Graduate Studies

Going Online

Posted by Jonathan Williams on Jan 12, 2017 1:39:11 PM

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In today's world, a popular choice for many aspiring grad school students is online education. Those who choose to pursue their graduate work online say that the experience is much better than regular graduate work.

But why has online schooling become so popular, even for those in pursuit of a master's degree?

Online education does have a number of benefits for graduate students, benefits that make the program very worthwhile for those who wish to pursue higher education beyond their bachelor's degree. Among these are cost, accessibility, and communication, which are all important areas of consideration for aspiring grad school students.

 

Cost
One thing to consider about graduate school is the cost. A typical, physical grad school requires a number of additional costs beyond just tuition. For many students, graduate school requires that they move out of their city or state in order to attend classes and live on or near the campus. Doing so can be very costly due to the rising prices of travel by land and air, as well as possibly forcing students to sacrifice their full-time jobs.

Online schooling, on the other hand, does not have many of these expenses: students can remain in their current location and keep their current job without sacrificing their education. This is one area where online schooling has a clear advantage over traditional graduate school.

Accessibility
Another area of consideration is accessibility. Students on a traditional program must often, as noted above, move locations in order to attend the university they have chosen. Unless they are fortunate enough to live near the campus already (a rarity for some of the best schools), students will be inconveniently forced to move. Even if they live near the campus, students must still take time out of their day for classroom learning.

If you should choose online schooling, however, you can avoid this problem. Online schooling is accessible from any location, allowing the student to remain in their current area. You don't even have to go to a classroom, a change that many students welcome. A flexible schedule allows online students more room for their daily lives.

Communication
The last major factor in choosing online school over physically going to grad school is communication. In traditional education, professors are busy teaching, conferencing, and are often out of their offices. While they may have office hours, these are not always convenient. While they may have email, they may prefer to meet in person. Traditional schooling does not always offer the best professor availability, especially at larger schools.

Professors for online courses, on the other hand, do not have to worry as much about availability. True, they may still have conferences and other duties and will not be available every moment of the day. However, their availability will be drastically improved as opposed to a traditional school. Students aren't stuck waiting for office hours, but instead are able to have quick and easy email conversations. This is another area where online school can be superior to traditional graduate school.

Conclusion
The choice between online and graduate school can be a tricky one. You may question the legitimacy of an online school, or prefer the in-classroom discussions of a traditional school. If that is what works for you, then do not feel pressured into pursuing online graduate work. On the other hand, if you feel the cost, accessibility, communication, and other features are too beneficial to pass up, then by all means, invest in online education for your graduate school.

Tags: graduate programs, online versus in class, online education