eLearners provides prospective students with information about online degree programs, certificate programs, career descriptions, and potential salary information. You’ll also find many tools and resources to help you make an informed choice about the online college degree program or certificate that’s right for you!


Online students are looking to improve their employment situation and are satisfied with their investment in an online degree.
Carol Aslanian
President & Founder of Aslanian Market Research

Why Enroll in an Online Degree Program?

By Carol Aslanian

We don’t always immediately know what job we want to have for the rest of our lives, and as a result, sometimes you’re not working in the field that you want to make a career in. It’s a big decision, and it’s a good idea to contemplate the subject for a long time, sometimes years. Going back to school to get an online degree for the career path you do want to pursue may be a great idea for you, your family, and your future.

Most online degree programs are convenient because they give students the ability to schedule their coursework and lesson time around important things in their lives—especially their current career. Online education may be ideal for someone who wants to switch careers, maybe wants to earn another type of degree to do so, and has to work full-time while earning that degree.

Life’s circumstances can interrupt even the most dedicated of students. There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing all the work that goes into earning a degree and everyone should experience that at least once in their lifetime. Earning a degree may also make your family members proud of you in a way you’ve never experienced before. If a part of you has always wanted to finish what you started, an online degree program may allow you the flexibility to do so without putting other parts of your life on pause. 

Did you Know?

15% of college students today are "traditional?" Don't know if you're part of the other 85%? Watch this video to learn more about this growing student population from Carol Aslanian..

More Reasons to Consider an Online School

60% of Undergraduate and 70% of Graduate Students

Report Being completely satisfied with their investment of time and money in their pursuit of an online degree.[i]

40% of students Pursuing an Online Degree

Report improvement in their employment status, within a year. Typically a Raise or Promotion.[i]

80% of Transfer Students Surveyed

Report having credits to transfer, and roughly half said "most" or "all" credits were accepted into an online program[i]

FAQs About Online Degrees

Do people with degrees make more money?

In short, it’s possible! While earning a degree doesn’t guarantee you’ll earn more money, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2015, the median earnings for someone with a bachelor’s degree is $1,137/week, while someone with a high school diploma earns just a median of $678/week. That’s a big difference!

Some careers may require an entry-level education of a bachelor’s degree or higher (those with a master’s degree make a median of $1,341 per week), so BLS stats project that earning your degree might open up career paths that would otherwise be closed to non-degree earners. Of course, program outcomes vary according to specific curriculum, and no employment opportunities and salaries are guaranteed.

Am I really alone when I study online?

Definitely not! While you may be completing your coursework online at your computer when your schedule allows, you may still have interaction with other students and definitely with professors. Because of the marvels of modern technology, you may participate in group work via email, and professors can facilitate class discussion by way of online forums.

Webcam technology may also allow a professor to conduct one-to-many presentations where she teaches a live lesson and answer questions in real time. You may even be able to webcam-chat with your professor and other students to discuss certain topics in more depth.

How long till I start classes?

That really depends on the school you will attend and the type of classes you enroll in. Online degree programs often have a few “start dates” for courses throughout the year—sometimes one per quarter. Traditional campus programs may have set start dates once or twice a year—usually for fall and spring semesters. Also, some schools have “rolling admission,” which means they will consider your application at any time of the year, not just during designated enrollment periods.

If you enroll and are accepted into a program today, it may be as soon as a couple weeks or as long as a couple months till you start classes. It’s important to figure out when you are able to start completing coursework, and then find a program that fits with that schedule and with your education goals in general.

Why do people lie about degrees?

The simple reason that people lie about having earned a degree is so that they can appear more qualified than they truly are. For example, if someone who has only earned a bachelor’s degree is applying for a job that requires a master’s degree, he may lie about having earned the degree. However, an employer can easily ask a job candidate for a transcript and proof of graduation in order to consider you for a position.

Many employers will run background checks on candidates before offering them a position, and that’s when someone may get caught in their lie. Employers can even ask for verification of graduation after you have been hired. As with most situations in life, it’s better to actually earn the degree than to lie about it and risk getting caught!

Will my diploma and transcript say online?

It’s highly unlikely, but check with your school to make sure. And an employer will only know that you completed your degree completely or partially online if you tell them. Many schools award online students the same diploma as their residential students, or students who earn their degrees on-campus.

Online education has become so widespread that even many Ivy League universities are offering online learning options for their students. Today’s students are often balancing work, school, and family responsibilities and don’t necessarily have the time to enroll in a traditional, on-campus experience. Earning your online degree doesn’t mean you worked any less than those who earned their degree on campus—it just means that an online degree program was a great fit for you.

Is an online degree cheaper than campus learning?

Not necessarily, but there may be some cost differences when you’re earning your degree online vs. earning it on campus. Because the school is not responsible for having a classroom for you to attend, they may have fewer overhead costs than if they have to house thousands of students and provide safe and effective learning environments. But they still need to pay the professor to teach the class for the education you’re receiving!

However, you don’t have to attend campus classes, you don’t have to pay to commute to class, or pay room and board to live on campus. Since going to school online requires an internet connection, you may want to opt for a high-speed internet connection to ensure you can complete your work efficiently. Be sure to speak with a representative at the school you’re interested in and they should be able to break down how much each course will end up costing you.

Can I transfer credits?

Well, it depends on the institution you’re going to and the credits you have earned. It is possible not all credits can or will be accepted by the school you are transferring to. It is also typical, that the department you are transfering into, not the admissions office, is determining if your credits are transfer worthy. Here are some steps to take if you are looking to transfer credits:

  • Request official transcript(s) from whichever schools you attended. You can have them sent directly to the school you want to attend.
  • Speak with your academic advisor at the school you wish to attend in order to discuss which credits will transfer. Find out who is responsible for the decision.
  • Fill out a transfer application from the school you want to attend. It may be an entirely different application than the one you filled out initially.
  • Be on top of your admission deadlines. Because of transcript request processes, the deadline for transfer applicants may be different than for applicants coming in with zero credits
Can I get a free online degree?

Finding institutions that offer tuition-free accredited online degree programs is like searching for unicorns. Plus, even with those that claim they’re completely “free,” there may still be exam and administration fees involved in earning that degree. Always double check with the school. Be aware that just because a course is free, it does not mean that the school is accredited. If a school is offering free courses, check their accreditation page to see if that course can actually be used for credits toward earning a degree.

There are MOOCs, which stands for “Massive Open Online Courses.” MOOCs are typically free and can be taken by people across the globe from wherever there is internet access. Lessons are taught by way of tests, video lectures, and discussion forums. But there are two important pieces of information to find out when considering free online courses: is the school that is offering them accredited? And can the course be used for credits? If the answer to both or either of those questions is ‘no,’ you may be taking that MOOC just for funsies.

What's the most popular major?

In 2015, Aslanian Market Research conducted a survey of 1,500 students who were either currently enrolled in college, had recently been enrolled, or who planned to enroll in a fully online undergraduate or graduate degree program or fully online certificate program in the next 12 months. The 10 most popular fields of online study were:

  1. Business administration
  2. Nursing
  3. Computer science&engineering
  4. Information technology
  5. Engineering
  6. Sociology
  7. Networks, computer networking
  8. Elementary education
  9. Social work
  10. Criminal justice
  1. Business administration
  2. Nursing
  3. Computer science&engineering
  4. Information technology
  5. Early childhood education
  6. Counseling psychology, psychotherapy
  7. Computer security, cybersecurity
  8. Networks, computer networking
  9. Technology management
  10. Social work

Across online undergraduate and graduate major popularity, you can see many majors in common—the top 4 online majors are exactly matched in popularity. If you’re interested in one of these online majors, you’re in good company! You should have plenty of classmates if you choose to earn your online degree.


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