It has become an all too familiar occurrence in the American workplace. Factories are shut down, and jobs shipped overseas. Offices consolidate operations, and even those who thought they had job security are facing with a pending pink slip. If reduced hours or a pending lay-off loom in your future, now is the time to be prepared.

For those returning to the classroom after years working, the process of earning a degree can be overwhelming and intimidating. Fortunately, learning for adults doesn’t have to be difficult. With an online degree program, you can earn your degree from the comfort of your own home on a schedule that is convenient to you.

Benefits of an Online Degree Program

Online learning has several advantages, particularly for busy adults who may have work and family responsibilities. Adult learners often select an online degree program for their:

Flexibility: While some courses may require that you be online at specific times for lectures or learning chats, most courses may be conducted at your convenience. Work third shift? Need to juggle your daughter’s soccer practice with coursework? No problem. You log on the school site to review course materials at whatever time works best for you.

Low Cost: In terms of cost, an online adult college education gives you the most bang for your buck. There is no need to relocate your family or commute to campus each day, costing you money for gas and parking. While traditional college degree programs may require that you take a certain number of credits each semester, online degree programs are designed with busy adults in mind. You can take as little as one class per marking period, saving you money and freeing up time.

Diverse Classrooms: Many adults, particularly those who have been downsized from their jobs, feel uncomfortable walking into a classroom filled with twenty-somethings. Online programs attract a variety of students of all walks of life from across the nation and even the world. You can interact with others in student forums and chats without worrying about sticking out like a sore thumb.

Online Degree Information

When it comes to adult college education, there are special considerations for finding the right online degree program. While online learning for adults can be easy and convenient, it should also be done carefully to ensure you receive a quality education.

Most importantly, make sure you select an accredited online degree program. There are a number of different accrediting agencies that operate both regional or locally. In addition, many industries are services by non-profit accrediting agencies specific to their field. For distance learning, accreditation is provided by several organizations including the:

•Distance Education and Training Council
•Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
•Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
•Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Other agencies including industry-specific councils and regional commissions offer accreditation for regional programs.

Reviewing online degree information can be a daunting task. Each program offers specific benefits, and you certainly don’t want to waste money on an online degree program that is not right for you. If you need help navigating the available programs, an education coach can provide guidance and expert advice.

Author's Bio: 

Tanya Knight is America’s Education Coach. She is passionate about higher education, and the nation’s premier source of information on education advancement. For more information and resources that will help you get a degree and the career of your dreams, visit