Elizabeth Kraus is the co-founder of myUsearch.com, the Honest College Matchmaker and an expert on choosing the right college.
If you are in the process of choosing an online degree program, there are a few things you should consider before you make the jump to study online:
1. Accreditation: Do not even consider a degree that isn’t accredited and understand the differences between national and regional accreditation. There are benefits to both, so make sure you choose the degree program that fits your needs.
2. Social Interaction: There are many benefits to class participation and different programs offer different types of online interaction opportunities. Understand how much interaction you will need and choose an online degree that provides it.
3. Career Services: The degree program’s career placement services can be a great resource to help you find a job after graduation. Find out what kind of services will be offered and ask about the program’s track record of placing previous graduates.
4. Online Track Record: Don’t measure the quality of the online program by the quality of a college’s campus program. Many reputable colleges have new online programs that are not nearly as strong as their on-campus degree programs. Find out how long the college has offered online degree programs and do as much research as you can.
5. Graduates: Try to speak to some previous graduates and find out where some of them were hired after graduation. This should give you a good indication of the quality of the program and the classmates you can expect to attend with.
6. Look Inside Yourself: Don’t forget that studying online isn’t for everyone. It requires a lot of self-motivation and discipline, and although new technologies offer more class participation opportunities than you would think, it isn’t always the best option for those who learn through class discussion and social interaction. Make sure you are up to the challenge before you make the investment.
If you decide studying online is for you, consider taking myUsearch’s college match quiz to find the right online degree program for you.