The traditional method of attending an institution of higher learning was to go to a school and attend classes inside a building, sitting at a desk, and listening to an instructor face-to-face. Today, because of the benefits of technology and the Internet, it is possible to attain a higher education online. Not only can a student receive a bachelor’s degree online, but it is also possible to earn a master’s degree, and even a PhD via the Internet. Traditional colleges and universities are taking part in an educational and technological revolution in joining with online-only institutions to offer bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and PhD degrees to students from every corner of the planet. The degree programs offered are quite varied, and continue to increase as the technology of online education grows.
There is no shortage of reasons to consider pursuing a higher education online. Proximity is a major reason to consider it. A student can literally be anywhere in the world and still attend class, as long as he or she has access to an Internet connection. Attending classes and submitting assignments online eliminates the requirement for commuting or relocating. This has the potential for significant cost savings. Another advantage to attending college online is the factor of time management. An institution has the ability to offer more sections of courses in the online format, allowing a student to have more option as to when to attend class. This allows the student to have more flexibility, and is an ideal situation for those who work full time and/or care for a family. Yet another reason to consider online education is comfort. Not only can a student access courses from the comforts of home, but this is also an ideal alternative for those who wish to return to college after many years. The stress of feeling the need to fit in with younger classmates is virtually eliminated, and returning to college via the Internet is a great way to ease back into the routine of school and assignments.
When thinking about receiving a higher education online, the prospective student has a few things to consider. There are several online-only colleges and universities that offer all degree types in varying fields that are fully accredited. These universities often allow a student to earn a degree at his or her own pace, which is a big advantage to those with full-time careers and families. Traditional colleges and universities that offer online degree programs in addition to their traditional face-to-face programs might not be so liberal in the length of time it takes to earn a degree as a full-time student, but most certainly will allow a student to enroll part time. However, being a part-time student might have an effect on financial aid eligibility. Specific requirements would need to be verified depending on the institution in which the prospective student is interested.
The fields available to study at online institutes of higher education are seemingly limitless. Students may study any number of disciplines including business, social sciences, humanities, math, human resources, English, art, and healthcare programs. Each school has different requirements for admission into individual programs (such as entrance exams scores and prior degrees earned), so it is important to take those into consideration when applying. The requirements will be the same for online and local students, and the spaces for programs will still be limited.
The misconception of earning a higher education online is that the experience is not as enriching as attending face-to-face classes at a tradition college or university. While it is true that being an online student requires a certain amount of self-discipline and self-motivation, most programs offered online present the same opportunities for group work, independent study, and communication with classmates and instructors as do the traditional method of earning a degree. And because attending an institution of higher education online requires such drive, it helps to facilitate the independent learning process, while at the same time helping to develop time management skills. With the popularity of the Internet and technologies such as teleconferencing in education today, it is possible to come away with not only a degree, but also being more in tune with technology, which carries significant potential in broadening career opportunities. Seeking a higher education online is a reasonable, convenient, and flexible way for a person to advance both a person’s education and career potential.