Various Ways to Pay Tuition for Online College or masters degree

Various Ways to Pay Tuition for Online College

paying for an online masters degree

When considering the decision to go back to school adults often lament about the cost associated with college.  People wonder if the amount spent on the degree will really equate to earnings that will give them a good return on their investment.  When comparing various prices for tuition at different schools the doubts are understandable.  However, online schools continue to offer one of the best packages for the least price. 

People that have never searched for tuition funds may be a little intimidated by the process.  Without a doubt there is no right or wrong way to secure the necessary money for tuition and fees.  But there is a huge assortment of grants, scholarships and loans aimed at helping people complete their degree in a timely manner.

Here are some of the more popular methods for finding tuition money.

  1. Get help from your current employer.  Several companies offer different forms of a college reimbursement plan.  They see the value of helping employees improve their knowledge and skills and are willing to help pay for the cost of getting a variety of degrees.  However, this may not be a good course of action if you are returning to school to get a job in a different field.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  This one form will help you find out about the government assistance for which you are eligible. If you can you should seek out a federal loan over a private loan since the federal loans usually offer better interest rates.
  3. Talk to private organizations and foundations.  There are a variety of local groups in most areas who annually offer a scholarship to students based either on need or some special criteria.  This could be a church, an employee’s union, or a civic organization.
  4. Ask your State for help.  States also have scholarships as well as various loans they offer in order to help people achieve a degree.  Start by calling a State office of education to find out about the possible sources of funds.
  5. Use tax credits.  The federal government offers a $2000 credit under the Lifetime Learning Credit program.  This credit is applied towards materials bought in the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree.
  6. Perform a thorough grant search.  Grants are a great way to get money for college since there is no requirement to repay the money.  Grants come from numerous places.  There are grants offered by government agencies at the local, state and Federal level.  Some private organizations also have their own grants that they award yearly.  And you can inquire about the Academic Competitiveness Grant, the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant.
  7. Ask about benefits for veterans.  Veterans are able to qualify for the Reserve Educational Assistance Program also called REAP. In addition, the spouse or children of veterans may qualify for assistance under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (SDEA).
  8. Complete scholarship applications.  Scholarships are very similar to grants since it is not expected that the amounts are to be repaid. Scholarships come from companies, organizations, schools, civic groups and many other places.  Some are awarded simply based on an application whereas others may have stricter requirements.
  9. Research all available financial assistance programs.  Investigate each financial assistance package from the various schools that you are considering.
  10. Study graduation percentages for your intended school.  Be aware that some schools are incredibly tougher than others.  Ask the admissions counselor for the percentage of students that graduate each year, particularly in your chosen field.

Using Online Classes to Improve Your Career

Using Online Classes to Improve Your Career

masers degree online improves career

Completing your degree through an online college can be a great way to moving up in your career.  It is not necessary to quit work while you attend a full time class load or take classes at a local night school.  Online classes will give you the benefit of working at a speed that is right for you while at the same time keeping your job and making your commitments to your family.

Online colleges usually have less expensive tuition and fees since they do not have the necessary maintenance and costs associated with multiple buildings and an adequate campus. The lower cost, coupled with numerous loans, grants and scholarships make it very affordable for most individuals to attend classes who otherwise thought it might be impossible.

It is possible that your current employer has a tuition reimbursement program to help pay for your classes.  This is common for industries where earning a higher degree makes the person more valuable to the company.  Some common examples are healthcare facilities and educational facilities.  You will also be seen in a better light by management when they learn that you are seeking a higher degree on your own time.

When faced with a struggling economy, employers usually lay off the people with either the least amount of knowledge or outdated training.  Along with earning a promotion as well as increasing your pay rate, a higher degree can help insulate your position with the company. 

One good strategy is to complete a master’s degree in your field of work.  It will greatly improve your odds of landing a different job or advancing at your current company.

Advantages of Master’s Degree

The current job market is fiercely competitive.  Potential new hires are looking for every advantage to make them stand out and get noticed by managers.  A master’s degree is one of the best ways to show employers that you are serious about your field and your work.  The good thing is that on average a person with a master’s degree will gain about $10,000 more per year than people who have just a bachelor’s degree.

On the flip side, there are some jobs that require a minimum of a master’s degree just to be considered for employment.  Certain jobs such as administrative, management and research jobs require that the people have the specific knowledge that only comes from an advanced degree.  Along with the additional knowledge, managers prefer people with a master’s degree simply because it shows more determination and ambition in the person’s character.

If you wish to move into a completely different line of work, a master’s degree can make the transition much easier.  Many of the current online colleges provide numerous tips and strategies to help you make the move into your new career with as little trouble as possible.  Often times the requirement to apply for a master’s program is just a bachelor’s degree, even if it is in an unrelated field.

Examples of Advancing in a Career with a Master’s Degree

People who are currently teaching at the elementary or secondary level could move forward in their career with a master’s degree.  Teachers have many options to specialize in different areas of education such as instruction, early childhood education, secondary education and administration.  The specialization can provide new job possibilities as well as provide a higher income.

Licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and vocational nurses can move into new areas with a master’s degree.  Some examples are nurse science, family practical nursing or general nursing.  A master’s degree in nursing often provides people with the needed credentials to apply for management jobs in various healthcare facilities.  The really attractive jobs in private care that allow weekends off usually cater to nurses with a master’s degree.

The administrators who work in healthcare organizations are encouraged to also earn a master’s degree in order to stay current with the ever changing information in the healthcare industry.  People can earn a master’s degree in health and medical administrative services, medical and health management as well as healthcare administration in order to move up the corporate ladder.

Business degrees in various fields are still a very popular choice for people who wish to work towards a bachelor’s degree.  Not surprisingly, the master’s degree programs for various business disciplines are also quite popular.  One master’s degree that gets a lot of attention is the Master’s degree in Business Administration, also referred to as an MBA.  Often times the people that graduate with this degree are placed almost immediately into an assistant to a manager position in order to groom them for a quick promotion into management.  Many of these people also choose to start a company of their own.  Besides the MBA, there are also master’s degrees for fields such as finance, accounting, human resources and marketing.

All of the areas associated with computers are another popular choice for many people.  A master’s degree is available for computer science, computer programming and computer support services.  Often times the people with a master’s degree in one of these areas are quickly promoted to a management position over a small team of like minded individuals.

Transferring Your Course Credits from an Online College to a Traditional Campus School

Transferring Your Course Credits from an Online College to a Traditional Campus School

transferring credits

People often worry that the credits earned from an online college are not easy to transfer to a campus type college.  However, this is not true.  While transferring and credit takes a bit of time and sufficient paperwork, it can be accomplished with a little information gained beforehand. 

A common scenario involves people completing an associate’s degree through an online college in order to move on to a campus college and complete a bachelor’s degree.  This can help people save time and money by taking advantage of the flexible and less expensive online classes.

And then there are people who for one reason or another did not have the proper requirements to gain admission to the first college that they chose.  Attending classes online and earning an associate’s degree gives them a much better chance of being accepted into numerous colleges when they are ready to transfer.

Map Out Your Classes

If you are confident that you will later transfer to another college then you have the luxury of picking the right classes now that will make the transition much easier.  By investigating the degree of your choice at the next school you can pick the classes at an online college now that will be of most good to you.

Keep in mind that just because a school accepts your credits from an online college it does not automatically count towards your desired degree.  Often times a core curriculum course, as in history or math, may not be accepted since schools have different guidelines for each course.

Another important point is that most traditional colleges do not allow students to transfer a large number of credits.  Most schools allow a maximum between 30 and 50 percent of credits to come via transfer.  Thus it will serve you well to choose the right classes now to prevent repeating any classes later on.

Get Help from an Admissions Counselor

An adviser can be of great use to you during the transfer process.  They can point out potential problems, help you choose the best courses and answer any questions that may arise during the whole transfer. 

You will likely be asked to complete a form that will determine if your classes and credits are eligible for transfer to the next school.  Often times this form can be found at the school’s website.  You should still contact the admissions department and ask for advice from one of the counselors.  This will greatly improve your odds of receiving credit for the work that you have already done.

It is also a good idea to ask about life experience.  Some schools will give credits to people based on experience they have in the work force.  This experience can be documented based certain licenses, certifications, classes that were completed on the job and other similar experiences that are related to the degree you are seeking.

Strategy for Transferring Credits

  • Do your best in every single online class.  Some schools will not accept a credit if you earn a grade below a B.  Classes that are pertinent to your chosen degree are looked at with even more scrutiny.
  • You have a small window of opportunity to finish your online classes, transfer to another college and then complete your degree.  If you do not finish your degree in the allotted time you will have to re-take some classes.
  • Research the school’s admission policies to find out if they accept credit transfers all year long or only during certain periods.
  • You should consider applying to more than one school for your final degree.  If one school does not accept all of your credits it is possible that another school will.
  • Make sure you attend online classes at an accredited online school.  Credits from unaccredited schools are not eligible for transfer to traditional colleges.

The Various Ways to Learn at an Online College

The Various Ways to Learn at an Online College

online learning formats methods
online learning formats

Although it may seem that online classes are a totally new way of learning, it is actually just a modified version of the correspondence classes.  There was a time when people could fill out a form, attach a check and mail the whole thing off to a distance learning organization.  The person would then receive a package in the mail that included all the books and worksheets to systematically teach the person a new skill.  But these types of organizations are disappearing in the wake of the bulging online colleges.

The online classes offer several benefits over the correspondence courses.  Students are able to interact with teachers and classmates through video chat, email and message forums.  Through the use of different types of media students get a more rounded exposure to the material.  Indeed, many people who once considered attending college at some remote location are now researching the option to attend classes online.  Certain areas of study seem more in line with this type of learning such as accounting, finance, business administration and human resources.

Online classes can be set up in different ways.  The main goal of the class will usually dictate the format that is used to deliver the information.  For people that are attending a class online that will require some face time in the classroom, the format will be quite different from a completely online course.  It is pertinent to understand what is expected of you before agreeing to complete the class.

Asynchronous or Synchronous

The different types of online classes can be labeled either asynchronous or synchronous.  Synchronous is a term that means “at the same time.”  Asynchronous is the opposite and means “not at the same time.”  Synchronous class will require the student to appear in classes at a set meeting time.  This may be handled by attending the physical class, watching via web camera, or chatting with the instructor and students through online messenger.

On the contrary asynchronous classes will generally have a deadline each week or every other week, allowing students to work according to their own schedules.  This type of class will require students to communicate frequently with the teacher and classmates through email and message boards online.  Much of the material used in asynchronous classes is written information rather than video or audio.

Synchronous courses obviously do not have the flexibility of the asynchronous courses.  But due to the high level of real time interaction between professors and students the synchronous format remains as the most sought after type of class.

Some classes do work better with the synchronous method because the class relies heavily on communication.  Examples are nursing, counseling psychology and general education.  The classes that require a good deal of research assignments and in depth projects are better suited to the asynchronous method.  Examples of those types of degrees are paralegal, advertising, marketing and healthcare administration.

Open Schedule Classes

This is a type of asynchronous class.  The books are usually online versions of a class text book, students are given access to email as well as mailing lists and message boards, and they are provided with several deadlines.  Students can work on assignments and complete work anytime they please as long as they meet the deadlines.  This type of freedom works great for students that are naturally driven and usually finish work on time or early.  People that procrastinate will usually struggle with this type of class.

Blended Distance Learning Class

A blended class, sometimes called a hybrid, combines different aspects of asynchronous and synchronous formats. This usually means that the students are required to meet either physically in class or at a pre-determined time online.  But their assignments can be completed at their own pace so long as they meet the deadlines.  Usually, the various assignments can be submitted online.  Some schools will provide a hybrid class when their facilities do not have enough space to hold all of their classes.

Computer Distance Class

A computer distance class is different from a hybrid class.  Students are informed before the semester starts that they must meet at a room or computer laboratory at a certain time and day on a weekly basis.

Designated Time Computer Class

This is the most prevalent type of online course.  Students do all of their learning via online studying but they basically attend class.  They meet at a certain time and on a certain day.  This is a type of synchronous format.

The Good and the Bad of Online Masters Degrees

The Good and the Bad of Online Schools

online masters

Vast improvements in overall computer technology have led to a strong growth in the enrollment numbers at online colleges.  The better equipment and software has also opened up online classes for campus schools as well.

The whole online college concept is still new to a lot of people.  Due to their reliance on computers, the schools change with each advancement in technology.  Students, along with professors, learn more about the nature of online schools everyday and gain valuable insight into how the systems work.

But just like most things, online schools are not perfect.  They have some distinct benefits not found in other types of education.  And they have some disadvantages as well.  A person’s natural strengths and weaknesses will have more impact on whether or not a person chooses to use an online college.

The Good

  1. Available classes – The number of online colleges increases every year.  This provides more options for students and leads to better schools. 
  2. Flexible schedules – Most online colleges allow students to review information when it is most convenient for them.  Students will have assignments that must be completed according to a deadline and they must also participate in discussions via email or a message board.  As long as the student is completing work according to schedule and providing meaningful contributions to discussions they can look at the material based on their particular schedule.
  3. Location – Students are not limited to attending classes at a school that is physically convenient.  They can enroll in schools from anywhere in the country.
  4. Access anytime, anywhere – As long as the student has a computer with internet access, they can get to their materials and assignments regardless of where they may be. 
  5. No commute – This is one item that a lot of students enjoy.  There is no need to plan for a drive, find a parking spot and walk to class.  All of that extra time can be spent on work, family obligations or preparing for class.
  6. Material available in different formats – Most online colleges have different ways of getting information to the students.  Of course there are text documents, but students can also see lectures video, listen to a CD or MP3 recording of the lecture.
  7. Learn on your own – Students can decide when they should work on their studies, how much time to use for preparing for class and whether they want to turn in their assignments early or on time.
  8. Different classes – There are so many classes and degrees available that it can be overwhelming.  People can choose from associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees in all kinds of areas such as teaching, business, engineering and healthcare.

The Bad

  1. Lack of Interaction with students – One thing that people enjoy so much about college life is the chance to meet and interact with a wide variety of people.  Online colleges provide ample opportunities for students to chat with one another, but this is done online and is primarily all written exchanges.
  2. Lack of interaction with professors – Online professors do not play as big a part in teaching students of online colleges since so much work is done independently.  The limited discussions and feedback that teachers can offer on various quizzes and assignments may not be sufficient for some people.
  3. Need for technical skills – Some people do not have a computer of their own and some people cannot get high speed internet access.  And there are those people who are uncomfortable using a computer for all of the necessary class requirements.
  4. Negative view of the school – Online colleges have gained a great amount of respect in recent years but there is still a section of the population that considers these schools to be second rate.
  5. Lack of physical environment – A traditional campus school usually has a number of clubs and physical activities that can be enjoyed by the students.  Online schools do not have these types of offerings.
  6. Need for self management of time – People who tend to wait until the last possible minute to complete their work may struggle with online classes.  Setting a daily schedule, putting aside time for study and preparation as well as contributing to online discussions is paramount to performing well at an online college.
  7. Financial assistance – Financial assistance varies from school to school.  Some online schools do not offer nor accept assistance in any form. 
  8. Transferring credits – While improvements have been made, it is still a tedious task to transfer credits from an online college to a campus type college. 

Setting Expectations for Online masters degree

Setting Expectations for Online College online masters degree

masters degree online expectations

The majority of students want to be the best, get the highest grades and really stand out from the crowd of classmates.  However, there are many people who aren’t ready for online classes.  If you are taking your first online class then you may have some questions about how to maximize your class time and learn as much as you can.

Performing well in a traditional class is different from doing well in an online class.  The prime difference is in the way people learn through online courses.  People need a lot of self drive in order to succeed at online classes and complete a degree.

You should take care of the following items before your class begins.

  • Contact the school’s bookstore and place your order for the correct books.  Getting your books well ahead of the start of a new semester means you will have the necessary materials to not only prepare for class but also for assignments.
  • Ask the admission counselor if you can complete an orientation that teaches new students how to use the school’s class management software.  There are times when the teacher has the option of picking a completely different system.  Get in touch with your professor prior to the start of the semester to ensure that you are learning the right system.
  • Make sure your internet browser works with the class management software.  The software should have a brief technical details description that describes which browser works best with the system. 
  • Double check to see that your tuition is paid in full or that any financial assistance has been properly processed.  If your bill is not paid you may be delayed in joining the class or banned altogether until the following semester.

Culture of Online College

Many people worry how they will function in the online school world.  For a college that is exclusively online, with no classroom time, the setup is very similar to social networks.  You will be talking to professors, and classmates, through emails, message boards, instant message systems or chat rooms.  This means that you likely won’t “see” any of these people in real time.  Participation in discussion, whether it is in class or in a chat room afterward, becomes crucial since this is the main way that you will have of connecting with classmates. 

Some people do not care for this faceless form of communication.  Other people feel their discussions with both teachers and peers are much deeper due to the increased amount of communication.  Some advocates of online classes say that this type of interaction is a perfect preparation for work in the corporate world. Email is extremely common since it is more convenient and it keeps a log of what has actually been said.

Focusing On Your Studies

You must be able to manage your time wisely if you are going to succeed in online classes.  You will be responsible for getting yourself motivated since there is no teacher standing over your shoulder encouraging you to keep working.  You must be able to focus on the materials presented in lectures, studying all written materials and adequately prepare for tests on your own.

Obviously, when you are enrolled in an online college there is nobody around to supervise you.  One of the best ways to stay on track is to work on your classes a little bit every day, instead of putting off to once or twice a week.  This gives your mind a better opportunity to absorb the material and reduces your stress.  Many students claim they get more information out of their online courses compared to classroom courses. 

However, you should not feel like you are going it alone.  You can reach out to your professors using a wide range of communication methods and you should take advantage of this. A quick email to answer a question, reading over previous comments left on a message board and even setting up a time for a web video chat are ways that you can get answers to your questions in quick fashion.

Technical Skills

Attending an online college will require some technical skills on your part in order to finish the classes successfully.  Although it is not 100% required, having your own computer that you use for all of your work is the best course of action. In addition, you want to have a dependable connection to the internet that offers high speed access.  You will likely need Microsoft Excel and Word, or a similar program, along with software that plays internet video.

How Traditional Schools and Online Schools are Similar

Although there are some profound differences between campus schools and online colleges there are also some similarities.  Regardless of the type of school, at the beginning of the semester you will receive your syllabus that has the dates for important assignments, quizzes and major tests. 

Both types of schools offer similar degrees with accompanying necessary coursework.  Professors are expected to convey their messages to the students in a manner that is easily understood by the students and leaves no doubt of expectations.  Students should understand exactly what each assignment entails, what information they are to provide and the manner in which the professor expects to receive the assignment. 

Picking the Right Online College for a Masters Degree online

Picking the Right Online College

picking a masters degree online

Choosing an online college is usually a little easier once you have made some other choices.  Determining the type of work you want to do, which will dictate the necessary degree, are often the first steps towards continuing your career or starting a new career.  Now begins the process of weeding through the available schools and determining which one will best suit your needs.

Online schools are like all other products and services.  There are some schools that have the best curriculum, professors and resources and enjoy a great reputation.  Other schools are not the best but they are really good and the degree you receive from them will be highly respected my multiple employers.  Then there are schools that may seem a little questionable and should be avoided.  Take your research seriously and find the right school for you.

Is the School Accredited?

It is supremely important that you are taking classes from a school that is fully accredited.  This simply means that the school has been reviewed and deemed to meet the standards set by the National Education Association (NEA).  This accreditation includes the textbooks, professors and methods of teaching.

Stay away from schools that are members of some dubious group or who cannot provide a straight answer concerning their NEA accreditation.

What is entailed in the Course?

Many online schools offer access to their catalogue of available classes online.  Some schools will send you a printed version upon request.  This is where you can find out what items are covered in each course as well as the objectives.  You should be able to see a brief list of any materials expected to be used for each class such as textbook, workbook, CD or other items.  Reviewing this description will give you a better feel for the course and help you to understand what is expected of you.

Chat with a Counselor from the Admission Office

You should schedule a time to talk with one of the counselors from the admission office.  Be prepared to ask a few questions such as:

  • Can students get in touch with teachers? If the answer is yes, how can students communicate with teachers?
  • What are the operating hours for the technical support department?
  • How much technical knowledge does a student need in order to complete online classes?
  • What types of financial assistance is offered by the school?
  • How healthy is the interaction between students?

Investigate the Procedures for Transferring Credits

Some students that are entering the world of online classes for the first time have prior credits from another school.  These credits could be used in fulfilling the requirements for the degree that the student is currently pursuing.  Each school has their own rules about accepting credits and how many credits they will accept.  If you have some credits that you wish to transfer you should send a copy of your transcript to the school and ask them for an estimate of how many credits the school will recognize.

Is the Administrative Department Committed to the Student’s Success?

Attending classes on line should be a rewarding experience, not a constant struggle.  The top schools are the ones that are committed to making sure their students have the materials and tools to succeed.  The administration needs to be responsive in returning calls in a timely manner, along with emails, and providing you with any necessary documents that you need.

Ask About Credits for Life Experience

Many schools have a formula for providing credits to people that have significant experience in a particular industry.  Most schools place a limit on the maximum number of credits that a person can receive based on experience alone.  Get in touch with one of the counselors and ask them for an appropriate application.  You should also inquire about their portfolio requirements which will typically include the following items:

  • Description of the job you held
  • Some examples of the work you performed
  • Resume
  • Professional references from previous clients or co-workers
  • Certificates or licenses
  • Any awards received for the quality of your work

How big are the Classes?

Most online schools have classes that are much smaller in size compared to campus universities that may a lecture hall with 500 or more people in a class.  Smaller classes give the professors a chance to speak to each student and provide unique feedback.  In addition, communication from the professor will be prompt and accurate.

Does the School Offer Asynchronous Classes, Synchronous Classes or Both?

This can be a crucial factor for people who need a lot of flexibility in their classes.  Synchronous classes mean that the students all attend class at the same time and on the same day, whether in person or online.  Asynchronous classes allow students to read or watch the lecture on their own time and offer insights into group discussions that typically take place on message boards.  Asynchronous courses are much more reliant on strict deadlines.

Can you try Out a Course Online?

Some schools offer a demonstration course for new students.  This allows the students to get familiar with the software, the interaction between students and professors, as well as setting a schedule for studies.  Take notes about how the students communicate with each other, how quickly the teacher responds to questions and the level of work expected for the class.  A Wonderful new opportunity to try online learning for free is available at

Are the Alumni Still Connected to the School?

This might be just as important as the level of education.  You want to find a school that offers a strong network of graduates so that you have resources to help you land a job once you graduate.

Most Popular Degrees from Online Schools

Most Popular Degrees from Online Schools

popular online program

Most of the degrees that people seek from an online college are flexible and can open the doors to a multitude of careers.  Employers like to see new hires that have a broad range of skills in order to accomplish numerous goals.  If you are well rounded you will have more to offer when you are seeking out a new job.

The degrees that currently enjoy popularity are in the fields that are expected to grow significantly in the next 10 years. Finding a degree in a hot industry can greatly improve your chances of finding work once your coursework is finished.  The following list represents some of the current popular degrees from online colleges and may give you some insight as to which program you should consider.

  1. Engineering – Real world questions are answered through the use of complex math formulas and equations. Currently over 1 million engineers hold jobs comprised of 17 different engineering disciplines. America’s thirst for better, faster, more powerful technology has kept the engineering sector strong and thriving.  While many people study for a master’s degree it is possible to get various jobs with a bachelor’s degree.  Possible jobs for engineering major:
  2. Environmental engineer
  3. Chemical engineer
  4. Nuclear engineer
  5. Electrical engineer
  6. Nursing – The nursing field is one of the fastest growing parts of the healthcare industry. Most students choose to get a Bachelor’s degree (RN) or a Master’s degree (MSN) in nursing from an online college.  Possible jobs for nursing major
  7. Registered Nurse
  8. Charge Nurse
  9. Treatment Nurse
  10. Criminal Justice – A criminal justice degree can prepare people to work in law enforcement at various Federal, state and local levels.  The type of work you can perform will be directly tied to the level of your online degree.  Obviously, certain entry level positions will be available to you once you complete an associate’s degree.  However, higher paying and more reputable jobs await those that receive a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Possible jobs for criminal justice major:
  11. Police officer
  12. Security guard
  13. Prison security
  14. Manager of police station
  15. Police detective
  16. Psychology – This is the study of human actions and also how various parts of the brain work.  The vast majority of people in this line of work have at least a minimum of a master’s degree.  Most of them choose to complete their Ph. D. It is possible to begin working as an assistant to a psychologist once you have completed a bachelor’s degree from an online college.  Possible jobs for psychology major:
  17. Psychologist
  18. Healthcare Administration – People with this degree usually work in the business offices of healthcare facilities. Their jobs are primarily concerned with maintaining the records of clients and filing claims with insurance companies for reimbursement.  An associate’s degree will enable most people to obtain work as a medical receptionist or similar office staff.  Pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree will give people a chance to move much further up in the field.  Possible jobs for healthcare administration major:
  19. Medical transcription
  20. Medical secretary
  21. Office manager of doctor’s office
  22. Business Administration – This is a highly popular degree and offers graduates a wide range of job possibilities.  Many people will complete this degree along with another degree simultaneously.  Some people may complete a business administration degree along with a bachelor’s degree in finance or management.  Other people will want to push their studies farther and complete a master’s degree (MBA).  Possible jobs for business administration major:
  23. Finance manager
  24. Management analyst
  25. Marketing manager
  26. Computer Science – This degree centers on the design of software and computers.  It also encompasses the interaction of various hardware pieces common to computers.  Possible jobs for computer science major:
  27. Computer programmer
  28. Hardware engineer
  29. Information system manager
  30. Education- In this field people learn the tools and techniques needed to keep a classroom on schedule and the different methods of educating pupils.  Most individuals will complete a bachelor’s degree from an online school in order to begin working as a teacher.  In order to move into administration or counseling, a master’s degree will be necessary.  Possible jobs for education major:
  31. Elementary and high school teacher
  32. Remedial instructor for adults
  33. Special education instructor
  34. School counselor
  35. Accounting – Every company needs the services of an accountant at one time or another. Accountants spend their days crunching numbers in a variety of settings.  People with a master’s degree can go on to receive their certified public accountant (CPA) license and make remarkable salaries.  For those individuals that wish to start work right away and continue studying for a higher degree part time, they can get an associate’s degree in accounting and work as an assistant to a bookkeeper.  Possible jobs for accounting major:
  36. Auditor
  37. Tax accountant
  38. Financial analyst
  39. Graphic Design – A degree in this field equips people with the ability to create the images and backgrounds used in software, websites and movies.  People who are both artistic and technical usually excel in this work.  A bachelor’s degree is the norm for getting started in this industry.  However, an associate’s degree will enable people to begin working as some type of assistant.  Possible jobs for graphic design major:
  40. Graphic design
  41. Commercial design
  42. Fashion design

Important Items to Consider Before Picking an Online College for an online masters degree

Important Items to Consider Before Picking an Online College

check list for online masters degree

Without a doubt online colleges offer a great way to finish a degree that you may have started years ago or simply complete a new degree.  Based on the growing range of degrees offered, as well as the flexible nature of the classes, it is easy to see why so many people are attending classes and advancing in their careers.

But there are a lot of online schools and it can be tough to research each one in order to find out the best option for your needs. The schools do not have to conform to a particular standard therefore it pays to do a little homework and find out some key pieces of data before enrolling. 

After you have found a few schools that have the degree you wish to complete you can review the school’s internet site to determine as much as you can about the school.  In addition you will want to consider these items as you pick out a school.

  1. Resources – One of the most important areas of a good college is the career office.  Getting a quality degree is nice but it does not guarantee you will find a job.  Getting tips and contacts from the career office is one more way to help you when you are ready to seek out new employment.
  2. Quality – You want to make sure that the school is accredited.  Employers want to see applicants that have degrees from a competent school to ensure they have the proper skills for the job.
  3. Available support for tech help – Since online colleges have classes that are usually available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week it would be nice if the technical support team for the school is also available at the same time.  Various issues may arise in turning in assignments, viewing videos of lectures or retrieving documents from the web server.  You want to make sure you have ample assistance for any problem that might arise.
  4. Schedule of classes – If you are attending classes at a college that is physically unreachable by you then it makes sense to ensure that all classes are held completely online.  Some colleges have a blended format where online time is combined with time spent in the classroom.
  5. Feedback from professors – You want to find a school that encourages and reports a lot of feedback from the professors to the students.  Although the class is online and you may never see the teacher in person you will need direction from the professor to make sure you are grasping the material.
  6. Price of classes – Many people consider this factor first.  You should locate all the schools with a good reputation that offer the degree of your choice.  Then begin to look into the costs.  Ask the school about scholarships, grants and any financial aid that is available before making your final choice based on the price tag.
  7. Available courses – You want to get as much out of your degree as possible.  Investigate the different classes offered by each online school in your chosen degree and see which one provides the most in-depth courses.
  8. Available financial aid – Each school has varying requirements for providing financial assistance to students.  Some schools may simply list their tuition and recommend that you find the best way possible to pay for it.  Other schools will have a staff team dedicated to helping you secure the necessary funds for your education.
  9. Teaching staff – You really should investigate the backgrounds and credentials of the professors that will be conducting your classes.  Teachers that have worked in the field in which they now teach can provide real world advice and knowledge that can benefit you beyond the classroom.
  10. Opinions from current students – Several review sites exist where students can offer up opinions on their classes and instructors.  Finding out which school routinely gets negative feedback will help you determine which school to avoid.

How to Succeed with an Online masters degree

How to Succeed with an online masters degree

It goes without saying that students who participate in online classes need a certain amount of self determination and organization in to be successful.  It is important to devote sufficient time not just to the actual class session but also in preparation and studying.  The good news is that this hectic schedule will not last forever.  Once you have finished the necessary classes that lead to your degree you will be ready for that promotion or new career that you have envisioned. 

It is important to understand that although online schools are very similar to traditional schools in some ways it still requires some unique skills in order to complete the necessary work.  Here is a short list of guidelines to help you better prepare study and succeed in your endeavors to complete a degree online.

  1. Review your syllabus prior to each class.  Keep a calendar with notes about homework, projects, quizzes and the major tests.  Make notes based on your calendar based on the syllabus. 
  2. Keep your equipment up to date. Attending online classes means you will need access to a reliable computer.  In addition to the computer you will need some type of word processing document to write papers and homework assignments.  There are certain classes that may require you to acquire other software as well
  3. Lay out reasonable goals.  Online colleges expect their students to have enough discipline to plan out a time for study and preparation as well as complete their assignments in a timely manner.   It is well known that college instructors do not provide as much assistance and individual attention as high school instructors. 
  4. Lean to your strong points.  If you excel at preparing research papers then you should consider courses that involve lots of writing assignments.  Conversely, if you are the type of person that freezes up during tests due to anxiety then you should steer clear of a class that involves a high percentage of your overall grade coming from one or two major tests.
  5. Get involved in class discussions.  It is important to let teachers know that you are grasping the material.  Log in frequently to your class discussion boards and message centers.  Stay up to date with comments left by other students and also pay attention to the students that are making high marks in the class.
  6. Turn in all assignments early.  You need to develop a system of blocking out time to work on your studies and complete assignments early.  Since the classes can be fit around your schedule, getting the work done and out of the way will allow you to spend time on other things that make you happy.
  7. Allow plenty of time in your schedule for studying.   Too many students make the mistake of putting off preparation to the last minute.  Others simply try to skim over material in a quick fashion.  Cut out some social activities or some down time, such as television or internet surfing, and apply that time to your studies.
  8. Keep your work area organized.  Dedicate one spot as your work area.  This is where you keep your computer, any related books, paper, pencils and other necessary items.  Having a certain spot for your studies will create a sense of order for you.
  9. Take advantage of resources offered by the school.  Most schools provide extensive libraries as well as tutors for students.  In addition there are career counselors to help you plan your courses and look for interviews when you are nearing the end of your degree.
  10. Remember the reason you started school.  Stay current in the industry that you have chosen to study.  Try to make some connections to people who recently graduated college with a similar degree.  Getting encouragement and motivation from like minded individuals is a great way to keep your head in the game and stay focused.