Earning an online degree in Virginia is a great way to start down the path of a bright future. Studying for your degree online opens up plenty of possibilities with degrees ranging from associate degrees to Bachelor’s degrees to Master’s degrees. If you need professional certification, you can often find that online as well. One critical step in selecting an online degree program is to ensure it is from an accredited school. Accreditation proves that your degree is good quality and will look respectable to potential employers. At Virginia.gov, you can browse lists of accredited schools including public institutions, private vocational schools, and private and out-of-state institutions.
Another reason to select an accredited school is so that you can apply for financial aid. Online students attending accredited schools can apply for many of the same aid programs as traditional students. Virginia financial aid opportunities include student loans, which must be repaid, and scholarships and grants, which do not have to be repaid. Some of the student loans available include federal programs such as the Stafford and PLUS loans. These are usually issued at very low interest rates. Scholarships and grants include awards that may include recipients who demonstrate financial need, are high academic achievers, are students pursing particular careers, or who demonstrate a special abilities in arts or athletics. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has information on the various types of financial aid available.
Also important when planning your online education is how you plan to use your degree in your career. Selecting a field of study that will result in a job within an industry that is experiencing growth is a smart move. Some of the top careers in Virginia right now include general and operational managers, management analysts, teachers, computer software engineers, computer systems analysts, and nurses. Average salaries for these positions range from $44,000 to $85,000 a year. Compare these salaries with the national average of $21,000 for employees with only a high school diploma and it is obvious that earning an online degree in Virginia will take your career to greater heights.