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Questions & Answers About Online Education

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Regionally Accredited Online Colleges vs. Nationally Accredited
About Diploma Mills & Online College Credibility
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Imagine24/Flickr
Whether You Choose Regional vs. National Accreditation, You'll Still Need Textbooks for School


Help! Choosing an online college is an overwhelming task. I have a list of more than 20 possible colleges. I’m favoring one that is nationally accredited by the Distance Education & Training Council (DETC). Will my degree be accepted by employers? My career counselor told me national accreditation (like DETC) is not as good as attending a regionally accredited online college. Which is better: regional accreditation vs. national accreditation? And does it really make any difference?
—Michael in Atlanta, Ga.



The truth? One type of online university accreditation is not necessarily “better” than another if you take “better” to mean “better academically.” However, there are real benefits to attending a regionally accredited online college versus a nationally accredited college.

Read more about online college accreditation
 
Any APA Accredited Online Psychology Programs?
Careers
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
@boetter/Flickr
APA Accredited Online Psychology Programs | Taking Notes

I want to earn an online PhD or a counseling master’s and change my career from a sales manager to a mental health counselor or therapist. What are the best online psychology schools for this goal? I want an online counseling psych program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Can you give me a list of online psychology degrees accredited by the APA?
—Jamie in California

Answer:

I understand your concern. Many psychologists consider approval by the American Psychological Association (APA) the gold standard for accredited professional psychology degrees. This is especially true in the areas of clinical, counseling and educational psychology, all areas that interest you.

Most professionals would agree that the best online psychology degrees—at least for career reasons in clinical and educational psych—should have full APA approval.

Read more...
 
Are Online Degrees Respected?
Careers
By Vicky Phillips, Online Education Analyst   

How Earning a Degree Online Can Help Your Career

I’m worried about whether my online degree will be respected. I just completed my bachelor's online and am ready to send out my resume. Should I use my cover letter to reveal to potential employers that I earned my degree online? Do employers respect online degrees?
—Holly in Nashville, Tenn.


These days, earning degrees or taking post-secondary courses online is not an oddity. In 2012, an estimated 86 percent of traditional residential colleges offered college courses through online learning. More than one-third offered entire degrees online. 

Online education is no longer the future. It’s right now. Employers are embracing online education in record numbers. Unlike a decade ago, employers no longer automatically perceive online degrees or distance education as inferior or second class.

Online degrees are gaining respect.

As a result, there is no need to reveal in a cover letter or resume that you “earned your degree online.” Details about why you chose any particular type of school—such as a private school versus a public school or a Christian college versus a secular college—are best left to discussion during an actual interview.  

Learn which online schools MAY carry stigmas and how to discuss your online degree with a prospective employer
 
Computer Information Systems vs Computer Science
Careers
By David Handlos   
Travis Isaacs/Flickr
Computer Information Systems vs Computer Science Online Degrees
These days there are almost TOO many choices for online Computer Science and IT degrees. Which tech-savvy degree should you choose? What’s the difference between a Computer Information Systems vs Computer Science major? IS there really any difference? If so, which one is best for which career paths?

If you’re having trouble choosing an IT degree path, start by asking yourself which of the following three career questions interests you most:

1. Why does the technology work?

2. How does the technology work?

3. What technology would work the best?

The question you find yourself most drawn to is a clue to which type of online degree you’d prefer when it comes to Computer Information Systems vs Computer Science.

Many of the online IT degrees offered today are related to Computer Science, Information Technology or Computer Information Systems. Each major shares much in common, but each also tends to focus on answering slightly different questions. These approaches translate, in turn, into different career paths.

Read more...
 
Masters in Nursing Online: How to Choose One
Careers
By Vicky Phillips, Online Education Analyst   
Student Seeking Masters in Nursing Online

I've been an RN for 10 years and earned my RN to BSN on campus. To advance to a management position at my hospital and leave direct care, I need a master's degree. I am familiar with the MSN. What other types of master's in nursing online are available, and how do I choose? One interest I have is in geriatrics or care for the elderly. 
—Kim in Wisconsin
 

There are several types of master's of nursing online that a seasoned RN like you might consider. All of them can help you move from direct patient care into nursing management.

 

The most common online nursing master's program for you to consider would be the master's of science in nursing (MSN). This is the traditional capstone nursing degree. Because there remains such a severe shortage of nurses, many colleges—indeed, even hospitals—are sponsoring online learning nursing master's. 

You can earn a general MSN, but many online MSN degree programs offer majors that are keyed to management. Two of the most popular of these would be the MSN in leadership or health systems management.

Learn about other types of online masters degrees related to nursing
 
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