By the Numbers: What is the Value of an Online Degree?

By the Numbers: What is the Value of an Online Degree?

By the Numbers: What is the Value of an Online Degree?
By the Numbers: What is the Value of an Online Degree?

Is an online degree worth it? Even with the flexibility, accreditation and convenience that reputable online degrees offer, many students may wonder if an online degree will be taken seriously by employers.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, experts accurately predicted that colleges and universities in the United States will be required to migrate to a hybrid learning model or a fully online learning experience. The same report acknowledged the benefits of online learning.

  • Online learning can help mitigate the sky-rocketing cost of traditional higher education
  • Online learning uses technology to enhance students’ digital literacy and prepare students for new technologies in the workplace (ex. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, etc.).
  • Online learning is more accessible for students (ex. Students in rural areas, raising children, working full-time and students who want to attend a school out of state without relocating).
  • Online learning provides students with access to the world’s most qualified educators and expert faculty members in a convenient online portal.
  • Online learning helps graduates fast-track career mobility, garner higher salaries and increase lifetime income.

As a result of these benefits, the reputation of the online degree is improving. However, not all online degrees are created equal. Various factors contribute to the value of an online degree.

What are the Different Styles and Types of Online Learning?

According to TechSmith’s Guide to Distance Learning, the diversified styles and types of online learning contribute to the experience and quality for students. Some students may prefer a flexible asynchronous style, whereas others may opt for a structured live learning experience.

What are the Different Styles of Online Learning?

Online learning falls into two main categories:

  • Synchronous: A method of education that is delivered in real-time using technology such as live video conferencing.
  • Asynchronous: A method of education that allows students to learn at their own pace using technology such as quizzes, virtual chat and personalized scheduling.

What are the Different Types of Online Learning?

Online learning can be delivered in numerous ways:

  • Video conferencing: A form of synchronous online learning where a teacher and student connect via live video.
  • Hybrid distance education: A combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning where a student is given deadlines and exams and learns independently to reach these milestones.
  • Open schedule online courses: An asynchronous format that gives self-motivated students freedom to set their schedules and deadlines.
  • Fixed-time online courses: The most common form of online learning where students log-in at designated times and engage in online learning via discussion boards and conferencing.
  • Asynchronous term-based online courses: Semesters are determined by the school and students are able to learn at their own pace within the semester format.

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What Factors Contribute to the Value of an Online Degree?

What Factors Contribute to the Value of an Online Degree?

The value of an online degree is influenced by several factors, including the following:

  1. Accreditation: Does the school have accreditations and affiliations from notable education authorities?
  2. Traditional campus: Does the school offer on-campus and online courses, with a traditional campus experience?
  3. Established brand: Does the school have a household name, reputable faculty and showcase successful student testimonials?
  4. Quality of the faculty: Does the school employ experts in their field and educators that engage with students?
  5. Outcomes: Do graduates see career success measured by employability, salary range and job satisfaction?

Why Pursue an Online Degree?

Students decide to pursue online degrees for different reasons, ranging from accessibility to incentive programs. A recent study found that:

  • 47 percent of students enrolled in an online degree because existing commitments made on-campus attendance unmanageable.
  • 21 percent of students enrolled in online learning because it was the only way to pursue their field of interest.
  • 21 percent of online students were motivated by employee incentives or partnerships.
  • 8 percent of students opted for an online program due to the school’s reputation.

Regardless of the reason for enrollment, market researchers found that “out of 1,500 graduate online students, 86% believed that the value they obtained from their online degree equaled or exceeded what they paid for.”

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What is the Value of an Online Degree?

What is the Value of an Online Degree?

What do the numbers say about the value of an online degree? The savings incurred in distance learning paired with the increased earning potential and career mobility afforded by an online degree reap benefits for online learners.

1. Increase Your Lifetime Income

Pursuing an online degree increases your earning potential. With an associate’s degree, you can earn more than $600 to $800 per week compared to those with a high school diploma.

Weekly earnings can result in $325,000 more in your lifetime with an associate’s degree and anywhere in the range of $800,000 to $2 million more with a bachelor’s degree.

Another report found that over your career, higher education is correlated with higher pay. High school graduates earn $1.3 million; Bachelor’s degree holders earn $2.3 million; Ph.D. holders earn $3.3 million and professional degree holders earn $3.7 million.

2. Keep Your Job and Full-time Salary

The convenience and flexibility of most distance learning programs allow you to maintain your work schedule and salary. Market researchers found that people who work their way through school have less student loan debt than those who don't.

The same report found that 22% of students who do not work while in college have more than $50,000 in student debt. This means that opting for an online program allows you to mitigate student debt as a “working learner.”

3. Gain Financial Savings and Financial Aid Options

Online programs offer affordable tuition without overhead costs incurred at a traditional on-campus college. In addition to offering affordable tuition rates, online learning also provides generous financial aid programs that make higher education even more accessible. For example, Central Christian College of Kansas Online extends various types of financial aid, including:

  • Federal student loans
  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Military benefits

4. Fast-Track Career Mobility

One of the top ways to fast-track career mobility is by building the skills and knowledge needed to achieve a leadership position. Online courses can help you get promoted or pivot to a more desirable career path.

According to U.S. News and World Report, “over 85% of college freshmen reported that getting a better job was a "very important" factor in their decision to go to college.” In response to student demand, colleges are offering co-op programs, internships and other career service programs that help students find relevant jobs.

At CCCK Online you are partnered with your own Student Success Advisor, who works alongside you to make sure you have the resources you need to achieve your professional goals.

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Why Choose CCCK Online?

Whether you work full-time or part-time, CCCK Online makes completing your degree individualized and convenient, with a flexible online program and supportive community of faculty and advisors. With CCCK Online, you will earn your associate or bachelor’s degree and achieve your goals, while also balancing your personal and professional life. In particular, CCCK is:

  • 100 percent online: No mandatory login times – you complete coursework whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you.
  • Transfer-friendly: Our generous credit transfer policy lets you earn your degree faster and save on the cost of tuition.
  • Engaging: The curriculum blends theory and application giving you an immediate competitive advantage. Faculty are caring mentors who apply real-world experience to situations.
  • Affordable: $425 per credit hour. $5,300 per term. Financial and military aid available for those who qualify.
  • Exceptional support: You are partnered with your own Student Success Advisor, who works alongside you from registration to graduation, to make sure you have the information and resources you need to achieve your personal and professional goals.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and Recognized as a Best College (GradReports, 2020) and Best Online College (SR Education Group, 2020)
  • Ranked as a Top School in Military Advanced Education & Transition’s Guide to Colleges & Universities.

Discover Faith-Based Learning at Central Christian College of Kansas

Are you ready to join a supportive community of like-minded peers and enter in-demand high-potential jobs with an online degree? Pursuing an online degree enhances your skillset, boosts your salary and job prospects in the short term and grows your career long-term. We’re here to help make your career aspirations a reality with a faith-based, valuable online degree.

Learn more about online degrees at Central Christian College of Kansas.

About Central Christian Online

With a remarkable history that dates back to 1884, Central Christian College of Kansas offers education focused on professional development and character, for students of all faith backgrounds. Through our global online learning environment, Central Christian College of Kansas is dedicated to providing a world-class education that equips you to serve with distinction. Students from around the country benefit from our top-ranked and accredited 100% online programs, enjoying the flexibility to balance their professional and personal lives. To get curriculum details and download a free program guide, visit: myonline.centralchristian.edu.