Thursday, March 31, 2011

Maximizing Your Options with an Online Degree

By Eileen Brand

According to statistics from the Sloan Consortium, a nonprofit organization that provides institutional and professional leadership for the online higher educational community, in the year 2006, there were approximately 3.5 million online students. The Sloan Consortium seeks to help educational institutions and educators enhance online education quality and scope. Its members include private educational institutions, and public educational institutions, such as universities, colleges, and community colleges. Sloan archives a directory of accredited educational programs for those seeking certificates and online degrees across a spectrum of disciplines around the world.

Student utilizes the online educational system for a variety of reasons. Students may find the system provides for a smoother transition within or outside of their occupation. Internet based education ensures your hold onto your current employment, and provides privacy that you are actively working on a career change. An internet based educational program can also allow you to retain mobility and independence. Students can be in Montreal sipping coffee at a cafe or in Mysore, India accessing your online assignments between yoga sessions. You might be accessing your class during lunch at your current job.

Distance education allows you to not only retain your career accomplishments and employment, but it can also allow you to retain your residential location. Additionally, if a student is already taking a classroom based course, or another internet based course, you can still shop around for other online courses. The courses you want might not be otherwise available except online, the online course content might be better, different, cheaper, a different duration, or offering more credit.

Online education can also be encouragingly convenient, as well as self paced. Rather than driving across town, leaving your city or state, a student can easily access their educational objectives online. This translates into even bigger savings because there is no need to spend money on gas. The wear and tear on your car goes down. The time spent on travel becomes non-existent. You can use the time to complete your current classes, take more classes, and complete your education goals faster. Long distance education can become a cost effective, efficient, time saving strategy that is environmentally friendly.

Classes taken via the internet can be as expensive as or more affordable than traditional classes. Students can comparison shop among internet-based accredited institutions as well as their local educational institutions to get the best match in quality and cost. In today's economy, saving time and saving money while gaining an edge on competition are part of smart career strategies.

Many institutions welcome transferring online courses, certifications and degrees into their own degree programs. Perhaps you decide to obtain your bachelor degree from an online program and switch to internet based education for advanced education, or vice versa. These online courses and credentials carry weight on resumes, opening doors to potential employment opportunities. Employers are not remiss in giving credit to students who demonstrate performance and cost efficiency, recognizing that these are business principles for success.

Online classes can steer you into a promising career. Among career paths that frequently show up on occupational outlook surveys teachers and information technology professionals. A handful of classes may be all you need to make the transition into teaching certification or information technology. Educational levels range from specific skill sets to certification to online degrees from associate degrees to doctoral degrees. For those prospective students, the Sloan Consortium is one resource that can guide your career path to quality higher education partners.

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