There’s no denying that attending a four-year college and living on campus has its charms. The experience often introduces students to classmates who become lifelong friends, and for an 18-year-old, there are few options more enticing than leaving the nest. But let’s face it, not everyone who wants a college degree is 18 years old.
And not only that, but most of us don’t have the option of taking off four years from an established life, job or family to dedicate to full-time schooling. Unfortunately, the odds of obtaining a college degree seem stacked against most people. But are they really?
A number of colleges and universities offer a wide range of courses and degree programs online that are ideal for working adults who want to continue their education. Everything from professional certificates to doctorate degrees are within reach, and you can find online schools that are fully accredited, widely accepted and every bit as valuable as traditional colleges
At a campus college, if 8 a.m. is the only time a mandatory course is offered, let’s hope you are a morning person. Online courses allow you the freedom to study at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. – whatever time is most convenient for your schedule.
Whether you want to study at the local coffee shop or in the airport, online classes provide you that freedom. Since a specified place of study is not a requirement for earning your degree online, this form of education benefits people on the move, including military personnel and their spouses, individuals raising families and people who work full-time jobs.
Additionally, if you wish to enroll in a course only available in California or London, let the Internet do the commuting for you. There’s no need to worry about the time difference – just check out what time you will need to be online for mandatory chats (if there are any) and have your assignments in by the deadline of the hosting country.
With hundreds of colleges to choose from, compare costs and find one that best fits your budget. Online college credits are typically less expensive than those at a traditional college. And don’t forget expenses like room and board, travel and food.
Many employers will pay a portion of continuing education costs, but if this is not the case for you, there are financial aid options available for accredited online colleges.
Online classes usually include multimedia enhancements such as video, audio and text — all of which are easily accessible over the Internet. You can revisit the lectures, assignments and other materials when needed, which certainly beats scribbling notes on paper.
Computer skills are vital in today’s job market, so earning a degree online – which involves navigating Web pages, searching for data and utilizing a number of programs simultaneously – can be a definite career enhancement.
You don’t have to hang around with strangers who have colds, hunt for a parking space or stress about being late to class. If you show up to your online classes in your bed clothes, an instructor will not send you home. Leave your cell phone on and fall asleep if you want – online education is more about managing your schedule and completing your work successfully than classroom rules.