Online degrees have become incredibly popular in the past few years as they allow students to learn more about the subjects they love and equip them with the skills necessary to pursue their dream career. As students do not need to commute to college online degrees are incredibly convenient, especially with stay at home moms or those who work.
Online courses can be studied at a range of levels from associate degrees and certificate programs through to bachelor degrees and master degrees. In addition, there are also a range of colleges that offer doctorate degrees online too.
With loads of courses offered by a whole range of colleges, choosing an online degree can be quite a daunting task. However, we have outlined a number of factors that you should take into account when choosing a degree to study online.
Pick a course level that suits you
For a number of jobs, the ideal candidate must hold a degree, usually a bachelor or master degree. While these degrees are highly valued in the job market these types of course can take a considerable amount of time to complete and even longer if you are only studying part time. At the other end of the spectrum associates degrees and certificate programs. Associate degrees take half the amount of time it takes to complete a bachelor degree and are both a qualification in their own right as well as a stepping stone to a bachelor degree. Certificate programs are even shorter. While they won't give you all the information a bachelor degree will give you, they are an excellent way to accumulate new skills and specific subject knowledge quickly and economically.
Choose an accredited institution
With so many institutions offering online courses, it is more important than ever to make sure that you are studying with an accredited organization otherwise your degree may be dismissed by employers. A simple background check can determine the legitimacy of an institution. Make sure that the institution offering an online degree has a phone number, a physical address, and accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department for Education.
Find Out More about the Course
As with traditional education courses, content covered varies from institution to institution. Be sure to check up on what each course offers. If you have burning enthusiasm for one topic in particular: make sure you pick a course that covers it. Not only does course content vary from course to course, but you will also find that how online courses are run vary considerably. Online courses usually have a combination of interaction methods, popular ones include: video conferences, chat boards and emails. Everyone learns in different ways, so make sure that you are happy with the way in which the online course works before enrolling.
Speak to Students
If you get the opportunity have a chat with alumni or current online students. Ask them how they feel about the course: what went well? Are there any potential pitfalls? If you happen to know anyone that has graduated from an online course, find out where they are working now. This will give you a better idea of future career prospects.
In addition to helping you attain a degree, a good online college will help prepare you for employment after you’ve graduated. They can help with things like resume writing, job applications and answer any employment queries you may have. College career services are a truly invaluable service, so make sure that your online college offers all the facilities necessary to prepare you for future employment.