The Benefits of Earning an Online Degree

Finding the time to acquire the higher education and training needed to advance a career can be difficult, if not impossible, when trying to balance that education with an already hectic work schedule and personal life. Traditional higher education programs that require a structured, in-class schedule just aren't designed to meet the needs of working adults and professionals.

Fortunately, today there are several non-traditional education options for those that have busy schedules to manage. Online degree programs are an excellent non-traditional option that provide the flexibility and affordability working professionals require in a higher education. Instead of arranging their work schedule around their schooling, online degrees allow students to arrange their schooling around their work schedule. But these are just a few of the many benefits of earning a degree online.

The following is a list of the benefits offered by online degree programs:

  • Unlike traditional, four-year, campus-based college programs, online degrees are designed specifically for working adults. Everything from the flexibility of online degree programs to their affordability is oriented toward the needs of adults who work full or part-time and have busy schedules.

  • Online degrees offer class at times that are covenient for their students. As lectures are often pre- recorded, students can watch them whenever they want. Other class work can be completed at whatever time it's most convenient for the student.

  • Probably the biggest difference between online degrees and campus-based programs is location. Online degrees can be completed from any location, where campus-based degrees, obviously, have to be completed at specific campus location. For professionals that travel, an online degree may be the only viable option for earning an advanced degree. Online degrees can be complete from just about any location where there is a internet-enable computer terminal--which is just about everywhere these days.

  • Online degrees can be completed wherever AND whenever. Since students have round the clock access to coursework, they can work on their degree in the morning, afternoon, or the middle of night if they choose.

  • Online degrees are very affordable--for a number of reasons. The cost of tuition for online degrees is typically much less than tuition for campus-based degree programs. In addition, students participating in an online degree don't have the cost of commuting to campus, nor do they loose as much valuable work time.

  • Employers are usually quite supportive of employee training and higher education programs that don't interfere with work schedules. In the past, going back to school and earning a degree meant quiting the job entirely or reducing work hours dramatically. Employers like online degrees because they typically increase employee performance and productivity--not decrease it.

  • Where students seeking a campus-based degree program are limited in their selection to schools and colleges in their immediate area, students open to earning a degree online have a much larger pool schools and colleges to choose from. A student living in Alaska can earn their degree from any number of prestigious colleges and universities located throughout the United States.

  • Online schools and universities offer associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees--as well as diplomas, graduate certificates and professional certifications. In fact, students will find that online schools often offer a much broader selection of courses and degree options than their campus-based counterparts.

  • Online degrees offer students the ability to work at their own pace. Students with a busy work schedule, can take up to six years to earn their bachelor's degree. Alternatively, many online schools will allow students to earn their degree much more quickly than campus-based programs will.

  • By earning a degree online, students are able to select any major, even one that might not be available at "brick'n mortar" universities in their area. Many specialized programs, especially at the graduate level, are only offered by a few schools in the United States. Earning a degree online allows students in one state to take advantage of programs only offered by schools in other states--without having to relocate.

  • Like traditional colleges, most online colleges and universities offer students access to various financial aid and loan programs. Student's will want to make sure that the school they attend is accredited and qualifies for federal financial aid packages and student loan programs.

  • Most importantly, online degrees enable working adults and professionals the ability to increase their earning potential and career advancement opportunities by obtaining a higher education.

Whether you decide to earn your degree on-campus or online, you'll want to make sure the college you attend is regionally or nationally accredited. While national accreditation is acceptable, regional accreditation is preferred. Regional accreditation will allow you to transfer your degree to another higher education institution if you decided to pursue additional higher education opportunities down the road. However, most reputable online colleges will at minimum be accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized by the US Department of Education.

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