When making the crucial decision to step up your education, it is essential to choose a good quality online programme. Pursuing Higher Education is a strong investment – an investment in yourself that will lead to personal growth and better career prospects.
Many people are concerned about the validity of online degrees, as online degrees are still seen as a relatively new concept in education. Often it’s the unknown that worries a lot of people about embarking on an online degree, so check out the top tips for finding a reputable online degree.
- Reputation – You have to research the course provider in depth. Call them to have a discussion on the services and modules they provide. They should be knowledgeable and professional in their approach. It may sound funny, but make sure they are real! Yes, “real” in the sense of the university/provider actually being in business and having the courses they offer! Look for comments from previous students who undertook the course, log in on discussion forums, the Student Room, and make use of your social media accounts to interact with other prospective students who are on the same track. You might make some new connections while you’re on this journey!
- Accreditation – You need to make sure the course is accredited by the university or a professional body. Just think about it, if a course is not accredited by a body that has the authority to recognize its quality, anyone could start delivering and promoting courses designed by themselves! An accredited course is a course that has its content closely scrutinized, ensuring that its modules, assignments, lectures, mode of delivery, and tutors are of a good quality level, fair, and able to help you acquire relevant knowledge and skills.
- Programme Fees – A good degree programme should offer you the chance to pay in a reasonable variety of options, such as credit cards, student loans, bank transfer, etc. Alarm bells should be ringing if the degree/course providers ask you to pay the entire value of the programme up front. However, there are a few short online courses available where the cost is low and it is required to pay upfront. Bear in mind – you should always be aware of the cost involved in gaining your ideal qualification and think about the value of it rather than the price associated. With online courses, the usual payment method is by module/block of teaching – a pay-as-you-go plan where you choose when to move on to the next module.
- Time to Complete – If you can complete a traditional 3/4 year degree in one year or a couple of months online, then it’s not the right degree for you! You have to take into account that although you will be studying online, it’s still a degree programme. The online programme should mirror the traditional on-campus degree; the only difference should be the mode of delivery! It takes time to finish all your assignments, to complete all the modules, and to gain the knowledge and competencies needed. Unfortunately, if you can complete a degree overnight, it’s not a degree worth paying a penny for!
- Work Difficulty –Do say “goodbye” to the provider who guarantees you a pass in the qualification they offer. These courses will not be accredited and will hold little to no value to future employers and academics. On the other hand, studying online does offer you the flexibility to manage your own time and commit to the assignments and forum discussions at your own leisure. This offers you the phenomenal advantage of working at your own pace and doing your best in every coursework, keeping you on track to gaining the degree you’re aiming for!