Will Online Learning Work for Me?

You have a job, a life, and responsibilities; but you also have the desire to earn the degree that will qualify you for advanced positions and give you the experience that you need to succeed. Whether you‘re choosing your initial career path, advancing your career, or one of those 55% of Americans who are unsatisfied at their current job, online education can empower you to achieve the lifestyle that you desire. Flexible but rigorous, accessible and personal; online education may be the shortest road to your ideal career destination.

Let’s take a moment to look at some factors that can determine the effectiveness of online education for the individual student.

ONLINE LEARNING MAY BE RIGHT FOR YOU IF:

  • You’re a student interested in earning your first degree while maintaining a demanding job or lifestyle.
  • You’re already a professional, have a full time job and responsibilities, but are looking for a way to earn an advanced degree or an additional degree within the framework of your busy schedule.
  • You are goal-oriented and self-motivated, and prefer a self-paced learning style.
  • You possess excellent time-management skills.
  • You’re interested in sharpening your Web skills and a technologically-based approach to higher education appeals to you.
  • You’re in need of a first degree or an additional degree in order to advance in a current career or be qualified for a different career.
  • You desire the convenience and flexibility that online courses offer: course material accessible 24/7, straightforward, Web-based contact with professors and fellow students, etc.
  • Interacting with geographically diverse students and professors appeals to you.
  • You dislike or don’t have time for the hassle of a commute, back-and-forth, day-to-day, to a ground school campus.
  • You want the “face-to-face” social interaction of a ground school, i.e., seeing your professor and fellow classmates each day or working cooperatively in a social atmosphere.
  • You are unsure of your level of self-motivation and may have difficulty completing assignments and studying without a “live” professor looking over your shoulder and breathing down your neck.
  • You require a good deal of structure as typically found in a classroom setting, with pre-determined class times, and a concrete daily class schedule.
  • You feel you may have inadequate computer based skills, including navigating the internet, interacting via message boards, email, chat forums, computer conferencing, accessing multimedia, etc.

A Flexible, Dynamic Alternative: Education School Online

Online education is an expansive and dynamic style of learning that provides students with the accessibility and flexibility they need to earn a degree of any level in their chosen program. The brick-and-mortar learning format is not for everyone, and online learning provides the professional student with a rigorous learning regimen while allowing them to maintain a demanding schedule, a full-time job, a life.

Many prospective professional-students may be wary of the online learning format. Will my education be of the same quality as the education offered at an established brick-and-mortar university? Will I be able to learn as well in the online format as I would with the face-to-face learning offered at a campus-based university? The fact is, distance learning is more representative of the realities of an increasingly distanced workforce than the lecture halls of a ground school.

The U.S. Department of Education conducted a study in 2009(Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning) in which face-to-face learning, the traditional learning format of a ground school, was compared to online education, or “distance learning.” The findings were monumental in terms of support for online education: not only did online students learn as well as face-to-face students, they often learned and performed better. The rapid growth of online education as a means of earning a degree further supports these findings.

By taking advantage of the technology available right at their fingertips, through the internet, online learners are able to continually advance their career studies, eventually earning the degree that will make them a legitimate player in their chosen career field. With online education, everything you need to achieve your career goals is as close as your computer. Online degree programs strategically personalize and tailor the learning experience to each student’s specific needs. With online education, you have alternatives, you have choices.

Working Toward Your Dream Job

The men and women who have these rewarding, meaningful jobs in education did not get them because they are lucky – they got them because they had the vision to see the road towards their career destination and the work ethic to walk it.

More often than not, the straightest road to that destination is through education. The majority of education careers require at least a bachelor’s and often a master’s degree. Whether you’re pursuing an associate’s degree in childhood development to become a child care worker or teacher’s assistant or a master’s degree in library science to become a librarian, continued formal education in the specialization of your choice will qualify you for a range of public and private-sector careers, prepare you for a competitive labor market, and significantly increase your paycheck.

Education IS the Difference

It’s easy to see that the more educated you are, the more secure your job will be, and the more money you’ll make. But education has never made more of a difference than it does today: according to the National Center for Education Statistics,, in 1980 a male worker with a high school diploma or GED made a median of $41,400; his female counterpart made $26,900. A man in 1980 who worked for a bachelor’s (or higher) degree, bumped his earnings up to $48,900, an increase of “only” $7,500. By 2006, a male worker with a high school education was making only $30,000, while his more-educated neighbor was making $50,000 a year, a whopping 60% or $20,000 more. The trends are similar for female workers.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The point is, there is a gap: in earnings, in opportunities, in job security. There’s a gap, and it’s growing. The more educated you are, the better positioned you will be for higher pay, a better job, and a more rewarding life.

Satisfied or not with your current employment, the possibility of career advancement or a significant raise is unlikely without a college degree. In whatever you do, raw talent will only take you so far. In a field as specialized and degree-driven as education, the ability to interact with others and the advanced knowledge of a specific area of study or teaching method is typically not sufficient; you often need the training and legitimacy earned through continued formal education.

The desirability of a degree is a no-brainer, but the problem for many people is a perceived inability to fit more schooling into the framework of an already busy and demanding work and personal life, and to make it financially possible. The finances are often easy – elsewhere on this Web site we’ll show you how to qualify for federal aid and school loans. Finding the time to complete a degree may seem even more daunting. If you have a fast-paced life which demands flexibility and the drive to pursue a degree that will launch you in a new career – or advance your current career – education schools online may be the answer.

Why an Education Career?

Education is America’s second-largest industry. There are more than 13 million educators and support personnel employed by public and private educators to facilitate the academic and vocational training of more than 80 million students, from preschool tots to Ph.D. candidates.

As the population grows and the nation’s economy and society becomes more skill-driven, there is a great need for qualified, innovative individuals committed building a smarter, more capable society. From kindergarten special education teachers to college professors and everything in between, education careers are rewarding, interesting, and a way to make a meaningful difference in the lives of students.

Work is about getting paid, but a career should be about more than just making a living. A career should be about doing something that you’re proud of. That sort of fulfillment can seem hard to come by in today’s workforce.

In the wealthiest, most advanced nation in the history of the world, over half of Americans are unhappy with the job they have. The Conference Board, a global market research firm, has conducted a widely-cited job satisfaction study for over 20 years. Their first survey, in 1987, found that over 61% of people were satisfied with their career. By last year, that number had dropped to an all-time low of 45.3%. It’s not just that people aren’t making enough money – many feel frustrated and bored by the repetitiveness of their workday or the inability to make a real contribution to society.

Many of us choose to define ourselves by what we do – “I’m a mechanic, I’m a sales manager, I‘m a teacher.” What does it mean when almost 55% percent of us are unsatisfied with the career path we’ve chosen? Something is terribly wrong.

We at University Bound believe in the American Dream. We believe that every person has the right to do something they love. Beyond that, we believe that with dedication, smart choices, and hard work, every person has the ability to succeed. You may not be the next provost of Harvard Law; you may be too old to go to astronaut school, and unfortunately, “pirate” is not a legitimate profession, but it’s not too late to have a rewarding and exciting job in the education field. It is a job sector that is already America’s second largest industry, and still growing fast as student enrollment at all levels continues to rise.

These are stable, rewarding, and service-based jobs in growing markets: most of our education school subcategories (Curriculum Design, Health Education, and Child Development) have healthy occupational growth rates, significantly higher than the 8.2% expansion for all civilian jobs forecasted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2008-2018. The BLSpredicts that Instructional coordinator jobs will expand by 23%, health educators by 18% and preschool teachers by 19%, to name a few. There are a growing number of good jobs available, but openings are expected to be competitive.