Does it really matter where you go to school? I mean, does the SCHOOL itself make that much difference? The answer is, "yes and no." This article talks about choosing the right school and overviews the top 10 online universities.
I have a four year old son; the other day he asked me, "Are you afraid of the dark." My response was, "well, yes and no." He was confused. I then explained that the dark can be scary - it is unknown and we can't see - however, if you are with other people or in a place that you know is safe then you do not need to be scared. Well, "yes and no" can be the answer to a great many questions in life.
A Name is Just a Name - But the Program Matters
One of the things that I teach in my online courses is resume writing. I notice that students tend to type their school name in a large font and their degree title smaller. I tell them that usually where you went to school is much less important than the degree you earned. Is this true? Well, yes and no. If you went to Harvard or Yale, then yes, make the school name larger. In fact, use glow in the dark ink or imbed it with little neon LEDs - you want the name to stand out. But most of us do not go to an ivy league school whose name is read with awe. If you go just about anywhere else, the degree you earn is more important than the name of your school, assuming that school is accredited and as well thought of as any other average school.
So, it is the program that is important, but, you still care about the name, don't you? You still want to read the list of top 10 online universities. Fine, here goes. Following is a list of the most prominent names and largest schools in online learning, and a few facts about them.
The Top 10 Online Universities
When you think of the best, Harvard is one of the first names to pop to mind. Now, Harvard has joined the information age with online courses that let you get an ivy league education without stepping foot in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While Harvard does not yet have any exclusively online degrees, they offer a variety of online and distance learning courses in a variety of subjects, certainly making them one of the top 10 online universities.
One of the top rated schools in the country, Cornell University is located in Ithaca, New York. If this ivy league name impresses you, but commuting to New York is simply out of the question, consider online courses or an online certificate from Cornell, one of the most extensive ivy league online programs. At Cornell University you can earn graduate certificates in human resources or hospitality entirely online. Online degrees in New York can be a reality.
University of Phoenix
The largest online university in the country, the University of Phoenix (founded in Phoenix, Arizona) offers a variety of degrees online and in their campuses spread across the country. They are known for offering a good degree, quickly.
Kaplan University offers online programs in a variety of fields, from nursing to criminal justice. They offer degrees up to the master's level.
The Third largest online university, Strayer has the distinction of offering both synchronous and asynchronous courses, meaning that you can work in real time with your instructor or on your own schedule.
Located in California, Ashford is a large online university that offers undergraduate and master's degrees in social services and business.
Among the most prestigious and well known online universities, Walden is definitely one of the top 10 online universities, with an enrollment of over 40,000 students.
Founded on student centered principles with a goal of helping students build skills that are immediately transferable to their workplace, Capella has an excellent reputation throughout the academic and business world.
A Rose by Any Other Name
Before you move on to applying at school #1 on my list of top 10 online universities, look at the school itself. Ensure that they have a program that meets your educational needs and career goals, and that you will be happy spending four or more years there, whether you wear their name on your sweatshirt or not.
Share your insights.