Unfortunately, on a global scale, the United States is coming up short when it comes to the international education rankings of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. In fact, according to the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, The United States falls at number 14 in regards to reading skills and 25 for mathematics which is below average.
If we want to see an improvement in our economy and witness economic viability it’s important that those numbers rise. Therefore, the importance of a good education cannot be overlooked. While in the past it was enough to have a high school diploma or GED, now more and more employers want their potential employers to have higher education in the form of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctorate degrees.
Enrolling in an outstanding college online degree program is one way of increasing your marketable to prospective employers in a way that is flexible and convenient for you.
Online Degrees are On the Rise
Most students are brought up believing that if they graduate from high school, attend college, and do well there that they will assuredly find long-term employment and receive attractive salaries. While this is still true in one sense, it’s not always possible for students these days to receive a college degree at a traditional brick and mortar institution. For that reason, online degree programs are becoming more popular.
Due to economic reasons, many potential and would-be college students are forced to work full time and simply do not have a schedule that is conducive to attending classes at their local college or university. Or, perhaps, they live in a region that doesn’t offer easy access to an institution of higher education.
Earning a college online degree, however, helps students overcome these obstacles. With flexible schedules that allow students to complete coursework right from the privacy of their own home, it’s now possible to receive a college degree online. The students’ locations no longer matter-they just need access to the Internet.
An online degree can also be more financially feasible since students don’t have to spend money on university accommodations, campus dining services, and other expenses associated with brick and mortar institutions
Online Colleges Changing Perspectives
Another hurdle that some potential students are trying to overcome is their perspective of higher education in general. While in middle school and high school, it can be difficult to find quality educators that encourage students in a positive manner and offer them a clear educational purpose for a college online degree. By the time some students graduate they are unaware of their options and have no clear idea of how to reach their goals. Some find apathy with education along the way and are tiresome by the time they should be ready to earn a degree.
Online colleges and online degrees are helping students change their perspectives, however. These programs are not only convenient when it comes to scheduling, you can even take classes on the weekends, but they also offer experience and skill sets that can prepare students for specific jobs and careers.
In addition, instead of having an authority figure standing over the student and critiquing every pen stroke, online education is designed for those independent students who take responsibility for their own education and are self-starters. This can be a very appealing aspect for those that have, in the past, felt stifled by overbearing instructors that seemed to care less about the individual and more about the numbers.
The Numbers of the Online College Degree
It’s no wonder that getting a degree from an online college or university is becoming more popular. A 2020 report by the Sloan Consortium showed that there was a 21% growth rate for those enrolled in an online degree program. Even traditional universities understand the importance of this as they work to increase their number of online classes and distance learning courses.
Almost half of all students enrolled at traditional universities are taking at least one online college class. Some take these classes because they have other commitments that won’t permit them to take courses in the college classroom while others enjoy the benefit of being able to learn the material at home. Still, other students enjoy the amount of personal freedom these online classes allow them.
It is generally expected that the rate of students enrolling in online degree programs will increase within the next few years. Due to the popularity of such a college online degree, there is no longer a negative stigma attached to web-based education as there once was. Students are graduating and finding favorable employment opportunities.
The popularity of such online college programs increased, as well, when the Higher Education Reconciliation Act made it possible for students to receive federal funding for their online education that didn’t exist in the past. In the future, it is expected that as students try to find a more flexible education system that can prepare them for better employment opportunities and salaries, the online college scene will grow even stronger.