By David Helfand
Q: In the future I would like to set up my own business so I can work from home. I'm interested in the possibility of doing something in accountancy or bookkeeping. I am in full-time employment so if I needed to become more qualified then I would have to do a course from home in my own time (open learning etc.) I don't know where to start looking or how to begin. Can you help?
A: Once you identify what it is you need to learn then there are some interesting options. Many of us are so pressed for time between our work and family responsibilities that returning to the classroom to continue our studies is unrealistic from a time and location perspective. However, with the advent of the internet hundreds of colleges and universities are offering thousands of courses online. You can identify these at http://www.ecollege.com.
Here are examples of some well established programs. University of Phoenix Online,http://www.phoenix.edu/ offers undergraduate programs in general studies, business, informa- tion technology and nursing. In addition, they offer Master degrees in education, organizational management, business (MBAs), computer information systems and nursing. In fact, they even offer one Doctorate program in organizational leadership.
United States Open University, http://www.open.edu/ offers Bachelor degrees in business admin- istration, information technology, computing, English, European studies, humanities, international studies, liberal arts and social science. In addition, they offer an MBA degree and a Masters in computing.
At Western Governors University (competency based online degrees), http://www.wgu.edu/wgu/index.html one can earn an Associate of Arts degree in general education and business, as well as a Bachelors degree in business information technology and a Masters degree in Learning and Technology. WGU is also a source for hundreds of the best distance delivered classes from 45 institutions across the U.S. that can be used toward a competency based program at WGU or for your own enjoyment/enrichment.
Other options can be explored through the following books; J. Bears College Degrees by Mail from Ten Speed Press and J. Freys College Degrees You Can Earn from Home from Life Oak Publications. Petersons Guides publishes The Independent Study Catalog (correspondence programs) and The Electronic University: A Guide to Distance Learning.
Good luck in the pursuit of your educational goals.