A Quick Guide to Attending the Right Schools and Classes for Online University Degrees You Can Actually Use
So, you’ve decided to go back to school. Maybe you’re looking to get ahead in your job or a new career, and cannot do so without a college degree. Maybe you’re looking to supplement your existing time at university with some online courses. Maybe you’re just passionate about learning and achieving things, have always had that unfinished university diploma dangling over your head, and can’t wait to complete it.
Whatever the case may be, you’re ready to take one of the biggest steps of your life and join or rejoin the merry-go-round that is university life, and you’ve decided to do so via online courses.
Naturally, you’re eager to take the classes you need, pass them with flying colors, and try to move on toward the better future a university degree can make possible.
That being said, you’d like to make sure that your time online isn’t wasted. Everyone’s heard about online universities, in no small part because advertisements for them are all over TV and the Internet.
That’s part of what can make it so difficult to figure out which offers are legitimate, and which of those which are the best for your particular needs. Thankfully, this guide can help you get started on the goal of obtaining one or more online university degrees necessary for your career and overall prosperity.
Checking School Accreditation
The first step for anyone looking to join an online university program is to make sure that the program is accredited by a respected, valid educational body. You don’t want all your hard work to have turned out to be for nothing.
Even if the knowledge you gain is real, your degree won’t be considered as such by employers if your school is not accredited. You’ll thus want to take the time to make sure any online university you are considering has a spot in which they list their accreditation.
You’ll then want to take the time to cross-reference that accreditation online, making sure that the school is really accredited, and that the accrediting body in question is likewise legitimate.
If that sounds like a time-consuming process, don’t worry – most of this information should be readily available and relatively easy to find. If it isn’t, or if the school is evasive or unresponsive on the question of accreditation, that should be a red flag right there.
One way to dodge the issue of accreditation and assure yourself of backed online university degrees is by taking a course from a standing university. While most universities offer some online courses to their students at this point, many go further and make full-blown online courses more generally available.
If you can take some of these, they can be a great step towards obtaining online university degrees bearing the name of a recognized university. What’s more, the name recognition can’t hurt. For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding higher learning, there’s still a degree of market savviness in there.
Universities know and push the fact that certain schools and courses have better name recognition in the employment market than others. Empowering yourself with that knowledge can likewise allow you to make a savvier choice when choosing schools for pursuing an online degree.
The Veracity of Online Courses
You’ll also want to carefully scrutinize the intensity and veracity of the courses offered at a given university. Do they offer classes on Sociology, Literature, and Gender Studies with online components, or even full-fledged courses?
These are all good options for classes which can be conducted online in a credible fashion. An entire Master’s program on Shakespeare, Moliere, and Early Modern Drama, however, or classes for biology, physics, engineering, and nursing which have no practical, in-person component may not be. Outlandish claims such as those strain credibility.
The Cost of Online Universities
Last but not least among your considerations, there’s the actual cost of pursuing online university degrees. While they’re certainly lower in cost than their real-world counterparts, that can actually be a red flag, too. Be forewarned – you cannot get fully-accredited online university degrees for free.
Even if you choose a comparatively inexpensive program, there will be a cost involved. Thankfully, these costs are typically far more affordable than their traditional university counterparts, with some full semesters totaling about $1,000-$1,500 in cost.
Knowledge is power, and with the knowledge provided to you in this guide, you can empower yourself to make the right choice and take the first steps towards the degree and future you deserve.