Options For Continuing Education With Online Degrees
Going Back to School Can be Simple
In this day in age, you need a degree to do most jobs. It is unfortunate, but it is our reality: most employers are looking for people to hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
A college diploma can open many doors, but this degree doesn’t come very easily. Getting a college education involves a lot of hard work and perseverance. Sometimes, a traditional education is just not feasible with someone’s lifestyle. In these situations, going to school online to pursue online degrees can be a good option.
Reasons to Consider Online Degrees
There are many reasons why online programs are more enticing than traditional schools for some people. Many simply do not have the time to drive all the way to school, or perhaps they have children or other dependents to take care of. Others are looking for an alternative option for an education if they need to balance their studies with a full-time job.
Online schooling also offers different techniques when it comes to teaching, which can be favorable to those who are looking for cheaper educations or options for those who are socially anxious.
Understanding the Pros and Cons
Online degrees are incredibly convenient. They have time frames which are generally more suitable to a working individual. To top it all off, it is also more convenient to attend courses from the comfort of your own home rather than in person.
While this is not true with all online courses, some professors upload their lectures and materials online. This means you don’t have to worry so much about missing a class or two, because it’s easy to catch up on missed material.
Finally, a major advantage people see is that the costs of online degrees are much lower than many traditional schools. One setback is that these schools are still not free or ‘cheap’ for that matter. While you can often get loans and funding for nearly all traditional schools, finding these stipends and scholarships can be a little difficult with online courses.
There are also some reports that students may find it hard to stay motivated. This is more a matter of preference.
What to Expect
Online instruction is a little different from traditional schooling. There are many aspects of online teaching that may feel foreign if you’ve never taken online courses before. For example, you should expect to fulfill some technology requirements so that you will be able to use the tools and attend classes efficiently.
First, you need to have a working laptop and a strong internet connection. You should be prepared to have to sit at your computer for at least two hours at a time. Setting up a comfortable work station where you can sit up properly will make your experience much more organized and comfortable.
Consider setting up a workstation that is near a source of power and away from noise.
While your computer does not have to be the absolute best for every major, consider having a model that will allow you to use the applications you will need for the rest of the class. You don’t want to be stuck going to the library to finish assignments because your laptop can’t run Microsoft office efficiently.
Having a webcam is also a must. While not all classes will require you to show yourself, it is likely you will need to have the camera on at one point or another. Sometimes, it is required to be on video while you’re taking tests or final exams.
Research Your Options
There are hundreds of degrees available online. You might be surprised to see which ones are available.
Although not every career can be taught through the screen, here are some popular majors from accredited degree programs:
- Social work
- Medical office administration
- Computer science
- Web design
How to Find the Best Options
Unfortunately, there are some ‘school’ that are only looking to make a quick buck at your expense. Make sure to thoroughly research any degree program before applying.
The main thing you want to look for is the credentials you will receive upon graduation. You want to enroll in accredited programs. Otherwise, you will not be able to use the degree when applying for work.
Checking reviews and the history of the university is also a good idea. A long-established university with a history of success stories is much more trustworthy than a newer university with no active alumni.
A valid school would have this information up freely on the site. Avoid schools that fail to have this information up and seem unable to answer questions.
How to Apply for Online Degrees
The process for applying for an online degree can vary between schools. Once you find an accredited program you are interested in, check out the official website for details.
If the application process is not clear, consider sending the program a direct email with any inquiries.