If you have ever experienced being overlooked for a promotion it would be wise to consider enrolling in a distance education course that is related to the field you are currently employed in. Due to the competitive nature of today’s workforce, managers and HR departments are increasingly searching for employees who are committed to improving their skills and to continuous learning. Top companies depend on their employees to help keep them one step ahead of their competition and to be able to quickly adapt to new and emerging trends in both business and technology.
Distance education courses or online learning enables full time workers to stay in touch with and build on existing networking opportunities while acquiring new skills that will get them noticed by managers and department heads. Most accredited community colleges, universities as well as technical colleges offer a wide variety of programs that can be taken from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Learning through a distance education course lets you choose when and where your best study times are and to complete your courses at a pace that is best for you.
Choosing the right accredited college that offers distance education courses in your particular area of interest can at first seem like a daunting task. There are however several good college search engines that will provide you with a list of online colleges to help you narrow your search. You can begin your search by a specific online degree title, career field or even by a professional certification. It is a good idea to visit each college website that offers a distance education course in your field. At this point it is recommended that you make a college information checklist to ensure that you get all the information you need to help you make a well informed decision. As you browse through each college website take a minute to request their distance education brochures so that you can study them more closely at your leisure. Some of the questions you will want answers to are:
- Can I transfer any college credits I may already have to a degree program?
- Does this online college offer scholarships, bursaries or student loans if I should need them?
- Does this college offer any help in finding jobs upon completion of a full degree program?
- Are there any prerequisites for the courses that I am interested in?
- What are the enrollment and application deadlines?
- Is this college professionally accredited?
The single most important factor to consider before making any final decision on which online or distance education course you want to enroll in is their professional college accreditation. As you will be devoting your own time to upgrading your skills, you want to be certain that any course you take will be recognized by the industry you work in.
Since the accreditation process is different for online colleges in Canada and the United States it is important that you visit the following college accreditation websites for the country you will be studying in. In the United Sates you can go to:
- The National Accreditation Agency
- The Regional Accreditation for Online Learning
In Canada you can visit the following sites:
- The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
- The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools
- The Canadian Education and Training Accredited Commission