Why Choose an Online Degree and 4 That Are Actually Worth Pursuing
There is no way around it: universities are embracing online learning at a rate quicker than before. As students fled from campuses to the safety of their homes, the realization hit many of them that certain degrees and certifications can be taught just as effectively online as they can be in-person. Not all programs can or should be offered online. For example, fine arts or science fields that require extensive hands-on training are best left to classrooms and laboratories. However, there are others that can make the leap nearly seamlessly. So, if you are thinking of going back to school, the enhanced online offerings at schools may be the opportunity you have been waiting for.
Online Learning in a Nutshell
There is no true set format for online classes. Most rely on some combination of recorded videos, readings in textbooks and journals and discussions. Assessment of learning may take a variety of forms, including written papers, group projects, quizzes or exams. All of this comes together through a learning management system or portal. Some of the most widely used are Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas and Google Classroom. In many online classes, all learning will be done asynchronously, which means that you can log in and work when it is convenient for you. Some require set meeting times where you may all participate in video conferences, chat discussions or question and answer sessions.
Distance Education Isn't for Everyone
Distance education can open doors to people who would not otherwise be able to pursue higher education. It is flexible in terms of scheduling. In addition, online degrees are often more affordable than the same on-campus versions. However, they aren't for everyone. If you have trouble staying motivated and on task, then an online degree may not be the right program for you. You will need to take an honest assessment of your learning style and personality to decide if this is the right path for you. In general, online learning is ideal for someone who:
- Is a self-directed learner
- Is good with time management
- Is highly motivated to learn
- Is willing to ask questions and for help when necessary
4 Useful Online Degrees To Pursue During the Pandemic
Social sciences and humanities subjects are actually very practical. They teach critical thinking and analytical skills that are increasingly important for many career fields. Many technology courses also lend themselves to an online format. If you are looking to find a truly useful degree that will help further your education and advance your career, some will serve you better than others.
1. Business Administration and Marketing
Many businesses are struggling and closing during the COVID-induced recession. However, the ones that survive will need competent and skilled managers to help them navigate the changing business landscape once things start turning around. This includes vastly different marketing strategies that have been embraced during the pandemic. An online MBA might be just the edge you need to stand out once companies start hiring again.
2. Teaching and Educational Leadership
Since you are looking at an online degree, you probably know that the educational landscape has been drastically changed. Now is the time to find out how earning a masters in literacy education online can help you become a better-qualified candidate for educational positions. Plus, the online format will help you understand the challenges your students are facing in a remote learning environment.
3. Cyber Security and IT Certifications
With more workplaces embracing remote working arrangements, there will be a growing demand for qualified IT and cybersecurity professionals. If you have an interest in working with networks and servers and like to help ensure order and security, an IT certification is definitely worth pursuing.
4. Public Administration
Crises show the need for strong leaders. An MPA can help you learn the ins and outs of public administration, government operations and community building. A nice advantage to this field is that most undergraduate specialties can easily be enhanced with the knowledge you will gain.
If you are considering returning to school take the time to learn how an online degree could help you. It can be a convenient and affordable option for some learners. Plus, if you find the right program, you will benefit from both career advancement and personal enrichment.