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While 45th in the nation in terms of size, Vermont is huge when it comes to its advanced education. The state has more colleges per capita than any other state, and a good number of online degrees and certifications can be earned from online schools in Vermont.

Online Colleges in Vermont

Seeking a college degree is a major priority for many people. A college degree could help lead to a higher-paying position, but may be hard for some people to obtain if they are busy with a job or lack access to a postsecondary institution. Online colleges in Vermont can help by providing students with degree flexibility and the opportunity to pursue career skills and job training. In fact, finding a program in the Green Mountain State, either through online colleges in Vermont or traditional schools, could be easier than expected. The Consortium of Vermont Colleges (vtcolleges.org), created by the Vermont Higher Education Council, notes that Vermont has, per capita, the most colleges in the nation.

Even at the high school level, online schools in Vermont are providing choices for students. The Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (vtvlc.org), introduced in 2010 as a measure to encourage online learning, provides choices and flexibility in education. Offerings are for K-12 programs and courses, but may be particularly beneficial to high school students, as summer school and credit recovery programs are available, as are advanced placement classes. High school electives offered through the VTVLC can also help to prepare students for careers. CISCO networking, game design, and introduction to entrepreneurship are some of the options available.

Trends in Vermont Online Schools

Students wishing to advance their education in Vermont can start with the Vermont Department of Libraries. By registering their library barcode number on the Vermont State Library (libraries.vermont.gov) website they can receive access to more than 500 free, non-credit online continuing education classes. Students can work on these at their own pace, correspond with instructors, and take up to six months to complete a class. Subject matter includes accounting and bookkeeping to alternative medicine, psychology and real estate, among others.

Students can also look to the Southwest Vermont Career Development Center (svcdc.org), offering career and technical classes and degrees. The school's online classes are offered in diverse subjects, including graphic and multimedia design, project management and veterinary assisting. These six-week courses would likely be considered affordable by many, and start on an ongoing monthly basis. Students can also look to online academic workshops and career training programs to help them prep for the future.

College Degrees in Vermont

According to the Lumina Foundation (luminafoundation.org), Vermont is 10th in the nation in terms of residents holding at least a two-year degree, at 44.1 percent, surpassing the 38.3 percent national average. While this may bode well for the state, the Lumina Foundation predicts that a job skills gap of 10.4 percent may exist in the state by 2025, as careers requiring a degree surpass the number of people holding them. Students looking to prepare for the workforce and increase their job skills may consider looking to online colleges in Vermont to find alternative or flexible offerings.

CareerOneStop (careeronestop.org), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, indicates that some of the fastest-growing occupations in Vermont between 2008 and 2018 requiring a two-year degree will include environmental science and protection technician, paralegal and legal assistant, and veterinary technologist and technician. Some of the fastest-growing occupations in the state requiring a four-year education are financial examiner, management analyst and personal financial adviser.

Online College in Vermont

The largest college in the state is the University of Vermont (learn.uvm.edu), which offers more than 100 online classes. Most courses are asynchronous, meaning students can work at their own pace. Assignments must be submitted per the instructor's request, and tests and exams are held at designated times. Among other courses offered through the University of Vermont, one unique option is the biomedical equipment technology sequence. Students can complete the 12-credit course almost entirely online, with just one week of intensive clinical work. Other online class options through the University of Vermont include coursework in anthropology, linguistics and tourism.

Burlington College (burlington.edu) is a small liberal arts college that offers the chance to earn a master's degree almost entirely online. Two brief residency periods occur at the beginning and end of the program, and must be done at the school. This distance learning program also affords a creative and flexible way for completing an education. Norwich University (online.norwich.edu) also offers online master's degrees, available in one of nine subject areas, including civil engineering, nursing and military history. Online bachelor's degrees, certificates, and enrichment opportunities are also available to Norwich students.

Sources:
Burlington College
CareerOneStop
Consortium of Vermont Colleges
Lumina Foundation
Norwich University Online
Southwest Vermont Career Development Center
University of Vermont
Vermont State Library
Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative

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