Best Online Colleges in West Virginia
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Editor & Writer
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Coal generally comes to mind when you think of West Virginia, but that's not necessarily where the future of jobs lies in the state.
While mining will always be a hallmark of West Virginia, there are opportunities in other thriving industries. According to the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, those industries include aerospace, information technology, defense, and manufacturing.
West Virginia offers an extensive list of online learning opportunities to prepare for these and other fields. Students wanting an online education in a high-demand field can even get a discount or free education in West Virginia.
Even if you don't live in the state, there are options for certain out-of-state candidates to get a discounted education. The college or university must prove their standards for online courses are the same as their on-campus classes.
Top Online Degree Programs in West Virginia
- Best Online Business Administration Programs
- Best Online Healthcare Administration Programs
- Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs
- Best Online Nurse Practitioner Master's Programs
- Best Online Education Programs
- Best Online Marketing Programs
- Best Online Electrical Engineering Programs
- Best Online Master's in Mechanical Engineering Programs
West Virginia Employment Outlook
West Virginia provides a great example of "don't judge a book by its cover."
West Virginia is often ranked as one of the states with the highest poverty rates. That has been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are exploring ways to help the hardest-hit industries adapt and recover from the crisis.
Job seekers should explore job training and educational opportunities available in the state.
New data shows the manufacturing field in West Virginia has the lowest turnover rate, suggesting when you get a job here, you are more likely to stay than in any other state.
Companies that bring jobs to the state may be eligible for substantial tax benefits and financial assistance. Those choosing to establish businesses in distressed communities are eligible to be exempt from corporate and personal taxes for a decade.
5 West Virginia Jobs in Demand
Couriers and Messengers
What was once an optional job transformed into a necessity with the pandemic. People who didn't leave home relied on couriers and messengers for delivering everything from a gallon of milk to a critical work project. This job is in demand nationwide as more people work at home or for those who just enjoy the convenience of deliveries. Couriers sometimes get tips, which would increase their salary based on individual performance.
Mean Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $27,940
Social workers can provide a lifeline to struggling Americans. The projected job growth in the community and social service field is higher than the average of all other U.S. occupations. A bachelor's degree may help you get a job in this field. To pursue upper-level positions that offer high salaries in this field, a master's degree will likely be needed.
Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $36,000-$52,000
Tech-savvy workers are in demand nationwide. The tech industry brings a $2.4 billion impact to West Virginia. Did you know that NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Justice, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health all have locations in West Virginia? A wide variety of private companies make this state home as well.
Mean Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $79,210
The Infrastructure Bill passed in November 2021opens the door for many management and operations jobs, especially in the transportation sector. The management occupations group includes dozens of job possibilities, from CEO to real estate manager.
Mean Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $92,270
This field includes protecting the state's watersheds from pollution and also helping to crack down on illegal meth lab dumping. Waste management jobs span from the daily pickup of trash to protecting the state's environment through strict rules and regulations.
Mean Annual Salary (as of May 2020): Varies greatly, depending on role
Popular Career Paths in West Virginia
- Business Administration
- Healthcare Administration
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Physical Therapy
Best Accredited Online Colleges in West Virginia
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Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in West Virginia
How many online colleges are in West Virginia?
Eight colleges are listed as partner institutions in the West Virginia Remote Online Collaborative System (WVROCKS). On its website, you can search by location for a higher learning institution or by field of study. Other colleges and universities in the state also offer online programs.
Does West Virginia have good online colleges?
State policy requires that online learning options must be on par with the options at brick-and-mortar colleges and universities. They must also meet all standards with the regional accrediting agency. West Virginia universities joined the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements to help streamline online learning between qualified states.
How much does it cost to go to college online in West Virginia?
The price of online tuition is the same as the general tuition price listed for each college or university, unless otherwise noted. West Virginia is part of the Southern Regional Education Board, which offers in-state tuition for out-of-state students, with restrictions, to specific schools and/or programs.
What is the cheapest online college in West Virginia?
Among the schools in the state with the lowest rates for distance learners is Marshall University. The cost per credit for undergraduates is about $269, for the 2021-2022 academic year. The University of Charleston charged $380 per credit. You can also apply for special funding for online college through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
Who qualifies for free college in West Virginia?
West Virginia Invests is a good path to start. The state-funded grant pays the full cost of tuition at certain colleges in the state with priority given to high-demand fields. You do have to be a West Virginia resident for the past year to qualify. You also must undergo a drug screening.