The best thing about these distance-learning programs is that you can choose to start off as slowly or as quickly as you wish. Some new students elect to take a single course or two that is directly related to their current career while others go “hog wild” delving through course after course until the have completed their degree at record speed. Online university programs are available in business, finance, accounting, nursing, IT, health, law, paralegal, criminal justice and the list goes on and on. Thousands of online students have earned associate degrees, bachelor and masters degrees, PhDs and even law degrees–completely online–why not you?
You get started with Online University Programs, as the term suggests, by accessing programs on the Internet. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find online programs available “everywhere” and, as I have already said, in nearly every topic under the sun. But let me tell you a little bit about what you may expect to experience in your distance-learning quest. Most schools allow you to attend online classes 365/24/7. They can do this by offering prerecorded audio, video and text lectures that you can access on your own schedule. Your assignments, tests and projects are all submitted online as well. Other schools may require you to logon at specific times, but even here you have to admit it beats driving across town after work to attend classes in person, right?
And what about missing out on the so called “real” classroom experience? It is an inescapable truth that you will not be able to meet new friends in person or bump into your favorite professor in the hallway. Some people just prefer to learn in a traditional classroom setting and do not adapt well to change. What you need to ask yourself is what kind of learner are you and, can you adapt to a new learning paradigm? (I think you probably can!)
Before you place too much emphasis on the traditional learning model consider that nowadays online university programs offer bulletin boards, online chartrooms and instant messaging where students can discuss their studies with each other and with their professors long after the class is over. In my opinion this feature alone not only replicates the in-classroom experience, it surpasses it. And many online university programs permit you to accelerate so you may complete your studies rapidly if you wish. That’s something you just cannot do with traditional education, period.
Online University Programs are available to you however modest your budget. Top ranked Ivy League schools such as Harvard University are now offering distance learning courses. As you would expect, the prestigious schools generally command higher tuition fees. But, you’ll find a plethora of affordable online university programs too and some offer convenient pay-as-you-go plans or are approved for student loan programs.
And don’t rule out having your employer paying for your education. Today, online university programs and degrees are widely accepting in corporate America. If your employer already has a tuition reimbursement program, chances are your distance learning courses will qualify for reimbursement. If not, its well worth it to sit down with your boss or company representative to discuss how assisting you with your career related education expenses can be a win-win situation for both of you.