Can an Online College Prepare You for Your Career

We do just about everything on the Internet these days, including making decisions that can shape our very future. For example: more relationships than ever before begin on the Internet. Even what we know as the traditional college experience is being redefined by advances in Internet technology and distance learning.

Just as there was with Internet dating in the early days, there has been a stigma attached to online colleges. Thankfully, this is gradually diminishing as more and more respectable universities are bolstering their course offerings with online classes.

The unfortunate trend of shrinking state budgets has put traditional public universities in a difficult position; they have every reason to want to fill every seat in the classroom, but often cannot do so because of budgetary limitations. Distance learning is becoming a viable solution to that problem, and has made online courses available to more college students than ever before. The courses made available by online colleges can be as varied as those found in the classroom, whether you want to study human resources, liberal arts, or the various sciences.

Preparing for Your Chosen Career

Its no secret that college is meant to prepare us for life after graduation, including a (hopefully) lucrative career in our chosen field. How does online education stack up to a traditional brick-and-mortar college education?

To begin with, it would be useful to stop thinking about traditional colleges and online colleges as mutually exclusive. Many students prepare themselves for life on campus by taking remedial courses online, and then transferring the credits they earn to their future college of choice.

So what about those who go the online-only route? For some time now, online masters degree programs have been fairly common. Meanwhile, the growth of online undergraduate studies has been a little slower. The University of Illinois is one school that has embraced a hybrid approach, allowing a blend of on-campus and online classes for students who want to earn a bachelors degree.

The long-term rewards of an online education may not be obvious right away, but chief among them is the ability for students to remain more flexible when it comes to staying employed throughout their educational careers. Traditional college students often have difficulty pursuing relevant work experience, including internships, while maintaining their status as a full-time student. Online classes can add a greater degree of flexibility, allowing students to study and gather much-needed work experience at the same time.

Online college can also be a great networking tool, since youll be immersing yourself in the culture of the Internet. No matter what your chosen profession might be, knowing the right people can be important for opening new doors along the path to your future career.

The Debate Continues

Students everywhere can be opinionated when it comes to the debate between traditional and online colleges. Students may embrace distance learning if they feel they work better on their own, while others may mourn for the more personal connections that can be forged in the classroom.

No matter how you might feel about it, though, universities everywhere are embracing distance learning as never before, seeking to offer a more convenient and potentially cheaper alternative to their on-campus offerings. With respected colleges leading the charge, theres no reason to think online college students will be any less prepared for their careers than traditional students.

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