Maybe you want to get a finance degree because you want to further your career, or perhaps it’s something you have always wanted to do and just haven’t had the time. Well in either of those cases, online degrees are a fantastic way to go about enhancing your future. However, deciding what degree you want isn’t always that simple, and online degrees aren’t for everyone. So before you enter your card number and press accept, there are a few things to take into consideration.
Here are five things you should think about before deciding to get an online finance degree.
Yes, finance degrees open several doors to great opportunities. But, just like any degree, it’s important to ask yourself some important questions before you make a commitment.
For some, a finance degree is an obvious next step, and they have already assessed the benefits of getting an online finance degree. However, for others, this may have been something you wanted to do when you were younger, but life got in the way. For these individuals, it’s going to be important to ask yourself “Why finance?” If finance is something you have always had a passion for then, by all means, please go get an online finance degree. For some, however, finance may have been ideal in a previous part of your life, but no longer is. It may be a part of your life that you want to make important again. But for others, the idea of a finance degree isn’t practical or useful anymore, and that’s okay! Everyone has a right to change their mind. You may find that there is another online degree that will be more beneficial to you now.
If you have a full-time job with set hours or kids, then it’s clear that an online degree might be the best option for you. But, if you’re easily distracted or don’t absorb information very well by reading, then you may want to reconsider getting an online degree. Online doesn’t mean easy, online means flexible.
A lot of people thinking about taking online classes are concerned that they won't be able to absorb as much information because there won’t be as much human interaction. When in reality there are several opportunities for human interaction within an online classroom forum. There are classmate discussion boards where you’ll most likely be able to have one on one conversations with other students. Another thing people forget is that online classes are taught by real professors. There's nothing stopping students from contacting professors any time they are lost or confused in their class.
Your Time Constraints
Another major thing to take into consideration with online classes is that they do actually take time and dedication. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s going to be something you can put off until the last minute.
There are going to be things that are due by midnight. So, if you work a night shift, you’ll have to make sure to get it done before you go to work. Online classes are going to be more flexible, but that doesn’t mean it will fit everyone’s situation.
Your Financial Situation
Some online programs, especially at the graduate level, have an in-person requirement. For example, students in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business online MBA program must come to Bloomington twice while attaining their degree in order to take heavily proctored final examinations. In many cases, it's up to the student to pay travel expenses, so applicants should check whether there are any on-site components beforehand.
Students taking classes online will also need to consider additional technology expenses such as wifi, an up to date computer, and software systems. However, if your job is paying for you to get your online finance degree, they’ll most likely also cover these types of expenses.
Another thing to take into consideration is the program amenities, such as resume building workshops, financial aid assistance, and access to certain computer software. You may be able to get different amounts of financial compensation with different programs or be able to utilize different resources.
Is the School You’re Looking at Accredited?
One very recent problem that has come to surface with online degree programs is that they aren’t all accredited. This basically means you’ll have dedicated your time and money toward this degree, which turns out not to be recognized as reputable by several companies. Just because a degree program is significantly cheaper and claims to offer new cutting-edge classes doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a good or legitimate option. There are several websites online with lists of well-known and accredited online universities.
Before deciding whether an online finance degree is ideal for you it is important to do as much research as you can about the programs available to you. But, most importantly make sure that this is something you want to do for yourself.