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What are the Different Types of Online Training Programs?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff

Online training programs, often referred to as distance learning programs, offer many different types of training. Most of these programs consist of degree or certificate studies with the large majority of training taking place through online instruction. In spite of the many degree and certificate courses available, those interested in online training programs should take special care that these programs are offered through an accredited education program.

Degree programs offered through online training programs are typically limited to associate's and bachelor’s degrees. Degrees in arts, science, education, and business are commonly offered through online instruction. Depending on the specific courses involved, some on-campus attendance may also be required. Many accredited colleges and universities offer courses online, but there are also schools that have only the appearance of accreditation. It is important to learn to tell the difference between the authentic and non-accredited programs.

Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

Depending on the country, there are usually established criteria that a school must meet to become accredited. You can usually find out if a school is accredited by doing a bit of research. If a school is accredited, it will normally list what agency or governing body issued the accreditation. If no such listing is offered, it could mean than no accreditation exists.

Many types of certificate programs are offered through legitimate online training programs. Some of these include certificates in paralegal studies, medical assistant programs, veterinary assistant, and human resource management. Though certificate programs are not the same as having a degree, they can still have an impact on gaining employment or advancing in an already established career path.

The time it takes to complete either degree or certificate online training programs varies greatly. In most cases, the courses are designed so students can work at their own pace. The more time a student devotes to the program, the faster it will be completed. Many people who cannot take the time to go to school full time are attracted to online training programs because of their scheduling flexibility.

Costs to attend online training programs also vary greatly, but in general, enrollment costs for online education programs are typically less expensive than on-campus instruction. In most cases, degree programs are more costly than certificate training. Those interested in signing up for online training programs should be on the lookout for hidden costs. In some cases, expensive learning tools may be required in order to participate in the program, but they are not always included in the listed price of the course. It is important to have a clear idea of all costs involved before making a decision on enrolling in any study program.

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