benefits of online college

The Benefits of Online College: Get the Career You Want, Faster

Updated By Staff Writer on November 6, 2020

Do you have the job you want? Do you have the degree that job requires?

It seems like with every generation, life gets more and more complex. We have so many commitments and demands on our time, and they seem to grow as society gets more advanced. Every time we invent a way to save ourselves time, something comes along to soak it up.

Take education for example. So many young people end up working so hard to pay for college, that they don’t seem to have the time to go. Maybe you got out of high school and decided to work a few years to save money for college, but life got in the way. Maybe you landed a job that seemed ideal at the time, but it hasn’t panned out the way you thought. Whatever your circumstances, day-to-day life certainly has a way of inserting itself right between us and our educational plans. And along the way, it results in not having the career you always thought you’d have.

You Still Have Options

No matter how old you are or what kind of job you have now, you can improve your situation. The same advancing technologies that make life so fast-paced can help us reap the benefits of online college. With more and more students considering themselves “nontraditional,” educational institutions are continuing to develop nontraditional ways to get a college degree.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics,1 about 12.5 million college students beginning their secondary education in 2018 were under the age of 25. But the older demographic wasn’t too far behind, at 7.6 million. The increasing availability of online college—and the reduced cost compared with traditional universities—prompts more and more students2 to seek this form of education to fuel a better career or help them achieve personal goals.

The Benefits of Online College

A lot of nontraditional students are already in the workforce full-time. Many have served in the military. Others have families, positions of leadership, or businesses of their own. But that doesn’t mean a college education shouldn’t be a priority for someone of any age in any situation. No matter your situation, online college can help you expand not only your mind, but your career options as well. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of online college.

1. Competing Responsibilities

Especially if you’re a little older, a traditional university that requires you to physically attend classes may not be the right fit for you. Maybe you need to be home when your kids get home from school. Maybe you have a full-time job and night classes don’t offer what you need to get your degree in a reasonable time frame. If you have big responsibilities at home and in your career, online college can help you expand your education while “holding down the fort” everywhere else.

2. Flexibility

If you have a crazy schedule (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), one of the best benefits of online college is its flexibility. Instead of having to be in class from 8 to 9 a.m., you can “go to class” whenever you happen to have an hour between other commitments. Use your lunch hour, early morning, or the hours after the kids go to bed to get your education. As long as you have an internet connection, you can be in class.

3. Pace

With an online college, you usually have the flexibility to learn somewhat at your own pace. Most often, you’ll have the ability to watch classes, read materials, and get assignments done in a flexible time frame. So if you need extra time to grasp a concept, or you feel like you’re ahead of the curve, that’s okay. The ability to pace yourself is one of the benefits of online college.

4. Career Advancement

This is by far the best benefit of an online college. Many adults come to feel like they can’t take the next step in their career without a degree. Whether it’s an associate’s, bachelor’s, or advanced degree like an MBA, advancing your education is probably the best way to advance your career.

5. New Challenges

Even if you don’t feel the need to get a degree for the benefit of your career, you might feel the need to go back to school for your own personal development. A sheer desire to continue learning drives many to seek degrees from an online college.

6. Choice

When you choose an online college, distance doesn’t have to be a factor. You can find an online college or university that offers the program you want at the price you want to pay, period. Online college means saying goodbye to the limits of location and getting exactly the degree you want.

It’s a Trend for a Reason

With more and more students seeking distance and online learning, more and more colleges and universities are taking notice. Even local universities may be offering programs or courses with online options. The increasing popularity of online college has prompted an increase in course offerings.

As online learning becomes more commonplace, the effectiveness and benefits of online college continue to rise. In fact, a study published in 2018 in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning found that, compared with traditional face-to-face instruction, students participating in online courses report higher engagement and satisfaction with the course material, as well as better communication with course instructors. Online learners also achieved higher grades than face-to-face learners.

If you don’t have the job or career you want, then online college may be right for you. Start by doing some homework about your options and request more information about earning your degree online at Independence University.