Taking classes online is a popular way for working professionals to have the chance to earn a degree at their own pace. People who take online classes usually are looking for career advancement, career changes, or just want to finish a degree program they started at another college. There are hundreds of online programs and online schools to choose from, making it easier than ever before for prospective students to find the right one.
Earning a degree from an online college can possibly lead to a promotion and/or salary increase, or prepare you for a new career. Even though classroom learning may be considered more traditional, online education is beneficial in its own right. Below are 10 advantages to online learning.
- Degree Programs and Classes Offered
There are a variety of degree programs and single classes offered through online colleges. Being able to choose from many different programs allows prospective students to find a program that will suit their needs. These days, some of the best online paralegal programs are available over the Internet, as are ones for business management, nursing, computer programming, marketing, communications, and human resources management.
Additionally, students can also choose from various types of degrees depending on previous educational attainment. Associate, bachelor’s, master’s, MBA, J.D., and Ph.D. degrees can all be earned online.
- Lower Costs
It is not uncommon for tuition at online schools to be lower than that of a traditional school, although this is certainly not true of all online programs. In addition, costs associated with things like commuting or typical classroom supplies are not relevant in an online learning environment, therefore, lowering overall costs. Furthermore, students might not have to worry about rising textbook prices as some programs may not require them or provide reading materials online. Commonly, students are able to download all materials needed for their classes, including lectures, assignments, additional notes, and other materials.
- No Sitting in a Classroom
Since all classes are online, students will not have to attend classes. Lectures and other materials are electronically sent to the student who will then read them, prepare to take quizzes, and complete assignments. Students will never have to visit a classroom. For those working full time, this will save time, simplify studying, and make scheduling events in their lives much easier. Students will also not have to find parking spaces, leave work early to go to class, or miss important family time.
- Choosing Study Times
Students will be able to plan their study time around the rest of their day instead of the other way around. It is the student’s choice whether or not studying at nighttime or in the morning is best for them. It is recommended that students try to develop a study routine if they can. Having to work and attend classes at the same time can be very stressful. Online classes remove the stress by allowing students to learn when it is convenient for them.
- Flexibility in Completing Assignments
Schedules may not be as strict when taking classes online. Students can work on and complete assignments when they are ready and at their own pace. As long as they complete the assignments required by the deadline, they will be fine. In addition, students usually are not penalized for turning in assignments early if they wish to work ahead to accommodate a business trip or family vacation.
Tests and quizzes will likely have to be taken within a week after they are announced, but students will still be able to choose when they would like to take them. Unlike traditional students who have set class times, online students are able to review materials until they feel they are ready to complete assignments or take tests and quizzes.
- Options When Returning to the Workplace
For parents who have children, but plan on returning to the workplace in the near future, earning a degree while taking care of children will help them stay informed about changes in their former career. If they are trying a new career, they will be able to perform the job requirements of the related position.
Many times, parents who choose to stay home with their children until they are of age to attend school lose touch with the workplace. Earning a degree can show prospective employers that the parent wants to remain informed and be prepared for the new challenges that may await them once they return to their career.
- Balance a Job and Class
Even though someone desires to go back to school, it doesn’t mean that they want to leave their current job. Online degree programs make it so that they don’t have to. Students will be able to go to work during the day and study at nighttime. Many people go to night school after work to participate in evening classes and are exhausted by the time they get home each night. Online classes provide the same instruction without the exhaustion, commute, or unnecessary hassle.
- Avoid Adverse Weather Conditions
During snowstorms and thunderstorms, colleges may cancel classes. When colleges cancel classes, those classes sometimes have to be made up. This may cause the semester to run longer or the class may run longer in some cases. This can hurt students who are on a tight schedule and can’t afford delays in their schooling. For those who work and have families, every second counts. People who learn online do not have to worry about cancelled classes. Even if their Internet service shuts down for the evening, they will still be able to complete their assignments on time and not have to extend their studies.
- Specialized Degree Programs
In many online degree programs, students are not required to take elective classes unless required by their major. This allows students to focus on and study specifically what they need to learn for their job. For many students who want to just learn information relevant to their major, online degree programs work best, as this approach will save time and help students earn their degree faster.
- Transfer Credits
Students can also choose to earn some of their college credits online and some in a traditional college setting. For college students who want to attend summer classes, but who live too far from their colleges or have to work summer jobs, taking online classes from an accredited college and transferring the credits to their primary college is a good idea. Students will be able to earn college credit while still enjoying their summer vacation or fulfilling the responsibilities of their seasonal jobs.
These are just a few of the many advantages of taking online classes. People who enroll in online degree programs are able to manage their time, learn the materials that are presented, and complete assignments on their own schedules. While it might not be for everyone, this type of learning helps many people learn faster, retain more information, and earn a degree which otherwise would not be possible.