In the past ten years or so, widespread access to technology and the Internet has forever changed the educational landscape, and what was once called distance learning is now called online degree programs. This educational model has opened up vast opportunities for a large number of people, including those with employment or family responsibilities that make it difficult for them to attend traditional university classes. And as popularity swells with regard to this type of educational model, so too have the number of online degree programs that accredited colleges and universities are currently offering. In this article we will examine a few separate disciplines in which you can now pursue an online degree, along with a bit of advice for making sure the college you choose is on the “up and up.”
Online Degree Programs: What’s Available?
In the past, distance education was seen as a “last resort,” and universities would only consider it in extreme cases. Now, though, due largely to advances in technologies, advances which includes things like video and audio conferencing, instant messaging, etc., most universities are offering online degree programs in many, if not all subjects and disciplines. Below are some examples of the various areas in which you can now pursue an online degree:
- Business. Business is one of the most popular college majors, and most universities are now offering online degree programs for undergraduates in areas such as Business Management and Finance, as well as MBA programs for working professionals who want to improve their skill set and enhance their resume.
- Education. Most online degree programs in Education are centered on teachers who are currently working and who need to obtain “continuing education” credits or for those pursuing a Masters degree in the discipline they currently teach. (Teachers in the United States are rewarded monetarily based on their level of education).
- Computer Science and Programming. What better courses to offer an online degree in then Computer Science and Computer Programming? Due to the popularity and widespread use of computer technology, qualified computer experts are in extremely high demand.
- Criminal Justice. These programs help to prepare individuals for careers in law enforcement, working both on the street and in the thousands of jails and prisons across the country.
- Culinary Arts Degree. Those interested in the culinary arts can significantly hone their skills and enhance their career options by obtaining one of the many online culinary arts degrees.
- Psychology and Social Work. Society is in desperate need of qualified counselors and social workers, and an online degree program is a great way to get introduced to this field.
Of course this is just a small sample of the many online degrees currently available, but before you commit to a specific program or college, there are a few steps you should take to ensure the school you are applying to is legitimate. These include:
- Check the accreditation of the online degree at US Department of Education
- Check legitimacy of the Internet University at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- Write to the Diploma Mill Police that authenticates Internet Institutes of Education
Taking these simple steps to ensure the legitimacy of both the school to which you are applying and the degree program you are pursuing could wind up saving you plenty of time, money and frustration in the long run.
e:11.�7 f�H�y:"Arial","sans-serif"'>Those who tend to have success through online courses are people who are disciplined enough to work at their own pace and stay current with assignments. Unlike traditional classroom-based education, where your level of participation in class is used to determine a percentage of your overall grade, your marks in online courses will be measured solely by the work you complete and the scores you receive on exams. Therefore, those who are motivated enough to stay current with assignments have a much better chance at success.
The last consideration is also the most important: ethics. Without a professor watching over you as you take an exam or work on an assignment, the temptation to consult various study materials or textbooks may be great, but if these are forbidden, and it is somehow discovered that you are cheating, it could result in a failing grade or even university expulsion. Taking online courses requires that you have a certain code of ethics to which you agree to adhere.