It is widely known that a college degree can translate into financial rewards over a career. In fact, some studies suggest college graduates earn, on average, $1 million more than non-graduates during their lifetime.
With the advent of online (or distance) learning via the Internet, students today may ask whether an online degree is worth the time and expense. What they’re really asking is, “Will an online degree carry the same weight as a traditional campus degree?”
As little as six or seven years ago, many employers had negative perceptions about online degrees. But now, that’s changing as such well-known universities as Duke, Stanford, and others offer full degree programs online.
Benefits of an Online Program
According to one Manpower executive, businesses today rarely question the quality of online degrees. A survey conducted by career networking site Vault.com found that 83 percent of employers say online degrees are more acceptable than they were five years ago. And, while more than 50 percent still think traditional degrees are more credible, they do agree that online degrees are acceptable.
While some studies have shown online courses can be as effective as classroom instruction – and sometimes more effective -- there remain educators who worry that daily interaction with others students is lost online, which may limit development of the “soft” skills learned in the classroom. One answer to that has been the growth of hybrid, or blended, learning.
As the name implies, online and in-class instruction is blended in these programs, giving students the latitude to work at their own speed online, but still get the on-campus experience at least once a week. What’s most significant about blended learning is the U.S. Department of Education found hybrid students achieve at higher levels than fully online or face-to-face students do.
That suggests blended learning, with a mix of online and on-campus instruction, is a good way to pursue your studies. It’s why Fortis has introduced hybrid learning programs in Medical Assisting and Medical Billing and Coding that combine three days of online learning and one day each week of classroom instruction. These programs offer the flexibility of Internet courses with weekly opportunities for face-to-face interaction.