By: Ken Austin
As the information age rolls on we are finding more and more universities that are willing to invest in the education of students who may not necessarily be in a position to attend classes at that particular university.
The offerings are still somewhat limited but there are opportunities to earn associates, bachelors, and even master's degrees strictly though online course work. This is something that was virtually unheard of even a few years ago.
Today's students truly do have more options available to them than ever before if they are willing to invest the time and effort into their studies, there are few limits to the level of education you can receive, even if it has been years since you last attended a university or community college.
Even those colleges and universities that do not offer full fledged degree programs exclusively through online learning mediums are beginning to offer many courses online for students with busy schedules and lifestyles. This means that you now have the opportunity to combine distance or online learning with a few night or weekend courses in order to complete your degree even if you have a full time day job and family that needs to see you at home on occasion.
Even if a degree is not something you are necessarily seeking you might be amazed at the wide array of courses that are available for those interested in increasing their depth of knowledge on different issues from the comfort of their own homes. I know that the idea of self-directed online learning opportunities appeal to me on many levels. These opportunities however, are not necessarily a good idea for everyone.
We all learn in different manners and some of us learn best by actually being in the classroom and hearing what has to be said or from hands on experience. This type of learning is not necessarily possible when it comes to distance learning in an email or bulletin board type of environment, which is how many Internet classrooms operate.
Online learning is also not a good idea for those who aren't perfectly willing, able, and capable of holding themselves responsible for their learning. Face it, for some of us it is much easier to get up and go to a classroom than it is to force ourselves to log on and pay attention at home. We all have areas in which our discipline is well in hand and others where we seem to have no discipline whatsoever. If you can't hold yourself on task or have difficulties not being distracted by the many other novel things there are to do online you might be best served through an actual classroom experience rather than a distance learning environment like those of online classes.
This is not meant to discourage you from distance learning or online classrooms. In fact, I think these are by far the best option for many working professionals who are seeking to advance their careers, knowledge, and/or earning potential. You will not need to feel as though you are choosing between the future needs of yourself and your family and the limited time you have with your family already. You can schedule around your family time and make the sacrifice when it comes to sleep.
With online classes it doesn't matter if you are in your pajamas or in a suit and tie you can still do the work you need to do online and no one will be the wiser. You also might find that you can squeeze your education into your lunch hour, particularly if you can type and chew at the same time. The truth is that online classes offer superior flexibility to those hoping to further their education.
Whether you are hoping to earn a degree or simply wish to broaden your horizons by taking a few online classes, you just might find that the possibilities are limitless once you begin taking these courses from home.