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(photo courtesy of Ryerson University Photo Image Bank)                             

You want to go back to school but you have one big worry: namely, how are you going to find the time?

Thankfully, new innovations in online education - like web cams, live online chats, and online discussion boards - may offer the flexibility you need to earn your degree.

The idea of a more flexible, inclusive learning format actually stretches back to 1858 when the University of London offered the first distance learning degree by mail.

Today online education is evolving rapidly, much like enrollment, with nearly six million students taking at least one online course in the fall of 2009, according to the non-profit Sloan Consortium which tracks online education. That's an increase of almost one million students from the previous year, Sloan says.

Online Program #1 - Business Administration
Want to study and network with business school professors and students who live all over the world? Earning your degree in business administration online could help you add to your Rolodex in a big way.

The University of Massachusetts offers a similar online degree program in business administration that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection. Some of the school's online classes in the business administration program include accounting, finance and operations management, hospitality and tourism, marketing, economics, and sport management.

Potential Career Paths & Average Earning Potential*
Advertising Sales Agent: $55,020
HR Specialist: $57,830
Marketing Specialist: $66,850

Online Program #3 - Network Technology
Want to earn an information technology (IT) degree but not sure how you'll fit the coursework into your busy schedule? Online programs - in, say, network administration - can offer the flexibility you need to make it work.

Like many IT disciplines, network administration, which involves maintaining a computer network, is a specific marketable skill that employers want. In fact, network administration is the number one IT skill set in demand in today's job market, according to a June 2011 survey by staffing firm Robert Half International.

Earning an associate's degree in network administration, as opposed to the longer bachelor's degree, is possible online as well. Same goes for online certificates. For example, the University of Toledo in Ohio offers an online associate's degree in computer network administration that also helps prepare students for professional IT certifications from companies like Microsoft and Cisco.

Potential Career Paths & Average Earning Potential*
Computer Support Specialist: $49,930
Network Administrator: $72,200
Computer Network Architect: $79,370


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Article by CHRIS KYLE, Yahoo! Education | Read full article here

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