SolveYourProblem Article Series: Online Degrees
Is An Online Degree Program For Me?


     Will I Have the Discipline to Earn an Online Degree?

There are many reasons to enroll in an online program to earn a degree. Many people who work enjoy the ability to study during their free time. Some people with families are going back to school, but do not want to pay for babysitters and other services. People with families have the opportunity to learn at their own pace while maintaining a job and still have time for the children. Older people, who do not want to attend classes with younger college age kids, opt for online classes so that they can learn without leaving home. Still others, in order to qualify for a job promotion, take classes to make themselves marketable at the workplace. Whatever the reason, an online classes can enrich a person’s life and also make it easier to earn a degree. But what about people who cannot learn online?

Some people learn more in a classroom setting. There are many reasons for this. First, a person might not be disciplined enough to complete assignments and meet deadlines without supervision. They might not be able to motivate themselves to read each day, to practice sample problems, or to write a paper on schedule. In a classroom setting, where students are reminded about tests, have time to write papers in class, and are able to talk to each other, these people are given more structure in order to learn. And they do. But without that structure, they are lost. If a person knows they lack self-discipline, then they should not apply to complete a degree online. It takes time to teach a person how to be self-disciplined. Some people never learn. This does not mean they are incompetent people, this simply means that they are more suited for a traditional classroom setting. Many colleges offer both types of learning. Many people try one class online to see if they can meet deadlines and complete assignments without supervision. This is a great way to see if online learning is the right choice. Taking one class online and doing well usually means that a person is comfortable with the format.

Another reason not to enroll in an online program is time. If a person does not have the time to donate to the program, then they will not learn very much. This can also be a self-discipline issue. People who complete degrees online give up time that could have been spent with family or friends, on jobs, and even time spent with their children. If a person cannot give enough of their personal time to the degree, then perhaps they should reconsider. A lot of online programs do not offer money back or they will offer a lower sum. Knowing what one can or cannot handle is an important indication of whether they will succeed in an online program. A third reason is having the money to invest in extra supplies and equipment needed to complete the degree. Saving money is something that needs to be done when deciding to complete an online degree. This also requires discipline. Online programs require a person to have a computer connection, certain types of software, a printer, and sometimes a fax machine. These items can be expensive. It is important to know what types of equipment will be necessary before enrolling.

Asking questions will help in making a decision to take online classes or to stick to the classroom. Being able to ask all kinds of questions takes discipline. Many people do not want to seem uninformed. There are many question to ask including, equipment and cost, textbooks, other materials, and computer programs. Once enrolled, classes begin immediately. It is best to purchase all materials prior to the start of the class. Disciplined people are well prepared and know what to expect before beginning an online class.

There are two questions one should ask before enrolling in an online degree program. The first is whether the person has the time to commit to a two-year program? The second question is if one can complete assignments with minimal supervision? If the answer to these questions is “no” or mostly no, then you should reconsider online classes. Look into a more traditional route of classroom learning. But if a person can answer these questions with a yes, then online learning might be the right choice.

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