Choosing a college and a degree program can be difficult for prospective students. There are many factors to consider, and college is an expensive decision. Today, you can also choose between a traditional college program and an online degree program. There are benefits to both options, but many people find that online schools offer more flexibility and better opportunities.
If you’re planning on enrolling in school, you should consider whether online courses may be the right choice. Here are eight benefits of online school:
1. Flexible Scheduling
With traditional classroom learning, students are required to attend class at a certain time and day. While some online learning courses have mandatory virtual lecture times, most allow you to complete the work on your own. This makes it much easier to balance other responsibilities alongside of school, and it allows you to view lectures and complete work at an optimal time for you. Some people focus best in the morning, and other people are more productive in the afternoon or evening. When you have the freedom to do your coursework according to your own schedule, you’ll feel more motivated and less stressed.
2. Less Time Consuming
Online school requires the same amount of work as an in-person education, but you can watch or listen to the lectures from your home. You don’t have to spend any time commuting to and from school, which could save you hours every week. You can use this extra time for more studying, taking an additional class, working, or relaxing and maintaining a healthy school-life balance.
3. More School Choices
Online education allows you to access schools all over the world. You don’t have to worry about actually getting to the business school closest to you, for instance, you have your pick of online business degrees from any online school. This way, location isn’t a limiting factor in getting a quality education. If you have a job, family, house, or other responsibilities keeping you in a particular area, your options for in-person education are limited to the schools near you. If you choose online education, you can attend the best online program for your area of study regardless of its location.
4. Easier to Focus
Everyone prefers different environments for studying. However, many people find it easier to stay focused in quiet environments than in busy, noisy areas. One study found that the brain relaxes more during moments of silence than while listening to relaxing music. Another study on mice found that silence prompted cell growth in the hippocampus, which is the region of the brain responsible for memory. If you attend online school, you’ll likely find that you focus better in the comfort of your quiet home than on a bustling college campus.
5. Reduced Costs
For many students, the price is the most important factor when choosing a school. Tuition costs are rising drastically, and attending an expensive in-person university may not be financially viable. While still a significant investment, online schools often cost less than traditional programs. Some colleges do charge slightly higher rates per credit hour for online courses than they charge for traditional courses. However, when you consider the other costs of attending school in-person, such as gas, parking, and room and board, you will probably find that online education is less expensive overall.
6. Easy Documentation
Online courses provide all of your material over the internet, so your documents may be more secure and organized than they’d be with an in-person class. If you forget something from a lecture, you can watch or listen to it again. All of your course handouts and assignments are accessible online, so you can download a new copy if you can’t find your original.
7. Opportunities for Networking
Your instructors and classmates at an online college may be from all over the world. With traditional classes, your networking opportunities are limited to the people in your area. Online learning allows you to connect and collaborate with a broader network of people, which can help you find other educational or professional opportunities in the future. Interacting with people from other areas can improve your cultural sensitivity, too, which is an important professional skill.
8. Organization and Motivation
Being in charge of your own class schedule and deadlines provides a lot of freedom, but it also requires self-discipline and motivation. When you don’t attend class at a specific time and day, it’s easy to let the weeks pass by without getting your work done. Online education will challenge your time management and organizational skills. It can help you develop better self-discipline, which will benefit your professional career and your personal life.
Choosing a college is not a decision to take lightly. It takes years and thousands of dollars to earn a degree, so you should carefully consider your options to make sure you select a program that meets your needs. If time, freedom, and flexibility are important factors for you, online schooling may be the right choice. Hundreds of reputable colleges offer online degrees, so you have plenty of great programs to choose from.