Exploring the World of Online College Degrees

With the busy and hectic schedules of individuals around the globe, more and more people are warming up to the idea of pursuing their education from via higher education institutions that offer online college degrees.

The number of people that will attend virtual classes is said to reach a figure close to one million.

But is online distance learning right for you?

The Key Elements of Online Distance Learning

While some students settle into a campus dorm, meet with professors in a classroom setting, take tests in front of a proctor, and participate in group debates, online distance learning students approach their schooling in a different manner.

They may connect to the Internet to obtain pre-taped lectures, learn from tutorials, engage in collaborative online chat discussions, participate in simulations and deliver online presentations.

Depending on the online classes you take, the way coursework is submitted will vary.

While traditional schooling deals with handing papers into a professor, taking group tests, or presenting research findings in front of a classroom, students seeking online degrees may email term papers, submit assignments to websites, and videotape presentations.

The Advantages of Online Learning

As one contemplates the advantages associated with online college degrees, the convenient and flexible nature of distance learning are the main reasons why students flock to the Internet for their studies.

It is these factors that have led this form of learning to become an increasingly popular educational structure.

Students pursuing a college degree over the Internet are faced with the opportunity to learn without encountering the boundaries that time and location hold.

There is no worrying if you will make your 8am statistics class or be able to drive through a snowstorm to reach a required lecture on campus.

Online learning also allows students to learn at their own pace and at any location that offers an Internet connection.

When obtaining an online education, students often enjoy the chance to learn by the style that best complements their nature.

For some, the dialogue between faculty and student is enhanced through as communication may take place in an arena that provides a more comfortable environment for asking questions and holding discussion.

Others take pleasure in their online learning environment because it allows them to hold onto day jobs they may already have, while new and at-home mothers are able to tend to their little ones while taking college courses.

The benefits for each student will vary in importance.

For the most part, students are accountable for the way they manage their time, keep to schedules, and complete their required work.

Overall, the entire process involving online college degrees permits students to exercise a high level of self-direction, freedom, and responsibility.

The Benefits Of Online Education

The idea of online education was scoffed at not so many years ago. But these days both educational institutions and prospective students are taking online education seriously.

The first universities to offer accredited online degrees began appearing back in the 1990s. More often than not, these groundbreaking schools were looked down upon by the “academic elite,” and considered to be somehow “shady” or disreputable. But a lot has certainly changed since then, and these days even the most prestigious Ivy League universities are offering online classes, and sometimes, a complete online curriculum for distance learning.

If you’ve wondered how online education works, or if it would be a good alternative for you, read on to get a sense of the online learning experience and what it means to be a “virtual student.”

Obviously the biggest difference between online education and attending an actual university is that it is not necessary to be in any particular location to study. This means that much of the social aspect of going to college is removed from the online education experience. But depending on your point of view, this could actually be a very good thing. It makes it possible to bypass a lot of the peer pressure and “popularity contests” that many college cultures have become inundated with.

If you are an older student — and by older, I mean over 24 — you will probably find much of the petty jostling for popularity and status to be a real turnoff anyway. That’s why online education can be a great option for returning students, or those who are a little more mature.

One of the biggest questions prospective students have about online education is how the virtual classroom actually works. While there are similarities between the virtual classrooms used in online education, and the brick and mortar classrooms of a traditional university, there are striking differences as well.

For example, if you attend a physical campus you will enter the classroom and attend a certain course at a certain time that will be designated to last between one and three hours on average. The instructor of the course will likely lecture for the majority of this time, but there may also be some student participation. At the end of the class the instructor may assign homework or inform students of upcoming quizzes.

But in a virtual classroom the structure is much more open, and there is a far greater degree of flexibility in the lesson plans. For example, normally you may log into your virtual class at any time, where you will listen, read and watch videos covering the course material. As a general rule, you may take as much time as you like to go over the material and complete any assignments given. While your course instructor will normally be available to ask questions via real-time online chat, e-mail or instant messaging, they will not monitor your progress or concern themselves with your work habits.

This means that with online education the student has far greater responsibility for their own learning. No one will babysit you, or ensure that you are doing the required work; it is simply presented to you, and you are expected to be responsible for completing assignments and reviewing the information.

This kind of freedom and flexibility fits many people perfectly, but others — especially younger students — may crave the structure of traditional campus learning. If your time is important to you, and you are motivated enough to be responsible for yourself, online education could be a perfect fit for you.

Online Degrees – Get Informed Fast

Today the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize the Distance Education and Training Council as the only accrediting organization for distance learning institutions and all of the education programs that offer online degrees. Now there are even consortiums formed of universities, such as the Canadian Virtual University, which offers no courses or degrees, but simply acts as a portal for courses from 14 universities all across Canada. Online colleges, that are fully accredited, have earned a widely recognized form of university accreditation from one of six regional accreditation boards.

One survey found 55 percent of employers preferred traditional degrees over online degrees. In 1996, the University of Colorado at Denver in the US, expanded its metropolitan campus with the formation of CU Online, creating one of the first fully accredited online education programs offering online university degrees. Many people are earning a bachelor, masters or doctorate degree online in their field of interest whether it’s an online nursing degree they want or online education degree, online psychology degree, or even an online criminal justice degree. All without conforming to a traditional, time consuming schedule.

The term online degrees refers to college degrees (sometimes including high school diplomas and non-degree certificate programs) that can be earned primarily or entirely through the use of a computer connected to the Internet, rather than attending college in a traditional campus setting. Today, you can earn a bachelors degree, master’s degree or graduate degree online from a major university without ever having been in one of their classrooms. Some experts argue that degrees in certain fields are more accepted online than in others, while some programs are less suited for online-only schools.

Some of the types of online degrees available today include: associate degree, bachelor degree, master degree and doctorate degree online. Ask the institutions you’re considering for references. Its been reported that employers feel that an employee receiving an online education degree compared favorably, in terms of knowledge learned, to someone with a resident degree.

Types of online degrees available today include: interior design degree online, online law degree, education online, engineering degree online, online paralegal degree, online computer science degree and online history degree. Now some of the types of degrees include: business degree online, online nursing degree, online education degree, online psychology degree, paralegal degree online, online computer science, online accounting degree, MBA degree online and online teaching degree. To determine whether you’d make a good online student ask yourself if you’re someone who gets things done ahead of time or puts them off until the very last minute.

You can research scholarships online but make sure to be aware of scholarship scams. Other types of online degrees also include: business administration degree online, online computer degree, online marketing degree, online biology degree, online doctoral degree, online degree, online IT degree, electrical engineering degree online, online graphic design, online animal behavior and online theology degree. Graduates of the online degree program will be a good source of recommendations and make sure to ask about anything they think you should be aware of.

There are many advantages to online learning or e-learning. And make sure you know that your online degree credits will be transferable into the college or university you plan to attend if you plan to transfer in the future; check and double-check with the counselor at that school. Keep in mind there are plenty of education loans available if you can’t locate grants or scholarships.

Obtaining Your Online Bachelor’s Degree

What is a bachelor’s degree? Commonly, it is known as the four year college degree. It is an undergraduate degree awarded for the completion of approximately 120 credits. These credits include the requirements taken for your major, general education requirements and electives. Currently, more people are choosing to obtain their bachelor’s degrees online instead of going the traditional on-campus route. If you have previously taken classes at a community college or have an associate’s degree, many accredited online colleges and universities will accept the transfer of up to sixty credits towards your degree.

While there are several types of bachelor’s degrees, including Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Economics among others, the two main types of online bachelor’s degrees are Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. You would receive a Bachelor of Arts if your area of focus were in the arts or humanities. Some examples include English, Communications, Music and History. A Bachelor of Science degree would require courses mostly in the science departments, like mathematical or physical sciences. You would receive a Bachelor of Science if you were studying for a career in fields such as Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics and Engineering.

Taking the first step towards acquiring your bachelor’s degree is taking the first step towards a better future. Most professions require you to have a bachelor’s degree. By taking the courses to earn your degree online, you are making a decision that is both convenient and economical. Get your four-year online bachelor’s degree in less time than it would take at an on-campus institution. You decide how many classes to take at a given time, whatever works best for you. Online schooling is about flexibility; schedule your classes around work and family time so you do not have to miss out on anything. Access your courses, complete assignments and study from any computer with an online connection. Registering for online classes will save you money compared to the costs of traditional campus-based schooling.

By receiving your online bachelor’s degree, you are increasing your career potential and opportunities for achievement. Open yourself up to new networking opportunities. Get the better job. Make more money. Be on the road to financial success. And if you so choose, with your online bachelor’s degree you can start on the path to a graduate degree and have even more doors open up for you. But in order to make that accomplishment, you need to start by enrolling in an accredited online college for your bachelor’s degree today.

Online Teaching Positions Create a Positive Academic Career Trajectory

The academic employment turmoil on today’s college and university campuses can be identified as a direct result of severely declining public education budgets that are needed to pay full time salaries for post-secondary instructors. Teachers still working on the traditional college and university campuses have a right to feel apathetic about their career trajectories. After all, there is real pain associated with declining faculty salaries and the benefits associated with them. While there is little hope of budgetary funds for public education increasing in the near term, there is an alternative available for clear-sighted academics with computers skills. To put a sharp point on this set of circumstances the act of searching for online teaching positions can cure academic apathy. This release from the despair of constantly worrying about the next round of teacher layoffs results as a growing awareness of the sheer number of online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs being developed constantly by post-secondary academic institutions. The popularity of online college degree programs is high among academic administrators that are sincerely worried about successfully meeting the educational needs of the swelling student populations at community colleges, universities and for-profit colleges.

The reason the administrators and department heads of traditional college and universities are so eager to offer online college courses to students instead of physical classrooms is because their jobs and their state incomes depend on continuing to operate the academic institutions with fewer dollars each year from the state. The cost of providing online degree programs that can be enrolled in by students quite familiar with digital media is much lower than maintaining and building college and university classrooms and the absence of students on traditional campuses means lower cost to maintain the campus grounds. All of this means that the chances to become an online professor and actually make a real living from teaching online are better than ever before in academic history.

For example, as more online college classes appear on the Internet, the greater the need for technically and academically qualified online adjunct instructors to incorporate them into an online teaching schedule. The individual with an earned graduate degree is a great candidate for online teaching as a career choice. For example, if a corporate employee with a master degree or Ph.D. wants to stay in front of the looming layoffs it would be a very good idea to start locating colleges and universities that have online bachelor degree programs needing academically qualified online instructors for a particular academic discipline. The prospective online instructor that learns to think more broadly about the subject area in which the graduate degree was earned might be surprised to identify online classes in a related discipline. This means that the aggressive online instructor can learn how to quickly identify online adjunct positions in related academic fields and take advantage of them.

Eventually, an online teaching schedule and the technical skills needed to coordinate the schedule will permit the alert educator to continue earning a real living despite ongoing industry and academic layoffs. Of course, the inherent mobility of teaching online college courses that can be accessed from any geographic location at any hour of the day or night is a perk, so to speak, that can be extremely beneficial as time goes on.

Many educators feel they have been left twisting in the wind, so to speak, as financial budgets for public education fall further than at any time in recent memory. Worse, there doesn’t seem to be any end to the budget cuts being visited each semester on teachers at every level of the academy. In order to dispel the unease associated with confusion as to why events on the traditional college and university campuses are occurring as they definitely are it is very important to grasp the emergence of distance education technology and its impact on the careers of academics that actually want to begin or continue providing academic instruction as a way to earn a decent living.

The simplicity of deploying online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs was first recognized by the for-profit colleges; now the traditional academic institutions are engaging this mature technology. This adoption of online college classes as an affordable engine for the distribution of academic instruction can be observed by the simple fact of every community college, state university, four-year state college and technical school providing at least some level of distance learning to their enrolled students. There can be no doubt that the popularity of online college degree programs is here to stay, so it is only a question of how educators with earned graduate degrees interact with them.

Of course, there are myriad anxieties inherent in being a participant in an academic employment sea change such as the transition from the physical college or university classroom to teaching online from a personal computer. For example, it may be discovered that a college instructor is uncomfortable working solely from a laptop computer all day. It may become evident that having to constantly evaluate the cost benefits of teaching online classes for a particular college and university is actually profitable, and if it is discovered not to be profitable for the online professor having to sustain an ongoing application process so that it will be possible to replace the non-profitable online course, at least if it is non-profitable form the online instructor’s point of view, as quickly as possible. Granted, there is a great deal of personal and professional freedom associated with teaching online for a living, but there needs to be some serious consideration to the parameters of deliberately constructing a full time online teaching schedule.

The intellectual imbalance being felt by many educators as the prospect of additional teacher layoffs in public education becomes manifest can be effectively corrected by online adjunct positions. The variety of online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs grows each academic year as practically every conceivable area of post-secondary academic study is offered in a digital form accessible from a personal computer. The simple reality is that distance education technology makes is easy and inexpensive for academic administrators to provide educational instruction to ballooning post-secondary student populations, and along with this increase in online college degree programs comes a dramatic increase in online adjunct positions for teachers with a master degree or doctorate and enough technical skill to access an online college class located on the Internet.

Now, it must be apprehended that distance education is the natural product of the universities and colleges themselves. The burden of paying tenure salaries and the associated benefits will welcome as long as there are sufficient funds to pay the required amount. However, as all college professors know all too well the administrators are constantly searching for ways to not pay any more than absolutely necessary to keep the professors teaching each day. As every academic now knows the development of the Internet and associated technologies are the result of a great amount of academic research carried out on physical post-secondary campuses. Obviously, the administrators recognized the cost efficiency of offering college and university students an opportunity to earn an online bachelor degree from their personal computers instead of having to occupy the physical classrooms. Once this cost savings became available the same administrators saw that it would be less expensive to use online adjunct instructors that teach from their personal computers instead of delivering instruction in a physical academic setting. This epiphany caused the furious move away from tenure-track and tenured academic positions and towards online adjunct instructors that could be hired and fired according to the number of students in online college courses.

Now that the transition from expensive tenured college teaching positions to cheap online professor positions is complete the educator working at the post-secondary level of public education can feel justified in making every effort to learn how to interact in a positive fashion with distance education technology, and this positive interact needs to be strictly defined as the ability to earn a decent living by teaching college and university students. The best way to start building an online teaching schedule and reduce the uncertainly of how to earn as living as an educator is to make multiple applications for online faculty positions in the faculty application sections of community college, for-profit school and state university websites. The effort to apply for enough online adjunct faculty positions is not something that can be done without focus and determination, but in the end the ability to earn a full time academic salary from a personal computer located in practically any spot on the globe is worth it.

The point put on this benefit of mobility cannot be too fine because the ability to determine for oneself where to work in invaluable in a period of time when there is little reason to believe that any physical academic institution will continue to function while experiencing deep, irrevocable budget cuts. To put this benefit in focus it would be good to imagine a situation where a college instructor teaching four of five physical college classes on a traditional university campus and is informed during the summer that there will be no classes offered for the coming semester. The instructor will be forced to move to another geographic location in order to secure academic employment as a college professor.

Many educators now find themselves without any income after years of teaching in a traditional academic setting. The reason for this is the deep cuts to public education budgets. These cuts are being made simply because the physical plant known as the academic campus and the classrooms on it is too expensive to continue maintaining in the future. Fortunately, distance education technology has matured to the point that it offers a viable alternative to spending dwindling budgetary funds on keeping the physical classrooms and the physical campuses maintained by allowing the distribution of educational instruction on the Internet. This ability to deploy new online college degree programs every academic semester also produces many new online teaching positions that can be compiled into an online teaching schedule that can generate a handsome amount of online adjunct income for teachers that have lost their traditional academic salaries.

The most productive search strategy for finding available online faculty positions is to start visiting the faculty application sections for post-secondary academic websites. It does require concentration and determination to land enough online college classes to teach each semester to produce a full time salary, but the good news is that the emergence of distance learning programs actually makes it possible to teach college students from a personal computer located practically anyplace on the globe. It goes without saying that it would first be necessary for the academic to secure employment on a physical campus before making the move because as expensive as moving is with employment on the horizon, the cost of moving without securing academic employment in advance is simply something that can be afforded by the ordinary college teacher.

It is important that academics do not disregard adjunct online teaching jobs if they wish to continue earning a living from the delivery of educational instruction. The teacher layoffs recently experienced as a result of the budget cuts to traditional public education is merely a harbinger of further academic unemployment on the traditional campus.

Obviously, an educator with an earned graduate degree, a master degree or doctorate, should be aware enough of the current financial landscape both inside and outside the academy to understand that the real problem with continuing to consider traditional education employment, acquiring a tenure-track positions that evolves after years of research into the treasured tenured position as a career path is the cost of maintaining the physical classrooms on the physical campuses. In response to the diminution of funds to actually operate the campus the administrators are deploying online college classes and online college degree programs as quickly as possible.

Distance learning technology is making that effort very successful, and for the academic the positive result of making large amounts of post-secondary instruction on the Internet is exponential growth of online instructor positions that simply did not exist a decade ago. The best way for an educator to take advantage of these relatively new online adjunct faculty positions is to use a personal computer to begin building an online teaching schedule populated with six to eight online college courses.

It is a serious mistake for any educator to think there is any way to avoid being part of an online faculty since the academic administrators have no ability to increase the number of full time tenured faculty positions in the traditional sense of the position. Educators with bachelor degrees may wonder if it is worth the expense and time to earn a master degree just in order to teach online for community colleges. The answer is certainly positive since the two-year post-secondary schools comprise a vast network of independent physical campuses. The necessary transformation from state employee at a public college or university into an academic entrepreneur that can grasp the online teaching opportunities at even the two-year school level of the academy is well worth developing as online college classes replace ever more physical classrooms as the setting for post-secondary education.