Online colleges in Ohio

A passion for education has been a part of the Ohio ethos ever since the 17th U.S. state was a glimmer in the eyes of its founders. The state's first namesake institution was chartered before its borders were even drawn, and the first Ohio General Assembly wasted no time in establishing it officially as the seed of a public higher education network that would grow to include over 100 colleges, universities, regional learning centers, career academies and vocational schools.

Whether you're thinking about attending a campus-based institution or one of the many online colleges in Ohio, living in an environment where fellow students are working toward similar goals can help you feel more at home in your studies. These five Ohio cities had the largest student populations in 2014, according to college enrollment data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton and Athens.

You could note, though, that while Athens ranks fifth in raw population numbers, its ratio of students to overall population actually comes in first among all five cities mentioned. Matching the NCES data with population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that the constituency of Athens County contains about 45 percent students, while larger cities typically have less than half that density. Columbus and Cincinnati, for example, have populations of about 12 and 19 percent college students, respectively.

To find out more about attending college in Ohio, explore the different sections of this guide, including:

Online education
Major industries & in-demand degrees
Ohio colleges


Online colleges in Ohio

A few of the benefits of digital distance education, such as the ability to sculpt your academic schedule around your existing family and work responsibilities and the generally lower cost of tuition for online courses, can be had by students in virtually any location around the country. There are some upsides like the following, however, which apply to students attending online schools in Ohio specifically:

  • The larger online colleges in Ohio tend to maintain regional learning centers in smaller cities across the state, which can allow students who don't live near major population centers to engage in hybrid classes and meet with academic advisors or career counselors face to face.

Cost-of-living perk: Ohio housing prices in particular came in well below the national average, which can give students a break in one of the largest areas of extracurricular cost.

  • Nursing instruction is a big career in Ohio, and many online schools in Ohio offer the sort of graduate programs that aspiring nurse educators must complete before they can work at the university level. The flexibility of the online format can go a long way toward helping a continued education fit into a busy working nurse's schedule.
  • The Council for Community and Economic Research reports that the general cost of living in Ohio in 2014 is considerably less expensive than the national average. Housing prices in particular came in well below the mean, which can give students a break in one of the largest areas of extracurricular cost.

Here are some Ohio online colleges to check out:

  • Ohio University features programs for nurses such as an online master's degree, designed for aspiring educators and advanced practice nurses, and an RN-to-BSN track that can to help working nurses earn their bachelor's degree. The University of Cincinnati also offers online degrees for nurses at all levels, including nurse-midwife and multiple nurse practitioner specializations.
  • Another upside for students attending online colleges in Ohio is the possibility of mixing distance learning courses from other schools into a given degree plan. Graduate nursing students online at Ohio State University, for example, could potentially take some of their courses at the online extensions of renowned medical institutions like the Medical University of South Carolina and Johns Hopkins University, provided that the credits will transfer in and apply to their main degree.

If you're interested, start exploring what online degrees might be offered near you by checking out this map, which shows the location of all colleges in Ohio that have online offerings, based on 2013 data from the NCES. (Mobile users will need to visit the full Schools.com site to use the map.)

Best degrees to get in Ohio

It's just as true as ever that no degree can guarantee you a job after graduation, but it is possible to cut down on some of the transitional friction between college and the working world if you find the right ways to focus your studies. Here are a few of the degrees available at traditional and online schools in Ohio that might help you find a good fit in the statewide career market:

  • Working nurses who go on to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can move into nursing education, which is a job sector where Ohio stands among the top four states in the nation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a mean annual wage of $66,170 for Ohio postsecondary nursing teachers in 2014, and the projected statewide employment increase of more than 36 percent between 2012 and 2022 is enough to qualify nursing instruction for the top six fastest growing careers in Ohio.
  • Health care and social assistance professions in Ohio are projected to add a total of 166,200 jobs statewide in the next several years, according to the Ohio Job Outlook 2012-2022 report issued by the Ohio Office of Workforce Development (OWD), and associate degrees or certificates in diagnostic medical sonography can be your ticket to one of the most in-demand jobs in the field. BLS data show a mean annual wage of $61,700 for Ohio sonographers in 2014.
  • So much important and sensitive information is traded over the Internet that professionals with computer science and information security degrees are finding themselves in high demand all over the country. In Ohio specifically, 29 percent growth in positions for information security analysts is expected to continue through 2022, leading to hundreds of new jobs for well-trained IT personnel.

Working nurses who go on to earn a Master of Science in Nursing can move into nursing education, which is a job sector where Ohio stands among the top four states in the nation.

  • Thanks to economic globalization and increasing cultural diversity in cities across the U.S., interpretation and translation employment is expected to grow 47 percent between 2012 and 2022. Professionals with a modern language degree, particularly in Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese or other in-demand languages, may be in shape to capitalize on this trend.
  • Many health care providers are expanding the roles and responsibilities of physician assisting, and the career market is responding to the increased demand. Employment of Ohio physician assistants is expected to grow 31 percent by 2022, and the statewide mean wage came in at $101,310 in 2014. Most physician assistants need a master's degree to practice.
  • Animal lovers looking for a degree in veterinary medicine can find one of the top programs in the nation at Ohio State. Veterinarians in Ohio earned mean wages of $90,660 in 2014, and jobs for veterinary technicians and technologists are projected to grow nearly 30 percent by 2022, which can help students gain experience in the industry while they're working toward their full vet degree.

Some of the degrees listed above may take as little time as six months or a year to finish, while some others require a full bachelor's education and further study at the graduate level. Never hesitate to talk to an academic advisor about your post-college goals and how the program of your choice can best suit your ambition.

Ohio colleges

Choosing the right degree for you is a big part of getting the most out of college, but it's no less important to choose the right school. Here's a table with some vital info about campus-based and online colleges in Ohio, including a list of some of their top subject areas:

Institution name Online degrees? Top programs
Ohio State University Yes Undergraduate business, technical/vocational education, accounting, graduate teacher education, curriculum and instruction, medicine, nursing, law, operations management, supply chain management, biological engineering, chemistry, physics, space science, computer science, earth sciences, economics, English, ceramics, interior design, pharmacy, political science, social psychology, veterinary medicine, graduate engineering (online), graduate nursing (online)
Ohio University Yes Teacher education, physical therapy, graduate engineering (online), rehabilitation counseling, speech-language pathology, ceramics, printmaking, online MBA
Case Western Reserve University Yes (graduate only) Graduate business, health care law, international law, medicine, medical research, graduate nursing, advanced practice nursing, biological sciences, social work, statistics, graduate engineering
University of Cincinnati Yes Criminology, pediatrics, pharmacy, medical research, nursing, physical therapy, graduate criminal justice (online), graduate teacher education (online), graduate nursing (online), business, law, earth sciences
Kent State University Yes Library and information studies, audiology, rehabilitation counseling, sociology, psychology, math, physics, English, public affairs, graduate teacher education (online)
Miami University - Oxford No Undergraduate teacher education, part-time MBA, English, history, speech-language pathology, earth sciences, psychology, fine arts
Cleveland State University Yes Public affairs, city management, non-profit management, MBA (online), graduate nursing (online), physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assisting, social work, teacher education, law

If you're interested in one of the campus-based or online schools in Ohio, stop by their administration building or get in touch with an admissions representative by email or phone for more detailed information.

1. "Case Western Reserve University launches five all-online engineering master's degrees," Case Western Reserve University, accessed April 12, 2015, http://engineering.case.edu/online-masters-degrees
2. Cost of Living Data Series, 2014 Annual Average, Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, accessed April 11, 2015, http://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/index.stm
3. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed April 11, 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=OH&ic=1+2&en=1000&of=1&od=0&pg=4
4. Ohio Job Outlook, Ohio Office of Workforce Development, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, accessed April 11, 2015, http://ohiolmi.com/proj/OhioJobOutlook.htm
5. Ohio Job Outlook to 2022, Ohio Office of Workforce Development, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, accessed April 11, 2012, http://ohiolmi.com/proj/Projections/Ohio_Job_Outlook_2012-2022.pdf
6. Ohio Statehood, Ohio History Central, accessed April 11, 2015, http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Ohio_Statehood?rec=530
7. History and Traditions, Ohio University, accessed April 11, 2015, http://www.ohio.edu/students/history.cfm
8. Online Programs, School of Nursing, Ohio University, accessed April 11, 2015, http://www.ohio.edu/chsp/nrse/academics/Online-Programs.cfm
9. State & County QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, accessed April 11, 2015, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/39/39009.html
10. Best Online Nursing Programs, U.S. News and World Report, accessed April 11, 2015, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/nursing/rankings
11. Nursing Specialties, University of Cincinnati, accessed April 11, 2015 http://nursingonline.uc.edu/online-nursing-degree/nursing-specialties/
12-20. Overall Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, accessed April 12, 2015: Case Western Reserve University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/case-western-reserve-university-201645/overall-rankings; Cleveland State University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/cleveland-state-university-202134/overall-rankings; Kent State University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/kent-state-university-kent-campus-203517/overall-rankings; Miami University - Oxford, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/miami-university-oxford-204024/overall-rankings; Ohio State University - Columbus, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/ohio-state-university-columbus-204796/overall-rankings; Ohio University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/ohio-university-main-campus-204857/overall-rankings; University of Cincinnati, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-cincinnati-main-campus-201885/overall-rankings; University of Dayton, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-dayton-202480/overall-rankings; Xavier University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/xavier-university-206622/overall-rankings
21. May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates - Ohio, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed April 11, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_oh.htm
22-24. "Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed April 11, 2015: Interpreters and Translators, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Media-and-Communication/Interpreters-and-translators.htm; Physician Assistants, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Physician-assistants.htm; Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm
25. Online Learning, Xavier University, accessed April 12, 2015, http://www.xavier.edu/online/Programs.cfm


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