As instructors across the higher education sector continue to harness technology for use in their classrooms, many students are turning to the ever-expanding and innovative online college to earn a degree. Students who attend an online college are able to take advantage of a number of benefits that their fellow ground school students can’t. Additionally, an online college is a popular option for non-traditional students, working adults, or students who want to go back to school, but have time constraints.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day routine, non-traditional students need options. And, with significant expansions in technology and access, working students and adults are being given the options they need to go back to school and earn a coveted college degree. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits an online college offers its students and the ways an online college caters to its working students and busy professionals.
Accessibility: One of the most touted benefits of online college has been its accessibility factor. Online education is singlehandedly making education accessible to students nationwide who are unable to attend ground schools. Because the Web is accessible from virtually anywhere, students can access their coursework, interact with their classmates and pose questions to their teacher, with an ease never seen before.
Flexibility & Convenience: By and large, the flexibility of an online education is unparalleled. With an online degree program, there’s no conforming your schedule to the schedule of a ground school with fixed class times. Instead, online learners set their own schedule and their own pace of learning. An online college is so convenient because students can “go” to class whenever they have the time. Your course schedule and the pace at which you complete your degree are your own.
Variety of Courses and Degree Programs: Online college, like a ground college, offers the same diverse choice of classes and degrees. Are you a student who wants to earn an associate’s degree in accounting? Or, are you a student who has already earned a bachelor’s degree and would like to earn a higher-level degree such as a master’s or PhD? Online college gives you all of those options, just like a ground school, but with more ease and flexibility.
Student Centered Learning: If you’ve ever sat in a ground school classroom and felt a little lost in the middle of a lecture or too shy to ask a question, fear no more. Enrolling in an online degree program provides students with a student-centered approach to learning. Not only can an online student learn at his or her own pace, they also have the opportunity to virtually pose questions to instructors via email, instant messaging, or a discussion board. Additionally, because all of the course material is accessible online 24/7, online college students can re-watch podcasts or re-read lecture notes as many times as they need to.
Lower Tuition Costs: It’s no secret that tuition costs have been on the rise and while both online and ground schools have experienced spikes, attending an online college is definitely more cost-effective. Not only is tuition typically lower at most online colleges, but online students will also save on travel/commuting expenses and textbooks costs (as most course material and required reading will be made available online for free or for significantly less than at a ground school).
Completing a Quality Degree Program More Quickly: Because of the accessibility, flexibility and convenience of online degree programs, students are able to learn at their own pace and, often, complete their degree program more quickly than their ground school counterparts. Instead of taking the traditional four-years to complete a bachelor’s degree, online college students often complete their bachelor’s degree in far less time.
The fact that prominent colleges and universities such as Harvard, MIT, the University of North Carolina and Columbia University now offer a variety of online degree programs and online courses speaks volumes to the legitimacy and quality of the digitized learning format.
Pursuing a college degree at an online college is one of the best choices students can make for their future.
Some final food for thought: Students who attend online college learn valuable technical and Web-based skills that many ground school students often don’t. These tech skills can be a favorable component in a resume when searching for jobs in the highly-digital, 21st century workplace.