Online Degrees- Futuristic Learning, or Scams
Since the year 2008, there has been a steady increase in the number of online degrees offered. Such a supply is complimented by an ever-increasing demand from students all over the world. There are upsides and downsides attached to this form of education. So before you decide whether you would like to pursue your degree in the online world or in a brick-and-mortar classroom, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
Pros of Online Degrees
Quite apparently, there are several benefits associated with online degrees. For instance;
Convenience at Its Best
Online degrees offer the best of every form of convenience. You are not bound to reach a specific location at a specific time. All you need to do is login from your computer and attend the classes as and when you desire – even if it means at midnight in your pajamas!
You may be living in a place where colleges and universities may not be easily accessible. Online degrees make sure you do not need to sacrifice your academic desires in face of such a crisis. It also saves you from relocation costs that would be incurred if you choose to move to another place near your college.
Interacting With Students from Anywhere In the World
The internet has made it possible for people from all over the world to come together on a common platform and indulge in a shared academic experience. So regardless of where on earth you and your classmates are located, you will always be able to interact with each other and learn about the various cultures and traditions celebrated in different parts of the world.
No Discrimination – Equal Opportunity
Online education programs do not require you to share your background information, picture or any other personal information that may be used against you. Hence, no discrimination is practiced. Online degrees provide equal learning opportunities to all those who are enrolled in the program.
Setting Your Own Pace
Cannot keep up with the pace being followed? You can always alter it to your convenience. This means taking classes more frequently or the converse. You get to set the pace/frequency of classes most suitable for you.
Less Expensive (Parking, Housing and Food Expenses)
Online education is comparably less expensive than traditional classroom education. This is because a major cost of the classrooms is eliminated from the tuition fees. Moreover, you are able to save quite a significant amount of money in the form of transportation expenses, food and housing costs and other similar expenditures.
Interactive Learning Environment
Online education involves the use of interactive mediums like presentations, videos and other similar resource material. Therefore, you get to experience a high quality interactive learning environment. This not only improves your academic experience, it also ensures you are able to retain more of what you learn.
Cons of Online Degrees
There are a few downsides of online degrees.
You do not get to enjoy campus life. This restricts your networking opportunities – with your professors as well as other students. You cannot meet them physically which proves to be a major drawback in improving relationships. Moreover, you are devoid of campus experiences that are a part and parcel of college life learning.
Waiting on Feedback
It is very difficult for you to get prompt responses. If you have a question, you do not get to raise your hand and ask. Instead, you need to drop an email which will be answered at the convenience of your professor. Consequently, this may mean delayed feedbacks and hence impaired learning.
Technology is not always blissful. Technological menaces like corrupted operating software, power failure, damage to hard disk and/or other computer parts and other similar problems do exist. Consequently, it diminishes your ease of acquiring education.
If you would like to have your credit hours transferred to an ongoing degree, you may be faced with problems and/or a straightforward rejection. There are credibility issues associated with online education that makes it difficult to trust such qualifications. Consequently, accreditation issues may arise, posing significant threat to the viability of online education.
Self-Discipline Is The Key!
You cannot pursue an online degree unless you are self-disciplined. There are no professors and/or classmates to push you through the challenges. Unless you can convince yourself to complete the degree, you might never be able to do so!
The Right Internship - Can Make Your Career
Many college students, even before nearing the end of their studies have thoughts about where they want to intern. They worry that they may not find a company to accept them or that they will end up at the wrong company. To minimize these worries, there are ways graduates can go about selecting and short-listing the best companies to contact.
It is important to keep in mind that internship does not mean free or almost free labor. While there are paid and unpaid internship, the main aim is to provide the intern with knowledge of work situations in the real world. Unfortunately, many companies have lost sight of this fact over the years. Many now see interns as temporary labourers and nothing more. While working as an unpaid intern is fine, make sure that the placement will see you gaining useful job knowledge and experience.
In certain industries, such as finance and technology, internships are a good way to get your foot in the door. When applying for jobs, an internship will count as work experience. As such, make sure that you select the right one as this is useful on your resume when you look for fulltime work. According to a 2011 US News report, “Only 30.7 percent of graduating seniors without internship experience received a job offer after graduation compared to 42.3 percent among those with internships, according to a 2010 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Interns got higher salary offers, too—former interns were offered a median $45,301 salary compared to $34,601 among non-interns.”
Choosing an Internship
For the graduate who truly wants to get something out of an internship, the following steps will help them find the right program.
Determine Which Field You Want to Work In
Some people make the mistake of accepting any internship they are offered, seeing it as just a means to gain experience. This is a big mistake as you will not benefit from the training. When looking for a company, select those in the industries in which you want to work.
Do the Research
To get a head start on where to go for valuable work experience, start doing some research. Find out if the companies you are interested in have internship programs. If they do, find out what they look for in interns and how you should go about applying for that position. One good source online for finding these positions is internship.com.
Use Your Network
This is good source of information as family members, friends, and your college advisor can point you in the right direction. If you don’t ask, you will never know.
Attend Job Fairs
Career fairs offer the opportunity to meet people from the companies or industries you are interested in. Make sure to take copies of your resume and be prepared to sell yourself on the spot if you are lucky enough to meet the company’s representatives.
Send Out Letters/Emails to Companies
Find out which is most appropriate for the company you are interested in and start applying. Your contact letter or email must be memorable in a good way. You can also call to find out if the company is taking interns or holiday workers. Contacting companies shows the kind of initiative some employers look for.
Find out Who will be Your Supervisor
Knowing your supervisor or supervisors is also important. The kind of experience you gain will to a great extent rest on the person under whose wings you are placed. If possible, try to find out if the person is one who likes sharing information and creating challenges. This can be difficult, but you can get useful tips from past interns. If you get called for an interview, don’t be shy about discussing this.
To ensure that the internship experience is the right one for you, don’t hesitate to ask questions during the interview. Questions you can ask include:
- Will I be allowed to work on projects alone
- What level of supervision will be provided
- How much experience does my supervisor have with working with interns
You may have to ask yourself these questions to refine your search:
- Can you afford to relocate
- Can you afford to work for free
- Will working with that particular company help your career
- What do I really want to do
If you really want to get the best experience in a field that interests you, some or all of the above steps will be helpful. In the final analysis do not take an internship because the offer comes from a company with a ‘big name’; select one that offers learning opportunities. An internship is a valuable opportunity, don’t just settle – go for what you want.