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Too Busy? How To Get Educated While Supporting Yourself

Mar 26, 2017

The is a very clear connection between higher education and a better-paying job. The question becomes, then, ‘How does an adult, working full-time and often with a family, manage to take classes to earn a degree or certificate?’ The answer is very simple: online classes.

What Are Online Classes?

Also referred to as distance classes, online classes are conducted remotely. The student participates in course activity via his computer over the internet through a website run by a college or university. In a true online class, the student does all the course work by computer and never needs to set foot on campus. Some courses, called ‘hybrids’, do require occasional attendance on campus for seminars or exams.

Who Offers Online Education?

Nearly every college and university in the United States offers online classes leading to a degree or certificate, many of which are geared toward working professionals. It is important to attend only a fully accredited college or university, and that information can be found at the school’s website.

What Is Required to Take an Online Course?

The student must have a computer, a reliable internet connection and some basic computer skills.
These include knowing how to use e-mail, down- and up-load files, use a word processing program, and how to conduct research, both online and in print, using reliable sources. Some specialized classes may require additional skills.

What Does A Distance Class Consist Of?

There are usually four main components to an online class: weekly course readings, online or print; participation in weekly discussion forums; writing assignments; and exams or final projects.

Are Distance Classes Easier Than On-campus Classes?

This is a common misperception and it is utterly false. In a distance class, nearly all communication is done in writing. Course websites are complex and require careful reading and navigating. Participation in discussion forums is required and must be done on schedule.

So Why Take An Online Class?

The advantages are many. Course work can be done at any time that is convenient for the student, day or night, so long as deadlines are met. Being near a campus is not necessary, so courses can be taken at a school in a different state, or even a different country. The learner is in complete control of when and where course work is done. For example, a nurse who wants to further their career could work whenever they need to while earning a BS in respiratory therapy online when they can. It’s a win win.

Online classes are challenging in ways that face-to-face classes are not. But for a busy working adult, they are the path to career advancement and better paying jobs.

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