Online Learning

Long Distance Learning

If you are looking to boost your resume, climb the corporate ladder or even pursue a career change, earning a post secondary degree can aid in accomplishing your goals. However, seeking a higher education may seem impossible to those with a full-time job, family duties and other responsibilities. The good news is that degrees can absolutely be earned through long distance learning. This type of schooling relies on modern technology to deliver to the student what would be learned in a classroom: instruction, course work and tests. Degrees earned through an accredited online school will afford you the opportunity to take your career to the next level while still allowing you to maintain both your professional and private duties.

In a study conducted by the United States Department of Education in 2010, it was found that students participating in online courses performed better on average than their peers who received in-person teaching. This study (among others like it) has drawn a substantial amount of attention to online degrees. As long distance learning via an internet connection has grown more mainstream, school administrators have placed an extreme importance on this form of learning, thus expanding the degree programs being offered. With such a wide variety of degrees you can work toward online, reaching your career goals while maintaining your current schedule poses no problem for most people.

From the National Center for Education Statistics, a study released in 2008 found that of the 66 percent of two-year and four-year universities that offered distance learning courses that granted college credit, 77 percent of all attendees opted for online classes. From the same research, reasons for expanding long distance learning through online channels were exposed. Student demands for flexible scheduling and needs for college access for those who otherwise would not have the opportunity topped the list. By being able to earn a legitimate accredited degree online, everyone has the opportunity to better themselves.

Besides flexible scheduling and the opportunity to earn a full and accredited degree, attending an online university may have another advantage that most every student is interested in: a low cost education. Whether you have just graduated high school or you are currently working a full-time nine-to-five job, saving money on your education is an extremely important subject to fully explore. According to the Sloan Consortium (individuals, institutions and organizations committed to quality online education) the difference between a degree earned on-site at a traditional university compared to one earned through distance learning is roughly $26,000. That is quite a hefty sum, especially for those supporting a family.

Also from the Sloan Consortium, a 2010 analysis found that the rate of enrollment in online degree programs has been more than the total post secondary student population. At the time of 2009's fall term, over 5.6 million pupils were enrolled in a minimum of one online course. Numbers from the year before were estimated at one million less. It is thought by experts in the field of higher education that the reason for this spike in online schooling is directly related to the tumultuous economy in which we are in today. Whether it be because students cannot find a job or those who are employed are looking to better their situation, not only has enrollment increased but the demand for quality long distance learning has as well.

The types of degrees that can be earned through long distance education vary. Although you may be able to earn them via an internet connection, not all fields look on all degrees equally. Associate degrees that can be finished online include Associate of Arts, Associate in Applied Science and Associate in Occupational Studies. Both Bachelors and Masters degrees are organized similarly into two categories (art and science) and all can be earned through distance learning. Another option available to those seeking to better their career is online certification. Certification differs from a degree as you are not required to have any previous diploma to enroll in the courses. By being certified in your work field, you have the proof necessary to show you possess the skills required to do your job adequately.

While benefits of receiving an online education are plentiful and the statistics of distance learning student growth are overwhelming, it is incredibly important that those seeking a post secondary degree via an internet connection be wary of fraud. It is recommended that you check school accreditation with the United States Department of Education and the university in question with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Accreditation is of utmost importance when it comes to the degree you are working toward. Without being accredited, the diploma you receive could essentially be worthless to you and future employers. By taking the necessary precautions against online scams, you will be able to find an appropriate school to meet your education needs.

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