Finding Online College Courses That are Right for You
When you enroll in an online college course you can give yourself schedule flexibility, more control of your degree course load and a greater sense of balance in your life. To get the most out of accredited online college courses there are a few points you may want to consider, including future relevancy of the labor industries and jobs the courses prepare you to work in.
According to the Sloan Consortium, “approximately 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2009.” More than 2,500 colleges and universities were surveyed as part of the report. At first glance, it might appear solely like a good personal time fit to take for-cost or free online college courses; after all some of the courses are self-paced. However, academic pursuits that lead to new employment, promotions, increased job responsibilities and/or promotions (as well as academic courses that prepare you to succeed as a business owner) can make going to college more than academically rewarding, these pursuits can also make going back to school financially and economically rewarding.
Points to Consider Before Enrolling in Online College Courses
To get the most out of distance learning, as you’re choosing for-costs or free online college courses for the coming school session, ask yourself a few questions such as:
- Is the course in a subject (e.g. nutrition, computer science, creative writing) that I’m passionate about?
- Will taking this college course help me to gain a required skill to get promoted to the next level at work?
- What average hourly wage or annual salary do professionals already working at jobs related to this college course make?
- Is the subject of the online college course (e.g. mathematics, biology, political science, journalism, nursing) a field employers are hiring workers for in the area where I live?
- Are prerequisites required before enrolling in this college course, and if so, have I already completed those prerequisites?
- What type of software is required to enroll in and complete the course?
- How much reading and essay writing is required to graduate from the course? If you love to write, this may be a no brainer. However, if writing is not your strong suit (or something you enjoy doing) you might think about getting a mentor or a tutor to help you get through the course with top grades.
- Is this a course I can receive tuition reimbursement for through my employer?
In addition to taking distance learning courses as a freshman, sophomore, etc., if you’re still attending a secondary school, you can also enroll in online college courses for high school students. These courses can help you to familiarize yourself with distance learning programs. Depending on the school you attend, you may also be able to earn college credits when you take the courses, accelerating your learning.
Technology and the numbers of students enrolled in online college courses can help to make distance learning a viable option for you. Before registering to take online courses check the school’s accreditations, keeping in mind that schools that are accredited by organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education are generally reputable institutions of higher learning.