What has influenced the growth of online distance education degree programs? The current rapid growth of distance education as well as e-learning has occurred in both private and public tertiary education level. In addition, organization and business are also expanding their training opportunities through e-learning opportunities. As you can imagine, open and distance learning has refocused higher education, making college degrees more flexible and accessible to more students, traditional and non-traditional. For instance, self-paced educational opportunities are more available for working adults and parents with young children. Information and communication technologies have made much of this possible, in addition to extensive research in education and instruction.
Distance Learning Education and Training
Online distance learning programs use a blend of online and multimedia technologies to provide various instructional strategies using current technological applications, approaches, and breakthrough instructional methodologies. As online education becomes a part of postsecondary and tertiary education, the demand is increasing for educators who are specifically trained to develop, manage, and coordinate distance-learning programs.
Online distance education degree programs vary in structure but typical courses may include: Distance education theories, distance education models, instructional design, curriculum design, adult learning theory, instructional strategies for online instruction, e-learning design, multimedia design, program assessment and evaluation, project management, educational psychology, and courses related to educational management.
Distance educators typically hold a graduate-level degree in education. Distance education programs are available at the master’s or doctoral-degree level. Typical onliine distance education degree programs at the graduate level include:
- M.S. in distance education
- M.S. in Instructional design with a concentration in e-learning
- M.S. in instructional systems technology
- M.S. in Instructional technology
Careers in Distance Learning
What can you do with an online distance education degree? Distance educators teach online courses, instructional design teaching strategies and online curricula depending on the particular program, and they also research and evaluate program effectiveness. With the fast pace of technology change, distance educators must also remain on top of new technologies and educational research.
The trends in distance learning trend are creating a demand for qualified professionals to work as subject matter experts, curriculum designer, multimedia design, instructional developers, and e-learning specialists.
Earning a degree in distance education will prepare you with comprehensive and practical knowledge that is needed to work in the distance education enterprise in the military, non-profit organizations, K-12 education, traditional colleges and universities, online colleges and universities, business, and government. Some of the roles of distance educators are:
- Leadership and change management
- Developing strategic goals for distance learning in an organization
- Designing, implementing, and assessing support services for distance education programs
- Analyzing and recommending distance education technology plans
- Managing implementation of technology in distance learning delivery
Graduates of online distance education degree programs work in curriculum design, educational technology development, distance education policy, and distance learning management. They also teach courses online. Some jobs in distance education are: Online instruction coordination, distance learning librarian, production management, distance learning project management, multimedia design, etc.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
According to the United States Department of Labor, opportunities for postsecondary teachers remain positive, especially with the expansion of online distance education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth of 235 from 2006-2016. In general, postsecondary educators earn a median salary of $56,120 and instructors earn about $42,609.
The median annual wage of training and development managers was $89,170 in 2010. The lowest 10% earned less than $50,470, and the top 10% earned more than $148,950.
The employment is expected to grow 15% from 2010 to 2020.
The median annual wage of instructional coordinators was $58,830 in 2010. The lowest 10% earned less than $33,490, and the top 10% earned more than $93,080.
Employment of instructional coordinators is expected to grow by 20% from 2010 to 2020.
The median annual wage of technical writers was $63,280 in 2010. The lowest 10% earned less than $37,160, and the highest 10% earned more than $100,910. The employment of technical writers is expected to grow 17% from 2010 to 2020.
The following are other positions and estimated median income based on the position:
- Instructional Technology Specialist – $51,466
- Instructional Designer – $59,000 – $67,000
- Educational Technologist – $49,000
Administrative jobs in higher education should increase by about 12% from 2006-2016. The average salary for postsecondary administrators is around $85,870 and for program directors the average is over $67,000. Online distance education degree will therefore continue to play an important role with the growth and development of online distance learning.
Distance Education Programs
- Education programs include BA in Education Studies, BA in Child Development, and MA in Education.
- Students can specialize in areas such as Education and Public Policy, Instructional Design, and Early Childhood Education.
- Courses cover concepts such as phonics, curriculum development, instruction for English language learners, and more.
- Flexible, online courses allow students to pursue a degree on their own schedule.
- MA/Education - Exceptional Systems for Revolutionizing Education
- Recognized in the first Best for Vets: Business Schools list in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
- Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
- Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
- A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
- Offers IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
- Master of Arts in International Relations Online
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- Human Service Certificates in Child and Family Services
- MS in Human Services
- Human Services
- And more...
Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.
- Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
- Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Interdisciplinary Studies
- BA General Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in History
The MSW@USC is the first top-ranked MSW program offered nationally. Many online programs are limited to certain geographic areas or the availability of courses, making it necessary to travel to campus. Our program can be completed from virtually anywhere without the need to relocate to Southern California.
The USC School of Social Work works with selected agencies and organizations across the country that represent the complete range of social services. This provides MSW@USC students the opportunity to apply what they learn in class and a chance to work with real-life clients in the community.
- Doctor of Social Work
- Master of Social Work
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Gender Diversity Studies - MA in Psychology
- Gender Diversity Studies - PhD of Psychology
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program. You'll learn new strategies and techniques for your classroom while expanding your knowledge and skills as an educator.
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education