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Online Colleges & Degrees in Cincinnati: Top Choices For Working Adults in the Tri-State

Cincinnati is home to major organizations of all shapes and sizes. Healthcare is a dominant industry—Cincinnati is home to the number three Children’s Hospital in the country and TriHealth health system, which is the 4th largest employer in the city. Major banking and consulting firms, like Fifth Third, U.S. Bancorp and Deloitte also have a major presence in Cincinnati. General Electric and Oracle round out the top employers in the tech space. 

What do all of these major employers have in common? They’re looking for top talent with the education and skills to drive their industry forward. 

Due to the growth of these industries and increased competition for jobs, it’s no wonder that online education is thriving. As working professionals look to level up their education, distance-offered degree completions have increased 48.2% between 2012 and 2018 in the Greater Cincinnati area, compared to a 6.5% decrease in non-distance offered degrees.

If you’re a working professional looking to upgrade your skill set and further your long-term career prospects, getting an online degree may be your first step. Here’s how to find the best online colleges and degrees if you live in Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati educational landscape is as diverse as its economy. The majority of online degree completions in Cincinnati are at the bachelor’s level. This correlates with many employer expectations for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. However, one-quarter of degrees completed in 2018 were at the master’s degree level, indicating a strong desire for highly-skilled talent. 

When it comes to areas of study, professionals in Cincinnati are overwhelmingly completing nursing degrees. This correlates with the size and demand for Registered Nurses in the Cincinnati area. According to labor market analytics firm EMSI, registered nurses is the largest single occupation in Cincinnati, with 25,142 jobs in 2020, and is one of the fastest-growing, with an expected growth rate of 10% over the next 10 years. 

Other popular areas of study, including computer and information sciences and business, are closely related to job demand as well.

  • Demand for software applications developers in Cincinnati is expected to grow by 16% over the next 10 years.  
  • General and operations managers is currently the second largest occupation in Cincinnati, with 13,718 jobs, and is expected to grow 6% over the next 10 years.
  • Other fast-growing business occupations by 2030 include: Financial Managers (12%), Management Analysts (11%) and Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents (11%)

If you’re considering online colleges and degrees in Cincinnati, make sure the programs offered are in-line with job demand—now and into the future. When you’re exploring these programs, make sure you know what to look for to ensure they are high-quality, industry-relevant and tailored to the needs of working professionals.

10 Things to Look for in a Top Online College in Cincinnati

When you’re considering getting your online degree while continuing your career in Cincinnati, you need to find an online college that will support your success.

Here’s what you need to look for in a top-quality online college.

  1. Online courses that work for your learning style and schedule. Flexibility is key. Whether it’s taking an asynchronous course that can be completed around your schedule or logging in to a synchronous at a specific time for lively discussion, find the online degree that provides the right mix for you.
  2. Institutions that value the professional experience you bring to the classroom. Online learning shouldn’t be one dimensional. One of the benefits of going back to school as a working adult is the diversity of knowledge and perspectives students bring to the class. Look for an online college that emphasizes holistic learning between instructors and students.
  3. Instructors who have ample professional experience and can apply theory to real-world challenges. As a working professional, gaining new practical skills is a top reason to pursue an online degree. By choosing an online college with faculty that are experienced professionals or active practitioners, you get valuable insight into how course content applies to the workplace.
  4. Institutions that let you transfer credit you already earned to accelerate your time to completion. If you received course credit from a previous college or university, or have professional certifications, find an online college that will accept that experience as transfer credit. By doing so, you won’t have to repeat topics you’ve mastered or pay for unnecessary courses.
  5. Dedicated support services that meet your needs as an online student. You should have access to dedicated advisors, library resources, writing and tutoring services—just as an on-campus student would. 
  6. Institutions with strong reputations and employer connections. Whether you’re trying to further your career in Cincinnati or are open to moving, strong name recognition and respect from industry employers are key to a good online college.
  7. Online degrees you can complete at your pace—whether that’s one course at a time or as quickly as possible. The best online colleges will allow you to earn your degree on your terms. Research how long it will take you to earn your degree based on the time you can commit, as well as implications for tuition cost based on the number of courses you take simultaneously. 
  8. Online programs that are regularly updated for industry relevance. Look into curriculum to see if an online degree is teaching in-demand skills. Ask how curriculum is developed, how it’s evaluated and how often it’s updated.
  9. Online courses that emphasize a balanced approach to learning. As a working professional, you need to be able to plan how much time it will take you to complete your lessons and assignments. Online colleges that emphasize balanced learning make that planning easier because you will complete approximately the same volume of work every week—so you know how much time to set aside.
  10. Online degrees that will provide immediate results and long-term value. The best online degrees will help you apply the principles you learn in class to your day-to-day job. Your courses should help you become a more effective employee now, as well as prepare you for advancement opportunities and a long, successful career.

The best way to find this type of information is through school websites or by reaching out to admissions counselors. Admissions may be able to help you connect with instructors as well.


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Popular 4-Year Online Colleges and Universities for Cincinnati Residents

One way to evaluate a college or university’s dedication to online learning is to see how many online degrees are completed each year. Usually, the greater the number of online degree completions, the more robust the online offer. 

For residents of Cincinnati, these are some of the top institutions based on the number of students who graduated from an exclusively online degree program.

As you can see, the number varies widely, even within this relatively small subset of colleges and universities that serve the Cincinnati area. Another way to evaluate a college or university’s online educational offer is by the percentage of students who complete degrees exclusively online.

Why You Should Choose Franklin University if You Live in the Cincinnati Area

While Franklin University’s campus is located in Columbus, its long history of success in online education makes it an outstanding choice for working adults—regardless of their geography. 

Top reasons to choose Franklin University as a working adult in Cincinnati seeking an online degree:

  • Franklin University is Ohio's #1 Adult-Focused University* and has been dedicated to working adults for more than 115 years.
  • All of Franklin’s degrees are offered 100% online. These degrees are flexible because of the balanced learning approach, variable course lengths and multiple start dates—making it easier to work earning a degree into your busy schedule.
  • The average age of Franklin students is 34, allowing you to connect with other, like-minded working professionals and alumni to advance your career.
  • More than 90% of Franklin students transfer credit from other schools, allowing you to finish your degree faster.
  • With 50 available scholarships, our students are awarded more than $13 million in scholarships and grants annually.

When you choose Franklin University for your bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, you get a student-centered education that emphasizes successful outcomes. Franklin’s goal is to give you job-ready skills that will help you further your career.

Explore our bachelor’s, master's or doctoral programs to find the right online degree for your goals.

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