The Internet has become so pervasive in life that it has affected the way we keep in touch with each other, communicate, find information and now even educate ourselves. The concept of distance education is certainly not a new one. However, in the past couple of decades the Internet has radically changed the way people approach distance education. This is because one can now attend classes from the convenience of their own home, enroll into an online degree course and get a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. There are even opportunities to even get a PhD!
All of this has become possible through virtual universities and online classrooms. There are hundreds, indeed thousands, of virtual schools and colleges that offer an online degree course. This is great news for many people who are unable to pursue their education for any number of reasons. It could be that they began work immediately after high school and are now in a position where they wish to complete their education. Perhaps it could be that a professional who wishes to enroll into an online degree course with the intent of enhancing his job skills. Whatever the motivation, it is clear that with a majority of these cases, time and convenience has been the deterring factor. Attending classes and lectures online as well having the resources that any regular student has in a brick-and-mortar educational institute is a big draw in favor of online education. And all this can be worked around the individual’s schedule.
A few things to keep in mind while pursuing an online degree course:
• While there are plenty of schools out there, it is advisable to go in for a school that has an existing brick-and-mortar presence. These schools not only offer the same course as their brick-and-mortar counterparts but this lends a huge amount of credibility to the online degree course that one takes up. Prospective employers would see a student from probably the online New York University in a more favorable light than someone who only has an online presence.
• Make sure that the school you select for your online degree course gives you a degree without the word ‘Online’ on it. This does tend to play on the minds of prospective employers.
• Once you have zeroed in on a university and program, try to talk to current and former students to get an understanding of what their experience was.
• Contact the university’s financial aid department. Speak to the people there to understand what your options are in terms of aid to pay for the course or if there are any scholarship programs that, you can get into.
• Lastly, try to pick an online university that offers a capstone component to their course. A capstone is a brief experience at the campus at the end of the academic course. This, ties in with the first point so an online student can also benefit from interacting with regular students in a campus type setup.