The Flexibility of an Online Education

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,083
    Dean Gwen Hall discusses the flexibility of an online program.

    Gwen Hall: Hi! I am Gwen Hall, Dean of the School of Security and Global Studies for American Public University System. Today, I am talking about the greater flexibility which most online programs offer over bricks and mortar institutions. Earning a degree online may seem like a great option but you should make sure you've done your homework to make the right choice for you.

    Well, some online learning courses mimic traditional classrooms with fixed meeting times. Most offer students substantially more scheduling flexibility. Because you are expected to meet with your professor and classmates a few times a week like you would at a typical university you have the option of logging into the class when you are available during the week.

    Log-in times may vary by professor but once a week is the norm. However, just because you don't have to meet face-to-face doesn't mean you can skip deadlines. Being an online student still requires that you meet all assignment deadlines, convenience is another benefit.

    Some online schools will host a graduation ceremony where you can opt to attend to receive your diploma. But there is no class or admissions building you'll need to visit in order to complete your degree.

    Many schools also offer monthly courses, so once you in one class you can start a new one within a couple of weeks. This is a nice feature considering traditional institutions are based around a more seasonal, semester-based calendar, and you can decide if you want to perceive a full degree certificate or just education. Online institutions offer students the option of taking individual courses without committing to an entire degree.

    Online education programs are also becoming increasingly popular among employers, and it's easy to see why. Traditionally if an employee wants to further his or her study, he or she needs to either quit their job or take a long unpaid leave in order to go back to school for a degree. If this is the case the employer will need to hire a new staff to replace the employee or he or she will need to find a temporary replacement if the employee is taking a long unpaid leave.

    Employers definitely do not want to let their experienced staffs leave and have to keep hiring new staff and retrain for the vacant positions. Online education programs have provided a perfect solution to employers. Employees who want to further their study are encouraged to pursue their degree online.

    Employees who are taking online degree programs will be able to continue their job in their current lifestyle while effectively managing their time so that it doesn't conflict with work. Flexible, self-pace study from anywhere anytime is the key advantage that benefits both working individuals and employers.

    For frequent business travelers, online education allows them to attend classes from home or while on the road. Many companies allocate scholarships and grants for their employees who are interested in further study, and some are dedicated specifically for online students. Ask your employer if they participate in such a program.