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Online Degree Options For Adults

Mar 13, 2008
The Internet offers many online degree options for adults, making it one of the fastest growing opportunities for nontraditional students seeking to further their education. In an increasingly competitive job market, many adults are seriously considering going back to school, but lack the time required to attend college full-time as a traditional student. The pressures of family, a full-time job, and rising costs of education are all factors that make online degree options appealing for adults.

In addition, having a degree is becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. Many companies require that an employee have at least an Associate's degree in order to move up to a salaried position, and a Bachelor's degree requirement is basically standard across the board for management positions. Most of the top-paying jobs in the corporate world are held by those with MBAs, making graduate studies a must for anyone interested in reaching for the top in their career goals. Online degree programs are an easy way to achieve these positions in less time and with less money, making them an attractive alternative to attending a local university.

Flexibility is the greatest benefit of online degree options for adults. Classes taken online can be scheduled around a full-time job, allowing the work to be completed whenever the student has free time (for example, after the kids have been put to bed, or on Saturdays and Sundays). Typical online classes have the same general structure--the teacher gives reading assignments via email or a message board, requiring students to use forums or instant messaging to comment on the reading. Most essays and tests are completed online and at the student's leisure, are graded by the instructor, and given back to the student with comments.

Some online degree programs also offer real-time instruction via the Internet, allowing students to listen to a lecture, just as they would be doing if they were attending a traditional university. Regardless of your learning style, there should be an online degree option available to you that will fit your individual tastes and needs.

It is important to use caution when researching potential online degree options for adults. There are many programs that are known as "diploma mills"--businesses that claim accreditation yet are not legitimate institutions of higher learning. A diploma or degree from such "schools" could end up being as worthless as not having one at all, and it is a good idea to check the school's accreditation before applying or sending money.

The Council For Higher Education Accreditation offers a list of legitimate accreditations approved by the U.S. Department of Education. When checking to assure that an online degree program is not only accredited, but also accredited through a legitimate source, this is a good place to start. Remember--just because a school lists itself as "accredited" doesn't mean that it is a legitimate institution of higher learning. You'll save yourself a lot of time and money by doing your research beforehand to make sure that the degree you eventually receive is one that will be respected and useful to you.

With the right amount of research, online degree options for adults can put you on the right track to advancing your career to the next level. Spending a little extra time studying for the next year (or less) can equal to a lot of extra income for many years to come. It's an investment in yourself that is well worth taking.
About the Author
by Tonya Thompson
http://www.MyCollegeSolution.com - a nationwide directory of accredited online colleges, universities and campus based institutions.
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