For many people, the mention of college brings to mind vivid images of ivy-covered brick buildings set amongst spacious green lawns; swarming throngs of students walking along paths beneath canopies of ancient shade trees; bearded professors lecturing in large student-filled halls; blackboards covered with cryptic mathematical symbols, and perhaps countless other vignettes of college life. While these scenes are a reality for some students, for others college life is much different. The advent of the internet in recent years has opened up a whole new way for students to attend college and earn their degrees online, often without ever having to darken a college classroom door. Online accredited courses–also known as distance learning and e-learning courses–enable working adults with established careers and personal lives to gain additional education for things such as career advancement, professional certification, self improvement, or even simple pleasure. Online courses offer students tremendous flexibility in being able to study at a time and place that best fits into their busy schedules.

With just a little research on the internet you will find a huge offering of online accredited courses from hundreds of colleges, universities, vocational and trade schools. Nearly all universities offer at least a few online courses if not complete degree programs online. A student can take e-learning classes in nearly every discipline and branch of study, and earn degrees ranging all the way from high school diplomas to doctorates.

Barely more than a decade ago, few people could foresee the day when students could take a class from their living room with nothing more than a lap top computer connected to the internet. That day has arrived, and opened the doors of education to millions of students worldwide. Only in a day of revolutionary technological innovation could someone find such a convenience as online classes.

Whether you’ve already attained a college degree and are looking to further your education, or you’ve never gone to college but would like to get your college degree or high school diploma, online accredited courses may be the key that unlocks the door to your goals. With the popularity of distance learning education continuing to grow by leaps and bounds each year, the day may come when the traditional college experience is more of a memory than a reality. Just as few could predict the rise in online learning, who can really know what the future holds for education.