Online Manipal Editorial Team | June 20, 2022
Online education has made learning more accessible to all sectors of society, especially those interested in making a smoother transition to other careers without ignoring their current responsibilities. The global online education market has more than 500 million students, and the number of learning platforms continues to grow to meet this increasing demand. Over the last few years, classrooms have begun applying the latest innovations in information technology to enhance learning experiences. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Cloud, IoT, and Virtual Reality have made virtual classrooms truly immersive.
The online education market is valued at INR 91.41 billion and is forecasted to reach a valuation of INR 325.48 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR rate of 17.9% from 2021 to 2026. Schools and universities have realised the importance of delivering online courses, especially after physical classes had to be suspended due to COVID-19 lockdowns. The Indian Government has also launched major initiatives such as the National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR), National Initiative for School Heads And Teacher’s Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA), and ‘ShaGun,’ to facilitate the implementation of online classes nationwide and provide higher quality education. This article will look into the best accredited online colleges of 2022 and the top reasons you should apply for UGC-approved online degree courses in India.
Online degree programmes
The history of online education dates back to the days of the early 1990s when the Open University of Britain launched its first online learning programme in the world. Since then, times have changed, and today with the widespread availability of high-speed internet, online education has grown by leaps and bounds. Online degrees are available in very specific niches these days, and it’s not uncommon for students to pursue programmes such as MBA, MCA, BBA, BA, M.Com, etc.
UGC is a recognised body in India responsible for overseeing and evaluating the quality of education offered by colleges and universities. It established the National Assessment and Accreditation Council in September 1994. Since then, it has adopted a philosophy of continuous improvement to ensure colleges and universities deliver the best courses. There are currently over 50 universities approved and accredited by UGC to conduct the best online courses in India.
Advantages of online degrees
Here are the pros of pursuing an online degree:
- Academic freedom – The biggest advantage of online degree programmes is the level of academic autonomy they provide to students. Having access to multiple courses from anywhere in the world is a great advantage, and students have course materials made readily available to them. How much time they are willing to invest into the programme depends entirely on them.
- Increased flexibility – Students can choose their learning schedules and study at their own pace. There are no fixed time commitments, making online degrees perfect for those juggling various responsibilities. Working professionals can also attend these programmes, and the exams conducted are proctored online semester-wise.
- More convenient – Online degrees can be done from the comfort of one’s home. There is no need to travel to the institute or university by bus, train, or car. Commuting is not required, and this lets learners save energy, relax, and invest time into the learning process. Students can learn from instructors across the world and interact with peers without leaving their homes.
How to select the best online college for you?
Choosing an online college is not simple because every learner’s requirements are personalised. There are many things to consider, but the most important factors to look out for are the institution’s track record for placements and its accreditations. Below are some tips on selecting the best online college or university for you.
Determine your subject
Choosing the subject you want to study is important, and it is the first step to choosing your college or university. Various programmes have different career paths and outcomes, and many universities offer foundation programmes to their students. Before committing to a course, make sure you research your majors and review the starting salaries upon graduating. High paying majors include degrees in business, healthcare, technology, and others. Be sure to check the syllabus for each course and the student ratings online before enrolling.
Select a list of colleges that offer your subject
Not all universities will have the programme you’re looking for or have accreditation status. Do research on which ones let you do a degree online and pick accordingly. Not every college will offer all the subjects of your choice, and some may have certain limitations.
Check the Learning Management System (LMS) because it’s crucial for taking classes. If the website doesn’t perform well and you may not be able to log your progress, that’s a deal-breaker. If you are unsure about the student experience, talk to the individuals who have graduated from that institution.
Verify the ranking and accreditation of the institutions and their programmes
Accredited degrees are preferred by employers and show that a university meets the quality guidelines set by these accreditation bodies. Accredited degrees are viewed as reliable and reputable by prospective companies, thus greatly improving the chance of landing good a job after graduation. The National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) is a framework adopted by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, to rank higher education institutions in the nation.
Analysing the starting salary packages is a good way to determine if the college offers good placement assistance. For meritorious students, financial aid and scholarships should also be available. Some undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are conducted with affiliation to other international universities, which is an important aspect to look out for.
What is the accreditation of a college?
Accreditation means that an institute is competent enough to perform specific conformity assessment tasks such as inspection, certification, and testing. The best way to verify a college’s accreditation is by visiting official websites and going through database listings. UGC website is a good starting point, and there are other accreditation agencies you can check, such as NAAC, NBA, VCI, COA, and AMBA.
Why does accreditation of a college matter?
Accreditation matters because it boosts the credibility of a college or institution. It helps potential students invest a certain level of trust in the university, and employers know that courses conducted follow the best standards.
Does the programme delivery suit you?
How often are live lectures conducted, whether the programme meets your quality requirements, and if the delivery modes are suitable – these are very important points you must answer before enrolling in any course. Some programmes have frequent quizzes and assessment tests, while others do proctored online exams with live lectures for attendance. Check with the university before making a decision. Additionally, the student portal through which coursework is conducted must work properly and not be prone to downtimes or delays for an optimal studying experience.
Best online degree colleges in India
The following is a list of online degree colleges in India, and they are all NAAC accredited and UGC approved. UGC-entitled online degrees are recognised by employers worldwide, and the push for online education has led to many universities in the nation offering Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees online. Most of these universities provide placement assistance and career guidance to students as well.
|Colleges||Programmes offered||Average salary (annual)||Additional features|
|Manipal University Jaipur, (NAAC A+ & UGC-entitled)||Online BCA, MCA, BBA, B.Com, M.Com, MBA, & MA JMC||INR 7.5 lacs to INR 22 lacs||Advanced Learning System, e-library, attractive scholarships, career guidance and support, and placement assistance|
|Manipal Academy of Higher Education (NAAC A++ & Institute of Eminence)||Online M.Sc in Data Science, M.Sc. in Business Analytics, & MBA for working professionals.||INR 10.8 lacs||State-of-the-art learning management system (LMS), an extensive e-library, access to alumni network, and free access to Coursera.|
|University of Mysore||Has online degree programmes in Computer Applications, MBA (dual specialisation), Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Bachelor of Commerce, and Master of Commerce||INR 2.4 lacs and higher for fresh graduates||E-material is sent to students along with regular assessments. Degrees are AICTE accredited, affordable, and also recognised by the Government of India|
|Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana, NAAC with Grade A+ accreditation||Offers online degrees in B.Com, BBA, BCA, and M.Sc Mathematics||INR 6 lacs and higher||International students, e-resources, affordable, and online programmes are designed for working professionals|
|Lovely Professional University, Punjab||Undergraduate programmes in BA, BCA, B.Com and PG programmes in M.Sc Mathematics, Master of Arts, Political Science, History, Sociology, and Economics||INR 5 lacs to INR 62 lacs||Cutting-edge curriculum and expert mentors, best LMS, personalised mentorship, and placement assistance|
|Chandigarh University Punjab, NAAC Grade A+ accredited||Offers online undergraduate programmes on Journalism & Mass Communications, Business Administration, and Computer Applications. Postgraduate programmes are available for Commerce, Liberal Arts, BA, and Journalism and Mass Communications.||INR 8 lacs to INR 36 lacs||The university is UGC and AICTE-recognised, using the latest learning technologies for their online Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programmes. It also provides spoken English classes, career assistance, and easy EMI financing options for students.|
|Amity University||Amity University offers online Bachelor’s Degree programmes in Business Administration, Arts, and Computer Applications||INR 5 lacs to INR 21.5 lacs||The university is accredited by WES, QAA Global, WES, and is UGC-entitled.|
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How to get admission to an online college?
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many universities to shift to online modes of education and offer degree programmes remotely. Here is how to get admission to an online college: The college admissions process hasn’t changed, and students have to apply online and fill up an application form to get started. Below is a step-by-step process of how undergraduate and PG programme admission process:
- Students sign up on the portal and fill in the application form
- All required documents such as 10+2 certificate, national ID, passport, and other relevant data to be submitted
- The application fee (non-refundable) and first-semester payment has to be made
- Once the university approves the application and verifies documents, an online interview is set up. This is where the student speaks with the admissions counsellor or university panel of professors. Some universities have their own entrance exam as well. When students clear these rounds and get accepted, their enrollment in the online degree is confirmed via email and SMS.
Keep in mind these points too –
- Ensure you meet the general eligibility criteria such as Class 12 and entrance examination scores. Every college has its own admissions requirements
- Apply before the admission deadline. Check the official website of universities for more info on this
- Have the necessary documents ready such as national ID, date of birth certificate, proof of residence, etc.
- Pay the application fee at the time of registration and check for additional eligibility requirements for specific programmes.
Frequently asked questions about online college
As technology is rapidly evolving, online colleges are seeing an influx in admissions. It is important to prepare in advance before applying to these educational institutions. Knowing how to get ready for interviews, contacting for scholarships, and sitting for entrance exams is crucial. Every online college has its own admissions policy or criteria that applicants must fill. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions:
Are online degrees in India a good choice?
Yes, online degrees in India are good if they are accredited courses. The employment rates for graduates with an online degree are similar to those who attend full-time programmes, the only difference being the mode of learning.
Is it wise to pursue an online master’s degree in India?
Yes, you can pursue an online degree in India if you cannot make time commitments to attend full-time programmes. Finish your degree at your own pace, do the coursework, and take online exams to acquire your certificate.
Can I apply to foreign universities with an online degree certificate?
Yes, UGC entitled degrees and national and global accreditations are all recognised by foreign universities. After completing your online degree in India, you can apply for enrollment in master’s programmes or higher education in international colleges.
Do online colleges provide placement?
Most online colleges offer placement assistance, but it’s important to check with the institution, just in case.
Is it tough to complete an online degree?
The hardest part about pursuing an online degree is the level of commitment and self-discipline it takes. Learners should have good time management skills and not miss the deadlines for projects/ assignments and online exams. In terms of difficulty for coursework and projects, it’s the same as full-time offline degrees.
If you’ve ever thought of pursuing an online degree in India, the universities on Online Manipal Iike Manipal University Jaipur and MAHE can be excellent choices. We’ve listed the best accredited online colleges of 2022 to help you decide on your institution for an online degree programme. Apply online and wait for the education counsellors to get back to you. If you’re unsure of what programme you are interested in, you can consult the admissions department of the respective institution and ask questions.
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