Online degrees provoke opposing sentiments in people. Some appreciate the convenience and flexibility of these learning opportunities. Others believe that they’re less reputable than campus-based programs.
If you’re already working or you have family responsibilities, going to college in the traditional sense may be impossible. Should you choose an online program in this instance? Will it give you all of the important skills, will it help for improving your earnings? The answers to these questions depend on several key factors.
The Social Perception of Online Learning Opportunities
In the past, online degrees got a predominantly negative reception. The manner in which these learning opportunities are viewed, however, is starting to change. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that employers have started to warm up to online education (in comparison to their perceptions 10 years ago).
According to a 2010 survey that polled HR managers, nearly 50 per cent of the surveyed professionals said that when a hiring decision had to be made between two similar candidates, the type of school they went to (online or campus-based) wouldn’t make any difference.
Of all the professionals questioned, 79 per cent said that they have already hired at least one person that has an online degree. Whether an online degree will help you get hired or not will depend on the industry and the position that you’re applying for. There are still some disciplines that are quite conservative and that view a campus-based program more favourably.
It Depends on the University’s Reputation
The title of this article is actually a gross generalisation because online learning opportunities aren’t created equal. Whether an online degree will improve your earnings is going to depend on the reputation of the university.
PayScale.com has worked on an interesting report, showing just how much different graduates earn. The study focuses on both traditional and online programs provided by the respective universities.
Online education isn’t something futuristic, it’s already here. Research suggests that nearly 86 per cent of the colleges in the
So, What does It Take to Choose the Best Online Program?
To get a degree that will increase your earnings, you’ll have to pick the right university. Spending enough time on doing research and comparing curricula will be vital for enjoying the professional opportunities that you deserve.
The accreditation is the first and the most obvious characteristic to examine. The websites of universities should have this information displayed clearly. Apart from making sure that the college has accreditation, do a bit of research about the accrediting institution and its authority.
Next, take a look at the curriculum and the credit requirements. The credits should be transferable to another college, if you decide to change the university midway. When it comes to exploring the curriculum, things will get a bit more complicated.
In essence, the curriculum will give you an outline of the disciplines and the skills you’re going to take a deeper look at. Modern, in-depth curricula are the ones that will give you competitive advantage on the professional market. To get a better idea, take a look at several different curricula. See what they have in common and where they differ. These variations are the ones that will help you determine what program is best suited to your individual needs.
University websites should also feature information about the experience and the qualifications of the faculty members. It’s best to enroll in classes that have experienced instructors. Experience should come both in the respective field and in online teaching. Faculty members that haven’t thought online classes in the past will definitely be a bit clueless about the best way to organize the learning activities and to hold interactive sessions with students.
So, to answer the question – can online degrees really help improve your earnings? The simple answer is yes. We live in a rapidly changing world and the perception of e-learning is transforming. To enjoy the best opportunity, however, you will have to pick the right college. Going for the most inexpensive learning option isn’t always going to pay off in terms of professional growth. Some more expensive online colleges give their students a much higher ROI in the years to come.