There are numerous types of master’s degree programmes online which are professionally run and accredited by some of the world’s leading universities. There are also several questionable programmes which are operated by learning institutes which lack official accreditation from councils of higher learning. Finding the right type of online course for you, doesn’t have to be a challenging process.
It is important to conduct some background checks on the institute who are running the course to see whether they are a recognised entity accredited by the Department of Education in whatever country they are based. For example, if you wish to pursue an online course in Australia, you can check with government websites for a list of recognised universities and institutes of higher learning.
Is Accreditation Important?
If a college or university is fully accredited, you should have no problems finding this information on their website. If you are struggling to find out whether an institute of learning is recognised by the appropriate bodies, there should be alarm bells going off in your head. This information is generally displayed on their home page or you can click into their “About Us” tap to find out about the institutes current status with regards to official accreditation.
You may be asking yourself, “why is accreditation so important”? Here are some of the main reasons to enrol on a course which is recognised and fully certified.
- If you wish to work abroad when you’ve completed your Online Master of Data Science or any other type of degree, you want to be sure that your qualification is recognised by other countries. There is no point in studying an online course which doesn’t hold any credence outside your country of origin.
- If you are planning on applying for financial aid to purse an advanced qualification, you must attend a recognised institute of higher learning. Your government won’t grant financial support to any student who can’t prove that they are attending an accredited university or college.
- If you decide to transfer to another course, your credits will only be recognised if you’ve completed modules in a legitimate higher institute. If you are transferring from a university or college which is not recognised by essential governing councils, your credits will hold zero weight and you’ll have wasted your time with useless certificates.
Evaluating Online Programmes
When choosing an online science course, you should use the same criteria as you would when selecting a regular programme.
Accreditation > As mentioned previously, accreditation is just as important online as it is with traditional courses on campus. If you are choosing an online course based in Australia, check government websites to identify fully accredited universities and colleges.
Preview Courses > A professionally run online degree course will have numerous online resources designed to help you gather information on your chosen subject and how the university operates with regards to credits, modules and other important aspects of the programme. In addition, a prospective student should be able to request a detailed brochure which can be sent to your home, allowing you to properly evaluate the course and its many disciplines.
Alumni > One of the most effective ways of assessing an online science course is to speak to previous students who have graduated from the programme. You can learn about their experiences and find out whether they would recommend the course to new students. If you are looking for an honest review of an online course, you won’t get much better than university alumni. Here are some questions you may consider asking:
- How would they rate the programme overall?
- How accessible were tutors and other support staff?
- How many students were enrolled on the course while you were studying?
- Is there anything they would have changed about the course delivery?
Asking these questions will provide you with a clearer picture, you’ll also be able to see whether the university has changed the course in any way.
If you are thinking about enrolling on an online master’s degree science course, you should carefully assess your options and choose the most suitable programme. If you choose a recognised institute of learning, you’ll have access to highly knowledgeable tutors who will be on hand to ensure you receive the most progressive learning experience. Online programmes are understandably different to traditional courses, so you must be prepared to adapt to these changes to guarantee a successful outcome. It is vital to conduct some research before you enrol and do your utmost to speak to university or college alumni.