Colleges in Alaska

Alaska is one of the most diverse and interesting regions of the United States, yet despite its abundance of natural resources and beauty the state has only about a dozen colleges and universities from which to choose.

The largest state (by area) in the United States, its size has been both a blessing and a curse when it comes to the establishment of centers for higher learning. With such a low population density, having enough colleges to allow students to attend school near home has been close to impossible.

Because most of the population resides in or near the major cities of Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks the majority of colleges and universities are located near these cities. Some of the more well-known schools include the University of Alaska, which has campuses in Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, Sitka and Ketchikan. Alaska Pacific University is another of the state's fine institutes of higher education, and there are a number of excellent community colleges and private colleges within the state.

Alaska schools offer a variety of degrees, certificates and training programs for students of all ages. From certificate programs lasting a week or so to Master's degree programs, Alaska colleges provide residents with a chance to gain a top-level education at any of the state's schools.

Because schools in Alaska are so spread out, online learning is fast becoming a popular option for students who live on the outskirts of the state and desire a quality education without having to travel far from home. To showcase the quality of education students receive, a number of schools have been recognized for their commitment to educational excellence. For example, Alaska Pacific University has consistently been ranked as having some of the best Master's degree programs within the United States by US News and World Report, while the University of Alaska at Fairbanks has a widespread reputation as one of the best universities in the Western United States.

One unique feature of Alaska is its tribally-controlled colleges such as Ilisagvik College, committed to strengthening the ties of the Inupiat culture. Alaska Vocational Technical Center is also known for its wide variety of two-year training programs in such areas as Nursing, Machine Trades, Construction and much more.

Career Opportunities in Alaska

When it comes time to finish school and begin a career, students graduating from Alaskan colleges and universities have many different options, depending upon their major. While the majority of graduates choose to stay in-state to pursue employment, they find most of the better jobs are located in or near the metropolitan areas of Fairbanks and Anchorage.

While there are opportunities for students in a variety of different fields, certain fields are more in-demand than others. Health care and other medical jobs are always in short supply of employees, so students who are trained as Pharmacy Technicians, Pharmacists, Medical Assistants and Massage Therapists can almost hand-pick where they wish to work and what salary they wish to be paid. Pharmacy Technicians and Medical Assistants regularly make more than $35,000 yearly, according to the United State Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One of the fastest-growing employment sectors within the state of Alaska is that of hospitality and tourism. Community colleges offer many training programs for these industries, including eco-tourism certification classes to culinary skills to tour guide training. Graduates of these programs can spend their time taking tourists and guests on tours of national parks or acting as a fishing or whitewater rafting guide, getting back to nature while getting paid to do so. Students with degrees in Parks, Recreation and Leisure along with Food Service or Culinary Arts can expect to find plenty of positions available with local resorts or restaurants.

Considered a state with some of the most beautiful natural resources on the planet, Alaska also has plenty of employment opportunities available for college graduates with degrees in Ecology, Biology, Environmental Studies and related fields. Students in these fields have the chance to be biologists, studying the various wildlife of the state to discover how man has impacted their way of life. They can also study how environmental disasters such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill impacted wildlife and the environment now and then, giving them a chance to put their skills to the test for the good of the planet.

For those students who have no desire to spend their days walking through the woods in pursuit of a grizzly bear or other animal, there are still numerous jobs available for Business majors. Graduates skilled in accounting, management and finance are always in demand within the state, working for government agencies, private employers and other businesses. Tax accountants are in demand here, as are individuals familiar with insurance of all kinds and finance to be able to act as financial advisors and representatives to people needing to know the best options for their money. Salaries for these jobs are excellent, with accountants earning nearly $75,000 per year according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Known for its rich beauty and diverse population, Alaska is a state that has much to offer those who live there. As today's job market continues its trend of volatility, college graduates in Alaska can be rest assured of having a number of interesting occupations from which to choose. Whether sitting in an office looking over financial reports or rafting down a river, jobs in Alaska are as rich and diverse as the state itself.

Found 35 Post-Secondary Schools In Alaska


Title City State Type Enrollment
Alaska Vocational Institute Juneau AK Less than 2-year public No Data
Alaska Vocational Technical Center Seward AK Less than 2-year public 210
Ariels Hair Design School Anchorage AK Less than 2-year public No Data
Elmendorf Aero Club Elmendorf Afb AK Less than 2-year public No Data
People Count Inc Kenai AK Less than 2-year private, not-for-profit No Data
Aerotech Flight Service Inc Anchorage AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Ahead of Time Anchorage AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Alaska Flying Network Inc Kenai AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Asbestos Removal Specialists of Alaska Inc Fairbanks AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Career Academy Anchorage AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit 429
Flight Safety Alaska Inc Dba Take Flight Alaska Anchorage AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Mila Inc Anchorage AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
New Concepts Beauty School Inc Fairbanks AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit 25
New Frontier Vocational Technical Center Inc Soldotna AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Rogers School of Real Estate Wasilla AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Sheer Allusions 2000 Training Salon Soldotna AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Sst Travel Schools of Alaska - Fairbanks Fairbanks AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Sst Travel Schools of Alaska Inc Anchorage AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Testing Institute of Alaska Inc Anchorage AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Trend Setters School of Beauty Anchorage AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
Valley Academy of Hair Wasilla AK Less than 2-year private, for-profit No Data
University of Alaska System of Higher Education Fairbanks AK Central office or Administrative Unit No Data
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage AK 4-year public 14794
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks AK 4-year public 7132
University of Alaska Southeast Juneau AK 4-year public 3470
Alaska Bible College Glennallen AK 4-year private, not-for-profit 44
Alaska Pacific University Anchorage AK 4-year private, not-for-profit 687
Covenant Life College Haines AK 4-year private, not-for-profit No Data
Sheldon Jackson College Sitka AK 4-year private, not-for-profit 177
His and Hers School of Hairstyling Wasilla AK 2-year public No Data
Ilisagvik College Barrow AK 2-year public 322
Prince William Sound Community College Valdez AK 2-year public 841
Alaska Baptist Native School of Theology Anchorage AK 2-year private, not-for-profit No Data
Far North Bible College Anchorage AK 2-year private, not-for-profit No Data
Charter College Anchorage AK 2-year private, for-profit 486

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/