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There Are Great Reasons To Earn An Online College Degree

Jan 24, 2008
If you've made the choice to go back to school and get your degree: Congratulations! You're embarking on an experience that will be challenging, enjoyable and ultimately, rewarding. Whether you're going to be studying for a bachelor's or a master's degree, your educational accomplishments will make you more valuable to potential employers.

Just one decision awaits you now; should you earn an online degree, or should you study at a local college in a traditional classroom setting? Many of your contemporaries are choosing to get an online degree, and there are several factors that make distance learning attractive.

- Your schedule will be less rigid, allowing you to balance school, work, and family more easily.

The benefit of a flexible schedule, with on-demand access to lectures and discussion groups, is the number one deciding factor for most online students. This approach to course delivery, which colleges and universities often refer to as "asynchronous learning", lets students stream or download lectures when it's most convenient for them.

Whether you prefer to get up early and use the peaceful moments before your family wakes; or you like to study late into the night; or even if you want to catch a lecture on your lunch-break; the choice is yours. So long as you have a laptop and an Internet connection, the whole world is your classroom.

- A wide range of courses and programs is open to you.

Even if you're fortunate enough to live near a university, they may not offer the program you want to study. This is particularly true for students who want to focus on a specialist area.

For instance, your local business school may not offer an MBA in Non-Profit Management, but there are several excellent programs available online. Similarly, if you want to get a bachelor's degree in, for instance, Medieval Church History, that choice may only be available to you online.

- You can study at almost any college, wherever it might be.

Perhaps you live in a rural area far from even a local community college, never mind a first-rank school. Or maybe your work requires you to travel often, making it difficult for you to pick up your dry-cleaning, let alone get to class on time each week.

Online education opens up the whole of academia to you. Schools across the United States from Stanford to Harvard, from Northwestern to Tulane, offer at least some of their classes online and in most cases it's possible to earn your college degree entirely online.

Or you can even study overseas, without leaving your home. There are online programs available in England, China, Russia, Australia, and dozens of other countries.

One note of caution, however. Whether you register at an American school or elsewhere, you should restrict yourself solely to schools that are accredited. If not you may find that all your hard work holds no value either to employers, or to graduate schools if you wish to continue your studies.

While there are some pitfalls attached to studying online, including the necessity to be very self-disciplined, on the whole distance learning offers huge advantages to adults returning to school.
About the Author
By deciding to earn an online college degree , you've joined an elite group of students who are positioning themselves for a bright and rewarding future. Good luck with your studies.
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