Going back to school is one of the most challenging decisions that one may ever make. With a lot of careful consideration and planning, it can also be one of the most rewarding. Whether you are seeking to improve your skills as a way to move up in your current company, or simply taking your career in a new direction, online education is certainly an option worth considering.
With the number of online programs rapidly growing in recent years, employers have increasingly begun to accept and view online credentials favorably. Many feel that it shows a great degree of discipline to be able to juggle work, family, and school. Aside from that, an online program offers you an escape from many of the hassles associated with taking a course in a traditional classroom setting. Here are nine things you don’t have to worry about in an online course:
The sick and contagious person who feels inclined to come to class. The guy snoring next to you. The girl behind you who asks too many questions. The know-it-all’s who want everyone else to know just how smart they are. Let’s not forget about the other person next to you, who didn’t have time to shower and was running late. If you had to choose to sit between Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Smarty, and Smelly, who would it be?
For those of us who have to look their best every time we leave the house, online school will be quite the relief. Let’s be honest, unless you’re Beyoncé, you didn’t wake up “flawless”.
It takes a significant amount of time to look and smell good. Time that could be spent doing other important things, like cooking, cleaning, or maybe studying. Although we recommend that you shower daily, the only person that will know if you choose not to is you. So if you would like to save yourself some extra time or are more comfortable in your pajamas and Snuggie, online programs offer you an escape from the judgment of your peers.
For the many people who would consider canceled classes as a gift from the gods, this one isn’t for you. On the other hand, those of us who LOVE school and couldn’t imagine having to miss a day are in for a treat. Remember, when we were kids, every time the weather would get a little nasty, we would pray for a school closing, only to find out that it wasn’t?
Except for some devastatingly horrific natural disaster, bad weather is of little concern. Online classes are available rain, sleet or snow – without ever having to leave the house.
For those who bank on snow days, bad weather, and holidays to make it through the semester, choose a self-paced, online program, and you can “cancel class” whenever you feel the need.
Online programs allow you to tune in to the lessons on your own time. No need to rush home from work or miss out on a family outing to get to class on time. As long as you allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to study and complete all necessary assignments, you are free to be as flexible as you like. So, if you are the person from example #1 that had to skip the shower because you overslept, then an online course may be right for you.
There’s not too much to say on this subject except “if you’re sleepy, press pause and take a nap. When you wake, press play and pick up where you left off.” If only you could do the same thing to your instructor in a physical class.
Gone are the days where people carried recorders to class or had to write super-fast to record an instructor’s lecture. The rewind and playback buttons are probably the most commonly used feature of any online course. You can listen to a lesson as many times as you want and take detailed notes without missing a beat.
The greatest benefit of an online program is the ability to create your learning environment. You can learn at your desk in your home office, in a corner table at Starbucks or in the break room of your job. Thanks to technology, laptops, tablets, or in some cases, smartphones are essentially all you need to turn any place into your virtual classroom. Just think of all those people stuck in the hard chairs of lecture halls all around the world right now. They’re probably wishing that they were somewhere in a nice comfortable recliner in a room where the temperature and lighting are just right.
Unless you have a personal printer, it can be a hassle trying to find a place to print assignments before class. Even if you have a printer, wouldn’t it still be easier to submit assignments electronically? And what about the trees? Enough said.
Online classes give you the freedom to study at your own pace. You can learn and be productive in whatever environment you find most comfortable. Instead of being pigeonholed to the traditional classroom environment, be free. Free to wear what you want, if anything at all. Free to learn what you want, when you want, where you want, how you want and with whomever you want. There’s no better choice than freedom.
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