In recent years, with a struggling economy, more people are enrolling in online courses in hopes of advancing their careers or earning a degree in an alternative field. The benefits of taking online classes are numerous and a degree from an online institution can be just as valuable as one granted by a traditional college or university.
Although tuition for some online programs can be as expensive as traditional colleges, going the online route can significantly cut the cost of your overall college in other areas. Since you learn online and from the comfort of your own home, you won’t need to buy school supplies, pay for room and board or worry about things such as meal plans. Most materials are also available for download, saving money on expensive texts and workbooks.
Taking a class online means that you can read and learn the material and do the work on your own time. Doing course work on your own means less pressure to keep up with other students in the class since you’ll be working individually rather than in a group. Online courses usually provide deadlines for assignments, so with proper time management and organization skills, you don’t need to worry about how well or efficiently other students are doing in their work.
You can complete online classes regardless of external conditions, personal commitments or those unexpected life incidents. Hop online at any time and check out what assignment is due next or what chapters you need to read. With the flexibility of online classes, you can prioritize your time and work on your own pace.
Not only can online courses increase your knowledge in a particular subject area, but they can teach lessons invaluable to other areas of your life. Online classes leave you on your own, without a physical classroom to attend and a teacher constantly prodding you to get your work done and keep your grades up. Self-discipline and commitment skills go a long way in successfully completing online classes.
Since you’ll be working individually on your school assignments, you’ll have individual access to your professor via email and other online media. Direct access means that you have the ability to ask more personalized questions that you might be intimidated to ask in a traditional classroom setting.
Individual instruction does not mean that you will be completely isolated from the students also enrolled in your online class. These courses generally include message boards, which give you the opportunity to discuss your work and make connections with other students — no matter where they are located. This can prove invaluable as it provides insight and different perspectives on the same assignment. Most importantly, you have full control over the amount of exposure you have to the other students.
Courses online allow the opportunity to take a class at a college or university that you may not have realistic access to geographically. Whether you live on the East Coast and want to take a class offered on the West Coast or you travel extensively and want to continue your education, you don’t need to be in a specific location to access an online course.
Online classes don’t require a dress code, so if you wake up in the morning and feel like lounging around in your PJs or favorite sweats, go for it. Doing your work while lying on the couch watching your favorite soaps beats sitting in a hard seat under artificial lighting next to the kid who didn’t shower after partying all night.
Specialized Degree Programs
Most online degree programs do not require you to take electives. This allows you to take the minimum number of classes needed to graduate with the knowledge necessary to be successful in your chosen field of study. This saves time, cuts out classes that you’re not interested in taking and allows you to focus more on the classes you want to take.
If you are enrolled in a traditional college or university but are unable to schedule a certain class that you need to graduate, most online programs allow you to take a class and transfer the credit. This can prove invaluable if a class is a prerequisite for graduation and isn’t offered by your more traditional school.