How to Get a Quick Degree

Updated April 17, 2017

Most employers receive hundreds or even thousands of responses to a single job posting online or in newspapers. One of the primary attributes they look for in the process of hiring is a college degree or a certificate of expertise. So what if you want that higher paying job now without spending four years or more in college? Online schooling is an option many students are choosing due to its intense but quick process.

Decide what it is you want to do and what kind of degree you will need to achieve your goals. Online schools offer a myriad of study concentrations with degree options ranging from associates to doctorates. These degrees can be achieved in a range of six months to four years depending on whether or not the student has previous college experience. Those without college experience can expect a time period of roughly two to four years.

Gather any college transcripts and other coursework that may be applicable. Many colleges offer accelerated degrees for students who have had previous, accredited college experience. As long as your credit hours are accepted, you can complete your degree online quicker than a student who has no logged credit hours.

Compose a resume. Some online schools accept life experience for credit.

Apply to the school of your choice. Make sure you read about the school's accreditation, policies and programs, to make sure it is the right school for you. Schools have varying application and acceptance procedures so be sure to check them thoroughly and follow all of the instructions. If you are concerned about your eligibility for acceptance, apply to several of the online colleges in order to ensure your acceptance.

Look into options for testing out of some classes. You can do this through a CLEP (College Level Examination Program) test. These tests enable students to skip classes they feel they do not need by testing them on the subject matter. If the student passes, they are exempt from the class. This saves a lot of time for students interested in completing a degree quickly.

Participate in online school chat sessions and other activities that make the learning process more efficient. Students can chat with their professors and virtual classmates. This networking provides opportunities to talk about extra credit, subject material covered in the class and more.


Some professions or employers will not accept an online degree as readily as a standard degree, so check your options before you expend energy, time and money on this process.

Things You'll Need

  • Personal computer
  • College transcripts (if applicable)
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About the Author

Catherine Fiorentino began work as a professional freelance writer in 2006. Since then she has written for several online content websites, private clients and blogs. Fiorentino has an Associate of Arts in journalism and mass communication from Kent State University.