Though more than half of Washington state’s population lives in the Seattle metropolitan area, there are plenty of educational opportunities for students who live across the state, whether that means going to a traditional college or earning an online college degree. Washington is home to more than 60 colleges and universities, including 30 community colleges and almost 30 private schools. It has six state schools: University of Washington, Washington State University, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Western Washington University, and The Evergreen State College. The state’s higher education governing body, the the Washington Student Achievement Council, is continually implementing plans and programs to improve access to higher education in the state. In addition, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has a student achievement initiative with the goal of increasing the number of completed degrees and certificates as well as the quality of the education received at Washington community colleges.
Online degree programs make it easier for students to attain higher education as they’re more flexible than on-campus programs and allow students to earn high-quality accredited online degrees around their own schedule. The University of Washington offers both undergraduate and graduate online degrees in subjects ranging from education to biotechnology. Not only do they offer full online degree programs, but the school also offers free online courses through Open UW. Other traditional universities that offer online degrees include Washington State University, Northwest University, and Heritage University. If you’re considering a well-known national college instead, check out ITT Technical University, Grand Canyon University, or Capella University.
Washington’s largest city, Seattle, drives its economy in a big way, especially considering the Greater Seattle area is home to most of the state’s population. Some of Seattle’s key industries include clean tech, information and communications technology, manufacturing, and maritime, according to the Seattle Office of Economic Development. While the area has a diversified economy, it is perhaps most famous for its high-tech sector. Forbes recently recognized the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area as the No. 1 area for tech jobs. To prepare for careers in this industry, you may want to pursue online degrees in information systems management, IT, network management, software systems engineering, web development, and related degrees.
Major employers in the Seattle metro area include Boeing and Microsoft, and recent job listings have revealed open positions for engineers, software developers, business analysts, human resource professionals, and more. Online degrees in engineering, software engineering or development, finance, business, or human resource management could help you advance with companies like these and others, provided you have the appropriate experience and qualifications.