Are Online Schools a Good Choice?
Some people would truly like to return to college but they struggle with one question: is an online school a good choice? Several things need to be investigated and reviewed before making that decision. First and foremost, abandon any negative connotations you may have heard about online colleges.
Online colleges have greatly improved the quality of their offerings in recent years. Coupled with campus schools that now offer some courses online, getting an education online is just as good as sitting in a class room. There are even students who claim to have learned more from their online classes compared to a traditional class. The use of message boards and email give students ample opportunities to interact and share experiences, enriching the lives of all students.
Online schools are basically the modern version of distance learning. When these classes first developed in the 1830’s they were handled all through the mail. The internet and advancement in computers has been the deciding factors leading to the current crop of online colleges.
A recent study reported over 4 million people were enrolled in at least course online in the year 2008. This figure represented an increase of over 17 percent from 2007. When you look at the fact that the overall number of college students has only increased by 1.2 percent it is obvious that a large number of students are moving towards the online offerings.
The world of business colleges has taken hold of this new technology with a fervor. The highly revered MBA degree is now offered completely online by more than 40 percent of the schools that have traditionally only offered the degree through a traditional class setting.
Traits of Successful Online Students
It is vital for prospective online students to understand that they will be working on their own. A large number of classes are available 24 hours a day, which means students are not required to attend the course at a set time. To compensate for this flexibility most classes have strict deadlines concerning assignment completion, finishing tests and also for participating in a class discussion through a message board.
People that typically procrastinate may find it difficult to succeed in online classes. The ability to organize your materials, keep track of assignments and deadlines and work on your own are all necessary when nobody is expecting you to be somewhere at a certain time. Succeeding in this type of environment will present you in a positive light to your professors which may come in handy if you need a letter of reference for a new job.
Reasons that Students Pursue Online Classes
One of the biggest reasons that most people choose an online degree is the time factor. People that are currently working full time and cannot financially afford to quit their job to attend school full time appreciates the flexibility of online colleges. In addition, single parents who are encumbered with family obligations can use an online degree to help them start a new career or advance in their current profession.
Many people that have lost work over the past several years have chose to use this down time to pursue one of the various programs offered online. Typical 2 year certificates as well as bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs have seen a surge in enrollment. People realize that an increased skill set along with better understanding of their core abilities will make them more valuable to new employers. In addition, the inexpensive price of an online school, compared to a traditional campus college, is a much better use of resources for many of these people.
Disabled students have enjoyed the freedom to pursue a degree online without fighting the obstacles of attending class on campus. The ability to complete classes from their comfortable home environment has made it possible for several people with different disabilities pursue their dream of completing their college education.
Another group of people that are flourishing online are those that live a great distance from their school of choice. For example, people who either active military personnel are serving outside the USA, or contractors who work for the military in foreign countries can complete their degrees online.