Traditional education as we know has evolved over the years, taking on a more flexible and accessible approach. With better technology tools and the ever-improving online learning curriculum, you can now get a good degree online in virtually any subject area from the comfort of your home. The best part is that an online degree can be just as reputable as a traditional, on-campus degree! In a recent survey carried out by CareerBuilder, 83% of executives agreed that an online degree was as authentic and reputable as an on-campus degree. Recent stats about online education also reveal a boom in online enrollment. Here! Let’s look at a few.
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How To Get A Good Degree Online
Online Education Stats
A recent study conducted by Babson Survey Research Group revealed that over 6.3 million students in the US, with a large percentage being undergraduates, studied a minimum of one online course in the fall of 2016. This was a 5.6% increase from the number in 2015. Another study by Quality Matters, a reputable non-profit organization known for ensuring online program quality, states that “online enrollment has continued to outpace overall enrollment in U.S. higher education, fuelling greater student and institutional interest”.
Statista, a top provider of market and consumer data, also observed a significant increase in degree program accessibility, stating that 64% of higher education administrators are creating online programs that are of equal value to their on-campus programs. In view of these, we can confidently say that online education is not just a passing phase, but rather one that’s here to stay!
However, while there are several thousands of degrees that are available online, you’ll need to know what factors to consider in order to get a good degree online. These factors simply refer to ways in which you can tell apart universities that offer quality degree programs from those that don’t.
Factors to consider to get a good degree online
Accreditation is one of the most important factors to consider when you’re choosing an online degree program. Accreditation assures you that the institution has met the national standards of quality and accountability. Accredited institutions go through rigorous assessments of their curriculum and faculty members. Accreditation not only ensures the reputability of your program, it’s also important if you’re looking to get financial support from the institution. This is because only programs that are accredited by the Department of Education have access to federal funds.
You may have heard that the more expensive an online degree is, the better the quality. Nothing could be further from the truth! There are quality online degree programs that are budget-friendly, with some even offering scholarships. You’ll just need to do a thorough search to find them. Here is a great place to begin your search for quality, affordable online degree programs.
3. Curriculum quality:
It’s very necessary that you explore the content of the online degree program that you’d like to pursue. Carefully consider the program description, courses and materials. You’ll need to ensure that the program materials can actually give you the knowledge you’re looking to get. Find out if the program provides collaborative projects like discussion forums and virtual labs, where you can connect with other students and practice your skills. These kinds of projects help to keep you disciplined, ensuring that you complete your degree program.
4. Ability to transfer credits:
This is important because degree programs that allow you to transfer credits from either your work experience or previous college education typically have a reduced workload, and this could significantly affect the cost of the program.
5. Retention rate and Job Placement:
A degree with poor retention rate, in which students are continuously dropping out of the program is most likely not engaging or offers low quality education. You may need to consider another degree program. Also, knowing the types of jobs that graduates of the degree program have been able to secure is also a great pointer to your possible career outcomes after completing the program.
Having considered the above factors, here are some of the top online degree courses that you can study from home:
- Online Engineering degrees:
These courses are great for students who are already working in the field, and would like to improve upon their knowledge and specialize in specific sub-fields. Check out these online engineering programmes.
- Online MBA degrees:
These courses offer students versatility in the workplace and find relevance in virtually every field of business. Today there are numerous quality online MBA programmes available.
- Online Computer Science Degrees:
Regardless of your chosen career field, computing knowledge is highly relevant in today’s competitive job market. Several employers are in need of expert software and hardware engineers with a degree in computer science, and offer great salaries.
- Online degree in Healthcare Studies:
There’s a growing global need for healthcare professionals, hence a significant increase in online healthcare programmes. However, due to the need for practical work, the programmes typically offer blended learning, combining online study with lab/research practice.
- Online Graphic Design degrees:
In today’s job market, there’s a high demand for Graphic designers. These online Graphic Design degrees offer flexible learning, and extensive networking opportunities that are beneficial in securing internships and graduate jobs.
These are only a few examples of degrees you can pursue online, there are several other courses you could consider if you’re looking to get a good degree online. Don’t forget to check if your university is accredited, to be sure that your degree will be acknowledged by employers!