What to Look for in Accelerated Degrees
Just like traditional degrees from different schools are seen as higher or lower quality, accelerated degrees can offer a wide range of quality that you will need to note before enrolling. Employers that regularly work with accelerated degree programs will be well aware of which programs in the area turn out high quality employees and will be far less likely to hire someone that they do not believe has been taught the necessary skills to thrive in their field. Taking your time to find a degree that will provide you with a high quality education rather than simply a fast-paced education can make a great deal of difference.
Choosing Accelerated Degrees Instead of Shorter Degrees
The idea behind earning an accelerated degree is that you will be able to finish your education in half the time it would normally take, but there are multiple ways you can implement this system. Some accelerated degrees simply eliminate summer vacation periods so you can pack four years of material into two, while other simply allow students to take several classes at once. You should avoid any programs that offer fewer classes or requirements because you will be missing out on valuable training you might need.
However, there are some programs that are designed for those that are already working which will substitute your life experience for credit. For example, you will likely not need a class in business management if you have been working as a manager for three years. These accelerated degrees are often those that have partnered with employers to help build a workforce that is ready to take on a specific set of responsibilities. They simply speed up the program by avoiding teaching students things they already know. Look for accelerated degrees that offer credit for work experience or offer the opportunity to test out of entry level or prerequisite programs as a means of speeding up the process. These ensure that you already have the knowledge the course was prepared to each rather than simply cutting programs to save time.
Choose Accelerated Degrees with Flexibility
If you are already in the workforce and plan to continue working full time while you go to school, it is unlikely that you have time in your schedule for a 21 credit course load. While most accelerated degrees count on a very condensed schedule to get students out the door in a shorter period of time, schools that cater to older or returning students understand that this is not always going to be in the works. You will need to be up front with your scheduling commitments before you sign up for a degree program so the administration can find the right program for you. Many degrees online are helpful for those that are already working a 9 to 5 because you can study and complete coursework when you have time for it instead of having to worry about hitting a lecture hall three times a week or commute to a campus that is a long drive from your home.