There are hundreds of different online degree programs available to students who wish to pursue higher education. Universities and colleges award online degrees at varying levels, from associate degrees to doctoral degrees. When comparing different online degrees, students should consider which program best fits their career goals and academic interests.
We offer a wide range of online degree programs at all education levels – from Online College Courses / Professional Development to online associate degrees, online bachelor degrees, through online masters and PhD’s.
So, whether you’re looking to go to college for the first time, are planning to continue your education by pursuing a post-graduate degree online, or are simply looking to expand your career options by taking an online course or completing an online certificate program, you’ll find a variety of online degree programs to fit your needs.
Types of Online Degrees
Online Associate’s Degrees
Not everyone needs or wants a four-year degree. In fact, an online associate’s degree can prepare students for some fast-growing careers. An online associate’s degree generally requires a minimum of 60 semester credit hours. In most cases, an online associate’s degree program is designed to be completed in about 2 years and is widely accepted for transfer into bachelor’s degree programs.
Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Bachelor’s degrees are increasingly becoming the required entry-level credential for certain professional roles. Also called 4-year degrees and undergraduate degrees, online bachelor degree programs are awarded by 4-year colleges and universities and usually require 120 – 128 semester credit hours. Online bachelor’s degree programs might make it more convenient for some students to earn a BA, BS, BSN, and other common bachelor’s degree titles at their own time and pace.
Online Master’s Degrees
An online Master’s degree program may be a recommended or required next step for moving forward in your career. An online master’s degree is a graduate program that involves specialized knowledge and concentrated study in one area. Typically, online masters degrees can take from one to three years to earn depending on the course of study, the candidate’s time commitment, and other factors.
Online Doctorate (Ph.D.) Degrees
If you’re thinking about earning an online doctorate degree, then you probably already know that a doctoral degree is currently the highest degree in North America and is awarded on the demonstrated mastery of a subject and the ability to perform and present scholarly research. Online doctorate programs connect working professionals to big-name programs and acclaimed institutions without putting careers on hold or even relocating. However, many online doctorates do require periodic seminars at campus locations.
Why Pursue an Online Degree
Before you dive into your search for an online degree, you might still be wondering about the benefits of online education. Why should you pursue an online degree? What’s the advantage? And what’s all the fuss? It’s hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to online degrees — especially since so much of the published information comes from schools and students, who are usually biased.
The following bullets represent the upsides of online education, traits that are beneficial to various types of learners. If any of these attributes could improve your college experience, you should consider an online degree. Because when all is said and done, the only substantive difference between a campus education and an online education is the building.
Online education critics seem to share the idea that the Internet makes it possible to unite students and instructors without long commutes or fixed class schedules. Working professionals can study at night. Stay-at-home parents can study during kids’ naptime. Military members can study from any new post to which they are assigned. None of these people are lazy or prone to cutting corners. On the contrary, they are busy, ambitious learners, who simply need a better college design.
And because they are all good candidates for employment, employers are increasingly happy to accept their online credentials.
Access for Rural Students
College students who live in major cities might choose to access campus programs. Thousands of other students simply cannot. Unless you live in a college town, the cost of commuting — in terms of time and fuel prices — can be prohibitive. In the state of Wyoming, which covers 97,818 square miles, only 4 bachelor’s degree-granting colleges exist. In Nebraska, one high school district is the size of Connecticut state! Rather than accept college as an impossibility, residents of these far-flung communities can log on to online programs and earn their degrees.
Twenty years ago, these students would have had to choose between moving their families or getting by on a high school diploma. Today, online education is removing geographic barriers.
Access for Students with Disabilities
Most traditional college classrooms aren’t designed to accommodate students with disabilities. Online classes, by contrast, can be engineered to support students with intellectual and physical disabilities as well as people who are deaf/hard-of-hearing and blind/low vision. Likewise, gifted instructors who lose the ability to teach in a traditional classroom can continue their careers, thanks to online functionality.
For every 2,500 miles you drive, you release one ton of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere.[i]That’s you, alone. If you lived 10 miles away from a college and commuted 3 or 4 times every week, you’d create nearly 3 tons of greenhouse gases during the course of a 4-year degree. Along with 20 classmates, you’d be producing 60 tons!
Moreover, campus colleges produce excess pollution in the process of heating and cooling their classrooms, powering their libraries and computer labs, and creating increased paper waste. As environmental concerns heighten, online education is becoming an obvious, earth-friendly choice.
On Pace with the Future of Education
In 2006, the state of Michigan passed a law that all students must complete an online learning experience or an online class in order to graduate from high school. And the federal government plans to invest more money in online charter schools, for K-12 students across the country. So it’s apparent that tomorrow’s students will be seeing more e-learning technology. And clearly, education authorities are recognizing the value of online learning.
Soon, more and more colleges will develop online programs to help stretch their budgets and expand their enrollments. Already, major names in traditional education — like MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale — are offering online podcasts of course lectures. It may one day be possible for students to choose specific courses from multiple schools, all across the globe, and build their own personalized degrees.
Until then, more than 4.6 million college students are already taking at least one course online.[ii] That adds up to 1 in 4 college students. Experts predict that numbers will continue to grow. With growth, online degrees will be not just accepted, but expected, as a component of tomorrow’s college education.