As little as a few decades ago, pursuing higher education was not a necessary avenue for those seeking a fulfilling career that allowed them to live in comfort. The United States of America was a country that functioned largely as a manufacturing based economy. Some of the best jobs were union positions working in a factory and these did not require a college degree. Things are quite different now, however, and many of the higher paying jobs in the United States require a college degree as a prerequisite for employment. A study by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics titled "Education Pays" demonstrates the education premium as Bachelor's degree holders earn $20,600 more per year than high school graduates on average.
The transition to a service based economy for the United States of America means that it is difficult to create a career without a college degree. This also leads to the question: what is a career and how is it different from a job? A job is done simply for the purpose of making money and does not provide significant prospects for future advancement opportunities. A career is a series of jobs held that transition into one another as you become more experienced and progress from one job to another. An online college degree allows you to start on the path to a successful career rather than work a job for a paycheck and nothing else.
With the explosion of the Internet and its rising popularity, many businesses have become web-based. The education industry is no exception and there are many different online colleges to choose from. The first step to choosing an online college is to determine what major you wish to pursue. Once you know the major that you are interested in, you must find the online colleges that offer programs in that degree. Choosing from these online colleges involves a number of factors including tuition costs, college accreditation, and reviews.
The first step to finding an online college is choosing a major but this can be a difficult prospect. In order to choose what to study, you need to take an inventory of your own personality and interests. If you are a person with an analytical mind frame who enjoys logic puzzles, perhaps a scientific discipline is for you. If you are creative and like writing, the social sciences are probably a good path to go down.
The benefits of an education are clear and numerous. This does not mean, however, that an education is free. In a free market economy, a beneficial service must be paid for, and an online college education is no different. It is very important to realize the tuition and fees associated with the degree program you choose to pursue. Even though the government offers financial aid packages that allow you to attend online college through loans, you must consider the implications of paying back the loans.