10 Benefits to Earning a Degree Online
Earning a degree online has become a very popular option for adults seeking to advance their education in the midst of busy lives, and many are satisfied with the decision.
In fact, a 2016 Learning House/Aslanian Market Research study of online college students found that 90% of respondents believed their online classroom experience was the equivalent or better than taking courses on campus, and 72% felt it was worth the time to earn a degree online.
Enrollment management firm Ruffalo Noel Levitz found that 77% of students surveyed re-enrolled in online degree programs in 2014-15, while 75% were satisfied with their programs. Among the top draws for students were convenience (96%) and flexible pacing (93%).
Online degree programs are flexible and convenient – Students are not required to be in a particular location at a specific time to participate in 100% online classes. Being able to access courses from a computer or mobile device with Internet access makes it easier for students to advance their education without having to take time out from work or other responsibilities to go to school.
The flexibility of New England College’s online degree programs made it possible for Judilyn Mathis to fit in an important occasion: getting married.
“When I wanted to get married and go on a honeymoon cruise, I was able to arrange things with my instructor to work ahead. I got all my assignments done beforehand, my husband and I had a wonderful time, and I never missed a beat in my class,” she said.
Distance is not an issue – No matter where a student happens to be, as long as there is an Internet connection available, online courses are usually accessible 24/7, a plus for people who travel for work, particularly those who serve in the military.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jamal Roberson has found NEC’s online degree program makes it easy to manage the responsibilities of his military career, his family and his studies. “It’s perfect for the unpredictability of the Army. It’s difficult to take traditional-length college courses when your duties could keep you away for weeks at a time.”
Degrees earned online are the same as ones offered on campus – Students earning a degree online take the same courses taught by the same faculty that teach on campus. And just like their on-campus counterparts, NEC students find the same level of guidance and support online and on campus, something that eased Anthony Iannino’s reservations about earning his degree online while working full-time as an occupational therapist.
“My advisor was very professional. It was very comforting. She was always willing to answer my questions and always went out of her way,” Iannino said. “If you’re a student trying online for the first time, you’re going to be scared, guaranteed. Your advisors are there to see you succeed.”
Gain career-boosting skills without taking time out from work – The flexibility of an online degree program can make it simpler to continue your education without having to leave your job. Students can advance their own careers by demonstrating to employers how gaining additional knowledge helps a company succeed.
While working on her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice online through NEC, Joan Bauer already had 26 years of law enforcement knowledge and experience under her belt, and learned some new concepts in her forensic psychology class.
Degrees earned online have been gaining acceptance among employers. In fact, 79% of companies hired people who had received their degrees online, according to a 2010 poll from the Society for Human Resource Management.
Students can earn a degree on their terms – Online degree programs that provide 24/7 access and a self-paced curriculum allows students to complete their studies on their time frame. Students are also able to take one course at a time and maintain a full-time status.
It may cost less to pursue a degree online – Student activity fees and other expenses related to the campus college experience (e.g., room and board) don’t necessarily apply to online students. New England College students who earn their degrees online only have to pay for tuition and books.
Degrees can be completed at a faster pace – Shorter course terms allow students to complete their degrees online in less time than attending class on campus. The accelerated pace of NEC’s seven-week terms allows students to complete an undergraduate degree in about two and a half years. Students who transfer credits from other accredited colleges may also have those courses count toward their degree, effectively shortening the number of required credits to graduate.
Tech skills get a boost from online courses – Although participating in an online degree program requires some familiarity with technology, students may find themselves using new tools and ways to interact with students and faculty that can come in handy for a variety of professions.
Variety of courses and programs are available online – No matter what a student is interested in learning, chances are there is an opportunity to earn a degree online. NEC offers close to 50 undergraduate degree programs (associate’s and bachelor’s levels) online in fields such as Criminal Justice, Healthcare Administration and Psychology.
Enhanced discussion and communication – Students are more likely to participate in virtual discussions with their fellow classmates and faculty than they are during face-to-face sessions. The online discussion options give students a deeper understanding of other points of view, something U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class James Greco found while earning his degree online through NEC.
“The interaction between students has broadened my opinion and views on many topics,” he said. “Students seem more open to expressing their views on the discussion board than they might be in a classroom environment.”