How to Select an Online College Degree Program
Online degree programs are often taken by people who have already entered the workforce and don’t have the time to attend classes at a university. Online degrees also tend to be much less expensive than a normal university and take much less time to complete the degree. The tradeoff is that the quality of education is typically much lower through an online university.
Enrollment in online schools has increased dramatically during the past several years, according to the International Data Corporation. The number of available online colleges is also increasing every year. There are many phony schools, unfortunately, that will gladly take your money and provide you a piece of paper saying it’s a degree but is, in fact, just a piece of paper. Be very cautious and thorough in your search for legitimate options.
When selecting one, look first for accreditation. If the school is not accredited by an organization approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Dept. of Education, then it is not a valid university and cannot legally offer you a real degree.
Keep an eye out for one that is well respected and doesn’t boast about how easy it is to graduate. A good education should be challenging. After all, if you don’t learn anything, you’re not getting your money’s worth. Make sure you choose a school that can provide an education in the exact subjects and major you want to study. Most online programs offer a wide array of possible majors, but every school specializes in something different. Try to determine each school’s specialty, and then focus on what you need. Read all available literature that you can find on each college that interests you.
When taking online classes, be sure you can arrange your course load around your other life responsibilities. Also, ensure you have a speedy Internet connection for your classes and work material. Most universities offer quite a bit of convenience for arranging your schedule around online lectures or discussions. You will definitely have to spend a lot of time studying, so make sure you set aside enough time to keep up with the workload.
Online education should not cost as much as a physical university because they do not need to pay for buildings, and instructors from all over the world can be in the same digital classroom. Shop around for a deal, but don’t select the cheapest online school since its quality will almost certainly be much worse.
All-in-all, an online degree can provide you the extra credentials you need to get your career jump-started or moving beyond where it is. Most businesses don’t care where you received your degree, as long as you have one that is legitimate, accredited, and relevant to your career position.