If you are thinking about continuing your education you might have many questions. One big question is how you can make your current work schedule and a class schedule function while still having time for family commitments?
That thought can lead you to explore taking online courses but then you begin to wonder, is an online degree worth anything? The answer to that question is also very simple, yes.
In fact, an online degree from an accredited college is just like a degree from a brick and mortar school. And an online degree actually offers you some additional skills that you might not have gotten in a regular college setting.
Online Classes Require Self Discipline
In a normal classroom setting, there is a lot of direction, encouragement and time management provided by the teacher. You have a set time to go to class and also have a set schedule or agenda for the class. But when you are taking classes online, you need to manage your time well and be sure to get through all of the material for each class session. There is no teacher standing there to be sure that you are reading and learning all of the material. There is also no teacher making comments on your level of effort or input in the class discussions or activities. You are in control of your time and effort. Taking online classes you will quickly learn that you will get as much out of each class as you are willing to invest in it. If you try to just slide by and you are not dedicated to learning then you will most likely fail the class and you will also certainly be short changing yourself on the opportunity to learn the material.
You Learn to Meet Deadlines
In an online setting, you are given only a few deadlines such as when an assignment is due and when you need to have completed the course material for the final exam. You are forced to learn to set your own deadlines and to work to meet them. It might not sound like an important skill but it is one that will have a great impact on your ability to complete large work projects in the future. You will have the experience of setting goals for small tasks to help you schedule and accomplish larger tasks. It is all about time management and motivating yourself to maintain a set schedule to complete your work. A traditional classroom really does not teach this because the teacher is always there reminding you of the assignments when they are due and checking your progress to see that you are on schedule.
Online Classes Also Include Valuable Technology Training
Students in any classroom are using some technology. They have computers and are completing assignments on a laptop. But the experience of working remotely via online classes offers a much more realistic and advanced training in the proper use of technology. In a classroom setting, there are teachers, staff members or other students to assist you if you are having difficulty with a piece of technology such as a laptop, printer or even your Internet connection. But when you are taking classes online, you need to learn to be self-sufficient and solve your own technology issues. This is very valuable experience when you are on a job and have an issue with a computer or other item. You have experience troubleshooting and fixing devices on your own. An employer will respect and appreciate those added skills. In addition to the ability to correct issues, you will find that you have a higher comfort level with technology due to the sheer amount of time that you were using it to complete your class work. That gives you an advantage over any other job applicant who is less sure of their skills where technology is concerned.
Online Classes Give You Real World Remote Experience
There are many jobs today that require you to work remotely either part of the time or in some cases full time. This means that you will only have contact with your coworkers, superiors and even clients via computer and sometimes phone calls. But you have years of experience working remotely with your teachers and the other students who were also enrolled in the online classes. Again, this might not sound like such an important skill to have mastered but it will be very important to an employer who is looking for a remote employee. You employer will have confidence in your time management skills, your ability to communicate clearly online and also your knowledge of maintaining the technology needed to work remotely. All of these are great skills that you will already have and that makes you a very favorable candidate for remote jobs.
Online Classes Provide More Learning Opportunities
At first, you might have questions, is an online degree worth anything? But when you think about the added skills and learning opportunities that online classes provide, you will begin to see the value in your classes and your degree. Not only did you learn the subject matter of the classes but you also learned life skills and became very technology savvy. Computers are used in almost every job in the world so tech skills are always good to have. And you also learned to manage your time, set realistic goals and deadlines and then work to reach them. Time management is another skill that you can apply to just about any job that you get as well as in your everyday life. And finally, you learned that you need to be responsible for yourself and your actions. No one will stand over you each day to make sure you are doing your job. But you learned that in your online classes so you are prepared to be disciplined and set your own schedule to complete your work. Thanks to your online classes, you have not only a useful degree but also many personal and time management skills that you will continue to use every day for the rest of your life.