Choosing to further your education is the first step to higher achievement in your life. Online degrees are increasing in popularity with adults as an alternative to brick-and-mortar high schools and colleges. E-learning fits their fast-paced lifestyles, allowing them to balance work and family life. An online degree offers flexibility and freedom to study when and where it's easy for you, at home, at work or while watching your child's hockey game or dance class. Distance learning enables you to achieve your degree at your own pace, fast or slow, without sacrificing your job or family.
Furthering your education is the gateway to living the life you always dreamed about. As your education increases, so does your salary and the opportunities afforded to you. The US Census Bureau 2004 population survey shows that high school graduates earn almost $10,000 more than their no diploma counterparts. Advance to a bachelor's degree? Add another $22,000. Go for the advanced degree in graduate school? Add $27,000 more. All told, getting more education puts big bucks in your pocket and opens more doors in your life now and in the future!
In the past, the educational pathways to continuing your education were limited by your ability to study at a traditional school during the daytime hours. Classes at night were minimal and often not in the areas of study you needed. If you wanted to complete your high school diploma while working at a rewarding job, or go back to finish the bachelor's degree you started a decade ago, your choices of programs and coursework were pretty narrow and limited to the geographic area you lived in.
Not so today. Online degrees have opened up a world of opportunity and advancement potential that was not possible just 2 decades ago. From online elementary schools to online grad schools, the advent of the digital and electronic age means that education at a top notch school can be attained across town, across the nation or across the world. Working full-time, raising a family, and attending school are possible and affordable with online degrees. Tuition for a bachelor's degree at a traditional school can range from $5,491 annually at a public college to $21,235 at a private non-profit college, while the cost at the number one online degree-granting institution-the University of Phoenix-averages just $14,820.
Traditional Degrees versus Online Degrees
What factors affect acceptance of online degrees in place of traditional college degrees?
What are the Pros and Cons of Online Degrees?
There are many distinct differences between online education and traditional learning. For certain students, distance learning is a fitting option; for others, a campus-based school program is much more beneficial. By comparing the advantages and disadvantages of online learning you can decide if an online or campus program would be more helpful in achieving your goals.
Employers respect online degrees because e-learning provides similar levels of education and training as traditional campus based universities and colleges. It is important to check accreditation before beginning any online program. While the majority of online schools are valid and offer a high degree of return for the cost, some schools are merely diploma mills granting pieces of paper that would not stand up to most employer's background checks.
Verify that your online school is accredited by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). They each maintain lists of legitimate accreditors.
Determining Your On-Line Education Program
The answers to these questions will help you determine if you need to learn only one new skill to get ahead, such as Java script, get a certificate to apply for a new job, like a human resource benefits specialist, or get a full degree to move in an entirely new direction.
Many students assume online degrees will mean zero classroom learning time, but more and more distance learning programs are requiring "blended" e-learning classes with face to face professor contact requirements. Additionally, programs may give students "life learning" credits for work experience. They may also give transfer credit for previous school attendance. Students may also desire to learn face to face at a local university for subject matters they find personally difficult. The amount of credits that can be obtained outside the e-learning school should be discussed and factored into the student's programs.
The following accrediting associations are recognized by the USDE and CHEA and accredit entire institutions (as opposed to individual programs) in the United States: