Online degree programs have grown in popularity over the years for many reasons that include the creation of accredited online colleges, traditional colleges and universities offering online courses, and increased interest by those already in the workforce who want to further their careers by earning a degree while they work.
According to the Postsecondary Education Factbook 2006, published yearly by education consulting and marketing firm Edventures, in 2006 over $10 billion dollars was spent in online education by those pursuing a degree. This is an increase from $2.5 billion spent in 2004. But why are online degree programs so popular and why should you consider enrolling in one when going back to school?
Save Time by Taking Courses Online
For many students, returning to school to earn a bachelors degree means taking time off from work, spending less time with family, and being around younger students. It’s these factors that deter some students from returning to school.
But by enrolling in an online degree program, students will be able to take courses from home without having to spend time driving to the college or university, paying for childcare or sitting in a classroom filled with learners they may not have anything in common with. With a bachelor degree online, students can still pursue their educational goals without disturbing their lives in the process.
Online bachelor degree programs often involve listening to lectures, reading lecture notes from instructors or participating in live chat with other students and instructors. Students will still be responsible for turning in all assignments and tests like traditional students, but they will not have to spend as much time in the classroom.
Convenience of Online Courses
If you want to continue working while earning a bachelors degree, earning your degree online is more convenient than traditional classroom courses in several ways. First, you have the ability to only take as many courses as you can handle each semester. Second, since you won’t have to spend time in a classroom, you will have more time to study or focus on other areas in your life. Third, you will be given a syllabus at the beginning of each course that outlines how the course will be taught. This will include due dates for all assignments, tests and projects so you can budget your time.
Online Education Costs Lower
Depending on the program you enroll in, earning an online bachelor degree may cost less than attending a traditional university program. Online colleges have lower overhead because they don’t provide housing or classroom space and do not support extra-curricular activities such as sports, music or theater programs. When you enroll in an online degree program, the cost of tuition, additional supplies or materials, and fees for IT support are usually all you will be required to pay.
Greater Acceptance of Online Degree Programs
According to the report, Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006, published by The Sloan Consortium, in 2003, only 57% of academic leaders thought students who earned their degree online received the same or better education than those attending traditional programs. By 2006, that number rose to 62%. This means that online education programs are becoming more accepted by educators and employers as each year passes.
Earning an online BS degree can help your career in many ways. Not only will you be qualified for career advancement, many employers reward those who take the initiative to further their education, with bonuses and higher pay.
Online bachelor degrees are available in many fields. Through careful research, you can find an online program that suits your needs.
Mary Jackson is a contributor for where you find useful information on distance learning colleges, accredited degrees online and links to accredited online colleges. See more related information on online bachelor’s degrees and top online colleges that offers online bachelor’s degree programs