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Online Degrees- Are they worth the Time and Money?
Online Education Considerations
Online education isn't for everyone. It takes both a significant amount of money and time in order to complete a degree and graduate. Once you graduate, there is no guarantee that the degree will get you the job, promotion or enable you to change careers into your chosen field. That said, online education has gained considerable acceptance. A recent study by the US Department of Education found that distance learners performed as well or better than those that had pursued a traditional classroom based education. Also, with 70% of the population in the United States possessing less than an undergraduate degree, there is a large portion of the population that would benefit from higher wages associated with higher levels of education.
With the turbulent economy and dismal job market, on the surface, pursing an online degree may not seem wise. However, current market conditions serve as a window of opportunity to improve your skill set so that when the cyclical economy rebounds you will be better positioned to take advantage of highly sought after positions.
In considering the pros and the cons of going back to school, you should consider the following:
- Cost. Online schools typically charge less on a credit/hour basis than most private colleges and universities.
- Earning Potential. A Higher Degree is highly correleated with higher earnings. A Study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed, for example, that men with bachelor’s degrees on average make on average $1,209 a week while median weekly wages for high school graduates was $714.
- Job security. An additional degree will likely provide you with new skills and knowledge. Learning a new skill set may make you a more valuable employee.
- Increased Flexibility. In contrast to taking classes in the classroom, an online education enables you to stay at your job and attend to your personal obligations. Going to college online allows you to maintain a flexible work-life balance.