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Why an Online Degree Makes Sense Today – Guest Post

As I mentioned before, I’m planning to begin library school in about a year. One of the options I’m considering is doing the entire program online. This guest post outlines some of the reasons doing my degree online makes sense, especially since it’s a normal option in my field.

No doubt today’s economy has affected your employment prospects in some way. If not, you’re definitely the exception–not the rule! We’re in the worst job market in decades and any edge you can gain on the competition could prove critical in winning a position. If you’re looking to change fields or possibly get a more advanced education in your current field, an online degree could be just the boost you need.

Here’s four big reasons why an online degree could be a smart decision, especially in today’s cluttered job market.

Go to any school that offers your program.

Relocating to pursue a degree is a monumental expense. With an online degree program your options are only limited by the programs available as opposed to your physical location.

Go at a pace that makes sense for you.

Many traditional schools don’t place an emphasis on catering to the needs of working or non-traditional students. Imagine trying to work a full time job, raise a family, and pursue a degree at a rigorous pace. It doesn’t sound like any way to get ahead to me.

Spend less on miscellaneous costs.

The sticker tuition price is just the beginning of the true cost of an in classroom degree. On top of that you’re going to be paying for books, lab or other fees, transportation, and so on. On the other hand, many online degree programs quote an all inclusive price, or close to it, that’s often a lot more affordable because of the low overhead that comes with the online model.

Bolster your resume.

Going back to the beginning of this article, the most important reason why an online degree makes sense is what it could do for your job possibilities in regards to the talent glut we’re facing. In some areas of the country, unemployment is over 10% so there’s guaranteed to be stiff competition for every opportunity you’re able to uncover. An online degree, even one that is not yet complete, will show an employer that you’re committed to success in your job and prepared to pull out all the stops to set yourself apart.

The guest post was written by Brandon Olsen of the appropriately named online business degree site,

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August 9, 2009 at 9:31 am

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Miranda August 5, 2009 at 9:24 am

Online classes and degree programs can indeed be very helpful. My sister is finishing her degree with some help from online classes. They cost less than traditional classes, and she can do it at her own pace, working around her children.
.-= Miranda´s last blog ..Troubling Trend: Income Down, Spending Up =-.

Fiona August 5, 2009 at 11:06 am

An online degree can be a great choice as long as you check that the institution is accredited.

sarah August 5, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Make sure you double check the costs of the program. For my MBA, I did a hybrid of on campus and online classes. The online classes actually cost slightly more due to additional university online fees.

For me, the hybrid approach worked perfectly with my schedule and lined up to the realities of the working world. Many of my work interactions are remote and tools I learned through online group projects have served me well.

Matthew Paulson August 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I ended up doing a hybrid of on campus and online. It was a nice chance to do some networking while having some flexibility.
.-= Matthew Paulson´s last blog ..China Top Priority for HSBC =-.

Craig August 5, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I have never taken online classes like this before and am curious to hear about your experiences. They save a lot of money but I am not sure I would pay as much attention and the interaction is different.
.-= Craig´s last blog ..How to Start Dealing with Finances Post College? =-.

mrsmicah August 9, 2009 at 9:38 pm

@Miranda I think the growing respectability of online degrees is great for working people and parents. Such good pacing opportunities both in terms of how many courses you take and when you choose to get your work done.

@Fiona Definitely accredited. Fortunately, for library programs it’s quite easy to check ALA accreditation.

@Sarah Good point. There’s also the issue of out-of-state tuition, which can make them more expensive. They’re not automatically less expensive even if they’re often more convenient.

@Matthew if I did the nearby library program, I’d like to do that. Alas, they don’t seem to have much in the way of classes online, not that I can find.

@Craig I had a roommate who took community college courses online during regular college. It was her way of getting certain requirements out of the way, so she could take 24 credits but pay less than it would cost to take them at our school. It definitely requires discipline and motivation and it’s a mixed bag in terms of interactions with other students. But a good class is like a good message board online, it engages you (in fact, some classes she took did have message boards). I think anyone who can run a blog can take an online course…you’re used to sticking with things, even if you don’t feel like it.
.-= mrsmicah´s last blog ..PF Blogger Weight Loss Challenge – Final Week Results =-.

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