Online Degrees in the News

Online Degrees in the News: Their Recent Growth and Acceptance

As you probably know, there has been a lot of talk recently about distance learning and online degrees. It is becoming an increasingly popular way for adults to further their education. While anyone can earn their degree online, this industry tends to focus on working adults who are looking to either change careers or advance in their current one. Online degrees make it easy for people to study and attend class while still working at their full time job. However, this focus may shift to include a wider target market in the near future because of the explosion of online schools and universities. Since the online phenomenon has continued to prove its worth and its popularity again and again, the media has delved into some of the major issues regarding these programs and a barrage of articles have been released about the subject.

Below is an overview of some of the major themes of the online industry that the news media has researched and what they discovered:

In an Australian study conducted to test the standard myths about online education, it was found that males do not dominate the classrooms, online programs are not only for young students, and that rural students are not at a disadvantage. A higher percentage of females participate in group and classroom discussions than do their male counterparts; aside from the full-time students younger than 20 years, the highest participation rate belongs to 51-year-old students; similarly, it was found that rural students were equally qualified and just as adept at working within these online programs as anyone else. The one surprise this study uncovered, was that a larger number than expected of full-time students utilize this online environment.

Another article determines that not only do the majority of educational institutions, from community colleges to the Ivy Leagues, feel that online learning is just as good as a traditional, face-to-face education, but nearly three out of four academic leaders say that learning online may be better within three years. The schools are good to begin with and only getting better. Thus, it follows that online learning is currently at historically high levels and it will continue to grow at a rate of nearly 20%.

There are also a number of articles asking the question, "can a virtual degree land someone a real job?" These articles typically discuss that although an online degree may not stand up to a Harvard degree anytime soon, a degree is a degree and it's extremely beneficial when compared to the alternative. Online schools do still fight the bias that many have towards a traditional classroom education, but this mainly exists because most people don't fully understand what is required of an online degree. However, many established universities have decided not to distinguish between degrees earned online and offline, which is a huge step towards gaining the total acceptance of online degrees as equal to traditional ones.

These are a few of the latest issues in the news regarding online education and where it is going. Since it's such a young industry, there's much debate about what the future holds. It seems, however, that the future will be a bright one because, already, the industry is a success itself and providing others with the opportunity to develop their own successes through higher education and the use of the most modern technologies available.

Schools to consider: