When to go for an Online Degree Program

With the cost of living, rising tuition, and rampant unemployment the prospect of quitting work to go back to school is looking less and less attractive. Because of this there are a lot more online programs available nowadays that people can fit in around their existing schedules. But after it’s all done, can these folks find work in their new field? While there’s still a bias against online education, the education itself is just fine. In order to make sure that you get the full benefit of that education it helps to take a few precautionary steps when you’re making your plan before you ever get started.


Check Out The Program

Before you take any classes, do your research on your chosen institution. Avoid small for-profit colleges, or any program that doesn’t offer a certificate that’s recognized industry-wide upon completion. Your best bed should be online programs that are housed in larger universities that have physical campuses. While these tend to be more expensive, they also generally have the most clout because they’re instantly recognizable. A degree in healthcare administration from the University of Illinois is going to get you a lot further than a piece of paper from Stevens Henager.


Do Credits Transfer?

When looking into your program it’s important to see if other universities accept transfer credits from your intended program. Do this by inquiring with the other institution rather than the one you intent to attend. Checking this not only ensures that you can switch to a more traditional model if you want, it also serves as an additional quality control mechanism. If other universities don’t accept your online credits, then they might not be worth very much.


Will You Work Online?

The bias against online education doesn’t have it’s claws stuck quite as deeply in fields that exist entirely online. IT professionals, programmers, software developers, and graphic artists rely more on their ability to demonstrate their skills than their degrees. With businesses all over the world desperately looking for cybersecurity experts formal qualifications become less important than technical skills.


Is it a High Demand Field?

In that vein, it’s always a good idea to go into a field that’s rapidly growing and understaffed. That includes lucrative fields like cybersecurity as well as more accessible things like nursing that only require a year of study before you can begin capitalizing on your skills. High demand fields are perfect for online students because they not only provide more job opportunities, but because they create a feedback loop where recruiters are repeatedly hiring online degree holders, which helps to acclimate them to see online education as the new normal.


Micha writes about career development, personal finance, education, and language.

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When to go for an Online Degree Program