Earning an online bachelor’s degree is a valuable opportunity to learn new skills, add to your professional portfolio, and get access to some of the fastest-growing careers in the modern workplace. As more students complete their bachelor’s degree online, they are also finding a high degree of flexibility that’s unmatched in the world of higher education. The online bachelor programs offered through the Collat School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are among the leaders of this new shift toward digital learning.
In recent years, online education has become more popular. Research cited by digital education firm Learning House found that out of the estimated 20.5 million U.S. students who attended college in 2016, around 25 percent were enrolled in online courses. College enrollment overall has been growing slower in the U.S. compared to previous years, but enrollment in online classes has accelerated.
The reasons behind the shift toward online higher education are many, but a few factors tend to play a central role in these decisions.
Quality of the program
The Learning House report on recently enrolled online bachelor’s degree students found that the reputation of the school, as well as the degree program, factored heavily into their decision to choose a digital learning program. For 46 percent of students surveyed, the reputation of the school was among their top three reasons behind their ultimate selection. For 11 percent of respondents, reputation was the top factor.
Choosing an accredited online bachelor’s degree program is one of the best ways to narrow down the selection. For business degree programs, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is among the most respected organizations that affirm the reputation of universities through accreditation. Programs accredited by the AACSB meet high standards for academic leadership and graduate career opportunities, making it easier for prospective online bachelor’s degree students to refine their search for the best program.
More options are constantly becoming available for those interested in earning an education through online coursework. But the flexibility of an online bachelor’s degree program goes beyond degree selection. Many students enrolled in online courses also enjoy the ability to study and complete assignments at whatever time works best for them. That’s because most online degree programs are self-paced, allowing for studying at the schedule that works best for them.
As long as students can devote an average of 10 hours per week to classwork, they may not have trouble completing a degree while still holding a job or raising a family. Different courses within different degree programs may require a bigger time commitment, and some online classes do regularly set firm deadlines. It’s important to be aware of those possibilities before enrolling in an online course. In general, however, most remote learning students notice the benefits of a self-directed course structure.
Return on investment
Online education programs confer value in many ways. But one of the most valuable aspects of an online bachelor’s degree is how it can prepare students for their future career.
When students invest in themselves through continuing education, it can pay off in the long run. When analyzing the average earnings of those with college degrees and those without, it’s easy to understand why. Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that over the past 40 years, Americans holding bachelor’s degrees earned 56 percent more on average than those with only a high school diploma. Over four decades, that is the equivalent of nearly $1 million in additional income. New York fed economists anticipated this differential to grow more pronounced in the coming years as the U.S. job market becomes more competitive. In short, an investment in one’s future through education has been shown to be a smart one.
Getting started with your online BS degree
As more American students choose to obtain college degrees online, the benefits of these programs are becoming clearer. At the same time, it’s essential that prospective online students make the right choice in their search for the best online bachelor’s degree program.
The Collat School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a range of online BS degree programs in the most sought-after fields of business studies. Reach out to an enrollment advisor today to learn more about the unique benefits and opportunities afforded to students in these programs.