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7 Reasons Students are Going Back to School Online

by Monica Smith

Jul 01, 2019, 9:00 AM.

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With the fall season upon us, Florida International University online learners are readying themselves to go back to school. For many, college will be a new experience, but for some, it won’t be the first time. With more nontraditional students than ever, FIU’s typical online learner is beyond 18 years old and may have finished high school years ago—it’s the mom who didn’t finish what she started, the executive looking for a promotion, the nurse looking to increase her opportunities, etc. There are many reasons to seek a degree. The following lists the top seven reasons according to learners enrolled with FIU Online.

1. Online courses offer flexibility.

While students are responsible for meeting deadlines and keeping pace within the semester time frame, online courses offer learners the ability to access lessons and coursework through digital devices around the world at any time. Learning is about the “between” moments, for example, a lunch hour can provide the time necessary time to complete a discussion posting; after the kids are in bed, it may be time to finish a chapter reading or a quick quiz; and while in transit for a work conference, it may be time to complete a term paper. 

2. Degrees can provide career advancement.

According to national statistics, more than three quarters of employees want career growth. Understanding this, an advanced degree can offer the skills and knowledge needed to apply to positions with increasing responsibilities. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement to help alleviate the costs associated with a college degree, and with the option of online learning, organizations consider their investment in tuition reimbursement a way to ensure long-term growth and stability. Employers also appreciate that online learning does not interfere with day-to-day operations. 

3. A degree can increase earning potential.

There is overwhelming evidence that degrees increase individuals’ earning potential. We’re also entering a period of time where the numbers of college graduates across the nation are on the rise. This rise creates more competition for those who do not have degrees. According to a Pew Research Center study on 25- to 35-year-olds, the earning disparity for those who only have a high school degree compared to those with at least a bachelor’s degree is large: $28,000 compared to $45,500.

4. Changing careers is easier with a degree.

Some online learners enroll in degree programs to redirect their focus in another industry. While a career change is not an overnight decision, it is possible with many degrees such as those in education, nursing, hospitality, and computer engineering. Degrees in these areas require specific knowledge and certifications, but offer learners the ability to makeover their professional life with a vocation that provides more fulfillment.

5. A degree offers new skills.

Today’s online learning offers students skills and knowledge that will prepare graduates for careers of the future. For example, FIU’s fully online bachelor’s degree in the internet of things is preparing learners to fill technology positions in one of the fastest-growing sectors. With a commitment to forward-thinking, the university is constantly adding new fully online degree programs that address the needs of today’s industries.

6. A degree can offer job security.

With the rapid pace of technology and communication, today’s workforce needs to remain ever vigilant of the next new thing. This attention requires individuals to be constant learners to ensure their skills and knowledge do not have an expiration date. In addition to garnering a promotion or more pay, many students view online learning as a way to keep up with the modernization of industry and commerce.

7. Online learning gives learners access to education.

FIU works hard to provide the most access to education through online learning. With more than 130 fully online degrees and specialty tracks, the university is removing barriers to better serve its student population as it provides education pathways that feed a vast range of passions. While the pace can be rigorous and coursework completion requires discipline, the resounding feeling of FIU’s online graduates, whatever their reason, is that the late nights were worth it.