Online Education is Growing in Popularity and Credibility

By March 28, 2008

With the increasing importance of higher education in the workplace, more and more people are turning to online universities to earn their degrees. Once overlooked in importance, online schools like the University of Phoenix On

line, American Sentinel University, and Kaplan University are becoming more credible with employers.

Distance education, as it is properly termed, is becoming popular with working adults primarily because of the limited disruption it creates. Many adults struggle to find time to go to school while working and/or caring for a family, and earning a degree online provides a convenient and flexible solution.

According to researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia, traditional students (on-campus) reported that pursuing a degree had a “significant negative impact” on their relationship with their significant other and their work schedule compared to online students.

Online degrees range from associate’s to doctorate degrees, but the majority of them are business-related. Online MBA (Master of Business Administration) degrees are increasing in popularity because of the financial and career advancements that come with it.

According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council, holding an MBA can increase one’s salary by up to 50%. Because many people who pursue such advanced degrees work full time, they look to online degree programs to accommodate their schedules.

Not all online MBA schools are the same, though. PayScale reports that the median salary of a University of Phoenix graduate is $61, 945 while that of a UCLA graduate is $114,244. The difference shows that although strictly online schools are growing in credibility, they still do not compare to traditional universities with online programs.

The convenience of earning a degree online and the growing credibility of online universities are changing the shape of education, but it still requires one to do proper research, as some online schools cost more than actually attending class.

Danny Scuderi
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