Online education became the norm during the lockdown, and as things are opening up, it remains a viable, prevalent option – especially for postgraduates. While living and studying in a campus environment can provide an essential bridge for teenagers as they transition into their twenties, those pursuing their master’s degrees don’t have the exact requirements.
Being able to attend online means you can stay at home to save. It means you can spread out your education so that you can continue to work. It means you can juggle your further education alongside your personal and financial responsibilities.
Though taking time out from your career to go to university is not going to look bad on your resume, it doesn’t help you with your career ambitions. If you have personal commitments, like children or parents to care for, on-campus education can be impossible.
Online education allows you to direct, or even redirect, your career while also allowing you to accommodate your life better. To help you choose the right degree and to prepare to complete it even with your responsibilities to contend with, follow this guide for 2021 and beyond:
How to Choose the Right Online Degree for You
Many excellent, career-focused degrees are now available online, with more being translated for the online world as time goes on. Not every online degree, however, is going to be worthwhile. This will either be due to a lack of quality or because it isn’t the right fit for your goals.
The best thing you can do for your career is choosing the right degree, choosing the right program and institution. To help you choose the right online degree, ask yourself these questions:
1 Does it Open the Right Doors?
Most will invest in a master’s degree because they either want to change their career direction or need further formal qualifications. If the next step of your career has qualification requirements that you can fill with further education, then you’re on the right track. This can be in a tangentially related field; for example, if you have a BA in a humanities subject and then want to specialize in education; you can easily do that with an MA in Education from a top university.
In cases where the degree you want is in a vastly different field, you may need to take a foundation course to branch over first.
2 Does the Program Offer What I’ll Need to Know?
There are different kinds of degrees. There are primarily theoretical degrees and designed for those working in academic-related roles, either within academia itself or in research. If this is where you want to direct your career, then look for these types of degrees.
Otherwise, you will want to find a degree that is specifically designed for the workplace. These often include specific job roles or specific sectors that their graduates are expected to end up in.
3 Is There Career Support?
Even with a great degree, it can still be challenging to make that next step in your career. That is why every great university offers career support. They can help you brush up your CV, help get you internships, and even pass on job opportunities your way that doesn’t even make it to the public sphere.
4 Does it Fully Embrace the Digital Format?
The last thing you want is a degree that is only online in the loosest sense of the world. This is very low-level digitization, and it makes it more challenging to engage with your education. You need a multi-pronged approach. You should be able to download course materials at any time; you should be able to join lectures, discussions, written assignments and provide projects (individual and group) in an innovative digital environment that feels intuitive to use.
5 Is the University Reputable?
While new universities can be innovative and bring something new, there is also the risk of being a scam. Not only that, but it can be harder to convince potential employers of the value of your degree if it is from a low-ranking university. If you have a degree from some small college that no one has heard of, it is up to you to sell your degree. However, if you have a degree from a top university like Exeter, your degree can speak for itself.
Tips to Handle Remote Education
Choosing the right degree is by far the most crucial step involved with succeeding with an online degree. On top of that, of course, you also need to prepare in these three key ways:
- Improve Your Health
When your health is at the end of its rope, your mental health and ability to juggle several responsibilities at once shatters. It would help if you got on top of your health before you enrolled. This could mean adapting to meal prep so that you eat healthier, more often. It could also mean adopting a consistent sleeping routine. Do what it takes to help you feel healthy and energized throughout the day.
- Set Up a Conductive Working Space at Home
You need a space where you can comfortably and productively work and study at home. This is easy when you have space for an at-home office but more difficult to live in a small space. When choosing where to set up, remember natural light, space, and storage are critical. You may want to buy a desk, as well as storage folders and shelves, to give yourself a good working area.
- Be Consistent with Your Routine
Whatever routine you set for yourself, you need to be consistent with it. A bit of work every day on your degree will help you stay on top of your commitments and better for your memory. You can even practice and get in the hang of things by finding free online courses that you can take in advance to help you get used to a learning routine before you start your degree.