Life, liberty and the pursuit of a quality higher education is the contemporary American mantra. With budgets spreading thinner and thinner, and unemployment having reached its highest levels in past 20 years, economic uncertainty, misfortune and security are all driving factors in the pursuit of higher education.
Working people are entering post-secondary education institutions at a higher rate than ever before. Online education enrollment has exploded in the last ten years because working adults may not have the time or resources to pay a babysitter, gas up the car, and travel to the nearest university or community college before or after work. Online education offers flexibility, convenience, and usually an inexpensive way to get a degree. And as employers are steadily gaining respect for online degrees, these degrees are becoming a more practical educational option all the time.
There is a wealth of degree levels that are currently being offered online by some of the most prestigious universities. The most popular degrees to obtain online are degrees in business and the humanities as these course loads very rarely require labs that would necessitate a campus presence.
The major advantage to brick and mortar degrees is the classroom environment and face to face interaction with both fellow students and instructors that is available. With an online degree, the ability to work with groups of students is a little tougher to exercise but with ingenuity, ambition and a can-do attitude, it can be accomplished. Working at your own pace and from your own home is a considerable advantage to online education. The disadvantage of this freedom is the incredible discipline required.
How to Find the Top Cheap Online Degrees
When researching which online school is best suited to your needs you should always start with accreditation. It’s not advisable to pursue a degree from an institution that has not been validated by a reputable accrediting agency. Accreditation standards ensure that your degree meets the standards of a quality education. Next, you will want to do a search on school rankings for your chosen area of study. Rankings can be based on myriad criteria, such as price, class size and graduation rate.
University of Phoenix is a well known online university and it boasts the highest enrollment numbers of all online schools. They have been leaders in the field of online education for years and are maintaining current innovations by working with business leaders to help tailor their classes to meet their hiring needs, thereby ensuring a greater chance of employment success for its students. By offering cheap online Criminal Justice degree programs and many others, they presented a model for other online schools to follow.
Penn State University World Campus is another leader in online education and with such profound name recognition, alumni numbers and course loads that are accepted by the world of employers, Penn State World Campus is a very easy choice for online education.
Western Governors University has shown excellence in the healthcare industry by leading the pack in business partnerships, earning its nursing students a growing recognition among hospitals. Their relatively cheap online RN to BSN degree program has become highly sought after in the nursing world.
Cheap online degrees in business are in high demand because most Americans work in the business field. Most online universities offer advanced degrees in business because of this high demand.
Averaging anywhere from approximately $65 per credit to about $115 per credit, most major online universities offer bachelor’s degrees in the ball park of $12,000 a year. Earning a doctorate degree online is far steeper. With prices between $290 and $550 per credit, you’re looking at approximately $25,000 a year for tuition on average. These prices are comparable to those of community colleges and public universities.
Careers and Salaries for Individuals with Online Degrees
More employers are hiring candidates with online degrees everyday, but there are a few considerations that are given quite a bit of weight: name recognition, school reputation, quality of graduates and accreditation. There is still a fraction of employers who see actual physical attendance as a sign of true commitment to education and do not look at distance learning as having the same merits as traditional education. However, with more traditional brick and mortar schools such as Pace, Penn State, Harvard and Drexel universities offering distance education, employers are becoming more familiar and comfortable with extending job offers to online education graduates. Online schools have also gotten wise and allowed business to have a hand in building their curriculums so that post-graduation employment numbers can soar, and they have.
Many students graduate from online schools fully prepared to enter the workforce in a variety of fields. The nursing field is an extraordinary example as RN to BSN programs are more popular than ever, and BSN salaries average approximately $81,000 a year. Getting an IT degree online is also a good fit for career-minded individuals because there are many jobs such as Network Security Administrator, Data Modeler and Business Continuity Analyst, which all rake in over $100,000 a year. So no matter what profession you have chosen, an online education will most likely open just as many doors as a traditional brick and mortar education.