7 Factors to Consider When Picking Online Degrees
November 27 2020 - Did you know that in 2018 there were almost seven million students enrolled in distanced learning to get online degrees? Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has made in-person classes complicated, that number is expected to rise even more. Many people now find themselves with an unprecedented amount of free time.
As such, it's never been a better time to take advantage of this major shift to online learning. However, it's important to note that picking online degrees is a tough decision. Because of this, it shouldn't be taken lightly. To help you decide which online degree and school is right for you, we've organized some of the factors you should always consider. Let's take a look.
Seven of the Most Important Factors When Picking Online Degrees
It's important to remember that not all online degrees are made equally. Many of them are cash grabs designed to take the money of desperate students. You can avoid these types of institutions by asking these seven questions before deciding on the online school that's right for you.
1) Do They Offer the Online Degree Program You Want?
Before you look into online schools, you should think long and hard about the type of degree you want. This is one of the most important steps because it will determine the types of jobs you'll be qualified to handle. Once you decide on a field, do some preliminary research with each school.
The first thing you should check is if the institution even offers your online degree. Many bigger schools offer a seemingly endless option of online degrees. However, many smaller schools are limited in what they can offer. As such, it's worth searching before you apply. An even bigger plus is if the school specializes in the type of degree you want.
For example, let's say you work as a mechanic. A technical school that offers online courses is a great option. Similarly, flight schools that specialize in aviation-related fields are an appropriate option for aspiring pilots.
2) How Established Is the School or Program?
The reputation of the school you choose is an important part of your online degree. If your school is large enough, then you're likely to meet alumni in the world who can potentially help you get a job. Similarly, if you go to a smaller school, then you should consider staying within fifty miles of the area.
This way the community knows about the brand of the school and the qualifications of people with an online degree from the university. This isn't essential, but it is an important factor to consider.
3) Is It Affordable?
Did you know that student debt in the United States has reached a record level of $1.6 trillion? Student loans are one of the riskiest types of loans because a degree doesn't ensure that you'll get or keep a high paying job. As such, we would urge caution before taking out an expensive loan. Instead, look for affordable online degrees.
Or, if the school you want is too expensive, then try applying for some academic scholarships. Ultimately, not everyone will be able to afford the expensive nature of the online school.
However, that doesn't mean that there aren't any options for you. There are plenty of free learning resources and online courses available through the internet. These options may not carry as much weight as an accredited online degree. But, they do help give you a great headstart on learning for when you can afford to go to school.
4) Is the Online Degree Accredited?
An online degree accreditation is an important part of determining if it's legitimate. To be accredited the online institute must meet the set of requirements laid out by the Department of Education.
However, accreditation isn't the only thing that matters. Unfortunately, many online degrees can be accredited through loopholes. As such, we recommend continuing your research to see what graduates experience in life after they left school.
5) Is the Program Flexible?
Many people who work toward an online degree have busy schedules. They may work a job, or raise kids during the day. As such, an online institution should be as flexible as possible.
Luckily, many online degrees cater to these busy schedules. For example, many programs allow you to watch lectures at your own pace throughout the week. That way, you can catch up on school once you get off work. If flexibility in scheduling is important to you, then make sure the school supports this factor.
6) Do They Offer Job Placement and Networking Potential?
Networking in an online setting isn't as easy as in person. However, ideally, your school will be big enough to allow you to connect with alumni. This shared educational background should help convince potential employers that you have a solid knowledge of the field.
You should also check if the online school offers any job placement programs after you graduate. These types of programs can help connect you with local employers who need newly trained employees.
7) Is Faculty Support Available?
Many online schools can feel impersonal, especially when they're just pre-recorded lectures. As such, faculty support is a big plus. A good online school should allow you to have video chat office hours with your instructor. Interactive video lectures that allow for live questions can also help you get a better understanding of the source material.
Want More Content? Keep Exploring
We hope this article helped you learn the right questions to ask when picking online degrees. Ultimately, any online degree typically takes a considerable investment of time and money. As such, you should always be sure before committing to the right one. As such, we recommend dwelling on these questions until the right school and degree reveals itself to you.
That way you get the most out of your education. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you're in the right place. Keep reading to find more topics you're sure to love.
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