Students across the country are turning to the Internet to get a degree, complete a degree or learn a new trade. Online education is becoming an attractive alternative for many students because of the great flexibility and diversity of course offerings. If you’re thinking of discovering your online education, make sure you’re well aware of all the benefits made available to you:
Flexibility: Students can study online at any time, from any location as long as there’s an Internet. This flexibility allows students to work their education into their existing schedules, rather than have to take time away from work to complete their schooling.
Diversity of programs: Where previously online education was limited to small trade or technical schools, today’s online programs come in nearly all academic genres and disciplines. Students can take engineering classes online, learn to design Web pages, get creative writing certificates and even become an interior designer. Chances are, you can find an online program in the exact discipline you’re interested in. And if it’s not available now – it’ll probably be offered soon.
It’s a win-win: Online programs benefit students and the educational institutions. It’s not always what we might consider – but online classes cost a college or university less. Think about it: No classrooms to book, no desks, chairs, marker boards – no costs of heating or cooling a building. A virtual classroom costs virtually nothing, just the costs for instructors and setting up the technology. Universities like online programs just as much as students.
Help for procrastinators: We all have that friend – maybe we ARE that friend – who just fell short of finishing school. Online programs allow students to take that last two or three classes and finally get the degree they worked so hard to achieve. Find out whether your credits will transfer to a new institution, or whether your previous one will offer any required courses online. You could find that your existing credits will transfer into a new degree program at another college or university, or you can use your previous education as a foundation for another type of major and degree. You might be surprised how simple it can be to finally finish your degree.
Great for working professionals: The days of the 40-hour workweek seem to have disappeared. Workers now spend more time on the job, whether they’re telecommuting, taking business trips or bringing extra work home with them. Fortunately, workers don’t have to sacrifice their educations for their careers. Many online programs are developed with working professionals in mind, and some even will encourage you to incorporate your real-life work into your class work.
Diverse student body: Chances are, your previous educational experience included students who were the same age as you. But as an online student, you’ll be studying along with students of all ages from all walks of life. You could have a classmate in a foreign country, or one who already has a master’s degree. This diversity will be reflected in your class discussions and projects. You’ll find that your experiences will impact your classmates, just as their real-life stories can be informative for you.