Earning your degree can be a significant boost to your career potential. However, your choice of college or university may have a major impact on your hiring and advancement opportunities. As more universities begin to offer degree programs online, it’s especially important to know which ones provide the academic excellence desired by many employers.
Quality Is Key for Your Education
When earning a degree online or on campus, you’ll want to obtain the finest-quality education. After all, you’re investing time and energy – not to mention money. You likely will have many choices. But, remember, not all programs deliver excellence in education.
Accreditation means that an institution was evaluated based on specific guidelines. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.”
Among other benefits, accreditation can:
- Facilitate a graduate’s entry into certain licensure and certification programs
- Ensure a university honors its promises to students
- Help improve learning outcomes
- Assist in establishing eligibility for federal student loans, grants and scholarships
How Can a Degree From an Accredited University Impact My Future?
Professionals with higher education earn more than those with only a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bachelor’s degree holders earned a median annual income of $60,996 as of 2017, while associates degree holders earned a median annual income of $43,472, as compared to high school graduates, who’s median annual incomes reached $37,024, the BLS reports.
The potential financial advantages of earning an AA or BA are clear, so be sure the degree programs you consider are offered through a respected – and accredited – educational institution. Recruiters place importance on credentials and will likely verify whether a school is regionally accredited.
What Is Regional Accreditation?
Accredited universities continually undergo inspections and reviews by accrediting bodies to ensure they maintain high standards. There are six regional accreditation agencies in the United States, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which compare universities and programs to others in the same region for quality level. Regional accreditation is considered the highest form of institutional accreditation and offers a broader level of approval. This extensive recognition can ensure that course credits are transferable and that students are eligible for military- and employer-based tuition reimbursement programs.
Regional vs. National Accreditation
For those unfamiliar with the terms regional versus national accreditation, it can be difficult to understand the differences between the two. Both refer to a set of standards and requirements that must be met according to the accrediting body.
Nationally accredited schools are generally for-profit career, vocational and trade schools, sometimes for-profit organizations, that offer certificates or degrees. While nationally accredited schools generally require less liberal arts coursework and may have more relaxed admission standards, credits are not widely accepted if you decide to transfer to a regionally accredited college. Additionally, coursework and degrees may not be accepted for professions that require licensing, including careers such as accounting, teaching, engineering and healthcare.
According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) there are several national accrediting bodies for faith-related, career-related and programmatic schools.
Why Is Accreditation Important?
There are many possible benefits to earning a degree from a regionally accredited university, including:
- You can stand out from the competition when applying for the best jobs.
- You’ll receive full support through every step of your undergraduate degree or graduate degree studies.
- Employers can be confident you possess the skills and education they need.
Regionally Accredited Florida Tech Offers In-Demand Programs 100% Online
Florida Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist and doctoral degrees. In addition to regional accreditation, Florida Tech has been honored with numerous accolades, including:
- U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida Tech as a Tier 1 Best National University.
- Forbes ranked Florida Tech as one of America’s “Best Value” universities.
- The Princeton Review named Florida Tech one of the Southeast’s Best Universities.
- PayScale ranked Florida Tech among the best universities in the nation for having a high return on investment.
At regionally accredited Florida Tech, academic excellence is also available with the flexibility and convenience of 100% online learning, with dozens of in-demand undergraduate and graduate degree programs.