All About Online Degrees

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. 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?
The institution – legitimacy and credibility of the school impact the degrees acceptance in the workplace. The higher the quality of the institution, the higher the online degrees perceived validity.
The level – Associates’ and Graduate degrees were found to be more acceptable than bachelors’ degrees
Program of Study – Knowledge based majors such as marketing, accounting or information technology have a higher acceptance level
Industry – Fields most connected/wired to the internet have the highest value, whereas law and medicine value online degrees the least
Individual Hiring Manager – Personal preferences greatly impact the perceived validity of the degree, but this factor is limited by the increasing growth in the e-learning degree industry
Employee Overall Resume – Accomplished employees with industry experience related to the degree, who return to school are seen as self-motivated and have the highest level of degree acceptance
Prominent Online Schools
Many quality accredited online schools exist with stellar reputations that will guide you through the online process easily, such as the University of Phoenix, DeVry University or ITT Technical Institute.
University of Phoenix Online has thousands of adults enrolled for its classes, which can be completed entirely online. It is fully accredited and offers associates, bachelors and graduate degrees. The University of Phoenix is growing in popularity and recognition among older students where 59% of them receive tuition assistance from their employers.
DeVry University is one of the largest post-secondary institutions in the U.S., with extensive online programs in areas such as business (including an online MBA degree) and technology. The university’s programs are designed with the working professional in mind.
ITT Technical Institute focuses on technology-oriented programs of study in their six different schools (Information Technology, Drafting & Design, Business, Criminal Justice and Health Science.) In their private college system headquartered in Carmel, Indiana, they operate over 100 ITT Technical Institutes in more than 30 states, serving over 54,000 students. Most ITT programs of study blend traditional academic content with applied learning concepts, with a large component devoted to practical study in a lab setting. They offer several programs online, including associates, bachelors and MBA degrees.

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