Earning an online degree starts with choosing the degree program you want and then picking the school to attend. However this isn’t as easy as it looks. With the sheer number of schools online, it may take you days to get the information you need and the sign up process rolling.
The easiest way is to use a service like DegreesFinder.com, which can match you with schools that are right for your needs.
Online degrees are popular because they offer unsurpassed flexibility. There is no traveling to a physical classroom, no need to take time off from work and studying can happen at any time of the day or night.
Most online schools do not run on a traditional semester system, rather enrollment is ongoing and you can usually begin a course at any time of the year. Classes start as often as every four to six weeks.
Although each online school has a different process, most students will be enrolled in a small online class, often in groups of no more than 15 students. This provides maximum interaction with the instructor.
Classes run for approximately five to six weeks, and you’re expected to log on to the class website for at least five out of seven days. Students get regular assignments, read from textbooks and prepare papers or case studies. The instructor will usually post a short lecture and provide discussion questions.
During the week, students work on their own and have scheduled conferences online that provide for class discussions. Instructors are usually available by email to answer questions, and students use email to submit their assignments.
According to a Review of Online Learning Studies paper put out by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009, students who took all or part of their courses online performed better than average than those taking the same course through a traditional classroom setting.
In addition to the flexibility in time and travel that online learning provides, a diploma from an online school can show potential employers that you are technologically savvy and can use the Internet to its utmost advantage. Getting your degree online is not only convenient, but it can give you a valuable advantage in these competitive times.