With advancements in technology, colleges have explored the internet avenue to take education to the world.
Most students pursuing higher education choose the online mode. For reasons such as work life balance, a reduced education fee, etc. Many professionals who have a full time job to attend and cannot take time off to get back to college choose online education.
The biggest advantage of using the online mode is that it is self paced, allowing students the freedom to study at their time. And then it is inexpensive. But it is not the right mode for everyone.
Considerations need to be made when deciding whether to study online or not.
In the US, many colleges are offering courses for international students. It is an attractive option for students living in countries far away. Not having to be physically there is a great boon. It drastically reduces the cost of education. However, a few things are to be ensured before choosing a college and a program.
Is it the right fit?
Both the college and the program should be accredited or recognized by the respective authorities.
You don’t want to shell out money to study a course that does not give you any credit in the world outside. Most reputed colleges are accredited. So, check with them about their status before enrolling.
Many organizations recognize a degree or course only if taken from an accredited college. In addition, you may be eligible for a pay hike with an accredited degree in your CV.
What’s in it for International students?
There are only limited colleges and very few degrees that are being offered for international students that do not require the student to be present physically in US.A “University” in its name doesn’t make it a registered or a accredited organization.
Being away can be a pitfall. Since you are not going to be anywhere near the campus, it is important that you get all the support that you will require to complete the degree. All communication will be virtualized in nature. Since the student may be located in a different time zone, a 24/7 technology support desk is required to attend to student’s queries. Check out the tutoring services and career advising facilities.
Some colleges like the Arizona State University aim to provide similar support to both students – on-campus and online. Student forums are available for students to discuss both academic as well as other topics. All colleges may not follow the same policy. Enquire ahead.
Students take online courses in the hope that it will enable their passage to future education in US. They would have “credits” that they can transfer later. If that is the goal, then the student needs to do some more due diligence and find out if that course credit will be accepted by their future university. Will they receive any credit for it?
Finally, the student studying the course needs to evaluate his abilities and make a decision in his best interest.