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Finding The Right Online Degree Program

If you're serious about moving your life forward, you'll probably need to start with your education. And thanks to online schools, it is easier than ever before for anyone to get the degree they need to take their life to the next stage. There are hundreds of online classes out there. Between the rising number of universities and colleges offering online training and the numerous schools that are online-only, it can be a bit overwhelming just figuring out where you should start.

Finding the right online degree program doesn't have to be that difficult, however. If you'll keep a few key things in mind, you should have no problem tracking down the one that works best for you. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Accreditation – This is the most important thing you need to consider. Accreditation is basically certification for a college, telling the world that their educational program meets certain standards. Without it, a degree won't mean nearly as much to potential employers. Be sure that you look into the accreditation a school carries before you even think about enrolling. The US Department of Education maintains a database to use as a reference, if you need it.
  • Curriculum – Pay attention to the credits you get and the courses you'll take when you enroll. If you want to transfer, are your credits accepted in other schools? Do the courses cover things that will actually help you in your future field? These are important questions worth asking.
  • Stats – Don't be afraid to look at the statistics associated with a school. Look at the student loan default rates, the completion rates, and the employment rates for graduates in particular. Those three numbers will tell you a lot about whether or not you're looking at a school that is worth your money. The US News and World Report site is the best place to get all the info on a school's reputation and statistics.
  • Flexibility – Look into the overall level of flexibility provided by each program, too. Think about the methods used to teach, what kind of deadlines you must meet with classwork, and more. Balance the flexibility of the school against your own schedule in order to determine whether or not you should enroll in the program.

These are just four things you'll need to think about when finding the online degree program that is best for you. This is a big decision, and one you need to take very seriously. Spend the time you need to make the choice that you can be confident in. Online education can open a lot of doors for you, but you need to make certain you find the right school and the right program.