Online Bachelor Degree Programs and Online Certificate Programs

Online Bachelor Degree Programs and Online Certificate Programs

Posted 05.23.2012 in Articles by Caitlin

Online bachelor degree programs make it possible for students to further their education with unprecedented convenience. Instead of attending class sessions in a traditional classroom, online courses are taught in an electronic environment. That means that students are able to log in to class from any computer that has an Internet connection, making it possible to learn anywhere in the world. Students can enroll themselves in degree programs being taught in an institution on the other side of the country without ever leaving home.

Prestigious institutions offer both online certificate programs and longer degree programs that give a bachelor degree. These programs are rigorous, demanding, and offer an education that is just as valuable as one offered in a traditional classroom. The main difference between online learning and in-class learning is the teaching format.When a student attends an online class, they log in to the class website to review postings from the instructor, look for new assignments and discussion topics, or participate in the discussion board.  Assignments are turned in electronically.

Grades are earned in online bachelor degree programs much like they are in traditional classrooms. Assignments have deadlines and must be submitted in a timely fashion. Participation is also a major factor. Most online bachelor degree instructors will require a certain amount of discussion board participation throughout the class.

Students new to the concept of an online bachelor degree should understand that these programs are just as challenging as an in-class degree program. In fact, learning in an online environment can be more challenging. Students who choose online certificate programs must be highly self-motivated and organized, and discipline themselves to log in to the classroom several times a week and manage multiple deadlines. Be wary of any online schools that advertise a quick and easy degree program. Many of these ventures are not really attached to accredited schools and exist merely to exchange money for a worthless “degree.”

The main advantage that attracts students to online learning is the flexibility. Few online courses require attendance at a particular day and time. Accordingly, students may log in to class whenever and wherever it is convenient for them., whether it is at their lunch hour or commuting to work, or after midnight if they are a night owlWith online degree programs, it’s possible to attend class at one o’clock in the morning. Many students in these programs continue to work full or part time while attending classes, which is another distinct advantage.

Despite these advantages, there are drawbacks to earning a degree online. Students may miss out on the quintessential on-campus lifestyle. Additionally, some certificate and degree programs can not be taught online and the learner may have to attend a traditional educational program.

Students who wish to obtain their degree online should  find a school that is fully accredited. A degree or certificate earned from a prestigious, accredited institution is more attractive to potential employers. Thus, the graduate is more likely to be considered for a more responsible, higher profile position than they would if they attended a school with questionable credentials. Make certain that faculty at the online school is knowledgeable and experienced in their field.

Online certificate programs and online degree courses can vary significantly between institutions. For example, some programs require on-campus orientation, which can make for an expensive trip, or be worthwhile if the program has a recognized and respected staff member in that department.  Students should compare the offerings at several institutions before enrolling. Contact the admissions office at each school to ask detailed questions and request a brochure. Look carefully at the professional organizations that accredit any academic programs,  to ensure the one you choose is accredited.

Students should also consider the differenced between earning a bachelor's degree and obtaining an online certificate. Online certificate programs are shorter, do not require the completion of general education requirements, and provide an introduction to a field of study such as business administration. On the other hand, some employers require that candidates have a four-year's degree to be eligible for the position, in which case workers will need a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree program requires more time and effort, but will open up more job opportunities than obtaining a certification.

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