As you explore all of your post-secondary options, it is important to take a look at how popular online bachelor’s degrees are compared to their traditional counterparts. Studies show that admissions and enrollment rates for online programs are up in a majority of fields but there are still fields where traditional instruction is preferred.
As you map out your career as a full-time or part-time student, you must consider where you will get the best education. You should even review what makes each program different from one another.
Here is what you need to know about education trends and the popularity of earning a Bachelor’s degree online.
What Do the Statistics Say?
Both the government and private research organizations take time to measure the new trends in college and other learning setting. One very large focus is being placed on distance education. According to the distance learning statistics, the online channels that can be used to access course content, exams and message centers has had a dramatic affect on higher education as a whole. More students are entering college and more public and private universities are offering online classes. While intriguing, these facts alone do not show how popular distance education is for students re-entering school.
Are More Students Participating in Online Bachelor’s Programs?
The bachelor’s degree is the most common college degree earned today. Students choose a bachelor’s degree because they can go beyond the general content covered in an associate’s program without committing to 6 or even 8 years of schooling. One way to really measure the popularity of online 4-year degree programs is to compare participation rates.
According to the latest distance learning study released by the Institute of Education Sciences, 11.3 percent of undergraduate students have exclusively taken distance education courses. An additional 15.1 percent of students have taken some but not all online courses. These numbers have grown dramatically in recent years as more and more online portals and software programs are developed.
Is Distance Education Really As Effective as Traditional Learning?
There is no denying that studying for a degree online during your own free time is convenient, but is that convenience affecting the quality of education that students are getting? If you are paying thousands of dollars to earn a degree, whether it is online or in the classroom, you want to know that there will be a takeaway. That is why all prospective students can benefit from researching how students perform while studying for online bachelor’s degrees.
According to a study released by the SRI International on behalf of the Department of Education, online education actually beats the classroom in student performance. The report uncovered that over a 12-year span, students who studied online ranked in the 59th percentile compared to traditional students who ranked in the 50th percentile. This is a major reason for shifts in educational institutions who want to lower operational costs without affecting quality of education.
There will always be differences in popularity from degree to degree. While methods of instruction are never one-size-fits-all, the studies and statistics are proving that online bachelor’s degrees are growing in popularity and there is no sign of this slowing.
See also: Top 10 Cheap Online Bachelor’s Degrees