Some benefits of an online degree program include:
- Flexibility of working at your own pace
- Choosing a program from any school (subject to availability)
- Working alongside study
While an online degree program may not be the first choice for many people, it is great for those who are working. Those individuals who are looking for career advancement can opt for an online degree given that they can manage the increased work load of assignments and self-study. For young high school grads, there may be some things to consider before choosing an online degree program:
The first thing to be clear upon is whether you are responsible and focused to opt for an online degree. Online programs require self study and meeting assignment deadlines. You need to be sure that you can study by yourself and meet the assigned deadlines, without having campus influence to motivate you in doing so. Procrastination and lack of motivation will kill your online degree.
Are you an avid reader? If yes, proceed to tick that off in favor of an online program. If you cannot read lectures or understand them through videos, it may not be for you. You should also keep in mind that acquiring a degree online would require you to connect with other students or your professors through email. You should be really comfortable in using the computer and internet for communication and research. You may also be required to group online with fellow students through video chat to work on projects etc.
Consider the environment at home. Will you be able to devote time towards your study being at home? Will your folks be supportive or there will be too much distraction? Do you have a working computer in good condition and a high speed internet? You should also be self-sufficient in using the computers resources as all your lectures will be online in the university database.
Consider Financial Options
Another thing to consider knows how you will meet your finances. There are limited choices for financial aid in online programs. Student loans are usually given at higher interest rates as compared to getting one for the conventional degree program. There is also limited access to grants, work study and certain other financial aid in online degree programs.
Find Accredited Online Degrees
Carry out thorough research on the online degree that you would like to pursue. Find its credibility and the colleges which are offering it. Understand the course requirements and work load, thus evaluating if you would be comfortable in managing it on your own. Also consider if the degree that you want to choose will provide same or better value in acquiring it online. For example, if it requires practical coursework or exposure how that would be accomplished? How do employers in your chosen field of study view an online degree?
While online degree programs provide many benefits and allow more flexible learning it does have its drawbacks. Online study means that there is no face-to-face with your professor and any questions that you may have will take time to answer. From the viewpoint of employers, many consider it okay to have earned your degree online but there are also those who disregard it. It is advisable that you consider all options with an open mind and thorough research. Talk to your counselor and evaluate all your options. Keep in mind your preferences and limitations of choosing an online degree program and affiliate yourself with an accredited program if you wish to do so.