Affordable college education is still possible in both online format and traditional campus based education. Tuition at an online degree education program is often similar to that of a traditional campus based college or university. The average cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies at a public four-year college or university is $20,000. At a private school these cost can increase to $80,000.
Tuition for the same education through a four-year online program will be similar. However, at a traditional campus based college or university the additional cost of room and board, and transportation can push the costs of a four-year education at a public school to $50,000 and at a private school to $110,000!
It is easy to see the financial advantage of attending an online program vs a traditional campus based program. But are you getting what you are paying for?
According to the Sloan Consortium, which monitors online education, 62% of academic advisors believe an online degree to be as good as, or better than a traditional education. This percentage continues to rise each year, as more and more students take advantage of an online college education program. Approximately 3.2 million students are currently earning their degree through online degree programs.
Not too long ago, a high school diploma was a ticket to all sorts of decent occupations. Farmers, mechanics, factory workers, graphic artists and secretaries were among the many workers who did not need to go to college, and most of them did not.
Nowadays a diploma serves mainly as a ticket to further study, usually involving a side trip to the financial aid office. At many workplaces, you can’t even get an interview for a permanent full-time job without higher education.
Some people call it degree inflation. I think it is just a fact of life in the information age.
If I were running a car wash, or a housecleaning service, or a restaurant, I would not insist that all my employees have an advanced degree. Those businesses incorporate many jobs that do not require 16 years or more of education. Moreover, those are businesses that generally do chứng chỉ tiếng anh not expect their employees to stay for many years or, in most cases, to advance into management. They just need good, diligent workers, and there are many less-educated candidates who fit the bill.
But I run a financial and tax planning firm. Nobody would argue that the personnel who advise clients on investment or tax matters involving millions of dollars need only a high school education. Someone might, however, ask why I require a college degree from someone who answers our telephone or sends out our mail.
The answer is that we are in the business of growing our business, which is very much the business of growing our people. Just like a farmer who wants to plant her seeds in the most fertile soil possible, we want to start with the best people we can get. The skills someone brings when he or she come to us are not the only skills that person will ever have. The tasks we ask them to do at the beginning of their employment are not the only tasks they will ever perform. We want people who are ready and eager to grow.
A college degree is no guarantee of this, of course, nor is the absence of a college degree a sure sign that someone lacks aptitude or ambition. But the search for the most versatile and trainable talent has to start somewhere. In a knowledge-based business, we find that it works best to start with people who have had more education, and who have taken good advantage of it.
We are far from alone in this approach. Consider the Atlanta-based law firm of Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh, which was profiled in a recent, much-discussed New York Times article due to its practice of only hiring college graduates. (1) The law firm seems to be a relatively young, still-growing firm that wants to go as far as it can. The law firm also seems to move its people into positions of greater responsibility once they show they can handle it. A clerk at the law firm, for example, became a paralegal.