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Getting Connected with an Online Associate Degree

Aug 25, 2007
Those looking to acquire a basic knowledge of a subject can do so with an online associate degree. With only 60 hours of study required for completion, this type of degree is the first step towards a more fulfilling career. In general, this can require one or two years to complete; however, with the convenience of online learning that time can be adjusted based on a student's motivation.

Breaking into a career at the entry level often requires a bachelor's degree; however, before one can get their bachelor's degree, he or she must earn their associate's degree. At the same time, it should be noted that all companies have their own requirements and sometimes an associate's degree may be all that's required to move up for a certain position. In this case, online learning can be of great benefit.

Depending on the learning venue, an associate's degree can be earned in a various number of subjects. From business to criminal justice to health care, accredited programs that provide practical skills and knowledge are only an internet connection away. Students can earn their degree in just the subjects they need without the distractions that come with attending onsite campuses.

For many working adults, online learning is the ultimate option. There is no need to rearrange schedules or stress about finding the right classroom. Inflated or expanding tuitions and fees that often come with an onsite college are non existent with online learning where students pay strictly for classes and course materials.

When earning an online associate degree, students are shown to take in course material much easier since learning comes when they are ready. Often, keeping up with the rigid schedule of an onsite campus creates a distracting juggling act for the working adult. Eventually, many decide it is more than they can handle and wind up throwing in the towel.

Though online learning takes a certain amount of motivation and self discipline to complete, many adults very much enjoy the idea of working at their own pace. Students are welcome to go over the material as many times as needed to fully understand a concept. There is no waiting for others to catch up and no stress of struggling to keep up.

While there is a lack of classroom interaction with online learning, many programs allow students to contact instructors via email, instant messaging or forum boards. Questions that arise regarding homework or assignments can often be answered within a day. Many adults are quite comfortable with this level of guidance as it is not too isolating nor is it totally overbearing.

Students have the benefit of knowing once they complete their curriculum they will have a full understanding of the basics. With the accumulated number of credit hours, graduates have now opened up another door for themselves as they can now move on to a bachelor's degree if they so desire. While some may choose to wait, others may decide to stick with online learning and take things as far as they can.

Opting for an online curriculum that is fully accredited has a number of advantages. One is that an approved program means getting a well rounded curriculum. Another advantage is that accredited programs can offer students financial aid; an important issue for many working adults needing to further their education.

After earning an online associate degree, it is up to the graduate where he or she will go from there. Whether moving on to a bachelor's degree or moving up in their company, the door is always open to a better career, a better earning potential and a better outlook on life.
About the Author
Andy West is a writer for Virginia College. Virginia College Online offers many Online Associate Degree programs. Visit Virginia College Online at http://www.vconline.edu/site/associate.cfm to select the online program that is right for you.
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