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All About Online Degree Programs

All About Online Degree Programs

November 30, 1999

The History of Distance Learning

Distance learning has changed enormously since a few years back when its predecessors were introduced. Correspondences were introduced in the 19th century and have spanned into the 21st century.  In the beginning, distant learning fulfilled the expectations of those students who were unable to attend college for whatever reason. Therefore, the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) and other academic institutions made it possible to earn a degree through courses sent by mail, and later through radio and television.  Popularity of distance education boomed in the 1990s when the Internet reached the most remote places on earth. By then the Association for Online Academic Excellence (AOAEX) was founded as a professional accrediting association in charge of maintaining high standards for all levels of online learning.

Distant learning became more popular when the Echostar Satellite Corporation and the Dish Network joined forces supporting public interest programs, broadcasted by the United States Distance Learning Association and the Educating Everyone Foundation.

The Internet Takes Distance Learning to the Next Level

The Internet has brought distant learning closer to everyone.  Full control and flexibility enables students who participate in online degree programs to study from anywhere--whether it be in their homes, in their offices or in a neighborhood cyber cafeen.  Erolling in an educational program towards that allows you to earn your online degree is often a wiser investment in terms of time and money than a formal, on-site education.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Education estimates that full-time education in a public 4-year college costs about $8,655, including room, board, and in-state tuition; it is slightly lower, at $1,359,  for a public 2-year college education; however, a student with a bachelor's degree may earn around $2.1 million a year, in comparison with a high school graduating student, whose salary may range up to $1.2 million a year, on average.

Online Degree Programs Offer Flexible Study Options

Salaries being quite tempting, there are other benefits as well. Students can choose any hour of night or day for online classes.  All the resources an online student needs for his or her educational program are literally at his or her fingertips.

Long-term benefits of earning a degree include a better quality of life. Specialized training opens the doors to numerous corporations, increasing the individual's self-esteem and raising his or her productivity.

Online Degree Program Options

People wanting to earn a degree online may enroll to study fine arts, human resources, business, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, healthcare, criminal justice, and many other educational programs.

Some degrees, however, may need some prior academic requirements to apply. As an example, you cannot enroll to become a graduate student in Medicine if you have only secondary studies. Although most online careers allow students to earn a degree in a fraction of the time that it takes attending college, check for learning quality and accreditation, not for how quickly you can earn your degree.

Older Professionals Sharpen Their Skills Through Online Education


People who left school years or decades ago, are now able to retake their studies, update their knowledge or improve their skills thanks to the easy access to education. Furthermore, the growing demand of post secondary education and limited resources for meeting this demand is making online education the best option when traditional education is not available.

Online education programs are evaluated as conventional campus-based programs, guaranteeing that you are receiving the same quality education from an accredited institution meeting strict requirements to qualify as a member of the Association for Online Academic Excellence or other renowned associations.

From accessibility 24 hours a day 7 days a week to a broad spectrum of learning material, online education is a much less intimidating experience that allows you interact with your instructor and other students with a degree of anonymity; this often provides self-confidence to shy students. In the United States, more than 75% of all colleges and universities offer online degree programs, as they have realized that the popularity of online education is rapidly increasing with society's technological advances.