Is an Online Education Right for You?

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Your education is one of the most costly and most important investments you’ll ever make. Choosing the right school, the right program, and the right media can make all the difference. With brick and mortar buildings, you have lots of local people to talk to when trying to determine if the school will meet your needs. What about when you are considering an online program? How do you find out if the school and program are right for you?

The School

The most important facet of any college is finding out whether or not they are accredited. Without accreditation, your degree may not be worth the paper it is printed on. Also, if you are planning to pursue graduate school or another degree down the road, the degree and your classes may not transfer. Be sure to select an accredited school to save yourself, time, money and aggravation.

The Program

Go over the program thoroughly. Say for example you are looking at a nursing degree. Does the program the school offers meet the requirements for your state? Does it offer all the classes you want to take? Can you specialize? Are the credits transferable? These and other questions should be explored. The site should offer a way to contact them to speak with a counselor either online or on the phone. Make sure your questions are completely answered before enrolling.

The Media

Online classes come in a variety of offerings. Some are strictly online where all your work and communication is done through cyber space. Others however, have requirements for periodic visits to the school. This may be for lab assignments, tests or face to face meeting with the teacher to go over your progress. If the school you have picked is local, this may be no problem. However, if the school is out of state or simply farther away than you are willing to drive on a semi-periodic basis, this media or school may not be a good match.

You’ll also need to be able to access any software required by the school or the class. Online schools use special software to allow for the transfer of documents and fro communication between teachers and students as well as between the students themselves. Depending on the class you are taking, you may need to have software you buy and install on your home computer. Your system will need to be able to handle all these requirements or else you may have to upgrade your system to do so.

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4 Comments

  1. I am a single mom and I also work as a freelance writer. Online Education best suits me since I have a 3 year-old son that I need to attend and this type of education helps me to balance my career, education and my role as a mom.

  2. I do not think that online education suits me, Some people learn better in a traditional classroom. They need the live interaction with an instructor and other students. Online classes may try to simulate classroom interaction, but they cannot duplicate it.

    • There are many people that prefer traditional classrooms. When I went to University I took hybrid classes. My first and last class we meet in a classroom environment and the rest of the semester we communicated online. It was great because I also got the live interaction with my instructors and classmates.

  3. I always found that online classes were harder than the traditional face to face classes. I took an online class and it was a nightmare because even with the book the material was really hard to understand. The biggest advantage of being in a classroom is that the professor will show you how the problems are done (not to mention you can ask him/her questions.)

    I can see the advantages of being in an online class ( I bought into them) but as a result my grade suffered. That is just me two cents though.

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