Online Degrees: Increasing Popularity and CredibilityIf there’s one thing that the Great Recession has taught us, it’s the...
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Online Degrees: Increasing Popularity and Credibility


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The article ‘Online Degrees: Increasing Popularity and Credibility’ furnishes students with ample understanding of online degrees and its benefits. It also talks about increased popularity of online degree courses and various in-demand career options that are open to professionals.

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Online Degrees: Increasing Popularity and Credibility

  1. 1. Online Degrees: Increasing Popularity and CredibilityIf there’s one thing that the Great Recession has taught us, it’s the fact that a good education isvalued even during the toughest of times. While some may question the wisdom in investing in acollege education in these recessionary times, statistics reveal that the jobless rate for peoplewith a Bachelor’s degree stands at half of the overall jobless rate in the country. If that’s not areason enough to open your eyes to the growing reality that education is your most potentweapon against economic downturn, then nothing will.Unfortunately, many of us may find it difficult to get a college degree due to a variety of reasons.Financial responsibilities, domestic circumstances or lack of funds could pose barriers to acollege education. For such people, online degree programs are a huge bonus.Online degree programs are gaining popularity not just with working professionals, at-homemothers, and single parents, but it’s fast becoming the chosen mode of higher education for manyfull time students as well. Sloan Consortium, an organization focused on improving the standardsof distance education in the country, released a report claiming that 3.2 million students took atleast one online course during 2005.Keeping pace with the times and to meet the growing demand, many international universities arenow offering online degree programs. In fact, according to the National Center for EducationStatistics, 66 percent of the Title IV (eligible for Federal Student Aid) degree-grantingpostsecondary institutions offered distance education courses in the academic year 2006-07.So, why have more and more students started to prefer online degree programs? The reasonsare many. These courses are often self-paced and provide students the flexibility to devise theirown schedules, which works well for those who have jobs or families to care for. Since thestudents can access the learning resources from home, they are not bound by geographiclimitations. Online degree programs are naturally much cheaper than their traditional, on-campusversions and the courses available range from diplomas and certificates to higher degrees suchas Bachelor’s, Master’s, and even a Ph.D. Moreover, many universities offer financial aid todeserving students.However, one niggling question that remains in the hearts and mind of those armed with anonline degree program is their market value. Perception about online degrees has definitelychanged for the better over time. According to a report released by Sloan Consortium, thepercentage of academic leaders who rated learning outcomes in online education as the same orsuperior to those in face-to-face increased from 57 percent in 2003 to 62 percent in 2006. Asurvey by Distance Education and Training Council revealed that 70 percent of corporatesupervisors rated online or distance degrees just as valuable as or more valuable than traditionaldegrees in the same field. However, one must consider the fact that some online degrees aremore readily embraced by employers than others. Among these are degrees in healthcare,business, and technology.With changing perception and growing acceptance of online degrees, the world is yours toconquer. All you need to do is make sure you earn the degree from a university of repute andavoid dubious institutes or “diploma mills” that offer fake degrees at a cost.