Distance learning degrees – learn while you earn
We all know the benefits that a college education can bring, but for many of us financial, family or geographical constraints often make this impossible. Perhaps you are chasing your next promotion, and want to gain an extra qualification without having to leave your job and take time out to study for it. For all these reasons, and many more, an increasing number of people are choosing to learn online.
Unlike a traditional college degree, a distance learning course can be tailored to run at your own pace, so that you can fit your studies around whatever commitments you already have. The fact that you can earn money or take care of your family while you study makes distance learning a realistic and affordable option.
Distance learning has moved on from the days when an online degree was seen as worth less than one from an on-campus university. With Ivy League schools such as Cornell, Columbia and Harvard all working to develop their eLearning provisions, distance learning degrees are gaining increasing respect as a perfectly legitimate way to learn in the 21st century.
What can I study?
Online learning courses cover the same subjects that would be available to you at an on-campus school. Subjects such as business, education, computer science and criminal justice are all popular online choices, but you can also gain qualifications for more creative or alternative careers such as interior design or yoga. Programs on offer cover everything from bachelor’s, masters and associate degrees to doctorates and certificate programs.
Which provider should I choose?
Courses offered by different providers will vary enormously, so it is important to do your research, just as you would for any university or college. Most importantly, make sure that the institution you choose is properly accredited. This ensures that prospective employers will recognise your course and guarantees you that the tutors and resources available meet certain standards. Also check the school’s record for past graduates and current students, as this can give a good indication of its quality.
How will I learn?
Every online course will have its own methods of tuition, and while these courses tend to be much more flexible than traditional degrees, it is still important to do your research and make sure you choose the right one for you. Questions to ask yourself include:
|Do I need the support from a tutor or classmates on a regular basis or am I happier working by myself?|
|Am I the kind of person who needs deadlines to get things done, or would I prefer a course when I can hand in assignments in my own time?|
|What kind of learner am I? If you know you learn best by hearing and doing rather than just reading, then look for courses that offer multimedia resources to help you learn.|
What’s the next step?
Use the resources on this page to start researching how a distance learning course could help kick-start your career and achieve your potential.