Online degrees are ideal for working professionals or for those who have too many personal responsibilities to relocate to a campus setting. Depending on where you live, taking on an online degree instead of attending a campus option can help you save massively on maintenance costs.
Online degrees, of course, is not easy to complete for everyone. It can be difficult for those who find it hard to keep their own schedules (especially after a long workday) to be consistent. Building a routine can be challenging, but when you stack up the benefits of earning an online degree – especially a master’s or doctorate – you’ll realize the pros outweigh the cons.
Pros of Earning an Online Degree
There are many pros of earning an online degree in this day and age:
- Earn a Degree While You Work
- Possible Reduced Maintenance Costs
- Increased Flexibility
- Put What You Learn to Work
The pros will depend on your individual situation. If you live in an affordable area and cannot otherwise take time off from work or your responsibilities to go back to school, then an online degree is just the ticket to help you achieve your goals.
Challenges to Be Aware Of Before You Begin
You need to consistently make progress on your degree on your own time. There are many, for example, those with ADHD or those who already have an overloaded schedule at work, that may find this difficult. A good way to get into the swing of things and set yourself up for success is to get started building a routine in advance before you enroll.
Some suit a broken schedule. What this means is that you spend a short period of time in the morning, afternoon, and then an evening on accomplishing your daily goals. By breaking up your day like this, you reduce the effort and how daunting each study session can feel.
Try to determine when you work most productively. If you find that working on a personal project or degree is difficult after work, try to adjust your schedule so that you can focus on your degree in the mornings instead.
Always Do Your Due Diligence When Selecting a Degree
In order to give yourself the best chances of consistently making progress on your online degree and graduating in good time, you need to do your due diligence. If you don’t believe every step of the way that your degree is going to help you achieve your goals, then your motivation can quickly shatter.
Taking the extra time to ensure that your degree is accredited, well-ranked, and regarded by academic bodies and graduates and that its program outcomes align with your goals is just the tip of the iceberg.
On top of the brochure, you should also get in touch with the admissions team and even see if any recent graduates would be happy to chat with you through LinkedIn or other job sites. These tips can help those looking for an undergraduate or graduate degree. If you are interested in earning a doctorate, however, the process will be slightly different.
When looking for options like an online MBA, you need to know that the faculty can help you with your thesis. Having a multi-disciplinary topic is fine so long as there are supervisors available that can help guide you through your thesis or dissertation.
This is an additional quality check, though the good news is that you’ll need to have a topic in mind in advance, so you can get in touch with the admissions team and see if your topic is a good fit for the program in question.
Tips to Help You Successfully Complete an Online Degree at Home
Get Your Health Routine Up to Snuff
It takes a lot of energy in order to learn and work, especially if you have a physically demanding job or additional responsibilities to juggle altogether. That is why one of the first things you need to get on top of is your health. Sleep and a good diet alone will make massive improvements to how well you think, learn, and stay motivated. Work on how you can stay healthier through routine, and look outside the box for answers. If you don’t have the time to eat healthy meals and skip or eat snacks.
As a result, consider healthy meal kits or asking friends and family to come and prep meals for you instead. Don’t work harder to be healthy. Work smarter, and you’ll easily transition to a healthier you.
Find the Study Routine that Works for You
There is no wrong routine, so long as it is consistent. For the best results, always work with how you learn best. You may learn and understand better by physically doing something while listening to an audio file or podcast, for example. Don’t just sit and fidget, do something productive. You can fold laundry or do other daily chores around the house while you are actually studying and learning and, in the process, tackling essentials at once.
Improve Your Home Office
There are a few features that can make a huge difference to your home office setup.
- A second monitor
- Wi-Fi Booster
- Printer for those who enjoy print reading over screen reading
- Bright natural light
- Fidget items
- Good chair for posture
- A second sitting option
Take Better Breaks
You might have heard that breaks are important for productivity. This is true, but what you do on your break matters. If you continue to sit at your desk and scroll through social media, you won’t get the benefits of a break because you are loading your brain up with mindless content. It becomes an action, not a respite.
When you are on a break, get away from your desk. If you can, go outside for your break and try to stay away from screens for a short while. Instead, listen to music, stretch, go for a little walk, or even call and catch up with friends or loved ones. Removing yourself from your desk and embracing the mental health benefits of nature while giving your eyes a break is going to do wonders for your motivation and productivity.