How Do I Get an Online Marketing Degree?

Online learning has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, making it easier and more engaging than ever to pursue an online marketing degree. Even so, there are some quirks to finding and pursuing the right online degree program that might be unfamiliar to those who are new to online programs, the universities that offer them, and the unique way that these courses simulate or improve on traditional classroom learning environments. For those considering an online marketing program, review the following key considerations and steps needed when selecting the most prestigious, rigorous, and promising program available.

1. Check for Proper Accreditation of the Program

Today’s online institutions vary widely, from accredited public and non-profit institutions to for-profit colleges that have run into resistance and even scandal at the hands of federal regulators. When searching for the right online degree program, be sure to choose one that is regionally accredited by one of the higher education associations recognized by the United States Department of Education. This ensures that the degree is rigorous enough to challenge students, and it verifies the integrity of the university offering the program.

2. Apply for the Program and Financial Aid Before Deadlines Pass

Online programs typically have different deadlines for applications and FAFSA submissions than their offline counterparts. Typically, online programs accept applications later and will issue financial aid even if the FAFSA is submitted a few weeks later than usual. Verify this ahead of time, however, and make sure that all the application and all necessary documentation is submitted early. As with most universities, online degree programs are more likely to admit early applicants.

3. After Admission, Tour the Online Classroom

Virtual classroom environments often combine video lectures, student discussion forums, and electronic assignment submission, in order to create an electronic simulation of the traditional classroom. Take some time before the class starts to review all documentation concerning how the school’s software works, what the hardware requirements are, and how to best leverage the software for learning over the course of the program.

4. Schedule Classes According to Advising Guidelines

Most online degree programs use a “cohort” system. This system places students into set groups of students who applied, were admit, and chose to start their program at roughly the same time. Make sure that courses are scheduled before the deadline to ensure that no delays occur when meeting degree requirements and obtaining the degree at the conclusion of the program. If any problems do occur, be sure to contact the online program’s advising staff and attempt to sort out any unresolved issues.

5. Apply for Graduation at the Conclusion of the Program

Just like their offline counterparts, online marketing degree programs require students to apply for graduation in advance. Typically, this must be done during the first few weeks of the student’s final semester. In some cases, students will have to meet with an advisor via videoconference to conduct an exit interview, verify all requirements are completed, and make the application official.

6. Decide Whether to Attend the Graduation Ceremony

Some online universities offer graduation ceremonies to their students. This is especially true for brick-and-mortar universities that offer a few online programs to complement their other majors. Decide whether or not attendance is affordable and practical, and let the university know of this decision.

A Logical Process for Great Online Learning

From early research to the graduation application, following a few basic steps will ensure that students receive the best education possible while enjoying the convenience of online learning. With careful scrutiny and proactive work, an online marketing degree is a promising way to enjoy an exciting, fast-growing career.

For more information, please see “Top 10 Best Online Masters in Marketing Degree Programs 2014“.