Five Reasons to Get Your College Degree Online

Thinking about getting a degree?  If so, you might want to give online colleges a second look.  Online schools offer significant benefits over campus colleges, particularly for non-traditional learners.  Here are five advantages online degree programs have to offer.

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Study on your own time.

Many adult learners want to go to college and get a degree, but they couldn’t possibly take four years away from work or family to do it.  If this is the case for you, an online degree may be your best option.  With an online program, you don’t have to be in class at a certain time every week.  You can participate in a discussion group after the kids have gone to bed.  You can attend a video seminar early in the morning before work. Online degree programs allow you to fit school in around your other responsibilities.

No commute.

Between rushing to work, picking up the kids, running errands, and all the demands of day-to-day life, it can be tough to get on campus for a traditional class.  With online learning, you don’t have to go anywhere.  There’s no navigating public transportation, rushing from work to school, or arranging for someone else to pick up the kids from the bus stop or extracurricular activities.  With an online classroom, you don’t have to make it to school—you just have to make it to your computer.

Fewer costs.

Tuition at some online schools is much lower than that at traditional schools—but this isn’t always the case.  However, tuition is only the beginning of costs at a campus school.  You’ll also spend money on room and board on campus or in an off-campus apartment, transportation costs, school supplies, and books at the expensive school bookstore.  Entertainment is also a big cost for traditional students. 

With an online degree, you have more control over your spending.  You can live in an affordable neighborhood, save money on transportation, and forget about buying school supplies—all you need is a computer and an Internet connection.  You’re also not captive to the college bookstore; you’re much more likely to search for deals on used books online.  There’s no peer pressure to socialize, so you can save on entertainment costs as well.

Better interaction with teachers and students.

Online students are often surprised to find that the quality of their interaction is better online than it is in a traditional classroom, particularly for more introverted students.  In a traditional classroom, it’s often embarrassing for a student to raise his hand, stop the professor’s talk, and ask a question—especially when everyone else seems to understand. 

In traditional classes, discussions can be dominated by one or two aggressive personalities, keeping quieter students out of the conversation.  Many traditional teachers base their grades at least partially on classroom participation, but more introverted students can have a difficult time participating—especially if the teacher isn’t skilled at drawing them out.

In an online classroom, these limitations disappear.  Students get time to think about questions, compose thoughtful answers, and participate more fully in classroom discussions over message boards.  They can also ask the teacher questions over email, eliminating the embarrassment of stopping a class or looking uninformed in front of others.

Exposure to the latest technology.

When you’re a student at an online college, you won’t just learn the subject matter in your classes.  You’ll also become proficient with computers and software such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Microsoft Word.  You’ll get used to online research, and you’ll learn to communicate professionally over message boards, IM, and email.  These are all valuable skills to have in the job market, no matter what industry you’re planning to enter.

There are plenty of advantages to virtual learning.  Online degree programs are accessible and flexible, allowing adult students to pursue their education without sacrificing work and family responsibilities.  They also give students better interaction and opportunities to learn the latest technology—ensuring that they get the most from their educational experience.  If you’re thinking about going to college, an online school may be the best place for you to earn your degree.

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