Are you thinking of enrolling in an online college degree program and wondering about the top 5 online college degrees? Perhaps, you’ve seen some of the many websites claiming to present information on the top 5 or tp 10 online college degrees or programs. If you want to know why, take a look at the site advertising. That’s not to say the list of top 5 or 10 online college degrees is itself a paid advertisement. In all likelihood, it’s not. But designating the top 5 online college degrees is a tricky proposition. Different schools name degree programs differently, and differing judgments affect the characterization of “top.” Are you looking for programs with the highest enrollment? Highest quality, and if so, according to whom? Highest job placement rates? Highest graduation rates?
As you can see, defining the top 5 online degrees is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The best approach to finding a top online degree program is to forget the label altogether and focus on quality education. The top degree program for you, online or otherwise, is the program that will provide the specific education you seek at reasonable cost and enhance your ability to pursue your chosen career.
So how to you find the top online college degree for you? Choose a field of study that corresponds to your interests, and research what career options are available in that field and what level of learning is prequisite.
Before choosing an online degree program, fully consider the comparative advantages and disadvantages of online v. traditional degree programs. The online degree option requires a consistent high level of motivation and self-directedness. While many people have become accustomed to working online and aren’t bothered by the artificiality of any social interaction that may be available in an online degree course, others would find the relative lack of social contact with classmates challenging.
If after weighing pros and cons you decide to enroll in an online degree program, research the program carefully:
Check the United States Department of Education website to ensure that the school and the program you are considering attending are accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Department.
Evaluate the graduation rates and the placement rates for graduates of the specific degree program in which you plan to enroll. Avoid schools with high drop out rates or low placement rates. The best way to decide if a drop out rate is too high or a placement rate too low is to compare it to other programs offering similar degrees including traditional programs not offered online. If admissions officers suggest that a low graduation rate or placement rate is reasonable under the circumstances, evaluate this information as critically as you would if a merchant told you that a high rate of returns on an electronic device was irrelevant to product quality.
Although consumer reviews can be unreliable, it isn’t unreasonable to use them with caution in evalutating a school and you can read what students say about various online college degree programs here.
Sources: http://www.aboutonlinedegrees.org/intro/stats_onlinedegree.php; http://www.onlinedegree.net/; http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/dt09_236.asp;