There are tons of online programs. I personally attended both traditional and online-only schools and I know someone that has taught for various online schools and traditional schools over the last five years. All are accredited and solid programs. Schools tend to vary in price, so we could say online schools are more expensive, but that is relative. Of course they are more expensive than a community college, but less expensive than Harvard. The price range varies.
The key is to find a program that is fully accredited. Is it worth it? YES. My career has boomed since my MBA at nearly 5 years ago. I am close to finishing my Ph. D through distance education, and I am at the job that I want. I know I wouldn’t be here without the education. If you are looking at work in the U.S., then you need a school that is accredited and recognized by the Dept of Ed. I can give more info on that later.
I have three basic recommendations for everyone looking into online/distance education. They all have to do with exploring; after all, you have to defend your assets.
- Make certain that you have triple checked their accreditation. First, they tell you what it is, then you go to that accrediting body’s website (not through the link provided by the school), and thirdly you would visit the department of education to see what they have to say. Do your diligent research into the institutions once you have narrowed down to a couple. You can look at the Better Business Bureau for more information on the college.
- You must have extreme self motivation and be able to teach yourself per say. This means that you will not have someone telling you verbally, so it is up to you to get the information from the course room, text, and other resources. The best way to look at it is like a guided independent study course.
- Review your goals, personal and professional. Make sure that the school that you are going to offers the programs that match your goals. Do not settle. There are many programs that are similar, but you have to make the ultimate decision. Do not let it be based on finances and length of program, but the fact that when you are finished or near finished you will be able to assume your proper place in the career field sought.
Finally, look at marketing yourself and not the degree or university. There are many traditional universities offering degrees that can be earned through online methods. Distance Learning Alliance has a list of these traditional online schools. Look at that if you are truly concerned with the name of the school. Good luck on your search!