If you want to go back to school to earn a degree, but don’t have the time because of transportation problem or a hectic work schedule, online education is the answer. It is very flexible allowing you to study from home rather than having to visit a campus. However, before you decide to join an online class, there are seven things you need to know about online education.
Not all online degrees are equally popular
Certain courses cannot be taken online, as for instance, learning how to become a car mechanic. Such a course will require practical experience working on an actual vehicle. However, there are many popular bachelor degree programs that schools offer online.
In 2009, 257,400 enrolled into bachelor degree program in business, the enrollment figures for bachelor degree in nursing and healthcare, computer information technology, criminal justice and education were respectively 104,400, 100,000, 73,200 and 49,000. (Source: Eduventures).
Online education has some great advantages
The obvious benefit is being able to do it in the comfort of your home. You can work at your own pace and adhere to your own schedule. Contrary to popular opinion, people taking online courses have performed marginally better than those opting for traditional education (source: department of education).
Online education has some disadvantages as well:
For an online course to be effective there is a great need for self-discipline on the part of the student. So don’t enroll into classes online if you don’t have the necessary determination. Many teachers are reluctant to teach online courses because they think it involves more work. The cost of going online with an educational package is seen as a barrier by those schools that have not already embarked on online education.
More and more people are enrolling for online courses:
Online education is growing at 9.7 percent as opposed to 1.5 percent growth registered by traditional education. (Source: Sloan research). Thus, there is a clear trend in favor of online learning, which is here to stay and expected to increase in popularity (Sources: Pew research, Eduventures).
Academicians say recruiters accept online degrees
Presidents of 1,055 colleges and universities have stated that online degrees have the same academic standards for employers as those obtained through traditional education (Source: Pew Studies, 2011).
Online classes utilize state of the art technology
State of the art technology has come into play in online education, which is no longer in its infancy, as for instance, Arizona State University’s Online and Extended Campus program. Collaboration tools, SMS, web-based video, and live chat rooms are all part of online class environment making them more accessible and fulfilling.
A master degree can be earned online
Graduate degree holders earn more than others and most of them are employed. The trend of offering master degrees online is only expected to increase in the near future. A review of enrollments for master degrees revealed that 117,000 students are enrolled into MBA courses online. The relative figures for master degrees in education, health care and nursing are 105,300, 33,320 and 25,080, respectively (source: Eduventures).