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The Rise of Free Online College Courses
To say that attending college is an expensive process is an understatement. As at 2012, total student debt in America is believed to have exceeded $1 trillion. In 2011, the New York Times reported that average student debt was approximately $26,500 and online college courses are not much cheaper. However, the advent of free online college courses, other known as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), could change the face of education forever.

It started off as an experiment but all signs point towards it being a huge success with large numbers of public universities set to offer MOOCs to anyone who applies in the hope that many of the participants will pass the course; enroll in the college and pay the normal tuition fees. In a country where a degree in religious and women’s studies in a prestigious university can cost up to $100,000, MOOCs could open up the world of education to students. Why are colleges interested in offering these free taster courses? Many American colleges are in huge debt and need some method of attracting more students.

Growth of a Phenomenon?
The University of Arkansas, the University of Cincinnati and Arizona State are just three of the well-respected colleges involved in the plan. The growth of MOOCs really spiked in 2012 as start-ups such as Udacity and edX came to the fore and offered hope to those who previously couldn’t afford education. These courses were founded by professors of top schools such as Stanford and Harvard with millions of people worldwide taking the teachers up on their offer.

At this stage, one wonders if MOOCs can one day replace college degrees. If this were the case, it would make a profound difference to an incredible number of would-be students. One issue was that colleges were not giving credit for MOOCs but even this looks set to change. A number of universities in Austria and Germany are giving credit for MOOCs and this could spread to American educational institutions as Colorado State has made noises about following the lead of its European counterparts. The University of Washington is also considering this course of action though students at the college will need to pay a fee and do extra work with a professor from the institution if it goes ahead with the plan.

The Future of MOOCs
These free online courses are no longer a novelty and will continue to be used as a tool to encourage prospective students to enroll in a university. The University of Texas in Arlington has teamed up with Academic Partnerships to offer free online college courses to would-be nursing students. To date, more than 80% of those that accepted the free offer returned and paid for the on-campus course. If nothing else, MOOCs give students a ‘try before they buy’ option, a valuable resource when courses are so expensive. Free online college courses could pose a threat to traditional education but if these institutions find a way to utilize MOOCs to their advantage like the University of Texas, giving something for free could turn out to be very lucrative.

5 Reasons to Train As an Accountant Online
Training as an accountant leads to a whole host of opportunities for your professional career. Fully-trained accountants are in demand in all business industries, and once qualified as an accountant you can then enjoy a range of both paid employment opportunities, or the option to work as a freelancer or start your own accountancy firm. In the past, studying to become an accountant would often involve taking time out of work in order to study at university. But, today, there are many different courses available that you can use to train as an accountant online. Here are some of the best reasons to do this:

1. More Flexibility:

When you study to become an accountant online, you can enjoy a higher level of flexibility with your course. Rather than being required to come into class at certain times of the day, studying for a diploma of accounting online means that you’ll be able to study as and when you like, from the comfort of your own home. This means that you’ll be able to continue working, spending time with your family, and upholding any other commitments that you have in your life with ease.

2. Save Money:

Along with being a more flexible option, online education is becoming more important as it’s a good way to save money on the cost of learning. For accountants who deal with balancing the books on a daily basis, this can only be a good thing! With college and university tuition fees on the rise around the world, studying online could be your key to cutting the cost of getting a good education and funding your student life. Along with cheaper tuition fees, another financial benefit of studying online is that the ability to study at home will save you money on daily living costs.

3. Finish Faster:

If you really can’t wait to get started with your career as an accountant, then you may be able to finish it faster with an online course. Many online courses are self-paced, allowing you, the learner, to decide how quickly or slowly you would like to learn. In some cases, you may even be able to accelerate your course, allowing you to graduate earlier and get started on your chosen career path quicker. Additionally, studying for a shorter amount of time can also save you money.

4. Gain a Recognised Qualification

When online education was first introduced around ten or so years ago, many people were wary of it, since it was unsure whether or not studying online meant that you got the same qualification as studying in a traditional, campus-based setting. However, there’s no need to worry about this any longer – today, you can find a huge range of accredited, reputable learning institutions online offering a wide range of courses, including those in accountancy at all levels.

5. Don’t Stop There:

Lastly, the fact that so much choice is available is just another great reason to study business accountancy online. By opting to further your education as an accountant online, there’s no need to simply stop once you’ve graduated with your diploma – you can find bachelor’s and master’s degree courses along with a variety of career and vocational qualifications to boost your resume even further.

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