Online Business Degrees Tips

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What are the rankings of business majors?

Ranking of Business Majors

The top ten online business majors: Business Administration, Management, Leadership, Project Management, Information Systems Management, Finance, Technology Management, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, and lastly International/Global Business. Not mentioned in the top ten list are Internet and e-commerce as well as marketing majors. This information can provide guidance as to where the priorities of the next decade may lie and what employers are considering important education to have.

   
What methods are used to teach online courses?

Methods Used to Teach Online Courses

Students of online courses are taught the same information as students taught in the classroom, it just comes in a different format. some schools offer hybrid courses which are partially online and partially in a classroom. Instead of teaching lectures, students take advantage of textbooks, videos, CD-ROMs, phone conferencing, online chats and some Web based leaning. Students also have access to the library system online as well as support by phone or e-mail.

Each school and program or course will use differing styles to communicate the information, but the inherent flexibility this method offers is especially important to students of today who study around careers or otherwise busy lives.

   
What is an online dual degree?

Online Dual Degree Programs

With the rapid growth of business in our society, graduates of bachelor's degree programs may need to show they have expertise in more than one area. For this reason, many online schools offer dual degree programs for students who want to major in more than one area at a time. This can be accomplished by taking more courses and can be achieved in less time than it would take to complete two degree programs separately.
The focus of online dual degrees is on graduate degree programs where students can receive two master's degrees simultaneously. There are few programs available to earn a bachelor's degree and master's degree at the same time. Many online degree programs will allow you to receive bachelor's degrees in dual concentrations.

   
What is the length of time required to earn an online accounting/finance degree?

Length of Time Required for Online Degrees

The availability of online accounting and finance programs offer many options to choose from when it comes to selecting the length of your schooling. Most degree programs will last at least three years. However, if you have credits that can be used toward the degree they work towards shorten that time considerably.

A major advantage of taking online courses is the flexibility and comfort of studying in your own home on your own time. When choosing a program's length consider how many classes you can take per semester and how this will fit into your schedule. Going to school part-time versus full-time will alter the length of time it takes until completion significantly.

   
What is Accreditation for Online Schools?

Accreditation for Online Schools

One of the most important factors in choosing an online school is whether or not it is accredited, and by whom. Graduating with a business degree from an accredited school gives credibility and recognition from employers, higher income, and the possibility of promotions or higher positions. Receiving a degree from a non-accredited school, or one that is not accredited from a meaningful source, can lead employers to disregard your degree.

Accreditation is the process of reviewing a school's curriculum to make sure it meets the proper criteria. This stamp of approval is granted by outside agencies. The outside agency should be approved by the National Education Association (NEA) in order to be valid. If the school is not accredited by an agency approved by the NEA, it is highly recommended not to attend that school.

   
What is an online degree in management?

Online Bachelor's Degree in Management

This business administration degree with a concentration in management teaches broad management topics designed for students to lead and grow businesses. Subjects include human resources management, organizational behavior, marketing, and risk management. Also, work effectiveness, business strategies, project management, and management of operations are discussed and evaluated in these classes. Some online management degrees can be obtained in less than three years by taking business courses online, allowing graduates to acquire jobs faster or receive promotions sooner and increase their income.

   

Learning Live With Web Interfacing

Online learning has changed considerably over the years, offering much more dynamic and interactive opportunities for students. The best course designs utilize a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities to facilitate learning.

More and more, companies, colleges and universities are using live multimedia interfacing to conduct their classes. Using this technology, universities or colleges book sessions for the class, and then communicate the date and times for the students to log onto the webpage. At that time, students are asked to turn on their microphone and speaker controls. Using only a headset, students can listen to the instructor, listen to feedback from other students, and can participate in a wide variety of other interactive learning tools.

This tool utilizes a whiteboard that the facilitator has control over. S/he can post instructional materials including web pages, graphs, charts, Word documents, etc. By opening up the whiteboard to the other students in the class, everyone can have an opportunity to edit or revise documents while the rest of the class benefits from the learning experience.

In addition, students are able to communicate with each other behind-the-scenes, posing questions through the messenger, “raising” their virtual hand to get the attention of the facilitator, and indicating that they've had to “step away” for a few minutes during class. It's this kind of innovation that makes online learning exciting.

   

Virtual Learning = Real Weight Gain

Everyone's heard of the “freshman 15,” indicating that extra weight that creeps upon you once you hit college or university. Unfortunately, that extra weight gain can materialize under just about any circumstances, but it's more likely to occur if you're the kind of person who tends to stress eat. For adults returning to school to work on their business degree or diploma, the situation could be even worse. As we age, our metabolism slows down. Adding course studies on top of an already tight schedule can all but eliminate a regular exercise program.

There are some things you can do to help prevent extra weight gain during your period of study that include the following:

  • Eat small, regular meals throughout the day, to avoid overeating at any one particular time.
  • Break up your exercise routine into ten minute bursts of activity throughout the day.
  • Watch what you put into your coffee. Having a few extra coffees per day with cream and sugar can increase your caloric intake significantly.
  • Don't nibble while you work at the computer or on your assignments. If you have to eat, keep healthy fruit and vegetables nearby so that you're not tempted to munch on potato chips.
If you do happen to gain a few pounds while earning your degree or diploma, take heart in knowing that once you're studies are finished, you'll have a lot more time to get back on track with your fitness program.

   

Mandatory Residencies For Degree Programs

If you're considering working toward your business degree online, take into consideration any mandatory residencies required throughout the course of your study. It could have a significant impact on which college or university you choose. In some instances, residency may be just a few weekends, or it could be for a longer term. At that point, unless the university is within driving distance, you may find yourself looking for a place to stay short-term.

Check with the university to see if they offer a list of available rooms to rent in the area. Oftentimes, people will contact the college or university looking to take in a boarder, or with a room/apartment to rent. The university will most likely have the details including the rent, what's included, and at least a phone number to contact.

Alternately, consider staying with a friend or family member who might live nearby. Ask about onsite residence as well. Obviously, a completely online college won't have anything like that to offer. However, a conventional college or university might have a dormitory. While the dormitories are most likely filled with full-time students, they may have a short-term option available for you while you complete your residency.

   

Beware Dollar Store Diplomas

We've all seen the commercials for fast, easy, diplomas. Just dial that toll free number and talk to an operator today! Not so fast. There are just as many people out there looking to make a fast buck as there are legitimate institutions concerned about your education.

Make sure to research any school, especially if it purports to offer degrees in unrealistically short periods of time. It's going to take anywhere from two to four years to complete a business degree. Even just taking classes here and there requires a fair bit of time and commitment. Don't fall prey to empty promises.

One way to check on the qualifications of a school is to visit the U.S. Department of Education website. If the school you're interested in is found within the site's list of accredited schools, you can feel confident about your choice. However, it's important to note that just because a school isn't accredited, doesn't necessarily mean it's a scam.

The implications of a non-accredited school comes into play when it comes time to find a job. Employers want to know that your diploma comes from an institution that has placed a high value on course content, and is current with industry needs and trends.

   

Community College Credits

If you're serious about getting your business degree or diploma, and looking for ways to save money, attending a community college for the first year or two might just be the answer. Community colleges offer high quality credit courses and programs that are often linked to university articulate agreements.

The best way to do this is to obtain a list of the credit courses required to obtain a diploma or degree in business, then compare it to courses offered through a local community college. If it's a business degree you're after, check with a community college's Business Administration program. Chances are that's where you'll find the credits you require.

Make sure to get approval from your designated university or college, to make sure that they will accept those community college credits before you spend the time and money. A year or two at a community college can save you thousands of dollars. In addition, community colleges also offer the same level of commitment to student success including resources for persons with disabilities, career counseling, etc.

Likewise, community colleges usually offer many courses through online learning. Not only will you save money, you'll benefit from the great opportunities community colleges have to offer.

   

Overcoming Isolation in the Virtual Business Degree Lounge

Deciding to work toward a business degree or diploma online is often an easy decision to make, especially when you consider the alternatives: quitting work and possibly relocating to the geographical location of your chosen school/field. The one thing people don't often think about is the isolation involved.

While some training offers a blended delivery approach (where there are some face-to-face classroom meetings), there's still the problem of isolation. This becomes particularly problematic when faced with curriculum-based or course-based issues. A typical classroom setting involves a great deal of informal conversation, discussing problems and best-practices. With virtual training, some of that interaction may be lost. The solution? A virtual student lounge. Before signing up for an online course, you might want to ask about virtual lounges, and what restrictions (if any) are tied to them.

By having regular access to a virtual student lounge, students can post questions and offer advice, solutions, etc., to their peers. Yes, with limited or no restrictions, the discussions can veer dangerously away from anything related to course work. On the other hand, there's a lot of insight to be picked up from informal conversation. This is where the problem-solving really begins.

   

Business Projects and Home Work – A Team Collaboration

As an online student, it's easy to sit back quietly while the virtual classroom takes on a life of its own. After all, you're not in a physical classroom setting and there's no direct interaction on a regular basis. Or is there? The secret to virtual success is understanding and participating in group discussion. This can happen through email communication, by participating and posting to student web boards, or perhaps through various online web interfaces, video conferencing, teleconferencing, etc.

You may be getting top academic grades, but losing out in the area of participation. Instructors often assign a portion of the grade toward active participation for some very good reasons including:

  • Networking – The people you meet today may very well be people you'll end up working with
  • Problem-Solving Skills – Working with a diverse group of students, you'll have to figure out how you're going to work effectively as a team.
  • Sharing – Everyone has a modicum of experience to bring to the table. By participating in discussions, group work, etc., you'll have an opportunity to share some of the things you've learned along the way which will, in turn, benefit others.
It's important to interact with your peers in a positive, professional manner, to get the most out of your business degree and your education in general.

   

Online, But Not All The Time

The first question students ask when applying for business courses online is, “Will I need to be in front of my computer for set periods of time, or can I work on my assignments during my own time?” The answer to this depends on the course itself, and the learning outcomes assigned to it.

Courses that are more math/science based may only require that assignments be completed by specific deadlines. In that case, it's usually acceptable to submit via email or fax (always check first). Likewise, if a course is more communications based requiring regular input, peer critique, projects, etc., than web interfacing may be required. This could involve certain types of software applications that enable users to listen to the instructor's voice as he/she guides students through various lessons online. It could also mean having the opportunity to participate verbally via online interfacing, enabling students to participate in “real time”.

It's important to know ahead of time whether there will be a schedule sent out to student taking online business courses. Ask for one when you register, and consider setting up an email reminder to yourself, or marking the dates on a calendar, especially if online attendance is mandatory.

   

Assessing Your Learning Curve For Online Training

For most people, the prospect of quitting a full-time job to go back to school is next to impossible. Unless the bank account is well padded, the reality of part-time studies through online learning is the only means to continue education while earning a living. If you're considering taking this route, there are a few things to consider in terms of your computer skills. It's important to remember that you don't have to be a computer scientist to access and participate in online learning. It does help to have a few skills including the following:

  • Regular access to high-speed Internet
  • Familiarity with web browsers such as Internet Explore or Netscape (i.e., can you do a search on the web?)
  • Basic email skills including sending documents as attachments.
That's it. Just a few basic skills and you'll have no trouble mastering online learning. Deciding to take a course or a program online requires careful consideration and research. Make sure that the courses you sign up for are actual credits toward your ultimate degree or diploma. Ask the registrar what courses you'll require to obtain your degree or diploma and what technical help is available for online training.

   

Technology That Works For You, While You Work On Your Business Degree

If you're a student with special needs, it's important to disclose that information on your application form so that the school can make sure all of your needs are met. Working toward a business degree is difficult at the best of times, and you'll want to remove any barriers that might impede your academic progress.

Whether you're taking classes online, or in a regular classroom setting, their are various software applications including voice recognition systems and virtual keyboards available for use. Colleges and universities will go what they can to accommodate your needs, as long as they're aware of them in time to prepare before classes start.

Voice recognition systems respond to the sound of your voice and are excellent for people with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, or problems with fine-motor skills. For those who have difficulty hearing, transcripts and/or streaming captions can be made available to supplement video conferencing. Using a voice recognition system may require a bit of patience, however. The system will experience a slow down or develop inaccuracies if your voice is too low, tired, or strained. It's best to take frequent breaks and light sips of water to keep your voice as strong as it can be.

   
Is it possible to finally get my degree in business online?

Getting Your Degree in Business Online

Life has a funny way of twisting the blueprint of our educational maps into something indistinguishable from its first draft. No matter what your age, sometimes the best intentions are thwarted by unforeseen circumstances. It's no crime to put your education on the back-burner, just don't forget that it's on simmer.

How many credits do you have to take to finally get that degree in business? The thought of returning to the classroom can be daunting if you've been out of the system for a while. Thankfully, colleges and universities recognize the need for alternate adult delivery mechanisms.

Can't make it to class? Perhaps you have a family now, or maybe you can't afford to quit work while you finish your degree. Did you know that many colleges and universities offer online learning? Whether you're working towards your college marketing degree, degree in business marketing, or a degree in fashion marketing, you can finish, or start, your business degree with online learning.

If you have basic computer skills along with regular and reliable access to a computer, online learning might just be the perfect option for you. The first step is to visit the nearest college or university in your area. Ask to speak with the registrar and discuss their options for a degree in business online. Accessibility is one of the most attractive aspects to online learning. You don't have to live anywhere near the university to finally get that online business degree.

   
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Patricia Walters-Fischer