Distance learning involves a variety of courses for diplomas, certificates, degrees and college credit. A school that offers distance learning does not necessarily offer a full degree online. More schools are embracing online degree programs and increasing the number of classes offered toward a degree, but some degrees are offered in abundance through online degree programs while others take some research to locate.
Business, management, marketing and related business study fields are the easiest online degree programs to find when doing research. Many colleges and universities offer associate, bachelor and master degrees in business administration completely online. The appeal of this option is the ability to walk away with a degree without ever having to step foot in a classroom. Another advantage is the ability to keep working to build job experience and longevity with a company while continuing your education. There are many MBA online degree programs available for students wishing to continue their education and work at the same time.
Some fields of study such as nursing and education offer courses towards a degree online. These fields require a lot of in-service work and are impractical fields of study to offer completely online. These degrees commonly offer a handful of courses that occur throughout the degree program. This way you are not stuck with online classes that only occur the first two years of the program. Master degrees are easier to find in these fields than bachelor degrees. The masters degree programs are usually only for registered or certified nurses and teachers. For example, you cannot hold a bachelor degree in math and then expect to get a masters in education online to teach math. The greatest advantage to these programs is that many teachers and nurses continue their education through online degree or certificate programs without having to attend classes.
Liberal arts is a field with a variety of online degree programs. Many colleges and universities offer a liberal studies degree completely online. Other colleges and universities offer what they call a general studies degree. This online degree program is developed to give you a well-rounded education that prepares you for a variety of careers or higher degrees. These online degree programs are ideal for students who have not figured out a specific major or students who need to work full-time and need a degree they can complete online. If your goal is to attend law school or some other professional degree program, the online general studies degrees allow you to work full-time so you can save money for advanced education.
Other online degree programs offered are psychology, sociology, English and criminal justice. There are more masters degree programs available as a full online degree program than there are bachelors degree programs, but if you research hard enough you can find full online bachelor degree programs.
There are also a handful of online PH.D programs that busy professionals for busy professionals. As distance learning and online programs become more popular and desired by students, the selection of online degree programs should increase.