If you’re considering starting an online degree program, you may think that flexibility is the major benefit of getting an education online. Flexibility is indeed a huge factor for many people—but it’s not the only one. Strayer University Campus Dean, Kimberly Williams (South Raleigh Campus), recently listed several other benefits for online students.
- Potential increase in student/teacher time. “When you have one instructor in a classroom with 30 people, that instructor’s attention is going to be divided,” says Williams. “Online, a student is more likely to have one-on-one interactions, whether it’s via email, phone calls, or Skype.”
- Much larger networking field. Williams notes that online classes have the potential to have a wider array of networking opportunities. “Online you have the potential to interact with hundreds of people,” she points out. “You’ll meet students from all walks of life, residing all over the country, and maybe living internationally. They can provide you with insights into how things work in different areas and the ability to make connections thousands of miles away.”
- More comfortable for introverts. If the thought of being in a classroom of 30 strangers and being expected to participate with them sounds difficult, the online experience offers a much more introvert-friendly experience. “Some people are just shy and will not talk or ask questions in a physical classroom, but give them the digital distance, and they feel more comfortable participating,” Williams says. “Part of that may be that they just feel more comfortable in their own environment, whether that’s at a coffee shop, at the office, or in their kitchen in their pajamas.”
- Less time commuting. Another benefit of online classes is that you can participate in your courses from wherever you are. Time usually spent commuting to a campus can be better spent actually working on your degree. Not to mention, this can mean less money spent on gas, bus, or rail fare.
- Decreased conflict with work. Balancing school and work is always a trying experience, but it’s exacerbated when you have to be vigilant about your competing schedules. By having to be at class at a certain time, you may need to limit your work schedule, which could cause you to lose income. With the flexibility of online courses, you can adjust your school schedule around your work schedule, maximizing the benefit of both.
If flexibility was the concept that drew your attention to online degree programs, it could come as a surprise—a pleasant one—that there are numerous other benefits. Recognizing these can help you make an informed decision before committing to a degree program.
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