Online courses and degrees are becoming more and more popular. Many students are choosing to study online because of the flexibility online learning can offer, but is online education for everyone? There are a few things you should consider if you’re thinking of studying online:

1. Choose your own hours. Distance learning allows you to spend time with your family or continue working while going to school. If you need to keep your day job, it might be easier to pursue an online degree.
2. Working from home. You can take care of the little ones while you’re “at school”, avoid a nasty commute and even go to class in your pajamas. Studying from home definitely has its perks.
3. No distracting classmates. Although online learning is becoming more popular with the younger set these days, it seems to be an attractive option for mature students. With online learning, you won’t have any fresh-from-high-school students giggling in the back row.
4. Potential costs savings. Contrary to what many people think, online tuition is rarely cheaper than traditional college tuition. However, you can save money on things like your commuting costs and room and board. Living in college towns can be very expensive and if you can attend a college in Manhattan from Cody, Wyoming, you are obviously going to save a bundle.
5. Look independent and motivated. Since you don’t have a professor or instructor looking over your shoulder, having an online degree shows that you’re a disciplined, self-motivated student who can work independently.

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1. Lack of interaction. Sure, some online degree programs offer conference-type video capability, but you still won’t have the interaction with professors or classmates that a classroom offers.
2. Working from home. People who have a home business will agree: they either work too many hours or they are constantly distracted by other things (laundry, kids, preparing meals, etc.). Studying from home isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.
3. Technical skills. If your tech know-how isn’t up-to-date, online learning can be a little challenging. Different schools offer different ways of delivering lessons and assignments, but they usually involve email, message boards, chatrooms, video or a combination of those.
4. No on-campus perks. No health plan, no gym membership, no extracurriculars, no student social functions. This may not be a big deal to you, but it’s just something to consider.
5. The stigma of online learning. Although degrees acquired by distance education are becoming more respected than they once were, some employers still don’t value an online degree as much as a traditional degree.

So, what to choose? Talk to some students and talk to anyone you know who has taken an online learning course. We recommend you broaden your horizons with indiana wesleyan online, but if you need help choosing a program, you can visit myUsearch, the Honest College Matchmaker, to find an online degree that fits your needs.

Author Jillianne Hamilton is a writer and Journalism student in Charlottetown, PEI who writes about her college experience as a student blogger for myUsearch.

If you found the previous article informative, you should check out more in our distance education section, or read some of these articles below:

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