Earning an online degree can be a great opportunity to save money and expand your professional knowledge. However, there are some challenges you should consider before enrolling.
Perhaps the two biggest pros for studying online are in the areas of time and money. You can save, and be more efficient with both when you attend an online program. The tuition costs are far more affordable, and you save even more on room and board, travel, and other extra costs. The classes are far more flexible and work with your schedule, so you can still work full-time.
Online courses do not have to be for an entire degree, they are a great option for job certification and continuing education classes as well. For example, if you are a medical professional you can find an affordable radiology continuing education course online so you can advance your career opportunities while keeping your current job and working around your busy schedule.
Some disadvantages to online classes are in the self-motivation, personal interaction, and length of time areas. If you are not a self-motivated individual it will be more difficult to complete an online course of study. It may take considerably longer to complete a degree due to time constraints. While completing one course of study is faster online, completing an entire degree program may take several years since you do not complete as many credit hours per day as a full-time student would.
Another potential con is personal interaction. While emerging communication technologies have enabled online students and professors to communicate far more easily now than in the past, there is still that missing face-to-face interaction. For some students this can feel isolating and demotivating. If you can enjoy a chat room session as much as a real life study group, then this shouldn’t be an issue for you. You may find it more difficult to find quiet places to study and concentrate on the work, especially if you have small children in the home. A simple solution is to set aside a few hours where you can be in a quiet, distraction-free place (like a local library) to concentrate on your studies.
While online programs offer a lot of benefits they may come with some drawbacks. However, no method of higher education is perfect. The main point is that you go for it.
Whether you take an entire degree program, or enroll in a radiology continuing education course, you will be moving your career in the right direction.