It can be daunting to earn a master’s online. It can seem daunting to pursue a master’s degree online.
The workforce of today is shifting online. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 46% of respondents said that they use virtual teams. This has resulted in a rise 159% in the number of professionals working from home over the past decade. More than 4.7 million people work remotely at least 50% of the time.
Learning online prepares professionals for the shift to online work. Find out what online courses can do for you, seven benefits and how to decide if they are right for your needs.
What are Online Courses like?
Online courses require the same amount of work as traditional on-ground formats, and you will also need to devote the same amount of time. The online format, just like a virtual office, allows you greater flexibility. It doesn’t really matter when or where you complete the requirements, as long as you adhere to deadlines and communicate clearly with your instructor.
Most likely, you are familiar with the three steps from your previous in-person courses. Online lectures are different. However, you can still learn from them anywhere and anytime.
Is Online Learning Better?
Due to the pandemic, online learning has been a growing trend in recent years. There have been some reservations about its effectiveness. Remote learning is not for everyone. Students’ success with online learning platforms will depend on their individual characteristics.
An ideal online student is comfortable in an online environment. They adapt their learning style to meet the needs of others. They are able to understand the discipline and can organize their time in a flexible way.
Although it can be difficult to adjust to an online learning format at first, once you do, there are many benefits. Whatever your reason for choosing to study online, earning an online degree will help you prepare for a career and show potential employers key skills. Here are seven benefits to online education.
Find out what it is like to take an online class, how to excel in an online learning environment and other tips.
Seven Benefits of Online Learning
- Additional Flexibility and Self-Paced Learning
Many people are unable to travel to attend a full-time graduate degree program. Online programs offer flexibility for those who need to work and go back to school.
Online master’s degrees allow you to study when and where you want. You don’t have to leave work early or miss family dinner to get to campus. Instead, you can log on whenever it suits you and your other commitments. This flexibility makes it easier to manage your life, work, and graduate school .
Students don’t feel comfortable asking professors for clarification or to go into greater detail about a topic. Online learning allows you to revisit previous material, pause the lecture and do additional research. You can also organize your notes. To ensure that you are fully understanding the lesson plan, you can go at your own pace. Online learners have the flexibility to work through the course at their own pace and get the most from the degree program.
- Better Time Management
It’s not easy to balance work, family and school. Employers understand this and appreciate the time management skills required to manage all three. Online degree programs don’t have set class times and students can create their own schedules. Students are free to reach out to faculty to help them plan ahead, to complete assignments on time and to make sure they stay on track.
Employers expect us to manage our time well. It is not enough to show up at work on time and be there by the end of the day. Most people expect to complete more projects in a shorter time. Online classes allow you to keep on track of your schedule and meet deadlines. This allows you to manage your time and stay productive week-to-week. Employers appreciate the time management skills required to complete an online degree program. They view these skills as a benefit for potential employees.
Melanie Kasparian is the associate director of assessment at Teachatholon College of Professional Studies. She shares tips for being a successful online learner and recommends students work consistently throughout each week. She suggests this as an example schedule:
- Monday – Start readings and multimedia.
- Tuesday – Continue to review materials.
- Wednesday – Post to the discussion board and start assignments.
- Thursday – Continue to post and work on your assignments.
- Friday – Read, respond and complete assignments.
- Saturday – Read, respond and complete assignments.
- Sunday – Check your work and submit assignments
Kasparian said, “Working on a train, during lunch breaks, or in the morning-there is really no right time for studying, so long as it fits into your life.”
- Demonstrated self-motivation
Online master’s degrees are a great way to demonstrate that you are able to manage your time and are self-motivated. These are two of the most important employability skills employers are looking for in new employees. You can achieve an online master’s degree and show that you are able to manage multiple tasks, prioritize, and adapt to changing workplace conditions.
Instructors expect students be independent and able to work independently. Employers expect the same in the workplace. They want you to be independent, self-motivated, pursue your interests, and look for new ways of doing the things you love. You’ll be more successful if you put your heart into the task, whether you’re learning online or working for an employer.
- Improved Virtual Communication & Collaboration
You can learn to collaborate with others in a virtual setting and become a better leader . By utilizing specialized knowledge and creating efficient processes, you will develop essential leadership skills.
Online programs allow you to interact with classmates via discussion boards, communicate with professors by email, and collaborate with other software programs. As you progress through the program, you will become more proficient at pitching ideas and writing succinct professional arguments via text.
Participating in discussion boards can be akin to being part of a virtual team. In a virtual environment, communication skills are essential. You must communicate clearly and get responses. Just like managers, instructors expect you to communicate respectfully, be thoughtful, polite, and respond to other perspectives. You also need to build rapport with your peers. This skill can be quickly honed in an online course.
- A Global Perspective with a Broader View
Online students come from all parts of the United States and around the globe. Online classes allow students to connect from anywhere in the world, allowing them to gain a wider range of perspectives and enhancing their cross-cultural understanding. The students have the opportunity not only to interact with people around the world but also can broaden their perspectives and become more culturally sensitive.
Companies are always looking for people who can invent. For example, if you are interested in entrepreneurship, you might be inspired by the ways other countries approach certain industries or adopt certain technologies. This could help you develop new ideas or improve an idea you have.
You may be inspired by professionals from other countries, which can spark your creativity. This could prove to be a valuable asset for your company.
- Improved critical-thinking skills
Online learning allows you to think critically about the things that you do every day. In the classroom, we want to challenge you to think different, and employers expect you to do the same in work. This skill will make you stand out as a student and employee.
Online learning allows you to sharpen your critical thinking skills in a way that is different from what you would have done in a classroom. Future employers will notice that this type of self-paced, self-motivated learning is able to demonstrate that you are able to think critically and overcome obstacles.
- Learn new technical skills
An online degree can also translate into strong technical skills which is a plus for job seekers. You will need to use digital learning materials and learn how to troubleshoot problems. Employers can trust you will be able to handle all technical issues, large and small, after a long program.
It’s becoming more common for companies to use virtual teams. This makes it important to be able to work remotely. You and your classmates may live in different time zones. This means you will need to be able to adjust to the differences and plan around them.
Teachatholon – By guiding yourself and working hard.. You can achieve a sound future that can bring lots of happiness and joy to your life.
It is important to embrace technology. Working on a group project can make it difficult to share files and status updates via email. You might need to use project management tools like:
- Skype – This video conferencing software allows you to speak face-toface with your peers.
- Dropbox – Share documents with your team and keep work in one location using the file hosting service.
- Slack is a messaging platform that allows you to instantly message people in real time or to break up into smaller groups to focus on a particular part of the project.
- Trello is a project management tool that allows you and your team create, assign, track and prioritize tasks.
- Basecamp – Another project management tool that allows you to upload files and share messages.
Many companies use a combination of these programs or similar programs. Your resume will be enhanced if you can show that you have experience with project management and are familiar using software like Basecamp. Your future employer will be able to see that you have an online degree and are comfortable using new technologies.
An Online Degree is Right for You?
Consider the many benefits of online education when deciding whether an online master’s degree is right for you. An online master’s degree is a great option for students who struggle to balance work, family, school, and learning. An online master’s degree can help students prepare for advancement in their careers and show potential employers key skills.
A master’s degree, regardless of format, will allow you to earn substantially more over your lifetime than bachelors degree holders. A master’s degree will allow you to access more job opportunities. In fact, 18% of all jobs by 2022 will require one. Online learning builds on these benefits and prepares you for today’s globalized workforce.