Online Courses: Bring the Classroom Home!

This article describes what types of fields and degrees are available through online courses. It also includes some statistics about the growth of online courses.

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Online education courses, also known as distance learning courses, may be more suited to your schedule than traditional college courses. Studying online allows you to do your schoolwork whenever you have time. You won't ever have to leave your home, and all you'll need is a computer.

Online Education's Increasing Popularity

If you're considering online courses, you are not alone. The Sloan Consortium,, which is a consortium of institutions and organizations committed to quality online education, reports in the 'Entering the Mainstream: The Quality and Extent of Online Education in the United States, 2003-2004' that over 1.9 million students were studying online as of the fall of 2003. These numbers are expected to grow as university programs continue to expand and electronic access increases.

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  • Agriculture
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  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Online Degrees

As online education becomes increasingly popular and its quality becomes better, more employers are willing to accept online degrees. You can now obtain an online degree in a variety of fields. For instance, the Guide to Online Schools, which is available at, lists different fields in business, criminal justice, design, education, engineering, healthcare, human services, IT and computer science, law and paralegal, psychology, religion, English and physics. There are also a variety of degrees you may obtain like a bachelor's (B.A./B.S.), master's (M.A.) or a doctorate (Ph.D.), depending on the field and university.

Choosing a School

When choosing a field to study, you can either pursue your degree with an online school, a community college or a four-year university offering online courses. If you're interested in enrolling at a community college or a four-year university, you may want to try calling their academic offices to see what online courses are available.

For further information on online courses, you may want to visit ( (

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