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Going Back to College Online: The First Steps to Making Sure Your Degree Counts – Part 1

8/28/2012 2:55 pm

Online University Checklist

This is the first in a three-part series on how to do your research in selecting an online college. Part 2 will list some of the questions you should ask, and part 3 will explain what your research will show you about WGU as an online option. Parts 2 and 3 will be posted later this week.

For many working adults, finishing a bachelor’s or master’s degree can mean new opportunities—a better job, greater earning potential, or even a new career. And increasingly, adults who must balance work and family responsibilities are choosing online options because they need the flexibility that bricks-and-mortar universities seldom provide. If you are thinking of going back to college, you know that it will take hard work and a significant financial commitment. So it is very important to be sure that when you graduate, the degree you have earned will be respected—that it will count—by employers and other academic institutions.

This week, the WGU blog will explore the steps you should take in determining whether a specific online university is right for you. At WGU, our mission is increasing Americans’ access to college degrees—in the programs that fit what you are looking for. WGU isn’t the right choice for everyone. We’ll end this series of posts summing up what your research will find about WGU to help you decide if our online degree programs.

The first steps to choosing your online university:

  1. Choose the right degree. You want to make sure that the degree you earn will help you meet your career objectives. If you are already working in your chosen field, this should be easy. For example, if you’re a teacher, you’ll want to consider a master’s degree in education, or if you are already a nurse, a master’s in nursing is a logical choice. If you are considering a bachelor’s degree with the goal of moving into a better, higher-paying job or a different field, it is important to choose a degree that employers will recognize as relevant. For example, a degree in business or information technology may be more useful than one in general studies or liberal arts.
  2. Make a list of online universities. The best way to build that list is to search online. Be sure your list focuses on the degree program you’re looking for. Try searches like "online teaching degree" or "online MBA programs."
  3. Ask the right questions. There are a lot of important questions you need to ask. You should spend some time speaking with the enrollment offices of the universities you are considering. You should also look to Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc., to learn what students and graduates have to say about their experiences and the value of their degrees. It will be time well spent. In part two we give you a list of some of the questions you should ask. Click here to continue.
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