It’s clear that a degree can hold the key to more opportunities – whether those opportunities include a better job or a higher amount of pay. The U.S. Census Bureau has documented that people with advanced degrees will earn, on average, $28,000 more money per year than someone with just a high school diploma.
However, no one wants to pay to go back to school and find out that the degree that they’ve earned is virtually worthless in the workplace because either the school or the degree program itself wasn’t accredited. You can protect yourself and the integrity of your education by doing some research into the online schools and degree programs that you’re considering before you enroll anywhere.
Accreditations to Look For
Finding out about accredited online degrees is probably the most difficult part about starting your journey into the world of online degree programs, but it’s essential to find an accredited online degree in order to create a future with a fun and rewarding career. Accreditation is a way that colleges and universities can prove to potential students that their academics have a base level of quality and also exhibits accountability for what it teaches.
There are a number of accreditation organizations that you may consider when choosing an accredited online degree program. For instance, regional accreditation is what many traditional and state colleges have. These accrediting organizations are highly respected for many general degree programs. Examples include the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Western Association for Schools and Colleges. There are some online schools that are also affiliated with these regional accreditation organizations.
If the online degree that you’re seeking is provided by an online school with a religious background, you may want to check to see if it has any national faith-related accreditations. For instance, the Association for Biblical Higher Education or the Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools are two faith-based accrediting organizations that are nationally recognized. This can be very helpful when trying to find a job in religious organizations, in particular.
Career-Based College Accreditations
When considered an online degree in certain degree programs (such as health-related degrees, degrees in information technology or other industries that are highly regulated, you can increase the value of your degree by getting it from an online college or university that has accreditation in that particular field. For instance, many schools that offer degrees in internet technology may be accredited by the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering.
Finally, career-related accrediting organizations include the Distance Education and Training Council. Getting a degree from a program that’s accredited from one of these specific organizations can be very important if the job you’re seeking is in an industry that has a rigorous application program.
More Information on Accreditation Programs
For more information about accreditation organizations, go to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website. Its helpful links and lists will help make sure that the school or program you’re interested in isn’t part of a diploma mill or accreditation mill that will make your diploma useless.
If you’re still deciding what type of degree that you should look into, find out how the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can guide you to the types of jobs that may suit you best. Once you’re in school, you may be interested in learning Microsoft Word tips and tricks for students.