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Online College Degree

Studying on campus, when a student graduates from a university or a college, does he only acquire a degree - a piece of paper that could be a ticket to many job openings? No, the student definitely earns more than the precious piece of paper. Live interactions with students from diverse educational streams, students from different races and cultures to exchange and assimilate ideas through debates and seminars, as well as access to the college library and research materials are equally valuable things that prepare a student for embarking on a job hunt mission.

Definitely, there is no complete substitute for campus-based education in traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms. However, not every one is so lucky to study as a full time regular on-campus student. Thousands of working professionals, part time workers, senior citizens, homemakers and even students cannot be physically present in a classroom to learn. The reasons can be as varied as possible ranging from lack of time to family commitments. Also in the job market place, these days' employers increasingly prefer people with college degrees. People, who are already in jobs, may need to add degrees to their resumes for coveted promotions.

There is no cause for despair. Those who love education and wish to continue learning to further their careers can take heart in the fact there are a number of colleges helping people earn degrees by setting up online (virtual) classrooms. Thanks to the strides made by technology, libraries are accessible online. Lectures and tutorials take place online. While the down side of pursuing online degrees could be loneliness, requirement of strong self-discipline and the absence of real human touch to education, the positives are too strong to be ignored. A virtual classroom enables a professor and student to get in touch anytime they are online. A common platform makes it easier to access announcements, resources, student bulletin boards and forums. However, physical absence of a knowledge giver is not denied in online education but nothing can stop it from getting livelier by including small groups or entire class for live chats and conferences.

There has been a steady rise in the number students opting for online degree courses. In fact the demand for online education was so high that the Congress passed a $39.5 billion budget package recently that repealed the '50-50' provision. A 50-50 provision meant that colleges and vocational schools should have at least 50% of their courses in traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms. Now that is gone. That means there will be more colleges catering to the growing number of online students. With the passage of the bill, securing of a loan to further online education has become easier as the Government is willing to provide loans. Earlier only private agencies funded online education programs for students, which required the student to prove credit worthiness, and the interest rate was too high. Either the student opted for a loan or took a job to finance their online education.

Online college degree programs can be earned at Associate, Baccalaureate, Masters and even Doctorate level. Professional Certificate Programs and Continuing Education Units are also covered under online college degree programs by many institutions providing online education. An Associate degree program would require students to pass 60 credit hours and the course usually takes two years of full time enrollment to complete. Baccalaureate or Bachelor's degree program requires 120 credit hours and around 4/5 years of full time enrollment to complete the course. A Masters Degree program is a post Baccalaureate program, the duration of which depends upon the subject chosen. A Doctorate program requires a Master's qualification and a strong research oriented interest. A dissertation based on real research is an essential requirement of a Doctorate program.

As far as subjects are concerned, almost all subjects are covered under online learning. From Business to Information Technology, online college degrees are offered in nearly all subjects except a few like medicine.

It may be a little tougher in terms of discipline and balancing a job or other household obligations to study for an online college degree. The tough part is off set by the comfort of studying from home and at your own pace. Online college degrees are going to be more in demand as the twin demands for qualified people and people willing to learn from home are increasing.

 
 
   
 
The information on this site is believed to be correct but is provided on an "As Is" basis. No warranty of any kind is given with respect to the content of this website. Most data is sourced from New York State Department of Education.

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