Online study has become an increasingly popular way of getting a degree qualification these days, with lots of different courses available depending on what you would like to study. If you are interested in getting a university degree or going back to university to get a master’s or doctorate but aren’t sure how you’d manage attending classes on campus while upholding other commitments like working full-time, looking after your family, or both, then an online degree course could offer the perfect solution for you.
Online degrees are becoming more popular for lots of reasons. Some of the main ones include the additional flexibility that they provide when it comes to managing your time and fitting your education around your life, the opportunity to save money on the overall cost by avoiding commuting or relocating, and the fact that you don’t have to worry about the location of the campus, making it easier to choose the perfect degree course for you without the need to uproot your life. But with that being said, getting your degree online can also have some disadvantages to consider including distractions while studying at home, not as much opportunity for socializing and networking, and having to keep yourself motivated and on track.
If you’re worried about getting an online degree in terms of keeping yourself motivated and avoiding falling behind, then these tips might be helpful.
Choose the Right Degree Course for You
First of all, if you have decided that getting an online degree is going to be the best option for you then take your time to choose a course that is a good fit. It is always going to be easier to motivate yourself to study something that you are genuinely interested in and passionate about, so don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to study right away – spend some time thinking about your interests and likes until you find a course that you feel you will be excited to spend time on. Don’t just think about factors like the potential salary increase that you might get when you graduate; while this might be an important thing to consider when choosing the course, don’t make it your main consideration as the topic is going to get boring very quickly if you’re only doing it for career improvement purposes rather than having an interest.
Choosing an Online University
Today there are lots of options for online degree courses with the ability to study online for anything from an undergraduate degree all the way up to getting a doctor of business administration online from Aston University. You can find online degree courses from universities that operate solely online, or established universities that have a campus and offer a range of both on-campus and online courses to choose from. There are some main factors to look out for when it comes to choosing the right university for you. First of all, figure out how much experience they have with delivering online learning. While lots of universities have realised the benefit of online course options due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you might want to avoid a university that is really new to it. Consider the type of support that is offered to online students and do some research into the reputation of the university. If you can, it’s a good idea to join social media groups or online forums where you can speak to past and current students and get their opinions.
Decide Where You’re Going to Study
One of the main drawbacks of online learning for some students is that there’s no dedicated place to study. Unlike getting your degree in a traditional way where you’ll be learning in classrooms and have access to facilities like the library for your self-study time, you may not have all this when you decide to study online. This may not be such a huge deal for you if you have a home office space already that you can use, but if you do not, then it might quickly become distracting and easy to let your education slide. Because of this, deciding where you can study is a good place to start when preparing yourself to stay motivated throughout your online degree course. It is a good idea to set up a dedicated study space at home that is quiet, well-lit, and free from distractions. Along with this, you may also find it useful to scope out anywhere in your area that might be a good place to study like local libraries, quiet coffee shops, and co-working spaces if you find that you focus better when you get out of the house.
Figure Out Your Schedule
Many online degree courses allow you to determine your own schedule based on what works best for you. However, it’s important to make sure that this is something that you do sooner rather than later when it comes to preparing for your degree since if you don’t have a schedule to stick to, then you’re risking getting left behind. It’s a wise idea to take some time where you can go through your weekly routine and consider where you have the most time to dedicate to studying for your degree. If you usually get home from work and watch an hour of Netflix after dinner, for example, consider if you might be able to use this time to get some studying done instead. Or, if you usually spend your weekends shopping, perhaps you could save money by ditching a trip to the shops and setting up in your home study space for a few hours. If it helps, write your routine down on a whiteboard or use an app on your phone so that you can track when you’re going to study and when you’re taking breaks, in a similar way to the timetable that you would get if you were attending classes. This will make it easier for you to get into a routine.
Once you have all these basics down, taking the time to reflect and asking for support when you need it can help you keep yourself motivated and pushing forward towards your goals while getting an online degree.