The benefits of online education are obvious – it happens to be more affordable, it gives you freedom and versatility. The freedom and versatility, however, are features that make some people uncomfortable.
Is studying at your own pace and being in complete control of the learning process a good option for you? There are several important questions that you’ll need to ask yourself before choosing online education or dismissing the option altogether.
Are You Disciplined Enough?
The following infographic explains the concept very well.
In the case of online learning, you don’t have the professors seeing you each week during classes and controlling the process. All of this is up to you. If you don’t have the discipline to study and participate in learning activities regularly, you’ll find it difficult to succeed academically in the world of online learning.
People that choose an online learning opportunity need to have all of the following:
- Excellent time management skills
- Multi-tasking skills (chances are that you’ll be juggling work/family and trying to obtain a degree)
- Planning skills
- Ability to cope with everyday distractions at home
- Ability to turn down temptations and dedicate some time each day to classroom activities
Does Your Lifestyle Necessitate Distance Learning?
What is your main reason for seeking a distance learning opportunity? Are you a busy professional in the middle of establishing a successful career? If so, chances are that you don’t have the time to go away and study in campus settings.
Maybe you’ve just started a family and you don’t have the time to go to college? Still, you’d like to enjoy better employment opportunities in the future. This is another scenario that makes online learning opportunities a good choice.
Finally, you may want to choose online education because most reputable colleges have expensive campus-based programs. Through online learning, you’re bringing down the cost of education and you’re still benefiting from a well-developed academic program that is designed by experts in the field.
Do You Feel Comfortable with Modern Technology?
Online education has a major technological component. Before choosing this option, you have to make sure that you have the right computer skills. Also, you should own the hardware that gives you an opportunity to make the most of elearning tools – virtual chats, live streaming, online discussions, accessing multimedia libraries, etc.
Keep in mind that virtual discussions are a very important part of the process. They enable you to interact with other students and instructors, enriching the textbooks and other available educational materials.
Make sure that you’re comfortable with online communication. You may want to check out several colleges that have online programs. Go through the technical requirements and the resources you’ll be given access to. This way, you can determine if your hi-tech skills and the available hardware are a good match for the program requirements.
Are You Comfortable with Innovative Solutions?
The landscape of higher education is changing all of the time. Some people are afraid of this rapid evolution and they want to stick to traditional learning possibilities. Others are eager to embrace the new trends and the benefits that these bring to the table.
Are you interested in being a part of the revolution? Do you believe that enrolling in an online program is going to have an impact on potential employment? Some companies are looking for innovators and a person that has graduated from an online program would be seen as such.
If you’d like to experiment with new possibilities and you’re considering a career that has a technological component, online education will most definitely have a range of benefits for you in the future.
Is an Online Program in the Respective Field Available?
Finally, you have to make sure that the program you’re interested in is actually available in an online format.
Do your research and see what colleges have to offer. When opting for online programs, it’s imperative to check the licensing of schools, their admission rates and the success of alumni. The reputation and experience of the faculty members will also be determining for the quality of the online program.
Give yourself some time to think things through. Your future will depend on choosing one educational option or another. Don’t rush it and engage in thorough research. By exploring the possibilities, you’ll find it a whole lot easier to choose wisely.