A future career often starts with obtaining a higher education and learning a specialized skill. The problem that many individuals face is working around the class schedule of traditional schools. The rise of online education has improved the scheduling dilemma by making classes available whenever a student is able to take the course. Understanding the trends in online education can help determine the likely future that students will face.
Statistical Trends: Online education is on the rise as more traditional institutions and online schools are adding new classes and incorporating the Internet in their programs. While traditional colleges and universities have seen a growth of enrollment of around 2 percent, online courses and classes have seen enrollment growth of roughly 21 percent. The statistical trend for more students who are looking for online classes or even completely online education will change the job outlook in the future. More employers are seeing students who obtained an online degree rather than a degree from a traditional college.
Determining Online Programs: The use of online classes in a college program does not necessarily mean that the program is considered an online degree or education. The amount of online classes available in the program is the key to determining whether the degree is primarily considered online or if it has a different classification.
Programs that are 80 percent or more online are considered online courses. Even if 20 percent of the classes are taken in a traditional classroom setting, the program is considered online due to the majority of the classes using the Internet as the major course of study. Programs that are between 30 and 79 percent online are called web-facilitated instead of online. This means that a large portion of the classes are through traditional education, but many parts of the program are also online. The programs that have 1 to 29 percent online classes are called blended classes. These are primarily traditional programs, but students might take one or two classes online during their normal studies.
Changes in Job Outlook: As more traditional colleges are adding online courses, classes and even full programs to their studies, employers are taking online degrees more seriously. A future career can stem from an online degree or program if the program is accredited and legitimate. The future starts with an education, but online degrees require more caution than traditional colleges or universities. The best online programs are those offered through the traditional universities and colleges because the programs are considered accredited and employers see the degree on a similar level as taking the traditional classes. Those who opt for a fully online course in fields of study that do not require hands-on experience will need to use caution when selecting the program. Researching the accreditation and legitimacy of the program is vital to getting a future career without going back to a traditional program.
An online education will not necessary change job outlooks if students use caution while selecting a program. The future starts with higher education and as more students enroll in online colleges or programs, employers will have more encouragement to hire from these areas of study. The key to a great future when planning to use online programs or colleges is carefully selecting an accredited program. A solid program will usually result in a better career.