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.
3. Expand your network and gain a global perspective.
On-campus programs feature students from around the globe, and online degree programs are no different. Your classes will often be composed of peers from a variety of cities, professional backgrounds and age ranges, allowing you to gain increasing exposure to people from diverse backgrounds.
At ASU Online, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with ASU’s diverse and world-renowned faculty who are active scholars and experts. They encourage open collaboration and well-informed discussions, honoring the experiences of every student.
This is especially beneficial if you continue to work while earning your degree online, as you can gain access to an extensive professional network and learn from others who share your passion in other locations and companies.
The connections continue well after graduation. ASU Online students have access to a global network of over half a million alumni.
4. Access the full university experience online.
Though the in-person and online modalities differ, you do not need to give up the university experience. Online students can take advantage of virtual programming that allows students to gather, meet and connect with support services as if they were on campus. For example, ASU Online students can partake in:
- ASU Online student support services. Online students have an entire support system to help them navigate their academic career. Explore access to career advising, counseling, tutoring, time management coaching, wellness services and a wealth of other resources.
- Strong sense of community. You can take part in 35+ online clubs and organizations, Greek life, networking, virtual events, study abroad opportunities and more.
- Industry-relevant curriculum. You’ll study a structured curriculum that explores the latest developments in your field, led by the same award-winning faculty that teaches on campus.
5. Receive credit for your previously completed coursework.
Transferring to an online program doesn't mean you have to start over. Instead, you can simplify the move by taking advantage of transfer credit policies that accept previous coursework or training as credit. Universities like ASU Online allow you to utilize your community or two-year college credits toward your next degree, and also offer placement and proficiency exams to guide you toward the right class level for your skills. By taking your previous learnings into account, you can accelerate your path to earning a degree and start on your professional path sooner. When you connect to an ASU Online academic advisor, you can receive support in navigating the specifics of credit transfers.
Find the right online program.
When you transfer schools, you can find a better fit for you. When you start the process of researching other universities, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what you want from your new institution. Create a must-have list and prioritize what is most important to you. You’ll also have the opportunity to reevaluate your major. You can apply your transfer credits to cover your core studies and then feel free to explore new paths, take unique electives or consider adding a minor.
How ASU approaches online education
By pursuing your education online, you open the doors to exciting new opportunities for your future. ASU is a pioneer in online learning, with more than 15 years of cultivating online degrees, and continues to lead with innovation in mind. ASU Online has been the first to make several programs accessible at a distance, including the first fully online Bachelor of Science in biological sciences. Plus, our online students are taught by the same award-winning ASU faculty as campus-based students, making your academic experience nearly identical to in-person instruction.
If you're interested in transferring to an online program at Arizona State University, take the next step by contacting an enrollment counselor who can guide you through the transfer application process.