With a population of more than 5,700,000 people and one of the most comprehensive university systems in the nation, Maryland has long been a leader in education. Maryland online schools are thriving alongside more traditional options, offering many opportunities for students of any age.
Living and Working in Maryland
Maryland is considered a wealthy state, with only 9.8 percent of residents below the poverty level, against national average of 15.4 percent according to U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts, last revised on Wednesday, 22-Apr-2015. The median value of homes in Maryland was reported at $292,700, and 67.6% percent of residents owned their own homes.
Maryland is home to five Fortune 500 companies, according to a 2011 report from CNN Money. The list is diverse:
- Lockheed Martin
- Constellation Energy
- Marriott International
- Coventry Health Care
- Host Hotels & Resorts
Constellation Energy is based in Baltimore, while the other four are based in Bethesda.
Maryland had an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in March 2015, slightly below the 5.5 percent for the nation, according to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), and the rate has remained relatively stable over the past few years. Employment is up in many private sectors, including professional and business services, leisure and hospitality.
In May 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Maryland workers made a mean annual wage of $53,470, or a mean hourly wage of $25.70. The median household income for residents of Maryland was $73,538 in 2009-2013, according to U.S. Census data.
Education in Maryland: Online Schools and More
Maryland has been and continues to be a vital leader in distance education. In 1997, the University of Maryland University College pledged a commitment to make online education accessible to all students in the Maryland college system. Within five years, the number of distance learning courses offered by Maryland colleges jumped by 89 percent. Today, Maryland online degrees are available through almost every college, including all state colleges and the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University.
In 2009, 75,177 new students were admitted to schools in Maryland, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Among those graduating that same year, 27,909 were awarded a bachelor's degree, the most popular educational path among Maryland college students. More than 15,000 earned a master's degree and 11,305 earned their associate degree.
Salary and Career Outlook in the Old Line State
According to the DLLR, employment in the state of Maryland is expected to increase by 9.1 percent overall from 2008 to 2018. Total job openings through 2018 are expected to be high in business and financial services, food service and preparation, office and administrative support, sales and related occupations. Other big employment gains are expected among health care practitioners and management occupations.
These four occupations are among the top in terms of employment projections, according to 2010 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Registered Nurse. The mean annual wage for a registered nurse in Maryland was $76,450. A diploma, associate degree or bachelor degree is required.
- Teacher. Those working on the primary, secondary and special education levels can expect significant gains in new job openings. In 2010, the mean annual wage for secondary teachers in Maryland was $63,000, special education teachers on the secondary level made $62,680, and elementary school teachers made $49,840. A bachelor's degree and teaching license are usually required.
- Secretary. In 2010, executive secretaries made a mean annual wage of $52,490. Secretaries and administrative assistants made $37,130. Required training can range from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree.
- Financial Specialist. The mean annual wage for financial analysts in Maryland was $81,040 in 2010. Personal financial advisors made $86,050. Most positions require a bachelor or master degree.
Earning a college degree can open many doors to jobs in Maryland. Online degrees, traditional classrooms or a hybrid of the two are all embraced as a viable and attractive option for students in the state.