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Article: What The Top Schools Offer

By Marianne Salina
January 31, 2006
Online Education Degrees Contributor

Do online degrees come from quality schools? What is the truth about an online education? Find out how the top schools in the country are also allowing students to access their programs online.

It seemed like a rumor at first that couldn't possibly be true: online colleges offering online degrees? School taught over the Internet? Impossible. But by now, almost everyone knows a thing or two about online education. After all, you can't ignore its presence with approximately two thirds of our colleges and universities providing their courses over the Internet. Now, students with obligations that once prevented them from pursuing their degrees are logging on and learning! The concept of receiving a Master's degree through a computer still baffles many, however, and a few misconceptions must be cleared up before the skeptics can sit comfortably. So for those doubters and disbelievers, a few of the big questions about online degrees are addressed here, and hopefully answered.

Which Schools Are Online-and are they Good?

Online education is not a farce; some of the top schools in the country provide course instruction and millions of students are reaping the benefits of their online degree. Internationally recognized institutions, including Harvard offer online courses and degree programs, and truthfully, colleges are finding that they can't afford not to provide them. In a recent survey regarding the outlook of online education, approximately half of the schools in the United States stated that online courses held a role in their long-term planning. Also, with enrollment rising each year, online colleges are finding ways to expand their courses and provide as many degrees as they offer on campus.

How Do Online Schools Compare?

The technology for pursuing degrees over the Internet continues to evolve, creating greater communication and enhancing resources. Online education is monitored and held to the same academic standards that face-to-face coursework must follow, and as a result, students are finding that their learning experience is equal to, if not superior to that of the traditional classroom. In addition to providing students with the best faculty, challenging coursework, chat rooms and interactive learning tools, the top schools are also offering a wide range of degrees. Online schools often offer two-year degrees, undergraduate degrees, and graduate studies programs:

  • Master's of Business Administration
  • Web Design
  • Nursing and Health Services
  • Accounting and Financial Services
Do Employers Take Online Education Seriously?

Whether an online degree will enable graduates to find a job is probably the most critical question to weigh. And the answer is yes; online degrees carry the same status as one earned in a traditional forum. Particularly now, as companies rely more upon the Internet, an online degree not only demonstrates the drive and initiative that employers seek, but also the ease with digital technology in the work place. Employers are expressing satisfaction with their online degree hires and are becoming increasingly open to the graduates of digital programs. While online education began over a decade ago, only in the last few years have all of the fully accredited schools incorporated distance learning. Now, students of every age and location are proving the merits of online education, turning this academic phenomenon into another societal norm.

  • "E-Learning Advances by Degrees" Tip Magazine, by Nancy Forbes, October/November 2001
  • "Future in Online Education", Online College Education Network (OCEN),
  • "Growing By Degrees: Online Education in the United States, 2005", The Sloan Consortium,
About the Author:
Marianne Salina is a freelance writer in Spokane, Washington. She writes about pursuits in education and degree opportunities.