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


The Challenge of Becoming an Online Student

Becoming a student online can be quite different than becoming a traditional student, and yet it has many similarities. Here are some of the ins and outs to help you determine if you are up to the challenge.

You need to have good computer skills. You do not need to have an advanced technical degree. You are able to read and write online. You are familiar with basic computer terms and usage. You are comfortable using the Internet, email, and chat rooms. You have access to a computer and the Internet, or are able to get one once accepted, as well as the software necessary to run the programs from your school. It is helpful to know basic trouble shooting as well. You will need your own email address. You will need to know how to use a word processing program, save and retrieve files, and use spell check. On the Internet you will need to know how to create bookmarks, download files, and use search engines.

You have good time management. You are not a procrastinator who waits until the last minute to get projects done. You are able to set aside study time each day to complete assignments. You can pace yourself and avoid distractions from everyday life when studying. You do not need ringing bells and set class times to set the pace of your day.

You are very organized. You must be able to keep track of class materials, assignments and due dates. You are not easily distracted by outside influences. You are good at multi-tasking. You are able to find references and project materials when you need them.

You prefer working from the comfort of your home or other location. You like to travel around frequently. You do not need to have a set place to go for learning and study. You are willing to go to the campus on occasion if needed for projects and/or exams.

You are a self-motivator and your own pep squad. You know what you want and how to get there. You are able to set goals for yourself and accomplish them easily. You do not need to have someone there holding your hand and guiding you along the entire way. You work better under your own direction and do not need someone else to assign you goals or map your route.

You are a goal-setter. You know what you want. Now is not the time to be see-sawing back and forth on ideas. That will only end up wasting your time and money and frustrate you in the long run. Dream big, and look for ways to realize your goals.

You must be comfortable with working with your professor one on one. You handle constructive criticism easily. You are comfortable with communicating via email or chat and to ask the questions you need answered to get the job doing. You are willing to deal with delays in getting your answers and do not get frustrated easily.

You are not put off by long hours of reading. Coursework might come in book form via the regular mail or in some form of online media. Either way, a lot of reading and study will be involved. Reading and writing should come easily to you.

You have to have time. Contrary to popular belief, there is still going to be a lot of work involved to get your degree online. You should plan for a minimum of 15 hours a week for each course that you are taking.

You are not intimidated by college entrance exams. Even though you might never set foot on the college campus, online courses are often run by traditional schools and have the same accreditations. Often the same rules for applying will be in effect.

You must be able to find something that you enjoy and are happy doing. While attending college is a lot of work, if you do not enjoy the topic that you are studying you will be miserable.

Now you have some of the basic ideas of what it takes to be an online student. You should have a better understanding if this is a choice for you to pursue. If this sounds like you, now is the time to take action and pursue that degree of your choice!

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