5 Things Everyone Should Know About Online College Degrees

  1. Just because it’s an online degree does not mean it will be an easy program. Online degree programs contain the same rigorous content that on-campus programs do and generally in a more condensed time frame. To complete an online degree you need to have self-discipline, time management skills, and determination.    
  2. You can make an online degree program exactly what you want it to be. If you want to complete your degree, but don’t have a lot of free time, ask about being a part-time student. On the flip side, if you have plenty of free time ask about adding additional classes to your schedule. Just remember you will generally need about 10 hours of study time each week for a 3-credit-hour (or 8- week) course.
  3. There are opportunities for engagement with faculty and other students. Take advantage of common discussion areas, get involved with social media, build your own study group, and reach out to professors outside of class work. You may also be able to join clubs or honor societies. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you need to be isolated.  Building relationships is beneficial to your education and will be helpful if you need a reference or recommendation later.
  4. Research opportunities are available. Just because you’re an online student doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of research opportunities. Reach out to a professor that’s in the field where you would like to do some research. If you’re not sure who to reach out to, start with your advisor. Opportunities may include online work or you may even find something near you. 

Not all online programs are the same. Educate yourself on accreditation and avoid diploma mills. If you’re going to invest your time and money into your education be sure you get something out of it.

Published on July 22, 2014