Best Online Colleges
If you're considering getting an online degree, you have plenty of options. There are thousands of online colleges on the Web, each of them promising that a life-changing education is right at your fingertips; all you have to do is click the mouse. You can earn an online degree in almost any discipline, from nursing to business, from some of the best online colleges. In fact, an online education eliminates many of the obstacles that prevent some students from pursuing a traditional, campus-based college degree.
While online education has a lot to offer, it's important to consider whether online education is right for you. Even the best online colleges aren't for everyone. Here are a few things to consider if you're thinking about getting an online degree:
- Lifestyle. Are you a parent or a working professional? If so, earning an online degree could be a great option to help you balance your education without disrupting your other responsibilities. Many online courses can be completed in the evenings and on weekends, allowing you to continue working and/or raising a family. In addition, without set class times or in-person appearances required, you won't have to worry about commuting to a campus at a set time each week to attend class.
- Goals. What are you educational and career goals? While there are plenty of degree choices available online, some subjects may not translate well to online formats, or you may not be as accustomed to learning without hands-on participation. For example, some students majoring in music, laboratory sciences, or fine arts may find it difficult to complete their education completely online without in-person interaction for lab work, musical evaluation, and studio time. However, some degree programs in fields like these offer the best of both worlds through hybrid programs with on-campus activities, labs, and classes. But before pursuing an online degree, consider whether online learning is practical for your chosen field and how well you'd do with independent learning.
- Discipline and Time Management. One of the main benefits of an online degree is self-pacing and flexible scheduling. However, some students in online programs never complete their degrees as a result of this flexibility. To succeed in an online program, you'll need discipline and time management skills to stay motivated and not fall behind in the program. Some students need a set schedule with hard deadlines. If this describes you, an on-campus program may be a better choice for you. But if you excel in a self-paced environment, online education is a great option as long as you stay on task.
- Program Quality. Program quality is the main concern for both students and employers when it comes to online education. Like with traditional, campus programs, you should research your schools of choice before deciding on which one to enroll in. The best online colleges are fully accredited by national or regional accrediting agencies, and are held to the same standards of quality as traditional universities.
Your education is important and it never hurts to take some time considering your options. If you're struggling to make a traditional college experience work for your life, an online degree could be the answer, whether you're pursuing a first bachelor's degree or your third master's degree.