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How To Get A College Degree Without Getting Ripped Off

Mar 13, 2008
Without a college degree, getting a good-paying job can be next to impossible in some parts of the country. For many desperate degree-seekers, there is a hidden danger in finding a way to get that desired degree. Not only have the tuition costs for reputable universities skyrocketed, but the rise of online colleges and universities has made it even more difficult to discern reputable schools from the one's that won't impress or get past the desk of any hiring managers.

The first question to ask yourself when investigating online colleges is "is it affiliated with any larger educational institution?". For example, a lot of traditional respected public and private universities have now added online components to the courses they have available to students. This type of online coursework is your best bet because it will allow you to get an honored degree, often with no differentiation from the type you would receive if you went to school as a traditional student. The downside to online colleges affiliated with major universities is that the cost can be rather high. However, traditional universities often have a great deal more money available for scholarships than other options and the degree you obtain will not just be another one of "those online degrees".

If you're less interested in obtaining a traditional associate's or bachelor's degree, there can be independent online schools that offer certifications and other programs geared toward a specific career goal. The most important thing to remember when investigating these types of schools is to check their accreditation. Make sure that the certifications they award to their students are the same certifications you will need to have for your future planned career. Taking time to do this before you even apply will save you time, money, and a lot of headache. The worst thing that could happen if you don't take this step is to realize near the end of your educational program that you're spending too much time and energy on something that isn't really going to do anything at all for your professional career.

Another way to find out about ways to get degrees or certifications that you may need for your planned career is to ask someone who's in the position now. Doing simple networking with people who have been in your shoes and gone on to reach your career goal is a great way to gain information on how you can do the same. As they say, hindsight is 20/20, and someone who has already jumped through the hoops of obtaining the education needed for your field will have that knowledge, even if you think you already know everything. Some of the ways you can get into contact with people in your chosen profession is to investigate professional groups, school alumni lists, and even contacting businesses that you would like to work for directly.

With all of this information, you can be better prepared to evaluate which schools and programs are worth your time and will have the greatest benefit to your future in the long run.
About the Author
Niccolo Svengali is the webmaster of arootyeducation.com , an education web site, in Palermo, Sicily.
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