The United States Census Bureau has recently reported that 28% of American adults over 25 have earned a bachelor’s degree. That degree has a big impact on their financial futures. People with bachelor’s degrees earn twice as much per year as their high school graduate counterparts. A master’s degree pays off even more, earning $1.3 million more over a lifetime compared to a high school graduate. Getting a college degree is much easier than it was 15 or 20 years ago. The Internet has made it possible for colleges and universities to offer their programs online. Some of these programs, the accelerated online degrees, enable the student to complete a degree in a very short period of time.
Many adults who went to work straight out of high school contemplate returning to school to earn a college degree. Why is this? For some, they want a career change. For others, they see a college degree as a way to update their skills and earn more money. Non-traditional college students have different needs than students entering college directly after high school. The non-traditional students need flexible education programs that they can work at their own paces. They need to be able to fit classes into an already busy schedule. And, like traditional college students, they often need financial assistance, a choice of majors and a college that is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization.
The advantages of pursuing post-secondary education through an accredited online college exactly match the needs of the non-traditional adult college student. Colleges offer a wide array of majors, including associate degrees in early childhood education, medical billing, accounting, criminal justice and more. Online bachelor’s degree programs include business administration, nursing, elementary education and psychology. Master’s and doctoral degree programs can also be earned online in the areas of psychology, education, business administration, library science and others. Nearly every major offered at traditional on-campus colleges can be earned online.
Another very important requirement for non-traditional college students is the flexibility of the program. Most non-traditional students have full lives filled with family and work obligations. The beauty of earning a degree online is that flexibility is inherent in each program. This is due to the medium in which courses are delivered, e. G., the Internet.
In addition to flexibility, non-traditional students also need flexibility in the speed at which they proceed through the program. Some students want to complete their programs as quickly as possible and are willing to take the maximum number of classes allowed per grading period. Other students may need to take more time to complete the entire program. Both can be accommodated by online colleges.
Most online bachelor’s degrees take about 3-5 years to complete. For students wanting to speed up the process, accelerated online degrees can be finished in just two years. To accomplish this requires taking classes year round. The student who decides to take this route must be aware that it will take more time and effort than completing a degree in the regular 3-5 year time table. If a student has other obligations, he or she needs to be realistic about whether or not an accelerated program would work well in his or her individual circumstances.
Non-traditional college students can fulfill their dreams of earning a college degree by going to school online. These are flexible degrees and usually cost less than on-campus colleges. If the degree is from a reputable, accredited college or university, the student should have no problem finding a job.
Fast track degree programs offer freedom to anyone interested in pursuing higher education. All of the barriers to pursuing a college education evaporate in the face of the Internet. Any student with access to a computer and the Internet can earn a post-secondary degree. This may have been an impossible dream for some only 15 years ago.