The Market for Online Degree Programs

The market for online degree programs offered by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) globally has dramatically changed over the past decade. While education research organizations are still working hand in hand to measure the size of this market, there is a significant amount of data from various reports on global tertiary education that articulate the past, current and future state of this education market.

Rise of Global Tertiary Enrolments

According to the 2009 report from UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), global tertiary enrolments reached 170 million in 2009 wherein China, India, US and Russia have already a combined share of 45%. Other emerging economies with significant numbers of tertiary enrolments include: Brazil (6.2 million), Indonesia (4.9 million), Iran (3.4 million), South Korea (3.3 million) and Turkey (3.0 million).

More interestingly, according to British Council, the total global tertiary enrolment is forecasted to grow by 21 million between 2011 and 2020.

Another foreseen contributing factor to the rise in global tertiary enrolments is the growing population of internet users. With 2.4 billion internet users as of 2012, it is expected that online degree programs offered by HEIs worldwide will continue to become the learning method of choice by millions of global students.

Growth of the Education Market

According to IBIS Capital, in 2012, the global education expenditure reached $4.4 trillion. This figure is supported by 1.4 billion students and 62.5 million educators. Thirty four percent (equivalent to $1.5 trillion) of the total expenses came from post-secondary education. It is projected that this expenditure will climb up to $5.4 trillion by 2015 and to $6.3 trillion by 2017.

The global eLearning education market, on the other hand, reached $91 billion in 2012 and is forecasted to grow by CAGR of 23% from 2012 to 2017.

Clearly, these growths in the education market are indications that the global market for online degree programs is expanding.

Trends in Global Distance Learning

It is also apparent from reports and surveys that online programs are widely adopted by many colleges and universities around the world.

Hanover Research, on its 2011 report highlights the following trends in global distance learning:

UK’s major online degree programs are more focused on continuing professional development with greater emphasis on business-oriented programs. Student enrolments on Level 4 programs accounts for 25% while those on Level 7 accounts for 60%. Among UK online courses, business, law, medicine, science, education, social studies, and technology are the most frequently offered subject areas by various institutions.

In the US, 41% of full online programs offered at various tertiary level institutions are undergraduate degrees and 25% are graduate professional degrees. Of the 4,200 degree-granting post-secondary institutions in the country, 66% offers undergraduate online courses while 60% offers graduate professional online courses. Online degree programs that are highly in-demand from 2009 to 2010 are health professional and related sciences, psychology, business, education, computer and information sciences, and engineering disciplines.

In 2013, distancelearningportal.com released its independent survey on global demand for online education.

The survey is based on the 2 million visits they received on their online study portal in the entire fiscal year. Of this number, 69% of visitors have prospect on Bachelors degree, 19% on Masters degree, and 2% on doctoral degree. The survey also indicates that the online programs with the highest demand globally are Business & Economics, Engineering & Technology, Social Sciences, Applied Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and Law. The top countries with the highest demand for online education are UK, US, India, Germany, Greece, Canada, Nigeria, Italy, Pakistan, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, France and Australia.

Opportunities in Higher Education for Global Engagement

According to the 2012 study conducted by the British Council regarding higher education global trends and emerging opportunities, these are the five education opportunities that will shape the global engagement in tertiary education by 2020:

· International Student Mobility

· Size and Growth of Domestic Tertiary Education Systems

· Transnational Education (TNE)

· Academic International Research Collaboration

· Business International Research and Collaboration

These opportunities are already being felt in various countries in Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. In fact, UK and US education curriculums are widely adopted by many universities in Asia and Africa for the development of their online programs. To cater the growing demand for online programs, new course delivery models are also introduced. These are branch campus establishment programs, twinning or partnership programme, dual and joint degrees award, and franchising and validation course delivery models. As a result, more online colleges and universities globally are now actively engaging in the growing market of online degree programs.

Online Degrees – How To Find The Best Accredited Online Degree Program For You

Working on your online degree at home allows you to learn in your own way and will let you retain ownership of how quickly you want to earn your degree. Fully accredited online colleges have earned a widely recognized form of university accreditation from one of the six regional accreditation boards.

Only until recently, students enrolled in online degree programs were ineligible for federal student aid unless at least half of their program was campus based (a law established in 1992 and known as the 50-percent rule) but that has changed. And you want to make sure your online school choice does have accreditation, which means the institution has passed a certain level of standards through a recognized organization for upholding quality education.

It is The Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation that recognizes the Distance Education and Training Council as the accrediting organization for distance learning institutions and education programs that offer online degrees.

Many established colleges and universities are now offering online courses and online degree programs and they are usually accredited. One of the greatest benefits of online degree programs is that you can work at your own pace at any time of the day on any day at home. If you’re already working and would like to earn a degree, then the opportunity is there more so today than ever before and with more credibility.

Make sure to ask the educational institutions you’re considering for references. To determine whether or not you’d be a good candidate for an online student ask yourself if you’re someone who gets things done ahead of time or tend to put them off until the very last minute.

Some of the types of online degrees available include: a business administration degree online, online computer degree, online marketing degree, online biology degree, online doctoral degree, online nursing degree, online education degree, online psychology degree, online IT degree, online criminal justice degree, electrical engineering degree online and online theology degree.

Ask the counselors or representatives who handle the accredited online degree programs or bachelor degree online programs what the job prospects are if you’ll be seeking a job or better job after completion. Graduates of the online degree programs are a good source of recommendations. And ask them if there is anything they think you should be aware of. Important– make sure that any online credits you earn are transferable; ask someone you trust at the institution that you plan to transfer to, because most schools vary from course to course and with the individual school policy. You might want to get it in writing.

Try to find online degree forums or chat rooms with students who are attending the school you have in mind. Its been reported that employers feel that an employee who receives an online education degree compare favorably, in terms of the knowledge learned, to someone with a resident degree. Make sure to find out if you have to go to a campus to take any of the exams or complete any of your online coursework. And would you have any difficulty getting to the campus in the evening or on weekends?

When you’re doing your research, it’s important to recognize and avoid diploma mills that churn out fake degrees at a high cost. Also there are online schools that are complete, stand-alone online universities with no campuses, no football teams or fraternities. Whether you want to earn an associate degree online, a bachelor’s degree online or a masters or doctorate degree online, know that most online programs are fully accredited, but make sure to check it out before you enroll.

A Guide To Online Degrees-How To Select A Online Degree Program

Once your have decided to earn your degree online, selecting a program is usually the first critical decision you make. There are so many types of degrees available online, which one to choose, how to select, sometimes may make you confuse and hard to decide one. This article will gives you some guideline to get you started.

Decide An Area of Interest

There are a few ways to get a start in selecting an online degree program. You could look within a traditional discipline such as history, art, literature or psychology; or within a professional/occupational area such as engineering, nursing, or education; or simply related to an area of general interest like family studies, the culture of Italy, or environmental issues.

Most online degree programs offered by colleges or universities are having their catalogs customarily organized by department, division, or school. Hence, once you have decided an area of interest, you could start looking and asking for the related online degree programs from these colleges.

Type Of Degree To Earn

What is your educational goal? Are you looking for an associate or bachelor degree, a master or doctorate degree? Each type of degree which associate to the online degree program has it own pre-requirement in admission. An online master degree program may require you to have a bachelor degree to qualify for the program and an online doctorate degree may ask for a master degree for qualification. Some universities do give credit for life experience so that you can waive for certain pre-requirement. Whether you are looking for an associate, bachelor, master or PhD, you can check the pre requirement to your selected online degree program from the school’s admission department.

Go for Specialization In Your Study

For many people, it may be helpful to think of the specialization and then create an appropriate field of study around it. You should feel free to make contact with academic advisors at the schools you are considering and seek answers to all your questions. For your own benefit, it is important to ensure that your school is committed to explaining these elements completely and the schools understand your need to fully comprehend the curriculum development.

The Ability to Transfer Courses

Another point to consider in your decision in select an online degree program is the ability to transfer courses or larger program segments from one institution to another. Not all universities will allow you to transfer all of your credits into their program. Often there are ceilings-six credits or two courses are typical at the graduate level. For undergraduates the allowances are more liberal and can be as much as 75 percent of a bachelor’s degree program. You may want to go for an online degree program that can accept the most on your credits transfer so that you can accelerate or complete you degree faster and save some money because less credits are need to complete the program.

In Summary

Select an online degree program is your most critical decision to make, spend your time to understand your purposes of earning a degree and considering in other factors such as your interest, your career goal and your education budget. These will help you to narrow down your scope and finally choose an online degree program to enroll in.

Why Sign Up For an Accredited Online Degree Program Instead of an Unaccredited One?

What does an accredited online degree program mean? Many universities give out online degree programs but many of these aren’t accredited. That means they aren’t considered by the government as institutes allowed to offer accredited online degree program courses. If you don’t choose an accredited online degree program, your degree may not be recognized by many companies, organizations, or other schools just in case you want to take additional studies.

Learning the Truth about Online Degrees

How can you ensure that your school has accreditation? How do you know it’s offering an accredited online degree program? Just conduct a little research on the Internet.

You’re already online and searching for a study program anyway. You can get an extensive list of universities accredited by the government and this minimizes your risks. It is also possible for you to inquire with the school that you wish to study in if the course is an accredited online degree program before starting with your studies.

Learning on the web offers ease and a lot of convenience. This is because you’ll experience many benefits like flexibility in scheduling and the ability to study when there’s time. You don’t need to travel to school and you can learn as quickly as you want instead of having the speed dictated for you. And now, degrees received online are not looked at with any doubt.

The primary motive why you should get an accredited program is that your next boss may want to check on it. One more good reason to go through an accredited online degree program is for your own protection. Like other online industries, the chance of scams in online schools is quite great. By going through an accredited program, you don’t risk any scams. Fake schools won’t go through the process of having their programs accredited.

And so, why must you find an accredited online degree program for yourself?

* To ensure that your work isn’t done for nothing. By the end of your online studies and after spending time and cash, you may find out that your degree has no validity!

* An accredited online degree program is respected and is just like any degree obtained with conventional methods.

* Any online degree program is significant and offers valuable substance and education. This will ensure value for your money.

Find study programs with accreditation in order to accomplish your education or to simply add to what you know. Do not be tricked into thinking that programs without accreditation offer the same worth since they do not.

The Rise of Online Degree Programs

Within the past decade, online degree programs have multiplied at an astounding rate. While several schools have been based on these non-traditional programs (though, for the sake of neutrality and so as not to unfairly give advertising to one program or another, I will refrain from giving these schools specific mention), many “traditional” brick-and-mortar schools have also begun offering online courses and, in some cases, complete online degree programs. In fact, colleges and universities ranging from community colleges up through Ivy League schools have embraced the use of technology as a learning vehicle; in a sense, this signals maturing of online degree programs.

What spawned this shift in academia? The answer lies in the affordability of computing technology coupled with the improved connectivity offered through the Internet. More people worldwide have access to personal computers and high-speed Internet connections, though identification of accurate statistics still proves difficult. These technologies have enabled schools to provide learning environments that meet modern student needs and accreditation requirements.

Some schools have established evening or weekend programs in an attempt to entice more non-traditional students. Even these programs pose challenges to the working adult, who may have to sacrifice attendance due to work or family obligations. Military students are also ideal candidates for online programs. In the 1990s, deployed service members aboard naval vessels enjoyed onboard college courses from universities that specialized in distance learning. In some cases, faculty members qualified to teach a number of courses were deployed on board the ship, thus offering service members the opportunity to continue studies while deployed.

Online degree programs satisfy most of the needs of current degree seekers, particularly the needs of “working adults.” Society has become faster-paced in the past two decades, and often we are inundated with information and are expected to increase productivity within the fixed confines of a day. As a result, the ability to attend traditional programs can be difficult, if not impossible, for prospective students. Online degree programs eliminate the time constraints, allowing students to avoid traffic, meet work and family obligations, and provide a 24/7 classroom environment. All told, online degree programs afford more students the opportunity to attain academic goals than ever before.

Delivery of online programs varies greatly depending on the school and the specific program. Some schools offer some online courses, but require physical attendance at a local campus for the student to meet graduation requirements. Other schools offer completely online programs; in theory, a student could complete an entire degree program online without ever setting foot on campus. The key to selecting a suitable program depends on the individual, as some students need some physical interaction with faculty and students, while others can complete degree programs completely online from the safety and comfort of their homes. Deciding on the best combination of online coursework depends on the individual. Many of the schools originally founded on online degree programs have established local campuses in major metropolitan areas.

Few can argue that online degree programs are quickly gaining acceptance among employers, students, and traditional academic professionals. Online degree programs will continue to provide a vehicle for students to attain degrees that might not be possible through traditional means. Ongoing improvements in technology offer additional promise in the growth and availability of these programs.