Many modern students decide to pursue online degrees for a variety of reasons. Accredited online colleges offer a range of programs and courses that can help students earn a degree, advance their careers and increase their earning potential.
Additionally, online degree programs are more flexible and convenient than a traditional campus-based program.
There are hundreds of potential choices for your online degree, and just some of the decisions you’ll need to make include your major, the level of degree and the school you attend. Utilize these eight tips to help you choose the right online degree program.
1. Think About What Subjects You Like Most
First, start by thinking about what subjects you like most and what your passions are. If you loved history and social studies courses in high school, and you read historical fiction in your free time, then a bachelor’s degree in history might be the perfect fit.
2. Look at Job Outlooks for Preferred Careers
Having a degree is not a guarantee of a job. Some fields have a high demand for trained professionals, and others are far more competitive. Take a close look at job outlooks to help determine your prospects after graduation.
3. Check Out Average Salaries for Graduates
Salary shouldn’t be everything, but financial stability will certainly be a big part of the equation. Take a look at average salaries for graduates holding your desired degree before enrolling into the program.
4. Consider the Consistency of Your Schedule
Online degree programs are offered in both concurrent and non-concurrent formats, which means that you can take a break with no consequences if you need to do so.
If you want to stick to a deadline, and you can commit to a certain number of hours each week until the end of the program, then a concurrent degree is a great idea. For inconsistent schedules and those with children, a non-concurrent program might offer more flexibility.
5. Determine How Long You Want to Attend College
Degrees vary in length, so consider how long you want to be taking online classes. For reference, a typical associate degrees takes two years to complete, and a bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete.
6. Look at a School’s Accreditation
Not all online schools are created equally. Look up a school’s accreditation to make sure that your degree will be respected by employers and help you to secure a great career after graduation.
7. Speak to Current and Past Students
One of the best ways to determine if an online degree program is right for you is by speaking to students who have already completed it or who are currently in the middle of the program. These students can often be reached online, through forums or through the school website itself.
8. Interview Professionals in Your Desired Field
If you respect and admire a professional in your desired future career, ask them what degree programs they would recommend. With industry experience, they may be able to suggest a degree, a major or a school that will benefit you.