Earning an online degree, or distance learning as it’s sometimes referred to, has become increasingly popular in the last decade as more and more students look for alternatives to traditional degree programs. Many are finding that earning their degree online is not only more cost-effective, but it’s also much easier to fit into their busy schedules.
As anyone who’s priced an associate or bachelor degree from a traditional state or private university knows, the cost of a college education has skyrocketed in recent years, leaving many graduates with huge student loans that they’ll be repaying into middle age or beyond.
Add with the current job market, many graduates can’t find a position in their chosen field, leaving them to take part-time work or even move back in with their parents just to make ends meet.
Which makes earning an online degree a great option, and one you should consider if you’re serious about furthering your education. Whether you’re a high school graduate considering your career options, or you’re already working but looking to advance your career, you’ll find a wide variety of programs offered by online schools across the country. As with traditional higher education, students can take online classes for a degree, certification, or just for self-improvement.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of distance learning, it’s basically a form of education where the instructor and students are never in the same classroom. This builds on the theory that good students are learning all the time, and they don’t need to be in a traditional classroom listening to a professor giving a lecture in order to learn.
And there are a wide range of options available in distance learning, from certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s and even master degree programs. Your only limitations are how much time you can dedicate to your online education, and how much you can afford.
The time investment will of course depend on the program you pursue - certificate can sometimes be attained within a few weeks, while a full bachelor’s degree can take up to 4 years or longer to complete, depending on the curriculum.
There are also a variety of financing options available when considering an online degree. Most of the better schools offer grants, scholarships or student loans, and if you’re a veteran you might qualify under the G.I Bill as well. And another benefit of taking classes online is the flexibility this allows, and many students work full or part-time while they attend school.
Adult education has grown enormously in today’s challenging job market, as older workers are laid off and need to retrain into new careers. Without new skills, many of these older workers simply can’t find jobs that pay a living wage, and this trend will only continue as new technologies come onto the marketplace.
There are numerous benefits to taking courses online as opposed to classes given in traditional classrooms. A few of them include:
With the growth of this industry over the last decade, you can now find distance learning courses offered by a wide variety of schools and organizations - from kindergarten through 12th grade classes, vocational schools, colleges, and even military training offered by industry and Armed Forces.
More and more traditional colleges and universities are offering online programs of study, as they look to expand their reach beyond the conventional classroom.
In order to enroll in an associate degree program, you’ll have to have earned your high school diploma, or a GED (General Education Development) certificate. A number of schools also require applicants to be at least 17 years old. As mentioned earlier, it typically takes about two years to obtain an associate’s degree online.
But whatever online program or school you decide on, the important thing is to get going. Do your homework, research the best schools for your needs, and get those applications submitted. Nothing beats a good education these days, it can be the difference between a good-paying job or working for less than you're worth, so get started today toward the bright future and great career you deserve.
If you're interested in learning more about how you can earn a degree from the comfort of your home, on your own time and schedule, you might want to check out the Online Degree Center for more information on accredited education programs in your field of choice.
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