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Author Bio: Steve Smith
You probably need to earn money to help your parents, so you ditch class to provide for your family. Or maybe you already have a successful career, yet you want that promotion or salary raise so you are thinking about a Master’s Degree.
If you are currently working and wishes to study at the same time, then there is no better option for you than taking a distance learning course.
What is Distance Learning?
Distance learning is what it says on the packet— it allows students to take a degree program and learn while in a different location to the provider of the course usually studying from home via a computer or other gadgets.
The added freedom of this learning approach is very clear. Online education opens up a huge range of programs to students who cannot find the time to attend classes and lectures face-to-face because of certain responsibilities like part- and full-time workers or parents. Students of online courses are able to work under their own time condition, at their own pace with all the needed resources available via the internet.
Moreover, distance learning has no geographic constraints either. Teachers and students can be separated by continents and time zones without affecting the efficiency or structure of the program. You can be ambitious to study at reputable universities anywhere in the world without moving an inch from your bed, give up your job, or leave your families and friends.
Who Is It For?
Distance learning is for anyone; however, it is especially relevant if you are:
WORKING: If you wish to gain work experience or earn an income while you study, then distance learning is a good option since it can fit around your job.
BUDGET-CONSCIOUS: Distance learning usually cost less since you only need to worry about the course fee and forget about the extra expenses like living cost or bills, transportation, and daily allowance.
NOT A CONVENTIONAL STUDENT: If you have certain health issues or responsibilities in your life that makes it hard to come on a fixed period campus-based study, then distance learning is your best option.
LACKING A-LEVELS: There are no academic qualifications needed for most Open University undergraduate courses. Also, there are other providers of distance learning that are flexible with entry requirements.
LIVING SOMEWHERE REMOTE: If you are a long way from any university campus then distance learning can overcome geography by simply bringing the classes to you.
How Does It Work?
Most distance learning courses provide:
A RANGE OF STUDY MATERIALS: Typically a mix of video, audio, and texts, structured to guide you through the course.
A STUDY ADVISOR OR TUTOR: Who can be contacted online or through email or phone.
FACE-TO-FACE SESSIONS: Some distance learning providers offer webinars and live tutorials to teach students.
VIRTUAL LEARNING: Learning is online with an interactive learning environment that blurs the distinction between conventional learning and distance. You will find yourself taking part in online class discussions or using a virtual microscope.
How Long Does It Take?
The length of an online course depends on the university you choose, the subject of your study, the level of qualification, how fast you learn and whether you will be studying part- or full-time. For most full-time undergraduate programs, the timeframe is quite similar to a traditional bachelor course of 3 to 4 years. Part-time courses, on the other hand, allow you to spread your studies out for an additional 2 or 3 years.
Distance Learning Degrees: Are They Valued as Highly?
If you worry that a degree from distance learning is not as valued as a conventional diploma do, then you are wrong. If your distance learning degree is accredited by a reputable university, then your degree is viewed just as a campus-based degree would be.
However, you need to be cautious since there are thousands of distance or online courses on offer which are not all accredited. Meaning, there is a room filled with scammers who create bogus programs that try to rip you off of your hard-earned cash.
Before you choose a program, it is important that you assess the institution’s reputation and your chosen courses. Also, you can check whether your prospective distance learning institutions are accredited by national bodies like Council like Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE)