RALEIGH, N.C. (Source: PRNewswire) |  This month, College Choice has published a ranking of the top 50 online bachelor’s programs for business in the United States.

University of Wyoming tops the list, with University of Massachusetts and University of Illinois Springfield occupying second and third place.  Located in the Laramie Plains, Wyoming’s university offers nearly 200 degree and certificate programs, more than 40 of which are available to distance learners.

This new ranking, the entirety of which you can find below, poses as an object lesson.  Gone are the days when employers would sniff around for virtual-degree viruses and then promptly discard your resume after spotting the part where it lists your online business degree.

Once upon a time — in 2009 (to be exact) — a literature review by Cleveland State University found that human resource managers, executives and other gatekeepers had negative perceptions of online degrees. Some recruiters blame the stigma on the last decade’s “diploma mills” — online, unaccredited programs known for offering a degree to anyone with a full wallet.

Not anymore.  These days, online rules.  Human resource managers, executives and other gatekeepers now rarely question the quality of online programs.

Enter College Choice (www.collegechoice.net/), an independent college search and rankings website, which touts itself (naturally — after all, who wouldn’t? and who else would?)  as “a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college.”

The site publishes rankings and reviews that make finding the best colleges for different interests easier and more fun, as well as resources to help students get into, pay for, and thrive at the college of their choice.

This month, College Choice has published a ranking of the Top 50 Online Bachelor’s Programs for Business in the United States.  This 2016 ranking is based on two primary factors: reputation (as measured by data from outlets such as U.S. News & World Report) and affordability (as reported by schools and other outlets such as CNN Money).

Columbia College (Missouri), Florida International University, University of Illinois Springfield, University of Massachusetts, and the University of Wyoming occupy the top 5 spots on the list, which is based on factors such as cost of attendance, each program’s reputation in its field, and return on investment.

Other schools include the University of South Dakota, Colorado State University, Penn State, University of Maryland University College, and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.

Robert Hand, lead editor for the ranking, explains College Choice’s ranking further:

“It was not until relatively recently that entire degrees became available online but also degrees from established, reputable schools. The current landscape for online bachelors degrees in business is composed of a mixture of schools that specialize in online education specifically and established institutions that are branching out into nontraditional programs and degrees. Our 2016 ranking of the top 50 online undergraduate business degrees reflects this general trend.”

The University of Wyoming, located in the Laramie Plains, was founded in 1886.

The ranking of Top 50 Online Bachelor’s Programs for Business in the United States, listed in alphabetical order below, is as follows:

  1. Amberton University, Garland, TX
  2. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  3. Ball State University, Muncie, IN
  4. Brenau University, Gainesville, GA
  5. California State University, Fullerton, CA

  6. Chadron State College, Chadron, NE
  7. Charter Oak State College, New Britain, CT
  8. Colorado State University Global Campus, Fort Collins, CO
  9. Colorado Tech, Colorado Springs, CO
  10. Columbia College (Missouri), Columbia, MO

  11. Dakota State University, Madison, SD
  12. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  13. East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  14. Florida International University, Miami, FL
  15. Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS

  16. Granite State College, Concord, NH
  17. Indiana University East, Richmond, IN
  18. LeTourneau University, Longview, TX
  19. Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO
  20. Murray State University, Murray, KY

  21. Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
  22. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
  23. Penn State University, University Park, PA
  24. Regis University, Denver, CO
  25. Rogers State University, Claremore, OK

  26. Rutgers University, Camden, NJ
  27. Saint Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, IN
  28. Saint Leo University, St. Leo, FL
  29. Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX
  30. Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH

  31. Southern Oregon University, Ashland, O
  32. Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX
  33. SUNY Empire State College, New York, NY
  34. Tarleton State University, Stephenville, TX
  35. Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

  36. Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ
  37. Troy University, Troy, AL
  38. University of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
  39. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  40. University of Houston Victoria, Houston, TX

  41. University of Illinois, Springfield, Springfield, IL
  42. University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  43. University of Maryland University College, Baltimore, MD
  44. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
  45. University of Michigan Flint, Flint, MI

  46. University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD
  47. University of Wisconsin Platteville, Platteville, WI
  48. University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Whitewater, WI
  49. University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
  50. Upper Iowa University, Fayette, IA

Tough luck if you didn’t find your name on this college-ranking list.

As for the rest of us who prefer brick, mortar and ivy leaves, make sure you’ve logged correctly into an online course.  Go into this with your eyes wide open — and only after you’ve ascertained that you enrolled in an accredited university.

And you’re not alone:  About 7.1 million students took at least one online course during the fall of 2012, according to the most recent findings from the Babson Survey Research Group.

An online program also offers the opportunity to become functionally effective with new communication technologies, including new video conferencing tools. Being able to convey a message effectively through a webinar or Skype presentation is becoming essential to entrepreneurs and support staff in numerous industries.

And so it goes. — rg, cultureofoneworld.org


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