In 1851, the University of Minnesota was started; today, it is still going strong as one of the largest universities in the United States, and is a Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCAHLC) accredited online university. All five University of Minnesota campuses are individually accredited, and its various programs also have specialized accreditations. The university’s distance learning program is incredibly comprehensive, with bachelor’s, degree completion, master’s, doctoral, certificate, and hybrid programs in subjects such as business, computer science, and nursing. University of Minnesota online courses have been awarded for their quality, earning the No. 32 spot for student engagement and assessment and No. 40 spot for student services and technology on U.S. News and World Report rankings list.
Founded as Mankato Normal School in 1868, Minnesota State University is now the third largest university in Minnesota. It holds the distinction of being home to Julia Sears, the first female manager of a public college in the United States. The university is also accredited by the NCAHLC, and holds several specialized accreditations for its bachelor’s and master’s programs. Its online college offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, graduate certificate programs, and even undergraduate minor programs in such areas as nursing and technical communication.
Saint Cloud State University is another one of Minnesota’s accredited online colleges. It was founded in 1869 and officially became a university in 1975. It is now the largest affiliate of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and Minnesota’s second largest university. Another NCAHLC accredited online university, St. Cloud hosts more than 200 online courses at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels each semester. It accommodates both online degree programs and “blended programs,” which allow students the flexibility of online courses combined with the personal feel of traditional classroom setting. The university presents students with many options in terms of the degrees they can seek, and how far they can go into a given subject. For example, a student seeking a well-rounded and marketable psychology education could get an online psychology degree, a minor in community psychology, and a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis all from one university. The programs it is most known for are management, finance, accounting, mass communications, and criminal justice.
The top industries in Minnesota are health care, agriculture, and manufacturing, according to OSHA.gov. Its top manufacturing industries are food and kindred products, forest products, printing and publishing, and industrial machinery. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May of 2012, education and health care services hosted 481,000 jobs while there were over 306,000 jobs in the manufacturing industries. The Minnesota Post stated in 2009 that agriculture is Minnesota’s second largest industry, with over 80,000 farms and 367,000 jobs.
Given Minnesota’s major industries, which online university degree in Minnesota is right for you? Pursuing some of Saint Could State University’s psychology degrees, for example, would put a graduate in a great position in the Minnesota health care industry job market. Other degrees that would serve Minnesotans well are business, operations management, agriculture sciences, and industrial engineering. These degrees are common among top online schools, giving working students the freedom they need to gain work experience while also working towards an advanced degree. And according to BLS 2012 statistics, those with a high school diploma and no college earn a median weekly salary of $653, while bachelor’s and master’s degree holders earn $1,051 and $1,367 respectively. What this means is that choosing to pursue your education will not only result in advancing in a career you love, but in a positive financial future.