Through distance education mode you can earn degrees at various levels such as associate degrees, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, even a PhD. You can get the degree either from the distance education program of a regular college or from an on-line college.
Primarily all you need to ensure in either case is that the institute and the program are accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Secondly, you must note that whereas an on-line course allows you to complete the program without stepping out of your house, distance education program of some regular colleges may require some sort of physical attendance.
It is possible to earn a degree in any area ranging from cooking to computer engineering. Time period to get the degree varies from program to program and from institute to institute. Certificate programs can be completed within a few hours to one semester of 12-15 weeks. Undergraduate degrees generally require the student to complete around 60 credits (number of credits is equal to the number of hours spent in class each week) worth of study. Bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credits worth of study. Post graduate degrees may take two-three years and PhD, four-eight years. One can get a bachelor’s degree from an on-line college in as little as 18 month?s time.
Most distance degree programs adopt similar standards with regard to curriculum, lectures, grading the student’s performance and conferring the degree as the regular colleges. In fact, some distance degree programs are considered more competitive than the regular local university degrees.
However, what worries us the most about distance education degrees is the weight they carry vis-à-vis regular degrees in our professional pursuits. America seems to be traditionally disposed towards higher education and most employers are known to prefer regular degrees. The perspective is changing slowly since the proportion of people pursuing distance education is increasing sharply. But interestingly the importance of brick and mortar colleges continues and degrees of the distance education programs of regular colleges are considered superior to those of on-line colleges.
Studies show that the acceptance level of distant degrees varies from profession to profession. Time-honored professions like law, medicine etc. are known to attach greater importance to a regular degree whereas modern hi-tech professions don’t seem to have much problem accepting a distance education degree. It is totally up to the candidate to convince the employer about the credibility of the degree. Therefore, it is advisable to pursue the program of a well-known and reputed institute.