Monday, 24 November 2014

How to Get a Bachelor Degree Online

Updated 23 September 2016

This information was originally posted at the end of the article is a degree necessary to teach English abroad? I decided to copy and paste it here in order to make it easier to find.

More and more places are requiring a college degree. Gone are the days of the backpacker teacher where you could waltz into a language school and get a job. Places are requiring degrees, transcripts, criminal background checks, and more paperwork than before.

Having a degree will open up more doors for you as well. In addition, you're more likely to get a good paying job with great benefits. However, time and money are an issue, especially if you're older and / or have a family. The information below will help you finish your degree as quickly and cheaply as possible. The universities below are accredited and cater to mature students. Most of them are U.S. universities, but there are also ones from the U.K., Canada, and for people living in Asia and Europe.

Free courses are available online at Academic Earth, Class-Central, Coursera, EdX, Lynda, Skill Crush, U of People, Udemy, and Udacity.

How to Get a College Degree
If you plan to make teaching English your career and would like to be able to save for retirement you will probably need a degree. Distance study and courses for mature students are making it easier for everyone to get a college education. The US Department of Education has recently released a study that shows that students who study online perform better. If money's an issues, check out the Art of Manliness, which has some good info about Testing Out: How to "Moneyball" Your Way to a Debt-Free College Degree.
  • Outside credit by examination. You can take tests such as ACE, ECE, and CLEP.
  • The college's credit by examination. Each college might have exams that you can take.
  • AP. Theses courses are studied during high school but you don't have to be in high school to take the exams.
  • DANTES (DSST). These are usually for people in the military.
  • Subject specific exams. Criminal Justice/Police Proficiency Examinations, and Medical Terminology Examination are some examples. Wilbur Wright College is one college that accepts these.
  • Applicable certifications. Military credits, Foreign credentials, Certified Child Development Credentials, Emergency Medical Services (paramedic certification), and Licensed/Practical Nursing certifications are just a few that may be accepted.
  • Life experience. Some schools will give you college credit if you have documented work or volunteer. You may have to create a portfolio to document your experience.
If money's an issue you could go through a community college for two years, then transfer. Try Clovis Community College, New Mexico. In the USA, regional accrediation usually is better than national, though not always.  Here are some that you might want to look at.
On-campus Programs Aimed Towards Mature Students
In addition to the colleges and universities above, try these.
Other Useful Sites Mainly for the USA

Famous People Without a Degree
There are plenty of people who have been able to become successful despite the fact that they don't have a degree. Keep in mind that there are also plenty of underemployed, jobless, unsuccessful people who don't have a degree as well.
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Ben Franklin
  • Bob Dylan
  • Bill Gates
  • Dave Thomas
  • David Ben Gurion 
  • David Sarnoff (NBC mogul)
  • Debbie Fields
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Frank Lloyd Wright 
  • Helena Rubenstein
  • Henry Ford
  • Jane Fonda
  • Jesse Ventura 
  • John D. Rockefeller
  • Larry Ellison (Oracle's founder)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Madonna
  • Malcolm X
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Michael Dell
  • Peter Jennings
  • Ray Kroc (McDonald's founder)
  • Richard Leakey
  • Robert Redford
  • Rosie O'Donnell
  • Rush Limbaugh 
  • Steve Jobs
  • Thomas Edison
  • Thomas Watson (IMB founder)
  • Tom Hanks 
  • Walt Disney
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Warren Beatty
  • Woody Allen
  • Wright Brothers
Writing a Cover Letter for a Job that Requires a BA
I found this in Cool Careers For Dummies. While in some cases you won't get hired without a degree, for example, it's an immigration requirement, in other cases your experience might outweight the fact that you don't have a degree. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Dear Ms. Hirer,

When you’re inundated with applications, it’s tempting to weed out those without a degree, but I believe I’m worth a look precisely because I don’t have a degree.

I considered getting a BA, but after talking with a number of BA holders and examining the courses I would have to take and their relevance to becoming a good software marketing manager, I concluded that four years could be more profitably spent.

I contacted directors of marketing at leading Silicon Valley software companies and offered to work for them for free in exchange for their mentoring. I figured that was cheap tuition for the on-target learning I would receive. A marketing manager at HP took me on. After three months, I felt I had learned about as much from him as I could, whereupon I made a similar arrangement with a director of marketing at Cisco Systems.

In these apprenticeships, I was deeply involved in a number of projects similar to those mentioned in your ad, specifically internet marketing and managing a national consumer branding campaign. In addition, I attend American Marketing Association conferences, read the best articles and books recommended by the AMA, and spend much of my commute time listening to relevant books on DC. To get the bigger picture, I even read a couple of books by leading academics.

But now comes the moment of truth. In choosing a self-directed education over a traditional one, I believe I prioritized substance over form. Now the question is: Will you interview me?

I hope that you’ll appreciate my having developed an outside-the-box learning plan, that I was assertive enough to make it happen, and persistent enough to see it through to completeion without a professor and deadlines forcing me to do so. Perhaps more important, in working at the right handof top software marketing executive, I learned a tremendous amount about how to do the job well.

I recently discussed my self-education with a BA holder from Stanford and he said that I probably learned more of real-value than he did.

I’m hoping you will call me for an interview, but as with any good employee, I won’t just wait passively. If I haven’t heard from you in a week, I will take the liberty of phoning to follow up. I’m enclosing samples of the deliverables I produced during my work at HP and cisco. Thankyou for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Christopher Wah

Also published in the Turkish University Press.

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