There are tons of online college degree programs out there these days, especially since COVID forced everyone to stay home for a couple of years. Online degrees can open up opportunities to people who need flexibility. You can study from anywhere and you engage with your course material when it suits you, even if that’s in the middle of the night.
But is going to college online really worth it? Yes, it can be. As long as you take your online classes from a reputable university, it’s just as good as going to school in person. In some ways, it can be better, because you’re able to learn at your own pace, and employers often think just as highly of degrees earned online as they do of degrees earned in person.
You Might Learn More Easily in an Online Program
Is it easier to learn in an online college program? It’s true that you won’t be able to take hands-on classes – if you want to go to medical school, you still need to do that in person. But many people find that it is easier to learn in an online format.
That’s because, when you take an in-person class, you are expected to absorb information and learn on the instructor’s schedule. When you take an online class, you can learn at your own pace, as long as you get your assignments in on time. You also have the benefit of pre-recorded lectures that you can watch over and over again or rewind if you miss something. If you have questions about the course material, you can bring them to your class discussion board. You can also talk to the professor in his or her virtual office hours, or make an appointment to meet with your professor over video chat at a time that works for both of you.
Employers Will Definitely Accept Your Online Degree
Will employers take a credential like an Early Childhood Administration certificate that you earned online seriously? Yes, while there are still some holdouts, most employers these days take online degrees and certificates very seriously. You’ll be seen as having initiative and drive to complete your degree online.
Employers are starting to care less about whether or not you’ve earned a specific degree and more about whether you have mastered the skills taught in that degree. Plenty of people skate through college with a C average and those people often don’t end up retaining all the skills that employers are looking for. While employers may require a degree, they’re also very interested in making sure that you actually learned the skills needed for the field. That’s why competency-based academic programs are getting more popular.
It Can Be Worth Going to College Online for the Flexibility Alone
If you’re not at a place in life where you can pick up and move to a college town and drop everything to attend classes on a strict schedule, then going to college online can be worth it just for the flexibility alone. If you’ve got kids or need to keep working to keep a roof over your head (or both), you can take your online college courses in your spare time, studying while the kids are asleep or on your lunch break at work.
Online College Can Be Cheaper Than In-Person College
If you’re looking to get a degree for as little as possible out of your pocket, you should consider going to school online. You might pay the same tuition and fees as in-person students, but you’ll save in other ways. You won’t have to pay room and board for a dorm room and a meal plan. You won’t have to pay the costs associated with commuting to campus every day. You won’t have to cough up the dough to move to a new city and put down a deposit on an apartment. You might even save a little on books by buying digital copies.
The Important Thing Is to Choose an Accredited School
The most important thing to remember about going to school online is that you should only consider going to a regionally accredited school. Regional accreditation shows that a regulatory body is holding your school to an external academic standard. It means that students who study at these schools learn the skills they need and get good jobs after graduation.
Is it really worth the time and effort to earn a college degree online? Yes, it is! Choose a good program from a regionally accredited school, work hard, and someday soon you’ll be able to live a better life.
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