Online Degrees

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Online Business Degrees Offer a Wide Array of Options For Working Professionals

A business degree can lead to more career opportunities than you may realize. More working professionals are turning to online business degrees to enhance their current job skills, help them move into management, change career fields, or even start their own businesses.

Online business degrees are available in a broad variety of types and subject matter. The type of degree you pursue depends largely on your career goals and personal interests. Certificate programs can allow you to gain more expertise in a specific field in a short amount of time, enabling you to perform additional job duties and prepare for a specialized career path. Associate's degrees are useful for obtaining a broad knowledge base and preparing for entry-level positions in a wide variety of fields. Bachelor's degrees can provide you with more specialized knowledge, and Master's degrees can help you advance your career and move into management.

Whichever type of program you choose, you can find online business degrees that deal with a wide array of specialties. General degrees can provide you with a broad exposure to all the elements that allow a business to function smoothly. For more specialized programs, you can choose degrees in accounting, human resources, marketing, operations management, leadership, or any number of areas. Whichever area you choose, most online business degrees will provide you with leadership skills and the ability to solve problems and provide innovative solutions.

Certificate programs are short, specialized programs that can help you advance your career. They generally focus on very specific areas of business, such as e-commerce or project management. Choosing an online certificate program can allow you to quickly increase your value to your organization while working around your existing work and family obligations. If you are looking to gain more knowledge in a specific area pertaining to your current career, online business degrees in specialized certificate programs are an excellent choice.

Associate's degrees are great for those who want to expand their knowledge and gain a solid business foundation but are unable to commit to a full Bachelor's degree program, or are uncertain about which program to pursue. Associate's degrees can help you expand your career options and lay the groundwork for further education if you wish to pursue a more specialized degree in the future. Common online business degrees available as Associate's degrees are accounting, marketing, and general business administration. Degrees in accounting allow you to obtain a job as a bookkeeper, accounts payable or receivable clerk, or other entry-level accounting position. Associate's degrees in marketing provide a foundation for analyzing, planning, and implementing marketing campaigns targeted to a specific audience. Associate's degrees in business management can provide you with valuable skills to help you achieve your organization's goals, make managerial decisions, and motivate employees.

Bachelor's degrees are generally the minimum requirement for entry-level business career. Employees with Associate's degrees or with no higher education can easily pursue online business degrees while keeping their current job. In many cases, your employer will pay for online business degrees if they are directly related to your job duties and will add value to the organization. Bachelor's degrees in business can range from specialties such as human resources, operations management, and retail management.

A Master's degree is generally not required for career advancement, but could help you in a field where a broad knowledge base is required. The most popular type of Master's degree in business is the MBA: Master's of Business Administration. However, many programs offer online business degrees such as Master's in Human Resource Management, Master's in Professional Accounting, or Master's in Project Management.

Andy West is a writer on a variety of topics, including education. Online business degrees, particularly an online MBA, can really raise your earning potential in the business world.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Distance Learning - What You Need, What it Takes and What You Gain!

Distance learning convinced me a long time ago now. Certainly the subject is not new. After all, if people are already using video conferencing in their company for online meetings, why not for training? Actually it has already been more than 10 years since offers appeared for learning languages by phone. And there are lots of reasons to like distance learning. Here are a few of them:
  • You do it where you want
  • You do it when you want
  • You save the transportation time
  • There are no commodities issues and costs

Of course people would say it is always better to have a trainer next to you. But why? I still haven't found any reason. For the social aspect? Well by saving time on your training and making it more flexible you will actually gain time for other things like participating in social activities, seeing your friends etc.

And the truth is that, with the development of Internet technology, it just becomes better and easier. A good virtual classroom has exactly the tools that a tutor needs to teach online. Video and audio ensure communication, and the whiteboard works perfectly for collaboration.

Directly integrated in the whiteboard there is the possibility of displaying images, switching between different layers, even playing a video... all this on top of all the things you can naturally do with a normal blackboard: annotate, erase etc.

Moreover the session is easily recordable, and it needs no costly hardware. A simple computer with a headset and an internet connection is sufficient.

Despite all this, the use of the virtual classroom for training sessions is not yet totally popular. There are a few reasons for this, and we have noticed that just a few steps can help to remove the barriers.

1. People don't like change

People definitely don't like changes. Even if the virtual classroom brings them a lot of advantages, until they really notice it, it can be extremely difficult to convince them. Based on our experience, I would like to give two suggestions when the learners are not ready for this new step:

  • Make the first one or two appointments offline. We have noticed that the fact of building a relationship between the tutor and the learner before starting the online sessions greatly helps people who are not yet experienced with learning online
  • Use a tutor who is very familiar with online tools

2. Tutors are not used to these tools

A short experience has showed us that a big part of the problem comes from the tutor. Indeed who can imagine that a tutor who has never used a virtual classroom before can actually give a good lesson? Actually a virtual classroom does not take that long to learn. If the interface is intuitive, the tutor can easily start to know all the tools within one hour. Still the tutor needs to find his way around this new method.

Based on our experience, a tutor needs between 5 and 10 hours of online tutoring to start to be totally efficient with the tool. Therefore, a proper training method should be defined. The appropriate time budget should be allocated so that the tutor gets trained in a real session.

3. Technical problems

Technical problems are another barrier for distance training. If the user has to download software, install it, solve problems, he will not easily accept facing the change and the necessity of taking up this new habit.
Our tip: choose a web-based virtual classroom where there is absolutely no software to install. Relying on massive spread plugins like Java or Flash will definitely reduce the problem and maximize compatibility.

Finally if you face a technical problem because of infrastructure (poor internet connection) or because the people don't really know how to use a computer, try using the phone for communication at the beginning, combined with the whiteboard.

What is sure is that after a few hours, tutors and learners will both enjoy this flexible new way of teaching / learning a lot. It is worth it!

Our company has developed a complete learning management system which integrates a web-based virtual classroom. Using the virtual classroom it is possible to give 1 on 1 or 1 on many training sessions, and our platform allows the trainers to easily complete the live training by exercises and content that they or the school create, allowing a great blended learning offer.

If you are interested and wish to test our solution please visit:

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