How to Find a Reputable Online Degree Program

What is an online degree program?

An online degree program is an accredited degree or training program that allows students to attend school and earn a degree or certificate via the Internet. Some programs have additional requirements such as:

  • Occasional meetings with faculty and students online or in person
  • Lab work that must be completed at school or other authorized facility
  • Volunteer work required for certain degrees

Why an online degree program?

Many busy professionals choose an online degree program as an alternative to the traditional campus setting because they want to advance their careers without interrupting their work schedule. Other people who choose online degree programs like the ease and flexibility that an online degree program offers. They can choose the pace, time and classes they want to take in order to obtain a degree. 

How do I find a reputable online degree program?

Finding an online degree program is as easy as surfing the web. In fact, with a little homework you can find several online degree programs that offer exactly what you are looking for. The next and most important step is to assure that the program is accredited. The accreditation will be listed on the website of the school. The next step is to visit the website of the accreditation board that granted that school accreditation. For example, in the United States the accreditation board for distance learning is Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). You can visit their website to find out if your school is in fact accredited. Make sure you know what accreditations are valid in your region. Without accreditation your degree is probably worthless.

What programs are available and how long does it take to graduate?

There are a variety of online degree programs available. Each program has a certain number of hours or coursework that is required to receive a degree. The length of the program varies by online degree program and the field of study. More specific information can be found on each school’s website.

How much does it cost?

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Online degree programs tend to be more expensive than the average, traditional college. But it is easily affordable when weighed against having to reduce work hours if a degree was pursued at a traditional campus. Also, some employers will help with the online degree program fees because they want keep a good employee who is attending a degree program that will not interfere with work.

Avoid diploma mills or bogus degree programs

On a final note, be sure to avoid diploma mills or bogus degree programs. They pose as long distance learning institutions but in reality they are not accredited. These unethical institutions will offer a degree or certificate with little or no training. They usually operate out of their homes and have P.O. boxes as an address. 

Any institution that offers you a degree or certificate with no class work or training is bogus and most likely a diploma mill. These merchants only require a credit card to “graduate” you. Don’t be fooled into thinking that these degrees or certificates will benefit you in any manner. Many employers conduct pre-employment background screens. Therefore, a degree “earned” this way will be discovered and useless to you. 
The only person that will benefit in this deal is the crook who now has your money! Remember that if sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

More information about online degree programs available

If you are interested to know more about how to boost your career by further study, refer to our web section discussing further studies.

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From the Desk of Damen Choy.
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