When I was a young school age kid growing up in a home of teacher parents it was only with ridicule that we would greet the often heard stories that soon the concept of traditional brick and mortar universities would be a bygone era. Universities would offer all courses online, virtual teachers would be the new future and the computer your medium of learning. You might even not be going to school or university to get your degree; it is just an internet connection away! How ridiculous and improbable it seemed then. Over years I have learnt never to smirk at any fiction or prediction, it’s only time and with someone’s efforts that anything imaginable can come true. Dream on!

Online Studies Beneficial for Working Professionals Stay at Home Mom and more…

For working professionals, to those seeking to reenter the workforce the online degrees provide an easy access to a wealth of information with the ease to attend “college” from the comfort of your home and of course the final goal – the possibility to get hired faster.

Online degrees now range from the basic certifications to 2 years or shorter masters programs and even doctoral programs – from a nursing degree to an MBA the schools are brimming with options and there are millions who can benefit from the right/beneficial program.

Since with choices comes the problems of making the right choice, it is always advisable to spend some time doing your research and asking those who have taken a similar course on their experience before talking to a sales rep if these universities.

The representatives are pretty smart in selling a box of donuts to someone looking for one pretzel so it is a good idea to research well on your own before contacting the online universities.

Extensive Research must go in before Decision

You must research on:

  • The reason for the higher education and the current demand for it
  • The reputation of the online university – how are the testimonials, how many have graduated recently , where have they been placed
  • Accredited or non-accredited universities – you can find out more about accreditation at this website
  • Certificate versus the degree programs which online programs will be most beneficial to you – it also depends on the time frame and monetary investment
  • Money – yes for sure a major factor to the final decision – how much can you afford and what are the funding/scholarship/loan options these online degree programs can offer
  • The course content – is it comprehensive enough for a degree program – compare with similar ones online and also check with the local universities on how much they charge for a similar program
  • Some of the online degree programs are not completely online – they might require you to be onsite for some exams or projects – is that something you can afford

Always prepare a list of questions to ask from the references you talk to or the sales reps of these universities.

Some of the most requested online programs are in these fields:

  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare
  • MHL Online (Masters of Healthcare Leadership)
  • Human Services
  • Humanities & Sciences
  • IT & Computer Science
  • Law & Paralegal
  • MBA
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Social Work

And if you are wondering how the employers view the online degrees when recruiting – you got to see this recent SHRM report:

More than one-third of organizations (34%) reported that job candidates who have obtained their degrees online were viewed as favorably as job applicants with traditional degrees (i.e., brick-and-mortar). 79% of organizations indicated that they had hired a job applicant with an online degree in the last 12 months.

Source: http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Articles/Pages/HiringPracticesandAttitudes.aspx

And with time we will only see better and interesting options online – it’s time to retrain and time to get an online degree!