Where can you find the best online degrees in Oregon? Many people want to further their education through an advanced degree. But they may face the roadblock of managing time, trying to find a balance between education, work and family.

Online courses may offer students a manageable solution. While providing the same quality as traditional on-campus classes, online courses offer a flexible way to earn a degree without having to sacrifice in other areas.

Finding an online program has never been easier. For potential students looking for the best online degrees in Oregon, many options exist for earning both bachelor and master degrees.

Job Growth in Oregon

In the past year, Oregon has experienced one of the highest percentages of private sector job growth in the country at 3.5 percent, according to the committee report. The state also has seen some of the biggest growth in earnings at 3.6 percent and household median income at 5.9 percent. However, many of the most stable and lucrative careers require earning a college degree.

In all, Oregon has added more than 240,000 jobs since 2010. The year 2010 was considered the low point of unemployment in the wake of the recession, according to the committee. While the average salary in Oregon comes in at about $44,000, those that require a college education offer much higher salaries.

For example, information technology project managers earn as much as $92,000. Healthcare administrators working in hospitals can make as much as $102,000. This is all according to federal government data.

A September 2016 report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee illustrates the opportunities for those looking for the best online degrees in Oregon.

Flexibility of the Best Online Degrees in Oregon

For those who want to advance their education to obtain the best jobs, online courses offer the chance to earn credits with a great deal of flexibility.

Learning online saves students the cost of college housing and the time and expense of travel to and from class. The flexible schedule allows students to attend class while maintaining their current job and spending time with family.

The better online programs also have become more sophisticated. For example, the MBA program at Concordia University Portland allows students to focus on different fields, all of which are in growing industries. They include healthcare administration, finance, information technology, project management and leadership.

Important Factors to Consider

When compiling a list of potential online schools, students should consider the following:

  • Accreditation. It’s important that a college degree program has earned accreditation from a regional or national accrediting agency.
  • Technological requirements. Ensure that you have the proper computing capability to access all that the online program offers.
  • Student support. The best programs offer technology support as well as the ability to meet regularly with professors and work online with fellow students on projects.
  • Placement services. Find out what kind of support the school offers in helping graduates find employment in their chosen field.
  • Faculty quality. Accreditation assures a quality faculty, but you may also conduct your own research on the faculty to find out their experience and expertise.

Online MBA Rankings

For those interested in an MBA program, the Portland Business Journal ranked the best degrees in Oregon at the end of 2015. The list of MBA programs included 14 schools. The Top 5 from the list includes:

  • Willamette University
  • Marylhurst University
  • Concordia University Portland
  • Oregon State University
  • Portland State University

Of the five schools, Concordia University moved up the most, going from fifth to third.

Taking these factors into consideration can make your search for the right online program more successful. Keep in mind the advantages that online courses offer. However, you should also do the research to make sure the program provides the right fit for your educational needs.