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Online Degrees Can Be a Smart Choice

Median Weekly Earnings by Degree Level

With a degree comes an increase in possibilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2012, the median weekly income for high school graduates without a college degree was $652. In comparison, those with bachelor's degrees took home $1,066. Over a five-year span, bachelor's degree holders earn $111,780 more than those with only a high school diploma. With careers commonly spanning decades, it's not hard to imagine the lifetime impact a degree has on one's income, and, in turn, general prosperity.

As individuals look to keep pace with the developing job market, more and more are turning to distance learning as an alternative to traditional classroom instruction. A 2013 survey by Babson Survey Research Group found that since 2003, the average growth of online students per year has been 568,000. This figure has been growing as established brick-and-mortar schools are increasingly offering online course options as well.

Advantages of Earning a Degree Online

In today's world, students come from all walks of life and not everyone is able to attend traditional campus institutions. There can be many benefits to distance learning:

✔ Flexibility of scheduling
✔ Convenience of saving time and money by telecommuting
✔ Ability to supplement or level-up professional qualifications

Online colleges often allow students to structure their own routines, forming their own habits and workflow. This kind of flexibility allows a student to work at his or her own pace.

How Distance Education Works

Classes are generally conducted through online and virtual portals. Many online schools allow students to stream or download lectures, and depending on the institution, course materials may be distributed entirely online, through the mail, or both. Some online degree programs even offer new downloadable applications, allowing students to study through mobile devices.

To emulate the interaction of more traditional settings, online colleges create and utilize forums and discussion boards to promote daily communication among peers. Students have the ability to form virtual study groups and share successes, as well as concerns or questions, with one another. This online community helps to ensure that students are provided with the necessary resources to not only keep up with the curriculum, but to feel like active participants during class.

Accredited Online Degree Programs

Accreditation of online programs is conducted by the same regional and national agencies that accredit traditional schools. These organizations are authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure that a school or individual program meet established academic standards.

Online universities offer many of the same programs found in traditional settings, including:

• Instruction in business, health, education, and criminal justice fields
• Various degree levels: associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral
• Certificate programs

With the student population growing ever more diverse, course offerings are sure to increase in order to meet various needs and demands. Whether you find yourself in need of an advanced degree for a management position, or simply want to gain more credible skills for your current occupation, an online degree can help you achieve your goals. Find out more about online degree programs.

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