Is An Online Degree Program Right for Me?
Online degree programs have evolved and improved. Students today can enter degree programs online that once were only offered on campus. The decision that faces students is whether earning an online degree is the right fit for them.
Before making the commitment, consider some of the following advantages – and challenges – of attending class online. It’s not right for everyone, but it does allow one to earn a degree they might otherwise not pursue.
This remains one of the chief advantages of online degree programs. Classes can be scheduled around busy professional and personal lives. Students have control over when and where they study, which is why so many working professionals turn to online classes to complete a degree program. By its very nature, an online degree simply offers students more options.
Tuition costs may be similar to on campus, but tuition is only part of the overall college price. Taking classes online saves the cost of room and board. It also eliminates transportation costs to and from the college campus (not to mention the frustration of finding a parking space).
Range of Online Degree Programs
Previously, online classes were limited to only certain professions, particularly business. Degree programs have now expanded into almost every field, as is demonstrated by one look at the degree programs offered at Touro University Worldwide. That’s partly driven by innovations in technology that better connect students both to faculty and each other. And while the variety and quality of online degree programs has increased, most employers now consider job applicants with online degrees on par with those who earned a degree in a traditional classroom setting.
Many consider this a disadvantage of online classes, but it actually offers another area where students can grow. There’s no denying that online degree programs require more discipline than traditional programs. Online students don’t have to show up in a classroom every weekday at a certain time, and there’s no one standing over them making them do their homework or study.
Online students need to have, or develop, skills in:
- Time management
- Online collaboration
All the skills above will not only will lead to better success in an online program, but also in the workplace.
Participation and Collaboration
Everyone is familiar with the concept that the digital world can bring out the worst in some people. Anonymity offers the chance to speak whatever terrible thought they might be having at the very moment they are having it. But in online education, the reverse often occurs. Students who would be too shy or hesitant to speak up in class will feel more comfortable doing so in an online environment.
Also, tools to support collaboration have improved. Students have more ways to contact professors and work with fellow students on projects.
Taking classes online presents a different set of challenges than entering a traditional, on-campus degree program. Some people do not want to miss out on the experience of living on-campus. That said, online degree programs can prove to be the perfect fit for the right kind of student, especially working professionals.