At one time, online education was a no-go because how would we even manage without textbooks, chairs, a board, and whatnot! Nevertheless, look at us now; we include the term “ONLINE” in almost every aspect of our lives. We are so content that if brushing your teeth online was an option, some of us would go crazy with that advantage!
For a moment, let’s rewind.
In the past, earning a degree meant attending classes in-person, which relentlessly posed challenges for those with complicated schedules or candidates who had to shuffle between jobs and education. Thankfully, today, technology has us saying, “We’re glad you came.” Now, it is easier than ever to discover a degree program that provides the flexibility you desire, whether through online learning, in-person classes, or a blend of both.
How to Choose Your Online Degree?
Today, you can earn an online degree in anything from history to business, and not to mention, these virtual programs offer commendable education. The problem? With so many programs on your reach, how do you choose the best online degree?
Don’t stress on it; take a breather. These tips will help you pick an online degree that’ll drive your passion.
Recall The Subjects You Liked in High School
What sparked your interests in high school will definitely give you a clue to what you will like in college. Make three separate lists of your high school courses – topics you loved, topics that bored you, and topics that made you ponder. You can scratch anything boring from the list, but the other two sections can help you narrow your choices into one.
It is vital to remember that choosing a major means you have to “put your back into it.” Also, it is a slow process. It takes careful consideration. At the same time, you cannot compare choosing a major with choosing a career. Moreover, you have plenty of options, such as political science, humanities, English, and when you’ve completed your bachelor’s, you can apply for higher studies, such as an online MSN. Therefore, choose wisely.
Do a little Career Research
Just because you’re a fan of doodling and painting doesn’t mean it will make for an excellent career. Our hobbies often contradict our career choices. Therefore, it’s better to do some career research to discover what jobs are available in the fields you love.
For instance, if you enjoy writing but don’t want to pursue a freelancing career after graduation, why not go for a major in communications? You will still have the writing prospect, but you will also expand your horizon into areas like advertising, marketing, and content creation for digital platforms.
Moving towards the Essentials: Authorize the Program’s Accreditation
After choosing a subject, think for a second, is the degree program accredited?
To ensure you are getting a top-notch education, make sure the program you pick is facilitated with proper accreditation. Why is this important? Some employers recruit graduates from accredited institutions only, and other fields demand graduation from an accredited program to be eligible for taking licensing exams. Other than that, regionally accredited educational institutions must comply with multiple requirements; hence it is essential to choose an accredited program.
Look at the Degree Requirements
Some programs endorse “online degrees” where only major-centered courses, not the general courses, are offered online. Additionally, other programs may require you to visit campus at the end or beginning of the programs, whereas other programs are entirely online.
To avoid this hustle, find out what degree requirements can be satisfied online and which cannot.
Graduation, Job Placement, and Retention
How long will it take a learner to graduate from the program? What’s the program’s retention rate? Can the institution offer insight into job placement proportions?
Suppose a significant number of students enrolled in the program are leaving it. In that case, it is a potential red flag in the program’s quality, engagement, or any other factor decisive for student success. Like retention rate, graduation time is a telling factor in outlining your chances of acing an online program. To satisfy your jitters, require the data that validates the post-graduation success of candidates. Data on graduates who found decent employment resulting from their online degrees will determine if companies/employers value the program.
Learn about Technical Support
We’ve all experienced a point when the software or a website crashes your computer or when a favorite video won’t buffer. Ask if there is any technical assistance available if you can’t access a course, post homework, or post comments to the course’s message board.
Always remember to compare costs to determine the perfect return on your investment. Not all expensive online degrees offer the employment and learning outcomes you’re seeking. Similarly, not all low-cost degrees are bogus. Some degrees are available under $10,000 tuition and are among the most reasonable and reliable.
Gauge the Quality of the Curriculum
Lastly, consider your learning ethics; how and what are you planning to learn. If you are still struggling to choose a major, take the time to compare and explore program descriptions, attributes of the degrees you prefer, and course listings. Search for application gears to ensure that the program is not merely for static feeding of content but for dynamic, active participation in producing new knowledge.
Virtual labs, as an example, offer candidates an opportunity to test and apply their knowledge as they progress. Collaborative projects and discussion forums enable learners to share, build, and connect on their knowledge, which improves the learning experience. This hands-on factor of the curriculum allows students to apply their skills to discover real-world solutions and be different from others in their field.
By now, you must be feeling poised about your degree choice – that’s great! While the transfer of online degrees differs from that of on-campus degrees, the results of learning and quality of programs should be the same. Since online education is continually growing, more options are now available.
It is necessary to assess your options carefully to make a gratifying choice. When you complete your degree, you should walk away with the same competencies and learning outcomes as with an offline degree.