4 Reasons for Pursuing an Online Degree for Career Advancement
Professional development has become increasingly important in today’s highly competitive job market. In order to be considered for promotions and better jobs, candidates must demonstrate the willingness to sharpen their skillset. The most common method of advancing your career is to get a degree. Whether that is a bachelor’s degree to become a full-time associate or a graduate degree to move up the management ladder, a degree has been shown to lead to more career options and higher salaries.
The problem for working professionals is finding the time to complete a degree while still balancing a full-time job. Scheduling on-campus classes around your busy work schedule can be exhausting. One increasingly common degree path for working professionals is enrolling in an online degree program. Online degrees allow you to pursue higher education while working full time. Here are four of the biggest benefits of using an online degree to advance your career:
The biggest benefit of an online degree is that it allows you the opportunity to continue working while pursuing a degree. Most on-campus degree programs have a considerable time commitment that forces most students to either dial back their time at work or put their career on hold completely. This can lead to losing valuable work experience and income. In contrast, online programs today are often designed with the needs of the working professional in mind. In some instances, your employer may even offer tuition assistance for a degree program. Taking online classes while working can also give you the opportunity to apply the skills you’ve learned in your coursework to the workplace immediately.
An online degree can offer a degree of flexibility that on-campus degree programs simply cannot match. Most online programs are asynchronous, which means that the classes are self-paced. The advantage here is that you can access course lessons and materials whenever you have free time. While you may be completing lessons after work hours, the asynchronous format of online classes frees you up to perhaps read a lesson before work, or use your lunch break to complete an assignment. This can help to maintain free time after a long day at work. Taking classes on campus while working full time limits you to night classes. Night classes can under-utilize the small pockets of free time that you have during a typical workday.
Another huge benefit of online education is the ability to customize your learning environment. With an on-campus degree program, you are most likely going to be in a classroom for the majority of your courses. With an online degree program, you can choose where you learn. Some people thrive in a comfortable, relaxing environment while others may prefer a more traditional workspace. Many people work best away from home, and coffee shops and libraries often offer wireless internet which would allow you to access course materials there. Whatever your preference is, the key to a productive learning environment is to balance comfortability with the ability to stay focused.
Online degrees can also offer a less threatening classroom environment. There are many professionals looking to advance their career, who have a more introverted personality, that are not comfortable participating in class discussions that are commonplace in on-campus degree programs. This is where an online degree can be a good fit. With the online course format, most of the interaction with your professors and classmates is through the web. Discussion boards are one of the most common methods of sparking the class discussion. This is a much more comfortable method of participating in class for introverts. This less threatening environment can allow you to come out of your shell and enrich your learning experience without the fear of participating.
It is clear that getting a degree can be a pivotal stepping stone for advancing your career. Online degrees have become increasingly more viable and respected in the business world. The flexibility and convenience of these degree programs allowing professionals the opportunity to work full time while pursuing a degree is something that simply cannot be matched by on-campus degree programs. This coupled with the ability to customize your learning environment and the limited face-to-face interaction means that online degree programs can be a fit for all personality types.
Author: Tim Ufer
Tim works currently works with university graduate programs as a community outreach manager. Tim has developed a passion for career advancement and professional development. Tim’s expertise includes career advice, higher education, and entrepreneurship.
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