Online education is gaining popularity all across the globe. Students can access the lessons, tutorials and other related learning materials directly from the Web, at any time of the day, without having to spend time commuting. The message boards and chat rooms can successfully create an atmosphere similar to a real-time classroom.
An online university degree is worthless if it is not accredited. Accreditation of the educational programs is done to help establish the reputation of the concerned institution with respect to the quality of education it offers. It is offered after a thorough review of the institute, and given only if it satisfies the specified norms.
If you plan to find work using your degree, it is imperative that you get it from an accredited university, as the employers give preference to education received only by accredited institutes. In fact, even if you want to continue your education, you will have a hard time getting accepted by other universities or professional associations if your earlier degrees are not from accredited sources.
The most popular and recognized university accreditations are from the regional accreditation boards in the U.S. Even prestigious universities like Harvard and Princeton are regionally accredited. Hence, when people talk about an accredited university in the U.S., they are referring to a regionally accredited university. All states have a non-governmental, regional agency that looks after and accredits schools.
These boards are equally ranked and carry equal preference while stamping the authenticity of a university. Any one regionally accredited college will recognize the degree and credits earned at other regional accredited institution. Therefore, if you complete a course from one regionally accredited college, like the University of Illinois, you can easily enroll in a degree program of any other regionally accredited university.
Without accreditation, any sub-standard online university can open shop overnight. Actually, there is no need to join an unaccredited university online as there are numerous prestigious accredited universities waiting for your registration.
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