Online Education Courses: What You Need to Know

Online education courses offer the busy person the ability to complete a college degree entirely online. For a person with a job, a stay at home parent or someone who wishes to get a supplemental degree or license, an online degree can be a good option. There are unique challenges associated with getting an online degree or in just taking online courses. One should be aware of these and prepare themselves before registering.

One can attend online education courses wherever they have access to a computer and an Internet connection. A printer will also be useful. One will watch lectures, take exams and do assignments, just like at a traditional college. But the work will be done independently without an instructor in front of them or fellow students around. And it will all be done on the computer.

Communication with the instructor, other faculty or staff, and other students is done via email, instant messaging, chat rooms, bulletin boards and video conferencing (such as with Skype). Depending on the program, one could have very little contact with faculty. Other programs may offer more contact with instructors and assistants.

Some programs will hold live lectures where one watches as the lecture is happening. These may allow for questions and discussions in real time. Other programs rely on recorded presentations. These can be viewed at any time. There may be special discussion rooms established to discuss the topic with other students online.

Assignments are usually submitted through email or a special online application. Exams are often taken online and graded immediately. Results and comments can be viewed online or printed out for review.

Preparing for Online Education Courses

To be successful taking an online course, one should be very familiar with their learning style. Some styles work well with online education. Other styles will make it very difficult to complete the courses and subsequent degree requirements.

Online education does not take less time to complete than the traditional campus approach. One must be prepared to spend the time to watch or listen to lectures, do assignments and study. The advantage of online education is that the work can be done any time. However, if one waits until the last minute to complete the work, having the flexible schedule is not much of an advantage.

One must have the discipline to establish a schedule to “attend” the classes and study to get the most out of the experience. This is a self-directed activity so it is up to the individual to do the work. It is important to set aside time, reduce distractions and focus on the material to be successful.

Thoroughly research the schools and programs of interest. There is huge growth in online education and schools can be established that may not meet a person’s requirements. Contact with the school may be through email or phone. There may not be a “campus” for one to visit and speak with people. Look for reviews that previous students have put online. Make sure the school is accredited.

Education Requirements

Most online programs allow a person to transfer credit for classes taken elsewhere and apply them to the online degree. Some schools give credit for job experience. There may also be an opportunity to “test out” of some classes with which one already has background or experience.

Admissions requirements for online programs are similar as that for the traditional schools. Most degree programs require a high school diploma or GED. If one just wants to take an online class not associated with a degree program, there are usually no requirements other than prerequisite experience for advanced topics.

Online education courses rely on technology to be successfully delivered to the student. One should be very familiar with using a computer, printer, and navigating on the Internet. Experience with a word processor, spreadsheet software and, perhaps, presentation software is useful. Familiarity with video conferencing software such as Skype is also handy. It will increase the challenge of completing an online class if the person must also teach themselves how to use a computer and the Internet.

Career Options: What you can do with Online Education Degrees

Online degrees are being recognized more often in the workplace by employers. One should do the research to find out how their field of study views an online degree. The technology field is very receptive to online degrees. Professions that require a lot of people contact, such as Human Resources, have a less than favorable view of online degrees. The biggest complaints are the lack of interaction with students and instructors, and the difficulty in evaluating the programs because they are relatively new.

The most likely fields to accept online degrees are Technology, Multimedia, Marketing, Telecommunications, and Business Consulting. The least likely to accept an online degree category are Healthcare, the Legal profession, Teaching, Government and Finance.

These are not absolutes as there may be positions in each field that embrace online degrees. Medical Infomatics as a specialty in Healthcare and Legal Research in the Legal profession are both beneficial online degrees.

What to Consider if you pursue an Online Education Degree

With a traditional degree, one has the reputation and standing of the school to back up the degree and school experience. With an online degree, one will have to be more diligent in selling themselves and their education to a potential employer. One will have to show confidence and aptitude backed by examples of work done in the program.

The salary of any position should not be based on whether one has an online degree or one from a traditional college. Business does not differentiate between the two once the education credentials have been accepted. The challenge is getting in the door of a company with an online degree. Once inside, the salary and benefits will be the same for all candidates.

Top Online Education Programs. select one
Liberty University|235330|2017062905392825125100:000235330:001
 
Northcentral University|948330|2017062905392825121398:000948330:002
 
Regent University|13860310|2017062905392825144952:013860310:003
 
South College|818130|2017062905392825138895:000818130:004
 
American InterContinental University Online|10131|2017062905392825167247:000010131:005