The economy has been on a steady increase for the past 7 years and according to Financial Times1, we’ve seen a 3.5% GDP growth in Q3 of 2018. Unfortunately, not everyone has been able to enjoy the spenders of a hot economy for various reasons. If you find yourself one of those unfortunate individuals who feel somewhat stuck in a rut in your life being passed up by a moving economy, you could be racking your brain as to how to get from under the funk cloud you feel oppressed by or how to climb out of the hole you inadvertently dug for yourself. Maybe you’re dying to find out how to surpass the plateau of life that gets so many of us. A big factor derailing some Americans from finding themselves amongst the cash river flowing throw the US is a degree. Perhaps part of your stagnation comes from an unfinished or unsatisfied education.
According to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute published in USAToday.com2, if you have a college degree, on average, you could potentially make 56% more than workers who only carry a high school diploma. This was a considerable jump from 1999 when you were more likely to make only 4% more by carrying a college degree. The 51% jump is the biggest gap in the Economic Policy Institute’s studies and analysis dating all the way back to 1973. Though we know a college degree could potentially improve our lifestyles, everyone can’t afford to go to college nor can everyone offer up the time it takes. So what is the best way to get your degree without completely derailing your life?
With the amazing advancements in technology, also comes an incredible increase in accessibility. Aspiring students can now enjoy the advantages of college from the comforts of their local Starbucks. Online course allow the same education, same access, and degrees as attending school in person. Many are unaware of the great benefits that come with an online education and are detoured by misinformation. Here are a few myths about online degrees that have been debunked.
A major myth and detouring factor for not pursuing an online degree is that online degrees aren’t offered by reputable colleges. This is a valid concern. The last situation you want to find yourself in is putting so much time and energy into pursuing your degree, just to find out your degree us useless and no employer will take it seriously. Fortunately, this is not the case. There are many highly recognized, reputable online colleges, who are in fact certified. You can now take college courses at Harvard’s Harvard X campus online and make your resume that much more exciting with a Harvard education being included in your exceptional history.
Another idea that has been debunked is that very few students choose online degrees. Based on federal data provided by usnews.com3, an excess of 4,700 colleges and universities, which equates out to about 6 million American undergraduate students, took at least one online course in fall 2016. Online courses saw a 5.6 percent increase in registration and attendance from the previous fall year of 2015. There’s been a reported 14 consecutive year growth for online college enrollment. Many public colleges and Universities have an online courses and colleges associated with their school. They saw the most significant growth on online enrollment with 7.3%, which shows an extreme interest in finishing school online. According to the same usnews.com4, about two-thirds of online students enroll in programs at public schools.
Some aspiring students may feel that online degrees aren’t the same quality as a traditional degree. As if sitting in the classroom make the quality of the digital record better than sitting in the comfort of your own home, or local Starbucks. The great news is if a college is accredited, then they fall in the same category. There will be no asterisk next to your degree when employers are trying to verify your educational background. Online degrees are from accredited colleges and Universities. If you get a Bachelors or Masters degree from an online school, your degree will be recognized and your career opportunities will open up for you.
The unsettling thought of costs tends to creep into many college attendance conversation. College is so expensive, students tend to be in debt for years after graduating. Some never payoff the school debt and default, forever leaving a blemish on their credit. The thought of online degrees costing no different than tuition for physical colleges is misguided. Online degrees will cost you tens of thousands of dollars less than going to a college or University in person. When you attend a physical institution, you’re paying for every bit of that institution. This includes the teachers who are instructing, the lights that light up your classroom, the computer labs, etc. None of these factors apply with online schools, so the costs are dramatically less for the same state mandated curriculum.
Finally, what happens if you give up 2 years of your life to pursue an online degree, just to never get hired? All that hard earned money down the drain because employers hate online degrees anyways. This is also a very untrue statement. Employers care about experience and how you can make yourself look on paper. Once you get your foot in the door, it’s up to you to sell yourself for the job, no degree can help your personality. However, a degree will put you in the considerations. Employers will not overlook you because you chose a path to an online degree. May adults don’t have the time or life capacity to attend a classroom in person. Employers understand the educational outcome is the same. Sometimes, they’ll get better outcomes from online candidates because they had the time to work in the field they are getting a degree in simultaneously.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual and their lifestyle when deciding on the type of degree to chase. Don’t let any of the aforementioned myths derail you from a life of opportunity, if you’re unable to attend college in person.