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Distance Learning at the University Level

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Earning a degree from a distance learning university is a great way to jump start an existing career that's stagnant or head in a brand new professional direction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2009 workers with bachelor's degrees had median weekly salaries about $400 higher than workers with only high school diplomas. That translates into a lot of additional income over a 30 year career and the many online degree programs now available refute the excuse that it's too late for you to go to college.

Distance learning university degrees are more popular than ever due to the competitiveness of the current job market and convenience of taking classes from the comfort of your own home and around your busy schedule. Before you break out the books though, there are a few tips that can contribute to the success of your online education.

Tips for Successfully Earning a Degree at a Distance Learning University

People of all ages are earning online degrees so even if you've been away from school a while, you should be able to successfully complete a bachelor's degree program or earn that graduate degree you've always wanted. Here are a few suggestions that might make taking classes and earning a degree from a distance learning university a little easier:

  • Gratification--Earning a degree can help your career or get you started in a new occupation, but most people do better in a profession if they really like what they're doing. The same is true with a degree program; choosing a major that you have an interest in and enjoy studying about can make you look forward to opening the books every evening.
  • Schedule--One of the fastest ways to become discouraged is taking more courses than your personal schedule allows. Falling behind can lead to failing grades or dropped classes; it's always best to start out slowly and add an extra class the following semester if you think you can handle it.
  • Costs--No one likes worrying about expenses; if you're constantly wondering how you're going to pay for school, your studies are probably going to suffer. Try lining up all your college funding before starting each semester; there are enough grants, scholarships, and financial aid programs available that anyone who wants to earn a degree should be able do so without worrying about how they're going to pay for it.
  • Research--There are a lot of distance learning universities to choose from for your degree program; do a little research to make sure you're picking the school that's right for you and your career. Some schools have a curriculum and instructors with excellent reputations within certain career fields; find out which schools are well thought of by the Human Resources departments in the industry where you hope to work after graduating
  • Placement--You may find that your motivation to study is a little stronger if you know a great job is waiting after graduation. It's always a good idea to know what percentage of graduates in your degree program receive employment offers after completing their studies

Earning a degree from a distance learning university takes hard work and commitment, but if you follow these simple suggestions you can soon be a graduate getting ready to start a great new career.

Jeffrey Anderson

Jeffrey Anderson is a graduate of V.M.I. and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in the business world for 25 years prior to retiring to write full time.


Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections • http://www.bls.gov/ • http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook • http://www.bls.gov/ • http://www.bls.gov/oco/ooh_index.htm

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