MasterMind Blog on Parenting, Education & Tech

The Growth of Online Degree Programs – Options to Traditional Learning

It has never been easier to go to college. Instead of having to enroll in a college or university, sometimes outside of your home area, students have the option of attending higher education classes online. With the ease of attending online college or university courses, it’s no wonder there has been growth of online degree programs. There are other reasons for this growth as well.

The numbers of online students, or E-students, have continued to increase in recent years with some statistics stating that online students have grown from 49% in 2003 to 56% in 2005. It is believed that one in ten students currently attending college does so online, with that number expected to continue to increase.

Advantages of Online Degree Programs

One great thing about online degree programs is you don’t have to actually be located anywhere specific to enroll. With online degree programs, you can attend any college you like from home, as long as they offer an online degree program. In fact, you could attend several different colleges or universities at once, if you have the time and the funds to do so.

Another reason why distance learning degrees are so popular is the convenience of learning from home. You never have to attend a long, boring, dry lecture by a professor in a hot, stuffy, crowded room. You never even have to step foot onto the physical campus, you never have to attend a single class, or any other required assemblies required by on-campus students.

Financially it is often cheaper to attend online courses. You need not worry about room and board fees. In fact, in many cases, the online costs include all materials and textbooks required for the course rather than having to pay for each course’s books separately. Get ready to save a bit of money.

Do you need assistance paying for an online degree? Financial aid is available for students in the form of scholarships, Pell grants, and student loans. Contact the Student Financial Aid department at your school of choice to find out what programs are available to online students.

Flexibility is another benefit for attending classes online. You can access course work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. No need to be concerned about missing class, you can take them when they fit your schedule. If you have a PC and Internet access you’re golden. You can also listen to the course lectures over in case you’ve missed something.

E-education Might Be Right What You Need

After you’ve completed your degree, check with the college or university to see if they have a career services center to help you get a job in your new profession. In many cases the school will help you obtain a job, although there may be additional costs associated with this service.

One can study just about anything online, from nursing to psychology and criminal justice. If this is the case, the faculty and staff will be up-to-date on current market trends. They can more easily adjust curriculum to match current trends which could give those students a leg up on other students entering the job market at the same time.

Unlike traditional colleges and universities, online degree programs often use faculty that have real-life work experience in relation to the subjects they’re teaching. You could pursue an online psychology or online nursing degree. Are you interested in banking? One of your instructors may be a vice-president of a bank. Is Criminal Justice more your style? What student wouldn’t like to be taught the tricks of the trade by someone who’s actually apprehended a felon rather than just read about it in books.

True, these reasons aren’t the only ones that a student considering an online degree program might use to help them decide whether this method of education is for them. However, these aspects are important ones to think about along with finding answers to your own questions. Take the time to do research online degree programs you’re interested in and then take the step into the world of E-education. You might be surprised to see how well it fits your life.