Finding a quality education is expanding to different areas of opportunity, from online degrees to career colleges and beyond. Oftentimes, a student may think that getting an education is a linear path from start to finish.
However, with so many options to study today, including online coursework, vocational school, and more, education can come in many different forms as long as a student knows where to look.
Before applying to a school, students should make sure that they are not simply applying as the mandatory next step toward a rewarding career. Having a successful job can be the result of online universities, trade school or even free classes on the web. Knowing that there are an abundance of educational resources available to any student seeking a higher education is the perfect place to begin. To find out more, continue reading below.
Since the fusing technology and education has become more popular, online courses have become a respected way to complete a degree through a college or university. Students who are considering a degree online should first make sure that the college or program they are choosing is accredited. Accreditation means that a program is acknowledged through a regional accreditation board as being a legitimate option for pursuing a particular field of study. Colleges that are not accredited will likely be a waste of time and money.
There are many different benefits to pursing online college courses, including:
One of the primary reasons why students consider an online university in place of a traditional four-year college is because of the lower overall cost. Online degrees provide a much more affordable way for students to each their bachelor’s or master’s degree. Not all online options for coursework will be lower in cost, however, there will always be the added benefit of reducing additional costs surrounding traditional school. This includes transportation, commuting, housing, meal plans and more. Even the cost of textbooks have the potential to be reduced as online professors often choose material that can be accessed for free online or provided for free to the students.
Other great education resources that are available include career and technical schools. For many student wondering what vocational schools are, they are the opportunity for hands-on training in a chosen field. A technical college differs from a traditional college is a variety of ways. For starters, a trade school generally takes 2 years or less to complete, rather than the 4 or more years for a traditional college or university. Other important differences include:
Vocational schools provide students with the chance to learn an important skillset that can translate into a long lasting career, from electricians, machinists, pharmacy technicians, mechanics and more. Many of these careers are less likely to be outsourced, as they require the physical presence of the professional in order to be completed. This can be a huge advantage to students considering a trade school education. Job security is often one of the most important factors that students or individuals consider when planning their educational future.
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Additionally, vocational training is much more affordable when compared to a 4-year college education. Trade school can often be completed in 2 years or less, which means the cost of tuition is already reduced by 2 years when compared to a college or university. However, trade school overall is also more affordable. While the average cost of a bachelor’s degree within the United States is well over $100,000, the average cost of a trade school degree is just over $33,000. Not only does this make an education more affordable for most, but it also reduces the overall debt that students incur throughout their educational career. Vocational school students can complete their coursework quickly and enter into the workforce to begin paying off any outstanding loans related to schooling.
Another worthwhile option for education outside of a traditional degree involves free online classes. There are a wide variety of advantages and disadvantages to free online courses, however, many students find them to be the necessary steppingstone to pursuing a degree. Students can choose from free basic courses, courses which provide a certificate of completion, courses which convert to college credit and free courses offered through colleges or universities. Some of the participating world class universities that offer free courses online, include:
What this essentially means is that students can find some the same coursework offered to enrolled students of the university, but for free. This is an incredible option available to students that has been growing in popularity over the past few years. With the various platforms such a Coursera, Udacity, edX and Udemy to name a few, students have the chance to learn without incurring debt from tuition and student loans.
However, despite the various advantages to learning new skillets for free from the world’s leading universities, there are also disadvantages to consider. For instance, many of the free online resources do not translate into any sort of certification or degree. While students enrolled at a university will receive a college degree at the end of their coursework, free courses online offer much less than that. There are the cases when free coursework count toward a larger degree program, which is helpful, but oftentimes a certificate of completion is not enough. Free courses online can help job applicants bolster their resumes or learn a particular skillset that is necessary for a new job or a promotion, however, it is at the discretion of the student to determine if the hours spent invested in these college courses will be worth it.
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