Distance learning is the most convenient way for busy adults with busy lives to get a quality education. Or is it? Linking online Master's degrees with mature students is quite old-fashioned. The latest online study trends actually show that the number of first-time young students who choose an online Master's programme is increasing!
The fact is, regardless of your age, if you are a self-motivated independent learner who likes taking control of the learning process, you should consider studying an online degree. And here’s how you can make sure that choosing distance learning is the right decision.
1. Look for top online universities
Many students who consider online Master's studies think about the online format, costs and course structure as decision elements. While these aspects are definitely important, we encourage you to go beyond traditional pros and cons and think outside of the box.
For example, the online university or college you apply to will have a huge role in making your online course a truly right option for you. So why not start by checking what some of the best online universities have to offer to help you decide? Here are a few great universities offering online Master's degrees:
- Royal Roads University
- RMIT University
- Nottingham Trent University
- Walden University
- Kettering University Online
- London School of International Business
- The University of Western Australia
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- EMAS Business School
2. Find universities and colleges with open applications
A lot of universities are upgrading their online degree options, offering a variety of degrees in all the subjects you could think of. And while the right study options have great influence on your success, sometimes another aspect makes an online programme the right one for you: availability.
When trying to figure out if distance learning is for you, pay attention to study programmes that have open applications and admission requirements that fit your profile.
3. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning
Like many students you might be inclined to give a higher value to on-campus education compared to an online Master's degree. If this is the case, you owe it to yourself to discover whether or not there is a legitimate reason for not taking advantage of online courses. You might know some of them, but a reminder always puts things in perspective.
Of course, online learning has its downsides. Like anything, really. So here are some you can consider in your decision:
- it’s easy to procrastinate because everything is so flexible
- it might be challenging to stay on track if you are not self-motivated
- you might be a better learner if you have face-to-face interaction with classmates and teacher
- occasional technical problems that can be quite frustrating at times
But if you compare the disadvantages to the benefits, the situation might look quite differently. With an online Master's degree, you'll be free to:
- schedule classes/work
- participate in discussions at any hour, catch up on previous discussions and contribute far more than in the restrictive time constraints of a traditional class
- study and read materials at a pace that suits your learning style
- focus more time and effort on new ideas and information and not have to sit in class and listen to lectures on content you already know
- communicate with classmates from around the world who all contribute new ideas and experiences to the course content
Take the leap towards an online degree programme
Throughout your distance learning Master's programme, you can meet many wonderful people with whom you might continue to stay in touch via email and the phone after you complete the course. You might start sharing professional and personal support.
The ability to meet people and forge professional networks and personal friendships around the world is one advantage that you simply cannot find in a traditional class. Time and distance aside, as an online student you’ll soon discover that one of the most valuable benefits in trading the limited interpersonal relationships of a traditional face-to-face classroom wins you a worldwide network and support system!