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Is Going to School Online the Right Path for You?


The Internet has made it easier than ever to get your degree, whether you are a few credits short of graduating, getting it for the first time, or pursuing advanced study to boost your career. Once stigmatized, online schools have greatly increased in quality, and traditional ones are increasingly offering distance learning options for a variety of programs. These programs offer greater flexibility and convenience, and make it possible for just about anyone to go back to school.

But, not everyone is a good fit for online schooling; the flexibility and convenience do not automatically translate to these programs being easier. In many ways, they are more challenging because there is a greater onus on the student to direct his studies and manage his time more effectively. There are several important considerations when deciding if this is the right path for you, and here are a few to chew on.

Do You Like Being Online?

This may seem like a weird question, but one to carefully consider when deciding whether to pursue a degree online. Online courses, naturally, require a lot of time spent on the computer. You will be listening to lectures, reading material, emailing professors, taking part in discussion boards with other classmates and doing a host of other activities on the computer. Some people spend a lot of time on the computer for work or other tasks, and this is an easy transition, while others loathe all the time spent using a computer all day and the last thing they want to do is spend hours more on it. Some are averse to the online world altogether, and online degree programs may not be a good fit. As a freelance writer who lives on my computer all day long, researching, placing blog posts and communicating with clients, I would prefer in-person classes that will get me offline and out of the house a bit.

Are You Disciplined Enough?

All the freedom and flexibility that comes with online learning are great, but these same exact attributes can be the downfall of a student who does not have the discipline to self-direct his learning experience. Attending a campus with set class times, and having an academic environment available where youstudy and complete work can help put people into a learning groove; you are at your house, free to do what you want, when you want it. If you are the type of person who needs outside prodding to get things done, or a schedule imposed on you from an outside source, an online degree program may not be the best option. Self-motivation is a non-negotiable with distance learning programs.

Are You Comfortable With Large Amounts of Reading Material?

Regardless of what type of degree you are pursuing, there is lots of reading involved. But, there is typically a whole lot more reading involved when you are going to school online. Since you are not attending traditional lectures, you are getting most of the information you need from a text book. If the idea of a text-heavy educational experience is unappealing, you may struggle with online degree programs.

About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about all aspects of higher education.She recommends you see right here for more information on the masters in hr and other online degree programs.

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