The University of Alaska (UA) system consists of three universities and 15 campuses, including three main campuses in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. It is the only public four-year institution in the state, and it’s governed by an 11-member board of regents. Alaska Bible College and Alaska Pacific University, both private four-year universities, along with five community colleges, one for-profit associate’s college (Charter College in Anchorage), and Saint Herman’s Orthodox Theological Seminary make up the rest of Alaska’s post-secondary education institutions. As part of an effort to keep Alaska’s youth from leaving the state to pursue their college education, UA offers a significant monetary Scholar Award to the top 10 percent of Alaska’s graduating high school seniors.
Distance learning and online degree programs are also part of the effort to help keep Alaska’s brightest students in the state. Each of UA’s three main campuses offer several online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The private Alaska Pacific University offers online degree programs for adults and non-traditional students in areas including accounting, business administration and management, health services administration, human services, and education. Alaska’s two-year community, tribal, and technical schools offer distance learning and online certificate and degree programs as well. The private, for-profit Charter College offers accredited online associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in health care, business, criminal justice, and law through its Anchorage campus. For information about and applications for college grants, scholarships, and loans, students can visit the website for the Alaska Commission on Post-Secondary Education.
Alaska’s major industries are rooted in its vast natural resources, and include oil and gas, tourism, commercial fishing, mining, timber, and government. In fact, revenues from Alaska’s oil and gas industry almost single-handedly pay for the operations of its state government, according to the Alaska Resource Development Council. Online degrees in petroleum engineering are a solid bet for students who want to make it big in the oil and gas industry, while degrees in hospitality, tourism management, or hotel management can help students thrive in Alaska’s tourism industry, which is the second-largest private employer in the state, accounting for one in every eight jobs in Alaska. Last but not least online degrees in public administration, business, and political science may set you apart for the best government jobs in Alaska.
Some major private sector employers in Alaska, which exclude military and government employers, include: Royal Highway Tours, Target, ERA Aviation, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Pogo Mine, Frontier Community Services, C Care Services, Subway, and Access Alaska, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Companies such as these could benefit from the skills and knowledge gained by those who have completed online degrees in tourism, business, management, marketing, information technology, nursing, and more. A number of colleges and universities in Alaska offer online degree programs, and they include the following: