College graduates, Continuing Education, Gainful Employment, Required, Students, Unemployment, University & College - Written by on Thursday, September 22, 2011 12:36 - 0 Comments

How do You Choose a Quality Online Degree to Get that Next Job?

photo: flickr user riekhavoc

by Elbert Chu

 

There are over 1,000 online degree programs, according to the Online Education Database (OEDb). If you’re jobless, or simply looking to expand your career horizon with online training, deciding to get started is the easiest decision. Choosing a program is where things get complicated.

Job seekers are not only lining up for interviews. U.S. News reports that jobless Americans are overwhelming retraining programs across the nation as well.

Just last week, we provided a quick list of online resources to looks at, but that’s only the beginning. U.S. News also covered the subject by focusing on career paths with promising growth prospects.


How would you choose an online degree? Let us know what you think in the comments.


U.S. News is a reputable brand for education rankings, and we think the their search functionality is useful for cutting down the massive list based on geographical and subject matter concentration, but then they direct you straight to the schools.

We won’t call that shady behavior, but examples of fishy “online education directories abound. Many of these, like Directory of Schools and Online Education Program , are thinly disguised regurgitation of PR blurbs with links to the schools. You can identify these operators with the “Featured School” tags.

There just does not seem to be a good way to measure the QUALITY of these programs beyond accreditation.

To be fair, OEDb has tried to implement some legit metrics. We particularly like the inclusion of retention rate, which has been a flash point in the for-profit regulation debate.

Still, there’s no inclusion of actual student experiences, and number one on our wish list: Gainful employment percentages.

Talk back: How would you choose an online degree? We’d also love to hear success stories from previously jobless. Drop a note in the comments.

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