Why Do Working Professionals Choose an Online Degree Program?
Working professionals face a challenge in the effort to maintain their careers while also furthering their education. More people are turning to online degree programs for a variety of reasons, including flexibility, the variety of course offerings, the ability to apply what they learn immediately on the job, networking opportunities, and the ability to avoid long commutes and housing fees.
While there are many advantages to seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree online, potential students must understand there are areas where they need to prepare themselves before entering online classes. They include skills in time management, knowing their best learning style, and ensuring they have the proper technology on their laptops and other devices.
The following looks at the advantages of pursuing an online degree and some issues professionals should consider before starting a program.
Online courses that often come with a rolling admissions schedule give professionals the ability to fit schoolwork into their already full schedules. Students have the choice to finish coursework during a set time each day or accomplish it in small chunks between other obligations. And since it’s possible to attend class from anywhere you have internet access, you’ll also have the option to complete reading assignments or other coursework while on the go.
Online Degree Options
As distance learning technology has evolved, colleges and universities have expanded their online degree program offerings.
For example, New England College offers bachelor’s degrees in many fields, including communications, criminal justice, cybersecurity, business, healthcare administration, and humanities.
The school also offers a variety of MBA concentrations and other master’s degrees, including higher education administration, clinical mental health counseling, professional writing, and public policy. There are also more than a half dozen graduate level concentrations in management, including accounting, nonprofit management, healthcare administration, project management, and real estate management.
Apply What You Learn Immediately
Instead of halting your career, going back to school, and then working your way back into your chosen profession, online degree programs allow you to continue to work and go to school simultaneously. You don’t have to wait until graduation to apply what you learn on the job. You can do it the week you learn it in class. This means your value as an employee goes up immediately.
Avoid Commutes and Housing Fees
This may seem like a small factor when considering the larger picture. However, the cost of campus housing and the time spent driving to and from campus could be deal breakers for many working professionals. Eliminating both is an enormous advantage of online education.
Networking has always been one of the biggest advantages of any college program. But an online degree, because it is available to people around the world, gives students the chance to tap into a global network of like-minded people. Students have the chance to foster relationships and build business contacts that help them throughout their career.
What Students Should Consider Before Enrolling
Before you sign up for an online degree program, it’s important to consider some of the following issues. While online courses are a great fit for millions of students each year, it’s important to take these issues into consideration.
Learning style. For most people, it’s liberating to do everything via computer, but some students might still prefer brick-and-mortar classrooms.
Technology. Thoroughly check to ensure your computer meets the technical requirements for the online course you are interested in taking.
Support. Make sure you understand what kind of support the school offers for any issues that might come up. New England College offers tech service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with contact information for both U.S. and international students.
Time management. This is where many professionals have an advantage because they already have experience managing their time. It takes expertise in this area to successfully balance school and your career.
These are some of the advantages and challenges you’ll encounter with online degree programs. They are a good fit for most students. Take the time to find the right degree program for you and the right learning environment in which you’ll excel.