So, you already have a full-time job, but you've reached a point in your career where you've decided it's time to head back to school and pursue a graduate degree. You know that in doing so you'll open yourself up to greater career opportunities and enjoy better job security. At the same time, you can't exactly afford to quit your job and focus on school full time. Instead, you're going to have to learn how to balance your career with your coursework. It's a challenge, sure, but with the right plan in place, you can make it happen. Here’s how.
Online learning is convenient and flexible, which is why an increasing number of career-focused professionals are advancing their education online instead of in the classroom. But there are other, equally important benefits to pursuing an online degree. Let’s take a look:
The questions and comments I get when I tell someone that I really enjoy taking my courses online range from one extreme to the other: “Wow, really? I could never take online classes. I hear they’re really hard.” Or “Oh, really? Why, ’cause they’re super easy right?” The short answer to each of the above questions: No. Once and for all, I’d like to set the record straight. Here are three things I’d like everyone to know about online learning.
“Work smarter, not harder.” How often have we heard this saying? Obviously, it’s a great idea. Why would we want to work harder than we have to, right? Unfortunately, many times we take the long way in accomplishing a task. Once finished, we discover that there was another way, help was available, and there were resources we could have used. Life could have been easier!
Having taught both online and on-ground courses (and a combination of both) and also taken several online courses while completing my doctoral degree, I have first-hand experience in online education from both the teacher and student perspective. Students often ask me about the amount of time they’ll need to complete an online course.
What do you value? For those of you considering or already pursuing a degree online, it would seem that you must value advancing your education since you’ve chosen to devote a good bit of your time, arguably your most precious resource, to your studies.
If you’re reading this, chances are that you are dodging some sort of deadline. However, unlike other distractions, the five minutes it takes you to read this post could be time well spent. As a writer, I’m often faced with a date circled in red, the ticking of the clock. And whether you are an employee with a proposal due or a student with a final looming, we all are often on some sort of countdown. Here are some strategies to help get the job done.
Before starting at the Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education as Communications Coordinator, I worked in magazines for more than a decade. Depending on the magazine, my world orbited around covering fashion and celebrity news, editing stories on dream homes, or eating in famous test kitchens—you could say this world was on a different planet from the world of higher education. But I’ve always been passionate about the topic and jumped at the opportunity to use my writing and editing background in this new role.
Once upon a time, a notebook, sharp pencil, and perhaps a calculator were all that a student needed to complete coursework. Today’s classrooms run at bandwidth speed, and the smarter your computer the more likely you are to ace the next project. It’s no surprise, then, that the software you use while learning matters a great deal. Perhaps just as important is having up-to-date technology that will easily translate from the classroom to the real world after graduation.