The Distance Learner

Advice on earning a college degree through distance education

Why Did 17 Million Students Go to College?

Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees), along with over 80,000 bartenders, and over 18,000 parking lot attendants. All told, some 17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS says require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.

Read the full article at The Chronicle

Should You Send Your Kids to College?

College used to be something that only a small percentage of students entered. This is no longer the case.

Today like never before, parents are pressured to send their kids to college. If their kids don’t earn that all-important college degree, they will be failures in life… unable to find good, high paying jobs. Or so parents are told. But is that really true?

Sadly, college today is being oversold. The truth is that many kids don’t need to go to college to achieve success in life. In this Daily Finance story, James Altucher shares seven reasons why you shouldn’t send your kids to college.

Read the full article

NCSU Continues Expanding Their Distance Education Program

NCSU Distance Education

While earning my Computer Science degree in the early 2000s, I took several summer math courses at NC State University because my primary distance education school didn’t offer them yet. I enjoyed those classes and actually would have considered pursuing my full degree at NCSU, but at the time their distance education offering was minimal. There offered a few courses online, but I couldn’t have earned a full degree (even a 2 year degree) without commuting to school to fulfill the remaining requirements.

That has all changed dramatically over the past few years as NCSU has been expanding their distance education program at an impressive rate. It is now possible to earn an undergraduate or post-graduate degree from the University completely online. Their programs include Leadership in the Public Sector, Agricultural Education, Teaching, and even a part-time MBA course of study. In addition, they offer ways for a student pursuing a degree in engineering to complete the first two years of coursework online and finish the last two years through traditional means.

Their tuition rates run around $130 per credit hour for in-state students which is comparable to most other distance education programs. If you’re currently seeking a good distance education school, it would be worth your while to investigate what NCSU has to offer.

It’s exciting that more and more “big name” schools continue to expand their distance education offerings. It’s a trend that will undoubtedly continue as these schools recognize the growing demand for such modes of study.

Does Earning a Degree Increase Your Salary?

One commonly held belief about college degrees is that earning one will boost your income in your current job, or help you secure a job with a much higher starting salary than someone who only has a high school degree.

This may have been true at one point, but in recent years the earnings gap between high school and college graduates has been shrinking dramatically. Mary Pilon takes a detailed look at the earnings landscape in a recent Wall Street Journal article. It’s well worth a read whether you’re considering college for the first time or planning to return to school to earn a post-graduate degree.

One advantage to pursuing a degree via distance education is the lower cost. Combine that with the ability to work a full-time job while studying in the evening and you have a powerful alternative to the traditional college experience. Of course, it’s still a good idea to research your target career field and determine whether the cost of a college degree is truly worth the salary increase. It might not be.

Read the full article at WSJ.com

College Degrees No Longer Cost Effective?

In a recent New York Post article, Jack Hough presents compelling evidence that college degrees are no longer cost effective for most students to pursue. As he puts it:

“A student who secures a degree is increasingly unlikely to make up its cost, despite higher pay, and the employer who requires a degree puts faith in a system whose standards are slipping.”

Distance education, being a less expensive alternative, improves the cost-to-benefit ratio dramatically. For those jobs that require it, a degree earned through distance education may still be worth it.

Read the full article at NY Post

The Case for Working With Your Hands

High-school shop-class programs were widely dismantled in the 1990s as educators prepared students to become “knowledge workers.” The imperative of the last 20 years to round up every warm body and send it to college, then to the cubicle, was tied to a vision of the future in which we somehow take leave of material reality and glide about in a pure information economy. This has not come to pass.

Read the full article at NY Times

Academic Fraud

Soon college students will come home and present parents with their grades. To avoid delusion, parents should do some serious discounting because of rampant grade inflation. If grade inflation continues, a college bachelor’s degree will have just as much credibility as a high school diploma.

Read the full article at WND

Some Encouraging Advice

The Teaching Home is a magazine for Christian home educators. A few years ag, they published some suggestions for parents and students who are considering higher education. If you’ve been wondering what the Biblical motivations and goals behind higher education should be, this is an excellent read.

Read the full article.