Despite many Alaskan residents living in the larger cities and communities across the state, there are rural but populated villages spread beyond these city limits that make going to college in Alaska difficult if attempting the traditional route of daily commuting. Because of this difficulty, Alaska online education offers these residents an option that they did not have a generation ago. They have the ability to pursue Alaska distance education courses through an online format, allowing them to work at their own pace and flexibility, taking advantages of the same educational opportunities as residents who live in the more populated areas.
Ranking the Best Online Degree Programs in Alaska
College Consensus editors have an easy job ranking the best online bachelor’s degrees in Alaska, as only one university in the state meets the two requirements: have a Consensus Score, and offer online undergraduate degrees. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other online education options, but the University of Alaska Fairbanks is the most trusted source for online degrees in Alaska, according to the published rankings and student reviews College Consensus aggregates.
University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, AK
The University of Alaska Fairbanks, usually referred to by the acronym UAF, has seven different online undergraduate degree programs. Perhaps the most unique offering in the online division at UAF is the Bachelor’s Degree Completion program, which helps transfer students finish up bachelor’s degrees in various fields that they started at other universities. UAF is one of the few schools to offer such a program online. The other online degree programs offered at UAF include:
- Business Administration
- Applied Management
- Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- Sport and Recreation Business
UAF offers the most online degree programs in Alaska, making it easy to see why many Alaskan students in rural areas and students throughout the rest of the country choose to enroll here.
One of the aspects of UAF’s online division that sets it apart from most schools with online degrees is that UAF has a separate “online campus.” Online degree programs and the distance education students who enroll in such programs have unique needs, yet many universities try to lump them in with traditional programs. Universities like UAF that do not do this often offer a more efficient and ergonomic experience for their students. UAF is renowned worldwide for its various Arctic-related research programs, which greatly contribute to the prestige the university enjoys overall.
What are Some of the Most In-Demand Online Degrees in Alaska?
There are numerous degree options a student can pursue with Alaska online degrees. Some of the most sought after online degrees include business and management. These degrees are highly sought after by Alaskan residents as they decide to open their own businesses in their communities and villages across the state. Because many of these areas are so rural compared to other states, they depend on successful businesses in their community to meet the community’s supplies and service demands.
These scattered populations are in need of the same community careers such as teachers, police officers, nurses, and other essential community positions that meet all of the needs of the community. In order to get ahead in these small areas for careers, Alaska online education gives many residents the ability to seek a career change into one of these essential roles that they are pursuing, or advance their career. For example, an Alaska nurse in one of these communities could pursue their MSN online and become a Nurse Practitioner in a community that may not have a doctor in residence, amplifying their career and working to the benefit of the community.
Homeland security is another highly sought degree among Alaskan residents who are pursuing online degrees in Alaska. With security being a significant concern in Alaska due to the remote areas, many residents find themselves wanting to take advantage of the federal jobs that are located within the state and focus on law enforcement.
Some of these Alaskan residents want to pursue law enforcement, but on a more local level. Because of this desire, criminal justice is another one of the most popular Alaska online degrees. These residents pursue a degree in criminal justice in order to be the most qualified law enforcement in their local villages. With the remoteness of many populations in Alaska, maintaining a law enforcement presence throughout these communities is essential.
How Should I Choose an Online College in Alaska?
Before tackling an online program, students in Alaska should first review the accreditation of Alaska online colleges, and ensure that these programs meet these standards. Accreditations are designed to enforce standards and proper curriculum for programs that are similar across a region or a national level. Employers determine whether a program is worth a career promotion based upon accreditations.
The second thing to consider is the job market in the state. Students who are looking to obtain a degree, but plan on living in Alaska should consider if the degree they are pursuing has an actual job market for them upon graduation. This is one of the reasons why law enforcement degrees such as criminal justice and homeland security have such high popularity among residents.
Is the program convenient? Students need to review the online format of Alaska online colleges and determine if it is something that fits their schedule and daily lives. Finally, students should consider the affordability of the program and if the return on the investment will be sufficient. The cheaper the tuition rate for these programs, the less amount of students loans are required, minimizing student debt.