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Don't Get Caught in a Diploma Mill!

Jul 20, 2008
Earning a degree from any one of the thousands of accredited colleges available can have a huge impact on your life. Even though the process will require a lot of time, effort and money on your part, the experience is also very rewarding. For example, a good education can change the way that you think and the way you work. That, in turn, can open up new employment opportunities and higher salaries that will raise your standard of living. Aside from the financial gains, a degree can help you shift from a job you despise to an occupation you enjoy. That alone, should make the sacrifice worth the investment.

In the past, time, money and distance all seemed like impassible barriers for many people. Fortunately, online learning has been able to surmount many of those obstacles. For example, a single mother with a full-time job who wouldn't be able to attend day-time classes on a college campus can now study the course material after work in the comfort of her own home. And, a student who can not afford to relocate and pay rent in an expensive area can also solve their educational the dilemma by studying at home.

Even though online learning is flexible, affordable and convenient, there are a couple pitfalls that online students need to avoid. From the very beginning, you need to watch out for diploma mills. Diploma mills consist of online schools that claim to award valuable degrees but lack the proper credentials to fulfill their promises. For an online school, the appropriate credentials equal accreditation. Without accreditation, any degree or diploma they award is virtually useless. Rather than impressing a potential employer or educational facility, a worthless degree could offend or discourage them and the investment eats up valuable time and money. Consequently, the first step in getting started is to find reliable accredited colleges.

The next thing you should do is narrow your choices down by the school's price tag and reputation. Unfortunately, schools with better reputations usually cost more, but they also tend to give you better teachers, facilities and bragging rights when the degree is earned.

And finally, online learning requires a lot of discipline. Some courses may have checkpoints along the way to ensure that you don't get too far behind, but others will leave that responsibility entirely to the student. If you put of assignments, studying and tests too long, a manageable course can quickly become a nightmare.

Don't fall in the trap of attending a "degree factory." Earn your degree from accredited colleges and employers will take you more seriously.
About the Author
For more information on finding accredited colleges, visit Degree Search (http://degreesearch.org/). They also provide more information on the benefits and drawbacks of online learning. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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