April 16, 2014

Online College Classes Gaining Traction

With unemployment figures remaining stagnant at 9.1 percent and not showing signs of budging, people are considering alternative approaches to improve their ability to get a job. Education seems to be a major factor in the hiring process and has been sited as a common reason that can make or break a person’s candidacy for a position. This has led to a boom in the education industry and has created new markets in the world of online education.

People are increasing the ways in which they interact with technology and the same seems to be the case for education. CNBC recently reported that top online college classes and degrees, once viewed with a certain level of stigma, are becoming more widely accepted in the workplace. Before online degrees brought with them little respect, however, as more people are coming from accredited online universities employers are starting to take notice. Some argue that the success of the online education field has been largely due to the recession, but regardless of the reason, online schooling is taking off.

The reasons that online colleges are gaining such momentum are largely due to flexibility and economics. The cost of going to a traditional four year college can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. With online programs, you don’t have nearly the same level of cost. This is because a traditional university isn’t just charging you for the class. They have to pay for buildings, heating/cooling, maintenance and upkeep, and many other things. With online colleges, many of the infrastructure costs are limited to salaries and servers. It’s a low cost option for a high level degree that is attractive to people that are acutely aware of how tight money is right now.

The majority of individuals seeking online degrees are also older. The flexibility of these classes allows them to take care of their responsibilities and jobs while pursuing a degree. You don’t have to leave your home or your children. You can log on from anywhere and attend class. People also save on gas and other food and transportation costs which has made online schooling the most economical decision. It’s not just new schools that are cropping up can competing, but well-known institutions with established reputations are taking a concentrated effort in developing their online degree programs.

The effort to expand online resources by universities has created an ever expanding market for diverse programs, but the quality of education is much the same. Many are worried that the quality of education is somehow lacking. This is a assumption on the part of opponents of these degrees that imply that there are more lax policies in place for online schools. These online programs, in fact, must go through the exact same accreditation process as their traditional counterparts. This is a part of a system that’s been set in place to control the quality of education that people are receiving and closely monitors the effectiveness of the material, instructors, and effectiveness.

If you’re interested in pursuing an online degree for any of these reasons, you should know that the application process is the same as a regular college. You will still need a high school diploma or a GED, as well as standardized testing scores in order to apply. If any online college tells you that this isn’t necessary, then it should be a huge red flag. Before writing any checks or enrolling in any courses, you should go online and check to see if they’re an accredited institution. If they have a good program, it could be the answer to your employment woes. You might find that an online program is the happy alternative that will meet your needs for education and improved potential.

Comments

  1. Lee — Great to hear about the increase in enrollments for online degree programs! Not completely unexpected, as it’s been trending for some time. I read your post and agree with all you say, but want to ask: Do you think the for-profit institutions that are pushing people to enroll and use their military education benefits is also a factor? What do you think of the practice of “selling” education — especially to those who could end up financially overextended? Yes, online learning is often more affordable than brick-and-mortar classes, but they can still be very expensive (last I looked, the Univ of Phoenix was easily $50,000) — and given how hard it is for people to make ends meet, this will cut into their family budgets pretty deeply. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this — and fellow eLearning 3.0 readers :)

Speak Your Mind

*