The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use the anonymous form below, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.

CAN I GET A COLLEGE DEGREE ONLINE?

Dear Career Doctor:

My husband is in the Military and we frequently move. I am finding it hard to go back to school with all the moving. Could you explain how online programs work, how employers feel about an online degree and how to find a good online school?

Barb

Dear Barb:

Online study is a relatively new and fast-growing way to get an education. Some colleges offer completely online coursework and grading, while others require at least a little time to be spent on campus.

If you go to Ask.com or Google.com, and type in "accredited online colleges" you will find a number of websites that give lists of such schools. How to pick one? Whenever a client asks me about selecting a college, I always advise going with the best known school you can get into. I notice from the lists that well known schools like Boston University, DePaul and Indiana offer online degrees. Empire State, which is part of the State Univeristy of New York system, has long offered very flexible programs, now also offers online degrees.

I asked former Larchmont resident, Julia Bruno, who is getting her MBA at Georgetown University and recently researched online degree programs, for her opinion. She said that in addition to regular colleges that offer online options, there are schools completely dedicated to online degrees. Some of the largest ones which have been in business the longest time are: the University of Phoenix, Strayer and Walden. She emphasized that it is extremely important to only take courses from an accredited school, so your courses can be transferred to a regular university in the future.

As for how employers view online degrees -- I think that varies by employer and by field. It is always appropriate to ask a univerisity about the percent of the graduating class that got jobs within six months of graduation-- and what kind of jobs and salaries they got. If there is a particular organization you would like to work for, I would call their Human Resources Department and ask if they hire people with the kind of online degree you are thinking of getting.

The Career Doctor

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The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.