Here’s How Online Education Can Lock in Stability in an Unstable World
Updated By Allie Cuno on May 29, 2020
If I had a dime for every TV commercial or radio spot that started with, “In these uncertain times …,” I’d be a millionaire. Of course, the money would have to be left on my doorstep due to social distancing. Whether or not we’re stressed out, grieving, fearful, or just plain tired of the current state of affairs, health concerns and economic woes are the new norm for a while. As much as I hate to admit it, these are “uncertain times.” As of this writing, 30.8 million Americans have applied for unemployment since the virus hit.1 Right and left, our family and friends (and yes, some reading this) are getting laid off or furloughed, and their work hours cut. It’s anyone’s guess what the future holds.
How can we stabilize our personal future when the proverbial rug has been pulled out from under our feet? For me personally, I look at what I already own—I own the knowledge safely stored in the grey matter between my ears.
Yes, I’m talking about the brain. The bank can take away your house, a landlord can evict you from your apartment, and an employer can lay you off. But consider this …
Once you gain valuable knowledge and skills, no one can take that away from you!
When you make yourself more marketable by going back to school and earning a degree, hey, that’s your knowledge and skillset to keep. No bank, landlord, employer, or flailing economy can rip it away from you.
Why a recession brings a revival in education
When economic times get tough, enrollment at colleges and universities goes up, and for obvious reasons. People who are unemployed or fear future unemployment seek new skills to build a more stable future. As a result, higher education runs in the exact opposite direction of the economy.2
Furthering your education is typically a smart move even in prosperous times.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in the third quarter of 2019 those with a Bachelor’s degree earned over $2,000 a month more than those with only a high school degree.3 Now factor in the disappearing act of millions of jobs in the past three months …
A degree can help to set you apart from the crowd when jobs are scarce.
That’s why there is literally no better time to earn your degree than the present.
The online learning advantage
While earning your degree at any reputable college is a good step forward, earning a degree online holds special advantages to the multitudes who currently find themselves in unique situations. The flexibility of online learning pairs well with those working remotely and who want to take advantage of their extra hours at home. Online learning works for those who are laid off and want to spend their temporary downtime to make themselves more marketable. It works for those who have changing work hours and cannot commit to a regular classroom schedule. It works for those whose jobs are on rocky ground and want to further their education for a more stable career. Last, it works for those who want to start earning their degree now, and don’t want to wait around for on-ground colleges to open back up, especially since some may not open back up.4
Personally, it’s still a marvel to me that, thanks to the miracle of technology, you can earn your degree in the comfort of your own home while enjoying 24/7 flexibility. One thing we can always count on is change, right? It’s nice to know that whatever the future throws at you, your online study hours are the hours that work best for your situation today.
How “stable” are online institutions?
It depends. Lately, many traditional colleges have been scrambling to get online courses up and running to accommodate the new demand for distance learning. In fact, some universities will most likely move entire degree programs online.5 That begs the question: Can online degree programs that have been pieced together in a mad rush to accommodate current conditions assure a high-quality education? In the rush, will the structure for supporting such students be well in place or will it be compromised? Therefore, be sure to look at the stability and history of the online learning institution you are considering.
Independence University—15 years of online learning
Forgive the plug, but there is something to be said for an institution like Independence University (IU) that specializes in online learning (that’s all they do). Through the years it has carefully implemented and perfected its degree programs to best accommodate its online students. With a solid history as an accredited,6 nonprofit distance learning university, IU always puts the needs of its students at the forefront.
Student success is job #1
To create an environment for students to best achieve their academic potential, each student at IU has their very own success team which consists of consultants and advisers who provide support at various points in the student’s program. To further online success, IU offers one-on-one tutoring at no cost as well as an active social network that fosters comradery and collaboration between students. No wonder IU has embraced the philosophy of “online but never alone.”
In, out, and on to a career – fast!
Among its other perks, IU’s classes start monthly so when you’re ready, they are, too. What many students love about IU is that the degree programs are accelerated, meaning you can finish faster compared to traditional colleges or universities. They do this by eliminating needless electives which can trim about a year off a Bachelor’s degree program. That means you could be making money in your career up to a year sooner.
Working to make college affordable
Paying for college is of even greater concern now than in years past. IU’s financial planners stand ready to assist potential students in finding all the financial aid they may qualify for. These financial planners are available to assist you at no cost and with no pressure to enroll. So even if you’re just thinking about going back to school, contact IU and let the financial planners do their magic. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Create your own destiny
You can spend your time dwelling on the doomsday reports of the day. Or you can use that time to begin constructing a more promising future. We hope you’ll choose the latter and start building a tomorrow you can be proud of. You know you deserve it!
At Independence University, we offer career-focused degree programs. From Associate’s to Master’s—earned 100% online with 24/7 anytime, anywhere flexibility. From healthcare and business to IT and graphic arts, we are eager to assist in finding the right degree program for YOU! Call (800) 917-6391 today to learn more.
Allie Cuno is a human-interest writer for Center for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE).
- Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.