Online Learning

Online Degrees

Online Degrees Are the Future of Learning

Most any degree that you can obtain from a traditional college or university can also be achieved through an online program. Many people are able to earn their associates, bachelor's or graduate degrees without ever attending a single class in person.

Some industries have embraced online degrees faster than others. Generally, careers that are highly technical, such as information technology, have been quicker to accept online degrees than other, non-technical disciplines, such as education. Choosing an accredited program that has a good reputation for providing a quality education is important when it comes time to apply for a job in your chosen field. Recruiters also look more favorably on candidates that have worked in the field they are applying for jobs in.

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The CIA recruiting office estimates that 5% to 10% of all of their newly hired employees have done some or all of their coursework online, according to the New York Times. About 7% (1.2 million) students who earn college degrees do so completely online. There is new legislation in the pipeline that will remove restrictions on financial aid for students who are pursuing their educations online.

You can get a bachelor's degree online in 18 months that would take you a full four years to attain in a traditional face-to-face program. It takes about 120-128 college credits to earn a bachelor's degree. These credits are earned through general education courses, elective courses and specialized courses for your major and minor degrees.

Choosing the right program is important to your success. Find out how the information is presented to you. Will you be watching videos of lectures? Are most of the materials and lectures in printed form to be read? How will you be able to interact with your instructor and other students? What kinds of tests are administered? What are the qualifications of the instructors? Know the answers to these questions before you choose a program.

Some online degrees are earned from schools that have no classrooms. Other programs are offered online in addition to the programs provided at the brick and mortar institution. There may be no actual difference in the quality of education provided by the two, but some employers may need to be convinced of this. If you are going into an industry that is reluctant to accept these degrees, you might opt for an online program offered by a traditional college or university.

Online degree programs are growing at a rate ten times higher than traditional post-secondary educational program, according to the Sloan Consortium. The Sloan Consortium is an association of institutions and organizations that are dedicated to promoting the quality of online education by reporting such statistical information to interested parties, such as students and schools.

In 2005, over 3 million students were enrolled in at least one online course. This is a 35% increase from the 2004 statistics. In 2009, that number had already risen to 5.6 million. And employers are increasingly growing to accept these degrees. Recent reports indicate that online learners actually outperform their counterparts in face-to-face learning environments.

There are also consortiums of universities all over the world. These consortiums do not offer the degrees, but they provide courses from several other universities. This allows students a much wider range of classes to choose from when earning their online degrees. Some consortiums offer courses from ten to fifteen different institutions of higher learning.

Since your entire education will depend on your internet connection and your computer, it is a good idea to get the best you can before enrolling in any program. Many students are not able to get a new computer, and it certainly is not necessary. But have the best you can afford. Your educational experience will be a lot better.

High tech fields such as information technology readily embrace students with degrees earned online. If your industry does not, there are things that you can do to prove the credibility of your education to potential employers. Along with your resume, bring documentation of the class work you have completed and the reputation of the institution. Help them to understand the strenuous program and the high standards of learning your institution demands. Most employers will respect the work ethics of students who earned their degree while working and meeting family obligations. If you can show that you have the necessary skills to do the job, how you earned your degree will not be an issue.

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