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The Re-emergence of E-Education: Advantages and Challenges to an Online Degree Program

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The Internet has made everything a little bit easier and more accessible to the world. What did we do without it? We shop online, read our news online, and find directions online. The Internet has permeated almost every aspect of our lives and education is no exception. Colleges and universities are expanding by offering extensive online education programs that allow students from across the country to take accredited courses from the comfort of their own homes.

Online degree programs have taken off in recent years, especially as an option for working professionals who want to further their education without giving up their day job. E-education is also ideal for stay-at-home parents looking to supplement their education at home. According to a survey by Vault Inc., a media company focusing on careers, online degrees are gaining momentum in the workplace. The company reports that 85% of employers feel online degrees are more acceptable today then they were five years ago.

Online degrees are available in associate, bachelor, masters and doctorate degree programs, in everything from business and health care to engineering and education. There are even websites devoted entirely to helping people find the best online degree option in specific fields. For example, www.collegefinder.org is one site that allows users to search by both degree and discipline.

Online education provides the opportunity for people on the west coast to obtain a degree in a field from a prestigious east coast university without having to pack up and relocate. The costs associated with online education are comparable to traditional classroom programs. But, without the commuting and living expenses, an online program can prove to be a financially sound alternative.

Unlike a traditional program, online education programs do not require a regular presence in a specific classroom, and students are able to learn at their own pace without adhering to time limits. Many online programs integrate online lectures and readings with real world work experience, in hands-on environments such as hospitals and schools.

The downside of online education rests in the isolation factor. Many prospective candidates miss the constant interaction with other students and teachers that a traditional classroom environment offers. However, most universities encourage students to establish relationships with other online students and faculty members. Discussion boards, e-mail, and online study groups provide ample opportunities for interaction with classmates and advisors.

It is important to weigh all of the options associated with online education before jumping into a program. Also make sure the college or university is an accredited university that is offering a legitimate degree. Believe it or not, there are still people looking to make some money in fake degree production. Whether you're looking to begin a new career, change professions, or advance within your current field, and online degree is a great place to start.

About the author:

Nina Nocciolino is a copywriter with DMI Partners, an interactive marketing agency specializing in higher education, finance, retail and real estate. For more information, visit www.dmipartners.com.

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