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Online education is heavily monitored in the Garden State, which means the stamp of approval from the New Jersey Department of Education ensures that educational programs have been well-researched and reviewed. Learn more about online education in New Jersey below.

Online Schools in New Jersey

With the number of online degree programs and online schools in New Jersey on the rise, the state has provided several resources for students looking at online schools and programs.

New Jersey Higher Education provides a list of accredited colleges and universities in the state that have had their online programs approved. The department explains how to verify the legitimacy of an online program to aid prospective students during their school search.

Online Education in New Jersey: Tracking Towards College

New Jersey has a history of treading carefully when it comes to online education, but that hasn't slowed their e-learning ambitions nor has it stopped schools from offering virtual courses. According to a recent study by the New Jersey Department of Education, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of schools in the state use the Internet for distance learning. Other notable e-learning findings include:

  1. Over 90 percent of schools use the Internet for parent/student contact, video streaming, student information systems, email and general uses.
  2. Seventy-six percent of schools go online for educational gaming.
  3. Seventy-two percent of schools use the Internet for community outreach.
  4. Thirty percent of schools use the Internet for virtual learning environments.

This study is part of a larger initiative to make sure all schools in New Jersey meet a series of requirements for Internet connectivity and speed by the year 2014, when a new battery of online tests is slated to begin. The state is one of two dozen belonging to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a program whose aim is to advance testing methods in schools, and one that relies heavily on technology.

Online College in New Jersey

From traditional campus-based universities branching out with new online courses and hybrid degree programs, to online colleges throughout New Jersey (and schools that serve New Jersey students) offering fully virtual degree programs, the state is growing its distance learning options.

Bloomfield College offers a variety of fully-online and blended-learning courses (the majority of its online offerings are blended). A liberal arts college located in the New Jersey-New York metropolitan area, it maintains a suburban feel thanks to its 12-acre campus.

Princeton University was founded in 1746, making it the fourth-oldest college in the country. As of 2012, Princeton University began offering a handful of non-credit, open-access online courses through Massive Open Online Course provider Coursera.

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey -- Camden is one of the major public comprehensive research universities in the U.S. It was founded as Queen's College in 1766 and has gone through quite a few evolutions, today offering hundreds of courses and several degree programs completely online. In addition, the Center for Online Learning & Hybrid Learning and Technologies focuses on improving the university's online and blended learning programs.

A public college for continuing education, Thomas Edison State College is dedicated to providing flexible, high-quality collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults. To that end, the school offers quite a variety of online courses and degree programs in addition to its already flexible academic offerings on campus.

Career Outlook in New Jersey

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of September 2012, the largest industry in the state is transportation, trade and utilities with nearly 200,000 more workers than the runner-up, education and health services (824,700 and 636,600 people employed respectively). Coming in a close third and fourth are government and professional and business services.

Each of these industries added thousands of jobs from April 2012, indicating solid growth potential moving forward. Education and health services, in particular, added 7,000 new jobs in that period, backing national trends of careers like:

  1. Registered nurses, expected to add 711,900 jobs nationally from 2010 through 2020
  2. Home health aides, expected to add 706,300 jobs nationally
  3. Personal care aides, projected to grow by 607,000 jobs
  4. Postsecondary teachers, projected to add 305,700 jobs nationally

New Jersey's inclusion as part of the New York metropolitan area might be one reason its $51,540 mean annual wage, as reported by BLS, remains above the national average. Medical professions dominate the highest-paying careers in New Jersey. In a competitive environment like this, having the right education and training could help you stand out from the pack, and online learning could play an important part.

Sources:
State of New Jersey, http://www.state.nj.us/
Bloomfield College, http://www.bloomfield.edu/
Princeton University, http://www.princeton.edu/main/
Rutgers Online, https://onlinelearning.rutgers.edu/
Thomas Edison State College, http://www.tesc.edu/

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