Given how quickly technology is advancing, it should come as no surprise that social norms are slowly shifting as well. Some things that were once looked down upon or readily dismissed by the public at large are now becoming acceptable - and in some cases, even preferable.
This is especially true of online education.
Online universities were once viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism. Business owners didn't understand them, traditional schools bashed them and students had no idea what to expect from them. However, these days, online schools are widely accepted by potential employers as a viable form of education. The degrees given out by these colleges are considered to be as valuable as those given by traditional colleges of equal prestige.
To help the reputation of online universities even more, students at traditional universities are integrating online courses into their respective educations more than ever.
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Perhaps this is because the Internet is becoming a more regular part of our day-to-day lives, or maybe it is because of the wealth of knowledge that has accumulated there. Whatever the reasons may be, online learning is a major industry and resource not only in the United States, but all around the world.
Here are 10 statistics that may surprise you about online colleges, courtesy of Ed Tech:
- 37% of online students are the first person in their respective families to attend college. Whether because of their family's location, income, or other factors, many people are the first person in their family to attend college because of the resource of online education.
- 46% of online students say their biggest motivation in attending online school is to advance their current careers. Often times, one will hit a ceiling in his or her career due to a lack of a specific degree. Once one has a full-time job and an established life, going back to school may be too time consuming or troublesome to consider as a possibility. Online schools offer an option to those who are self-motivated enough to capitalize on the opportunity.
- 60% of online students also work full-time. This is in direct correlation with the fact that 46% of online students utilize online education to further their careers. Often times it is simply the most efficient way to learn in terms of time and cost.
- 29% to 36% of graduates from online schools make over $85,000 per year in annual income. About 1 in 3 online university graduates find themselves among the wealthiest 25% of Americans.
- 80% of online students live within 100 miles of their campus (or a service center owned by the school). This makes it possible to correct any administrative problems or meet with the University's staff in person in necessary.
- 32% of all university students take at least one online course during their time in college. Even students in traditional schools are now given the option to take courses entirely online, and many capitalize on this opportunity. This is helping online education feel even more natural and legitimate to the public at large.
- The age range with the highest percentage of online student enrollment is the 25-29 year old segment, which accounts for 20% of online students. This is followed by 18-24 year-olds at 19%, then 30-34 year-olds at 15%, 35-39 year-olds at 13%, 40-44 year-olds at 11%, 45-49 year-olds at 10%, and 50-54 year-olds with 8%. Only 4% of students at online universities are 55 years of age or older. This statistic shows how valuable this resource has proven to be for those who are beyond "college age" and likely already well into their careers.
- Over 80% of online students have transfer credits. This makes it possible for dropout college students to resume their education when they are ready. Additionally, online schools are often cheaper than remote learning schools, making them a perfect option for those in financial trouble.
- 33% of online students study business. An education in business can be applicable to nearly any line of work, especially for someone who wishes to start his or her own business or be an entrepreneur of any kind.
- Due to their flexibility, online degrees boast an 18% faster completion time than traditional degrees.
In light of how surprising some of these statistics were, Opposing Views reached out to ICDC College, a leading international career development center dedicated to training individuals for specific careers, in hopes of getting some clarification about why most people are not aware of this information.
"I think the general public have pre-conceived, inherently negative point of views about online colleges," explained a representative from ICDCCollege.edu. "Its something the entire industry is working to change. I think these statistics are a great first step to proving these negative misconceptions to actually be false."
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Now that the aforementioned misconceptions are being discredited, it is easy to see why online colleges are becoming more popular than ever.
"Their role is only going to increase," the ICDC College spokesperson told Opposing Views "People are always at a loss for time, and traveling to campuses is just not an option for a lot of people, especially those who have started families or are already working. The role of education is so important; it is empowering and helping so many people get to where they want to be in life."
Source: Ed Tech