As the world changes all around us, many people are adjusting their career and educational plans. Whether you're an active college student seeking more flexibility, a parent hoping to fit college into your busy schedule, or an experienced professional seeking advancement, you can reach your education goals by earning a degree online.
Each person’s path to graduation is unique and may not follow a traditional sequence, which makes a tailored online education journey so promising.
ASU Online student Paris Poor knew technology would be crucial as an online student.
The electrical engineering major from Huachuca City, Arizona, is enrolled in an online program, but she credits ASU Online with providing her with a similar in-person classroom experience. Her coursework includes resources that enable her to complete her labs at home and be exposed to the different labs she might experience in person.
Institutions are continually expanding their online offerings. What was once a limitation in the online space is now a possibility — including virtual science labs, remote research and open collaboration with peers in real-time. Technology and innovation are creating new opportunities for students to access the learning they need to pursue their goals.
“I think it’s fantastic that I have lab equipment at my disposal all the time. For example, I have a staggered pin grid array board. Normally I’d only get to interact with it during labs, but because it’s at my house I’ve been able to do more with it outside of labs,” Poor said.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are more than 6.9 million students taking at least one course online, with 3.3 million enrolled exclusively in distance education programs. In fall 2020, more than 30,000 undergraduate transfer students pursued a degree at ASU Online.
As you map out the next steps on your educational journey, consider these benefits of earning your degree through an online program:
1. Flexibility to advance your career from anywhere.
One of the most widely recognized benefits of earning a degree online is the ability to learn on your schedule. This incredible level of flexibility makes education more accessible, and more convenient, by empowering you to learn anytime and anywhere without having to attend in-person classes. As an online student, you are able to manage your time around your schedule to complete assignments and meet due dates. This flexibility is important for learners of all backgrounds to have the resources they need to succeed academically and professionally: active military, busy parents, career changers, students with disabilities and more.
Online programs go beyond building skills for professionals seeking advancement. You can also develop soft skills in communication, digital literacy, problem-solving, collaboration and intercultural fluency. Online classrooms are more immersive than ever and encourage daily interactions with peers and professors, no matter where you are in the world. Whether your current role calls for frequent travel or you simply desire the freedom to relocate, online learning allows you to continue your education wherever life takes you.
2. Easier to achieve school-work-life balance.
Many people struggle to juggle an array of competing priorities. You may be simultaneously focused on furthering your career, spending time with family and friends, staying physically active and healthy, playing an important role in your community and more. Many online students are full-time parents, caregivers, spouses, mentors and community leaders.
If pursuing or completing a degree is one of your goals, the online modality can be advantageous because you can:
- Create a study schedule that fits around your day-to-day responsibilities. Programs that offer asynchronous learning allow you to access study materials around the clock, whenever you are most available and focused.
- Choose your learning environment. With the ability to log on remotely, you can study wherever you decide ― whether that’s from your home office, outdoors or elsewhere.
- Save time. With the ability to tune in from home (or elsewhere), you don’t have to spend time traveling to and from in-person courses.