While years ago you had to attend a university campus if you wanted to complete a degree and get the qualifications needed to fast-track your career, today most educational facilities have online options available for the majority of degree types.
There are many benefits from studying online rather than on campus, but each person has different needs and a different situation, so think carefully to decide whether this will be the right path for you. Read on for things to think about to help you choose whether to get an online degree in the future.
Know What You Want to Get out of Your Studies
To make your decision, you must know what you want to get out of your studies. Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you will be able to see if an online program will help you get that or not.
As an example, perhaps you’re keen to get a qualification without having to spend a huge amount of money. If so, an online degree could be the perfect fit as these courses are often more affordable. Plus, you can live at home, so you will save money on things like rent, food, utilities, laundry and the like. Since you don’t need to travel to a campus when studying online, you’ll cut costs on transport and parking, too.
An eLearning program may be the best mode of study for you if you want to be able to continue working in your full-time job. Online courses can be helpful in this situation because they allow students to schedule their studies at any time of the day or night. Similarly, if you have children, elderly parents or other commitments at home, an online course will work well as you won’t have to drop everything to get to classes on campus.
On the other hand, if your university goals revolve more around enjoying campus life, meeting lots of new people in person, taking part in extracurricular activities and events and getting to know professors face-to-face, an online course may not be the right choice. In this situation, perhaps consider a campus-based degree. The same goes for those who need access to particular equipment for their studies, such as science labs or other hands-on gear.
Think About the Degree of Flexibility You Require
Another factor to think carefully about when making your decision is the degree of flexibility you require. For instance, some people are set on learning from certain professors or studying certain topics during their degree. For these people, online study is best because it provides more choice. That is, with eLearning you’re not restricted to just attending the university in your area; instead, you can find a suitable university and course, matching your specific requirements, anywhere around the world.
If you have certain types of learning difficulties or want to be able to only study at times when you’re feeling fresh and able to concentrate, online degrees are also excellent options. You choose when and how you complete units online and can repeat videos and re-read documents as often as you need to. Online courses can be good for people who learn better when not distracted by other students or the noise of campus life, too.
Furthermore, when you study online, you typically choose how quickly you get through your degree. As such, if you need to accelerate your program, or get extra time to complete, it’s often easier than it is for on-campus options.
Locate Accredited Programs and Admissions Details
When deciding whether or not to go down the eLearning path, investigate whether you can get access to an accredited program online in your field of choice. Whilst most topics are available through distance learning these days, not everything is. Plus, sometimes you’ll find that the course is available, but when you look into it further, the educational facility running it isn’t accredited in the way you’ll require.
Something else to consider is the admissions process. Sometimes online courses are easier to get into than on-campus ones, and other times they are more challenging. This varies considerably, so do your research. Hopefully, for the course you want to enroll in, you will have plenty of choices. For instance, if you’re interested in an online MBA GMAT waiver, you won’t have to go far to find what you need.
In addition, if you’re looking to get a scholarship or other financial aid, you’ll need to check with the various universities on your shortlist to see if these features are available or not. Always do this before you formally enroll.