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Distance Learning

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Oct 12, 2003.


  1. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    I know I've talked about going back to college here before. I have a year to take care of everything and now I'm starting to look at my options. Of course one of those options is distance learning, and I was wondering if anyone could give me opinions/experience/advice/warnings/ect

    I remember the correspondence courses of yore that were really not worth sh!t. Does that also hold true for for the Univ. of Phoenix and other insitutions of it's ilk? Would someone take a degree from one of these courses seriously? Is it possible to go on an attend graduate school with one of these degrees?

    Not saying this is the route I'm going to take; just looking at my options and getting opinions like I said. Of course, I'm going to have to balance work and school so that's going to be a major consideration on how to go about things.

    Thanks in advanced. :)
     
  2. I took a Visual Basic course by correspondence at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver, BC. I remember it was a horrible experience because:

    - You never got to meet other classmates and share ideas and problems.
    - The TA was only available for 1 hour per week and really didn't care about your problems.
    - You can't show diagrams or images to your TA over the phone.
    - There was nobody to explain concepts that you didn't understand, unlike taking a classroom course.

    The experience put me off correspondence courses entirely.

    As for university reputation and prestige, it definitely makes a difference when looking for a job. I studied Human Resources so I know from studies and from talking to recruiters that they will favour a graduate from a reputable university rather than a "lesser" education program. This does not necessarily mean that a University of Phoenix course is worse than an SFU course.

    As for graduate school, I guess you would need to check an advanced standing guide and see if the graduate school will accept courses from the correspondence school. If you plan on doing graduate studies, maybe you should schedule an appointment with an academic advisor and have them help you plan out the next few years.
     
  3. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for the input Rabid.

    I definatley think I rather study in a class room. I'm thinking of majoring in either accounting or pyschology. I would think that to be taken seriously in the pysch field, you would need real time class experience.

    Again, thanks for the input.
     
  4. Aaron

    Aaron

    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I am currently taking one course online through the Running Start program due that it couldn't be fit into my schedule. It works really well for me. I can take the class on my own time, not worrying having to be at a certain spot at a certain time everyday, I can do the work when i have the most free time, and a discussion board is used as a class discussion area. It isn't quite the same as an actual class, but under certain circumstances, it works very well. If i were to get a degree, it would be the same as a normal AA degree. The teacher will always answer questions through email or the discussion board. In a week or so, we are going to start a group project, if you want, i can keep you updated on that.
     
  5. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Yes, I would greatly appreciate that.

    :)
     
  6. As an accountant, I can say that accounting can be very boring but can lead to many exciting job opportunities that are non-accounting related. For example, a friend has recently asked me to take over financial stewardship of his growing motor-sport company!

    If you do decide to study accounting, be sure to get your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. Accounting majors without a designation are doomed to low-level (ie. boring) accounting functions.
     
  7. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks again Granny. I did some accounting in high school. What made me look at accounting is I've noticed there are always openings for it. They need accountants like they need nurses and truck drivers. Do I take a course to get my CPA, or is it just a test I take, similair to how an IT tech would take an MCSE exam?

    I really would love to do the pysch though. I think I would enjoy it more, but if I decide to go for a doctrate, that's going to take a while. Well, I guess the journey's half the battle. *LOL*
     
  8. I believe they just toughened up the CPA entrance requirements. To become a CPA in Pennsylvania, you need to have the following:

    - 150 credit hours
    - Pass the 2 day CPA exam

    You need to have 150 credit hours of schooling. It's like earning a 4 year university degree then doing an extra year. I did my accounting degree then did an extra year, specializing in human resources and MIS. Make sure you have all of the recommended business courses.

    I believe the CPA exam is broken into 4 parts: auditing, financial reporting, financial accounting, and business law. I think it's computer-based, multiple choice. To prepare for the CPA exam, most people will enroll in a Review course. In Canada, we have review courses such as "Becker CPA Review" or "Conviser Duffy".

    Here are some links that you should review:

    American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    IACPA - Become a CPA

    Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants

    The Uniform CPA Examination
    CPA Exam Brochure (listed at www.cpa-exam.org)

    The standards in the accounting profession are always changing - always getting tougher, especially now. I think there are two reasons behind this. The obvious one is the increase in accounting scandals. The not-so-obvious reason is that the AICPA wants to increase the value and image of the CPA by reducing supply (ie. toughening entrance requirements).

    Anyways, I'm a Canadian so you'll need to do your own research and talk to CPA's to figure out exactly what you need to earn a CPA in Pennsylvania. I might have missed something so check out those links.

    I hope I haven't scared you but to become a CPA (or any designated accountant), you really need to plan out your career years in advance. But I think it's definitely worth it.
     
  9. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Be careful with Psych. Finding a job in the field with only a bachelor's degree is next to impossible. You have to have at least a master's, and that's a longer haul...

    Also, thanks for this thread. I'd been wondering the same thing about distance courses myself. I'm wondering how the heck a distance-ed grad degree is possible, seeing as you can't really do research from home...
     
  10. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Thank you for the 3rd time, Granny.

    No, that doesn't scare me at all. I excelled in the business courses back in high school. (I was the top business student in my graduating class) Of course, I'm not going to get to cocky about it. *LOL* I assume these courses are tougher.

    I know about the pysch field Thrash. If I went that route, I think I would just say screw it and go all the way by getting a doctrate.

    Either way, I just want to go to college. It's so bad around here that I can't even get a job at Wal-mart. (I'm not exaggerating)
     
  11. Aaron

    Aaron

    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'm towards the end of the group project (due tomorrow night) and it has gone pretty well. 4 of the 5 groups members did a great job so far and the fifth one missed our group's personal deadline due to some personal crisis, but the rest of the group will split up her part if she doesn't come up with it by tomorrow morning. We met together, in person, as a group (except the one without the materials) and finished the project, just leaving a spot for the other person's material. I'd say it works just like any other group project.