Think of almost any career path…consultant to industrial manufacturer, information technology specialist, floral designer, personal chef…any of these careers are available to students enrolled in online or distance learning programs.
A simple online college search will reveal thousands of degree programs and certification opportunities available. Today, the largest distance-learning provider maintains an average of three hundred thousand students at any given time! That means a lot of people are enjoying the benefits of an online college degree program.
Why do so many choose this over attending classes on campus? Realistically many people choose the online environment because it is their only option for a college education. It is virtually impossible to be employed in a full time job and attend daily or weekly classes at a college campus. If an individual has family responsibilities in addition to their job, that means even less time for studies. With an online college degree program the student can “attend” class when they have the time, and study according to their own schedule.
A large number of enrolled distance learners are professionals seeking advanced degrees and certifications, stay at home parents, members of the military and individuals who have difficulty traveling to a college or university due to distance or disability. There are also some traditional college students who select an online class from their school because it allows them some “down time” in their dorm, or presents them with the chance to remain at home and not commute to the campus for their class.
Distance learning has existed much longer than the Internet made it so easy. There have been correspondence courses for centuries, and these initially taught people trades that they had never had a chance to encounter – including “short hand” courses, agricultural specialties, or foreign languages. These relied on workbooks, printed materials and the postal service. Today however a student can take advantage of email, chat rooms, forums, and the Internet in addition to the written work that is still delivered through the postal service.
With so many people having access to the Internet and email the online college world provides endless opportunities for learning. An online college search or search can be conducted for a specific degree or major, or it can be for a school that focuses on a certain field of study, and finally it can be a search for a single class. Many online colleges permit students to enroll for a single class, or as part time students.
With the addition of “credit banking” to many college services an individual can now take classes at any accredited school, college or university and “deposit” their earnings into the credit account at their “full time” school. Once they have met the requirements for their degree of choice they can apply for graduation and obtain their diploma.