an Internet connection. It combines courses in public relations, business and leadership, emphasizing the skills required for career advancement. The New York State Department of Labor ( anticipates that between 2010 and 2020 the number of public relations specialists will increase 17.7 percent, while public relations managers are projected to increase 11.1 percent. These positions are expected to increase in demand as companies put greater emphasis on corporate branding and customer relations.

Hybrid programs provide an opportunity for students to study independently on a flexible schedule, while also maintaining a connection to campus. A hybrid master of science degree in information and knowledge strategy is available through Columbia University ( The accelerated, 16-month program is open to applicants with at least two years of relevant work experience, and the online curriculum is supplemented by three five-day residencies on the New York City campus. Taking place during the first, eighth and thirteenth months of the program, the residencies feature seminars, professional workshops, coaching sessions and networking events. Coursework trains students in managing the analysis, evaluation and dissemination of information for strategic decision making. The program is designed to provide graduates with the skills necessary to pursue an information management career, which can apply to a wide range of fields, including human resources, education, law and healthcare.

Industries for Job Growth in New York

New York employed approximately 8.9 million working professionals in August 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (, 2013). Education and health services was the state’s leading employment industry, accounting for nearly 1.8 million jobs. Approximately 65 percent of them fell into the education category. Trade, transportation and utilities positions made up approximately 1.53 million jobs, making it the second-highest industry for employment in New York. Government occupations followed close behind, employing about 1.45 million people and ranking third among state industries.

A number of finance and accounting programs are offered by online colleges in New York. The New York State Department of Labor ( estimates that the number of personal financial advisors will increase by more than 30 percent between 2010 and 2020, and anticipates that approximately 13,000 accountants and auditors will be added during that timeframe. Meanwhile, market research analysts and marketing specialists are projected to be among the fastest-growing teaching occupations in the state, increasing at an estimated rate of 32 percent and adding more than 10,500 positions.

State of New York,

New York University,

Hofstra University,

Syracuse University,

Columbia University,

New York Department of Labor, Employment Projections, 2010,

New York Department of Labor, Long-Term Industry Employment Projections, 2010,

Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York Economy at a Glance, 2013,