Pursuing an Online Education
Higher education is almost a necessity if one wants a solid career and a competitive edge. For some a traditional university poses complications while a community college does not necessarily offer the steps one needs to complete their education without complications. Fortunately many colleges and universities have adapted to the needs of working students and have developed online curriculum to accommodate the needs of those seeking a higher education but have schedules that demand flexibility.
How an online education works
Online education may differ from university to university but the overall setup is the same. Students enrolled in online classes "attend" classes in an online forum. Here students receive assignments, interact to discussions and chats, and correspond with their instructor. Students are often set up in learning teams and complete individual assignments as well as group projects. This interaction is almost exclusively electronic, done either through a discussion forum or via e-mail.
The benefits of an online education
Online education hosts an array of benefits. Not only is an online class "open" at all hours online classes are also "available" at all hours allowing students to "attend" classes at their convenience. It is this flexibility that makes online classes attractive. Many programs exist solely electronically. Course materials, course assignments, and all interactions are achieved electronically.
Another tremendous advantage to an online education is the potential to interact and network with students from around the world. Developing these kinds of relationships has a positive impact not only on the educational experience it also develops much needed interpersonal skills to use in the business world.
The negatives of an online educational experience
It should be noted several factors on an online education must be considered before committing valuable time and money.
Online courses require discipline and dedication. Students juggling a full time work schedule, a family, and school must commit to the rigors of an online education. It is too easy to dismiss a day thinking to make it up later. With an online education there is no later to make up. Once a day is lost it is lost and not only will the education suffer the real possibility of affecting others exists as well due to the nature of learning teams and discussions.
Technology requirements can be a hindrance, particularly for regions that experience inclement weather causing downed power-lines and internet outages. Committing to an online education demands backups should nature take its course.
The other consideration is the social nature of an online class. Face to face contact is rare requiring emails or discussion forums to manage relationships. This can be frustrating due to the constraints of electronic correspondence.
An online education poses flexible benefits. Students are advised to conduct appropriate research on their prospective schools and to keep their eyes open for scams or schools with a poor reputation. With that being said an online education is a wonderful experience and can lead to a rewarding future.