Florida’s system of higher education is a combination of two different systems, the State University System of Florida and the Florida College System. The State University System of Florida consists of 12 public four-year universities, while the Florida College System oversees 28 community and state colleges. 65 percent of Florida’s high school graduates begin their post-secondary education at a state college or university. The Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida is an association of private, not-for-profit institutions based in the state and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. About one-third of students attending a four-year institution in Florida attend a private college or university. Distance education and online certificates and degrees are offered by both public and private institutions across the state. Plans for 2013 by Florida’s state legislature for making higher education more accessible include the possibility of creating the state’s first online public university.
The highly ranked University of Central Florida (UCF), the second-largest university in the nation by enrollment, offers hundreds of online courses along with four online undergraduate degrees and 12 online graduate degrees. Florida State University offers online undergraduate degree programs in areas including computer science, criminology, interdisciplinary social science, and public safety and security, as well as a wide selection of online graduate degrees. The private Florida National University offers online associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, as well as an online MBA. Several of Florida’s two-year community colleges offer online courses, certificates, and associate’s degrees. The Florida College System’s website offers an online directory with links to Florida’s state and community colleges.
As you might imagine, tourism drives Florida’s economy in a big way. Florida is home to major worldwide attractions like Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, as well as miles and miles of gorgeous beaches, including South Beach and the famous Florida Keys. Online degree programs in hospitality management, tourism management, hotel management, or international tourism management can help Florida residents prepare for careers in this thriving industry, although general online degrees in business with an emphasis in hospitality management can be beneficial as well. Agriculture is another important industry in Florida, as the state is a major producer of citrus fruits and other agricultural products. Online degrees in agribusiness or agricultural science may help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to launch a career in this field.
Health care is also an important industry in Florida, and two of Florida’s hospitals and medical practices have been listed on CNN Money’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. These include Baptist Health South Florida and Mayo Clinic. To help you qualify for the best jobs in Florida’s health care industry, you may want to complete an online degree in health administration or health informatics, or even finish out a Bachelor of Science in Nursing online through an online RN-to-BSN program. Check out the following online institutions in Florida: