We live in a busy, competitive world. We are not denizens of the world in which our parents came of age, for ours is much more demanding and even harrowing in many ways. No longer can an individual earn a high school diploma and reasonably expect that credential alone to propel him or her into a comfortable middle-class life.
In today’s competitive job market, a college education is almost a necessity. The catch, however, is that our current economy makes it difficult for an individual to delay their entrance into the workplace long enough to attend a traditional “brick-and-mortar” college and earn a degree that may create debt without guaranteeing the ability to pay off those student loans.
Fortunately, technology has advanced to a point where distance learning is no longer a cumbersome process with vague prospects. It is a growing industry that becomes more vital to the job market with each passing year. Like anything, however, the benefits of earning a college degree online are accompanied by certain disadvantages.
The flexible nature of online classes makes them suitable for adults who must work full-time while attending college. In most cases, online college courses costs less than traditional courses. A student need not leave his or her own home to attend classes, which reduces expenses such as gas and clothing and makes it easier to attend college while also raising children. The growth of this industry has lead to a competitive variety of degrees which may be pursued through distance learning.
Some employers have yet to accept online degrees as equal alternatives to their traditional counterparts. Attending college online means the student will miss out on a great deal of the peer networking opportunities and extracurricular activities which, in many cases, benefit the student who attends a traditional campus. Certain degrees, especially those which require a great deal of hands-on lab work, are not offered through distance learning. This is alleviated through cooperation with traditional colleges in some instances, but not always. Many online colleges format their course syllabi in a way that incorporates a large amount of writing when compared to traditional courses. This often serves as a means of determining a student’s grasp of material in the absence of a traditional classroom environment.
Earning a college degree is one of the most important factors in a person’s ability to create financial success and lead a more fulfilling life. The method of that pursuit, whether online or traditional, should be determined based on the individual’s needs, budget and schedule.
A valuable resource for anyone seeking a viable online college is http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. This government organization provides information concerning the accreditation of any post-secondary institution within the United States.