Sunshine State could soon launch online university

In recent years, online education has been gaining momentum as a low-cost alternative to traditional two-year and four-year colleges for many Americans, particularly those looking to advance their existing careers by keeping up with the latest technology trends. Due in part to the rising acceptance of online courses as viable educational tools, one Florida representative recently encouraged fellow lawmakers to consider adopting an online state university.

According to a January 19 report in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Representative Will Weatherford asked the Florida Board of Governors to embark on an in-depth report that would analyze the cost benefits of such an investment.

While a new approach – Florida would be the first state to launch this type of program, the initiative could gain momentum, spurred on by Weatherford's growing clout in the Sunshine State. The report indicated that if Republicans retain their majority in the state following the 2012 elections, Weatherford would likely become the state's speaker of the house.

"This is a great opportunity for us to bring back into the workforce people who need certain skills or credentials," education commissioner Gerard Robinson told the report.

Currently, Florida mandates that all high school students take at least one course online, making it one of the more progressive states when it comes to pushing online education. However, in the absence of a public option, job seekers in Florida can turn to a trusted online provider of online courses with certified instructors.

For example, by pursuing an Microsoft or Oracle certification with a qualified instructor, applicants could differentiate themselves from other IT job seekers. By passing their Oracle certification exam or SharePoint 2010 online training, even those who are currently satisfied with their job could gain the tools to move up the corporate ladder in 2012.

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