The foundation laid now often sets the tone for what the future will hold. This philosophy possesses very significant meaning in education. Selecting a place of higher learning definitely helps chart the course for future career opportunities and success. It may not be that any of the schools are necessarily wrong—it’s really about uncovering that one school that is right for you.
A few things to consider:
Taking things a step further, social networking is today’s new referral system for college students. After all, in today’s technologically connected world, who knows better than online friends and colleagues? Think about scanning Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, DormNoise and RateMyProfessors.com. All of these sites provide real-world reviews of online schools and provide more “behind-the-scenes” viewpoints than what many online university review sites may offer.
Consider also how prospective employers will view your online degree. About.com Distance Learning expert Jamie Littlefield explains in “Get an Online Degree Employers Take Seriously”:
If you want a degree that’s taken seriously in the workplace, you need to do two things. First, make sure you choose a school that has the proper regional accreditation. Second, if you expect the degree to earn you a promotion, make sure that you choose a program that’s appropriate for your workplace situation.
While the creditability of online learning is substantial, there are still diploma mills out there looking to cash in. Don’t get suckered. ELearners.com has a great resource for spotting unaccredited schools selling worthless degrees. In addition, all schools listed through eLearners.com are accredited. For those looking to search independently, there are many resources available to ensure you are picking an accredited online school:
For those who have answered the big question of where to obtain an online bachelor's degree, there is an additional dilemma: paying for it, especially now that tighter credit restrictions are cutting back student aid funding sources. Traditional sources include:
Other sites to consider include GreenNote and CollegeDegreeFund.com, which help students gather resources from family, friends and colleagues through social networking.
When all is said and done, all the research is helpful, but looking inside is just as important as all the external information. It is important to ask yourself if online learning is right for you. Think seriously about what you know about yourself: are you a procrastinator or a self-starter? Do you need to be micro-managed or do you like to work independently? Do you need socialization as part of the learning experience or do you prefer to study alone? Can you learn outside of a classroom or do you need a distraction-free environment?
The eLearners.com website is one of several high visibility, high-quality prospecting tools offered by EducationDynamics, LLC. Since 1999, eLearners.com has been successfully connecting learners to online education, including online degree and certificate programs, specialized career training, and numerous online courses.