Advancing Your Education Through Online Study

Advancing Your Education Through Online Study


continuing education

Online Study Comes of Age

Online education has been growing at a rapid pace thanks to widespread internet access and due to a populace who has responded in kind. At SayEducate, we’re starting a series of articles about online education beginning with this article which takes a look at this important development. Please read on for background details about the online education movement.

How Did It All Begin?

Though there is some dispute as to who started offering the first classes online, it is clear that the for-profit University of Phoenix was one of the earliest schools offering online studies. Today, that school is the largest private university in the United States, with more than 200,000 students enrolled.

But the University of Phoenix, which has no official campus, isn’t the only school offering online studies or distance education. Traditional universities such as Notre Dame, Penn State University, the University of California, and Duke University all offer online courses in addition to their on campus classes. Some degree programs can be accomplished completely off campus while others may require students to appear on campus for select courses. As long as students have access to a computer, then they can participate.

Degrees Offered For Online Continuing Education

Students have a wide latitude of studies available to them online. In addition, every degree choice is available online: associates, bachelors, masters and even doctorate programs. Certain career education certificates are available for students who want to take remedial or brush up courses not leading to a degree.

Convenience — A Key Factor

One of the chief reasons why a student may elect distance learning is convenience. Most classes are held on your own time (via internet access or CD-ROM) which suits the lifestyle of today’s busy adults. Balancing work and family is considered to be enough of a burden, squeezing in on-campus classes is downright impossible for many prospective students. Thus, accessing a class when free time comes up is what attracts many students to this method of learning for personal career advancement.

Financing Is Available For Online Courses

Just like on campus courses, tuition for most online courses can get expensive. Fortunately, major student financing options such as Stafford loans and private student loans will cover these classes. Financing career education can be enormously challenging, therefore students seeking online degrees need to explore all of their options.

Online Degrees — Not For Everyone

Is online continuing education right for everyone? Yes, but some students prefer to embrace the entire college experience, therefore taking classes, attending sporting events, and participating in other student activities may weigh in their decision to study on campus.

Regardless, the option of taking classes online is a strong one and we hope to provide some useful tools in the decision making process to give you what you need to make an informed decision.


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Categories: College Planning

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".