With an unforgiving job market for new hires and layoffs by the thousands, you might be considering upgrading your skills with an online degree.
While the National Center for Education Statistics reports that there were close to 3 million students seeking college degrees over the age of 35 in 2001, many recruiters and career coaches are now recommending online degree programs for you to advance your job skills.
But, are online degrees held in the same regards as the prestige of their physical campus cousins?
With the current online degree programs offered by many traditional accredited colleges and universities the old stigma of “printing your college degree online” is no longer relevant to tech-savvy employers looking for initiative-driven employees willing to invest in their own future.
Use the following tips to select an online degree program. You ultimate goal is to use your online degree coursework to obtain relevant career skills immediately and apply this knowledge to your current job or career path.
Step 1 -Identify the best online degree programs for your budget. To extend the reach of your online degree program, choose an accredited program that is cost effective, has multiple scholarship options and uses flexible loan programs that can be deferred. Be sure to ask about your online college program’s refund policy or penalties for class cancellations.
Step 2 – Determine the qualifications for acceptance to the online degree program. Do you need transcripts from your high school or trade school? Can you use your GED to qualify for an online degree? Ask detailed questions about the application process and the paperwork, recommendation letters and essays you will need for acceptance.
Important Online Degree Program Tip: Do not neglect your college accreditation research!
Find a list of accredited online degree programs at Classes USA or www.classesusa.com or check the college’s website for accreditation information.
Step 3 -Talk to current teachers and online faculty. Ask the college recruiter or online campus liaison for the email addresses and phone numbers of current students and faculty members. Ask questions about class load size, job placement programs, and graduate rates.
Step 4 -Assess the technical support options and access to program materials for the online degree program. Get detailed information about how you acquire information. Are all class notes, book lists and teacher assignments via the school’s website? If a problem occurs with your uploading of an assignment or contacting your instructor online, ensure that there is a 24 hour support team to handle any issues and questions quickly.
Step 5 – Ask if you can audit an online course. Before you enroll in any online colleges and universities, you will need to prepare for the rigors of online learning.
Remember: There will not be a teacher looking over your shoulder to scold you for not turning in your homework. In fact, you’ll need a lot of personal drive and discipline to compete and online degree program. Look for free programs online by typing the words “ free online classes” into your favorite search engine. Practice and prepare for your online college degree with free online college coursework.
In these recessionary times, more people are looking for part-time alternatives to boost their job and work skills. If you want to peruse recommended online degree programs visit The University of Phoenix or Kaplan to remain competitive with your career and stay in the job game.