Online College Courses in Algebra
Algebra allows you to solve for any kind of variable, usually represented by letters and combined with numbers, according to the rules of arithmetic. Knowing algebra then, is a useful problem-solving skill that can be used in many different fields, as well as in people's everyday lives. In fact, there are many careers that require algebraic equations to be used on a daily basis, such as architecture, accounting, and nearly every discipline of engineering. Architects use algebra and geometry to make sure the blueprints of the buildings they design are drawn to scale and that the measurements are precise. Engineers use algebra extensively, whether it's an astronautical engineer calculating the flight trajectory of a space shuttle, or a petroleum engineer calculating the depth, magnitude, and extraction capacity of an oil well. Professionals working in the financial industry also use algebra, though they mainly use it to calculate interest, taxes, revenue, profit margins, and more.
Algebra has its uses outside of the workplace, too. Some individuals learn algebra to help improve their personal lives, such as with doing their personal taxes correctly, establishing and maintaining a family budget, or starting a business. It can even come in handy just to calculate tip or figuring out the best prices during a shopping trip.
Nearly all college students have taken or will have to take at least one algebra class, whether in a traditional classroom or online, because college algebra is a core class that is required for almost every degree program. Professionals like the ones discussed above will have to complete multiple algebra courses, as well as other math courses, like geometry and calculus. To make completing these degree requirements easier, many institutions are offering college math courses online, including algebra courses. Online college algebra courses allow students to learn and to earn college algebra credit without having to set foot inside a classroom, which is useful for those who are too pressed for time to commute to a local community college.
But whether you are just taking a single course or earning a degree, you want to make sure the classes you take are legitimate. You can do this by visiting the U.S. Department of Education's website and using their database of accredited institutions and programs to see if the school and/or program you are considering enrolling into is accredited. Accreditation is essentially a stamp of approval that indicates the school or program offers high-quality education. In most cases, accreditation also means that you'll be able to transfer the online college algebra credit to another institution if needed.
Algebra and Your Career
If you're an engineer, architect, or accountant, the knowledge you gain from an algebra class will enable you to solve the equations you face on a daily basis as part of your job. For example, engineers must use mathematics to determine whether certain constructions are physically possible, and accountants work with mathematics to solve monetary problems. Algebra will also provide a solid foundation for learning more complex mathematics, too, such as physics and calculus. Some careers require specific forms of algebra. For example, if your job requires you to work with linear maps, you can take an online linear algebra course, which will teach you about vector spaces and linear equations, often focusing on matrix theory. This knowledge will allow you to successfully do your job, thus enabling you to keep your job. Many physicists, robotic engineers, and even graphic artists will take an online geometric algebra course, which combines algebra with natural occurrences between geometric objects.
If you feel like your algebraic skills may be getting a little rusty, or if you find that you need to learn a different aspect of algebra, you can take an individual online college algebra course for credit, or just for personal growth. No matter how extensive your mathematical knowledge needs to be, you can find online college math courses that can help you learn what you need to know.
Free Online Algebra Courses:
- Linear Algebra — Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare
- Mathematics I: Algebra — University of California OpenCourseWare
- Algebra I — Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare
- Algebra II — Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare
- Applied Geometric Algebra — Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare