Going back to school?
See if online learning is right for you.
Remember the days when you had to take your seat every day in a physical classroom at a certain time to earn an accredited, top-tier education? Thanks to modern technology, those days are long gone.
Schools now recognize that people with full-time jobs, family obligations, and transportation issues deserve a top-quality education every bit as much as on-campus students – and not just any schools. Many of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities now offer online degree and certificate programs that meet the same standards as their campus-based programs. The difference is that when class starts and it’s time to take your seat, it might be your couch, your desk at the office, or the corner table at your favorite coffee shop.
So how do you decide if online learning is right for you? Believe it or not, it’s fairly straightforward. It boils down to choosing the format that fits your strengths:
5 Strengths That Drive Online Success:
- Are you comfortable with computers and technology?
- Are you a self-motivated person?
- Do you manage time well? Are you good at planning ahead?
- Are you comfortable interacting with people via phone or Internet?
- Do you have access to a reliable computer and high-speed Internet?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the questions above, there’s a very good chance that the online environment would be perfect for you. Here’s why:
- Online bachelor’s and master’s programs have come a long way in terms of engagement and connectivity, but you’ll want to have some knowledge of computers and the Web so you can take full advantage. You’ll also want to have the ability to use a word processing program since so many online courses have a written component.
- Online classes are far more independent than physical classes. While today’s online environment offers plenty of opportunities for group work and collaboration, there is an emphasis on providing your own drive. The best online students don’t rely solely on the people around them for motivation. They are driven by their own will to succeed.
- Online classes are often streamlined and move faster than physical classes. Time and time again, online faculty say that time management is one of the most important characteristics of a successful online student. Online study provides freedom and flexibility in terms of scheduling, but the most successful online students are the ones who set a schedule and stick to it.
- Online students don’t get the same physical proximity to their faculty and peers that campus-based students do. Fortunately, modern online programs offer alternate options. Where on-campus students may visit their professor during office hours to ask a question, online students can call their professor during virtual office hours. Where on-campus students might look to network by going to lunch with their classmates, online students might connect via email, video chat, or discussion boards. Students who are comfortable with that sort of interaction are ideal candidates for online learning.
- This might seem obvious since we’re talking about online degrees, but it’s worth the mention. It is of the utmost importance that online students can access a working computer and the Internet. That could mean studying from home, the office, a relative’s house, a restaurant or coffee shop, or all of the above.
If you think online learning fits your strengths and you’re ready to join more than 6.7 million students who chose to attend college online, the next step is to explore the opportunities available to you. Powered by industry-best data and firsthand relationships throughout higher education, Context can help match you with the school and program that fit your future plans perfectly.