The University of Wisconsin was established in 1848, and began offering courses in Madison in 1849 as the state's land-grant university. The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee was founded in 1956 as the result of a merger between the University of Wisconsin's Milwaukee Extension and Wisconsin State College of Milwaukee. Today, the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee has nearly 30,000 students, 25% of which participate in at least one online course. The university offers 94 bachelor's, 53 master's, and 32 doctoral degree options to its students; it also hosts one specialist degree program. In addition to its traditional education options, Milwaukee's University of Wisconsin online offers more than 500 online courses for bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates in subjects such as communications, administrative leadership, history, occupational therapy, and sociology. A North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) accredited online university, its online college programs are so comprehensive that U.S. News & World Report ranked its online masters degree programs in education as No. 142 for student engagement and accreditation and No. 69 for students services and technology.
Another of Wisconsin's NCA accredited online universities, the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater is also another of the schools that comprise the University of Wisconsin System. The branch was established in 1868 in Whitewater. Today it is ranked at No. 50 on the U.S. World News & World Report's list for regional universities of the Midwest. Like the Milwaukee campus, Whitewater also offers online degree programs. Whitewater's University of Wisconsin online courses include graduate and undergraduate level offerings in subjects such as political science, business, liberal studies, and education.
Walden University was established by two educators in 1970, and is yet another of Wisconsin's NCA accredited online schools. With the goal being to provide working professionals with an education while they continue to work, the university has morphed throughout the years into a fully online university. Today, its online university is in U.S. News & World Report's rankings for its online graduate business, education, and nursing programs. It offers its nearly 50,000 students doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs, as well as education specialist, principal preparation, teacher preparation, endorsement, and certificate programs.
Tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture are three of Wisconsin's biggest industries. An online education can help established and hopeful professionals climb the corporate ladder to higher paying and ranking careers. Wisconsin is home to several attractions, museums, and annual festivals that attract tourists throughout the nation and world. Given this, seeking a degree in a business related discipline like hospitality management, human resources, marketing, or sales will be helpful for those hoping to work in Wisconsin's tourism industry. Wisconsin is home to several large manufacturing companies, such as the Kohler Company, Harley-Davidson, and Ashley Furniture, making it a booming manufacturing state. Those interested in Wisconsin's manufacturing industry will find degrees in industrial engineering, quality assurance, and operations management useful in their career pursuits. Finally, Wisconsin is a state famous for its dairy products, though it is also one of the nation's biggest producer of corn. As such, a degree in agribusiness, agricultural economics, business, management, sales, or mechanical engineering will do professionals well in Wisconsin's manufacturing industry.
Provided Wisconsin's major industries, online degrees present working and aspiring professionals with the opportunity to conveniently attain the degree they want and need to progress in their careers. The benefits of online courses are innumerable. First, online courses allow students to attend classes from wherever is most convenient to them; traveling professionals, stay-at-home-parents, and working adults can access their courses from anywhere that has an Internet connection. Second, online classes allow students to use the knowledge and skills they gain right away in their careers; unlike many traditional degrees, there's not a period between learning new skills and applying them in real-world situations. Third, because there are not physical classes to attend, students can get their degree from any school that offers distance learning programs, so they do not have to select a degree based on the school they attend, which is common among students who pursue the traditional degree track.