No longer a distant frontier outpost, yet Alaska’s eligible student population is still dispersed by geography. As more and more of its workers seek professional advancement, online degrees and distance learning programs are being developed at an unprecedented rate. Distance learning programs originally started as coursework delivered to remotely located students via the postal service. Thanks to advances in technology and increases in demand, accredited degrees offered by the University of Alaska, have blossomed into robust programs serving any student with access to the internet. The University of Alaska Fairbanks has gone one step farther by launching a new division to serve rural students without access to broadband internet. Even Alaska’s most remote corners are joining in the shift toward e-learning options thanks to Alaska’s online schools.
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The state has a total workforce of approximately 308,050 employees. The three largest industries in the state are:
The average wage in Alaska is more than the national average. Employees in Alaska earn an average annual income of $50,350 while the national average annual income is $42,871. The median income for employees is $41,640 per year, with the top 10 percent earning over $89,060 per year and the bottom 10 percent earning under $20,720 per year.
The reported tuition for online college courses in Alaska was approximately $26,250 per year.
The University of Alaska’s three main campuses, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, offer a host of well-respected online degree programs in Alaska. They are accredited by the Commission on Colleges and Universities of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, the non-profit organization recognizing and validating academic quality. All UA courses must be approved by appropriate departments and thus are applicable to other UA degree programs. The accreditation also allows enrolled students access to federal funds for supporting themselves during their studies.
Alaska, which is located in the Pacific region of the United States, is named from the Aleut word “Alakshak” meaning “great land” or “that which the sun breaks against”. With an area of 665,384 square miles, it is the largest state in the US. It has an average annual temperature of about 25°F.
Alaska has the 5th smallest population in the nation. It has an estimated population of 710,231 residents living in its 29 counties. About 45 percent of those living in Alaska are less than 30 years old. The diversity of the population is average when compared with that of other states in the country. An estimated 36 percent of the state’s population identifies itself as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group.
The capital city of Alaska is Juneau. However, with a population of 291,826 residents, Anchorage is the state’s largest city. Of the state’s residents, an estimated 2.43 percent reside in the greater Anchorage area. Some of the other populous cities in Alaska include Fairbanks, Juneau, Barrow, and Soldotna.
Alaska residents typically have a lower than average level of education as compared to those around the country. According to the 2010 Census, about 16.1 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have graduated from high school, 2.2 percent have at least an associate degree, 1.5 percent have degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher, and 1 percent hold a graduate level degree.