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Online Education - Is Your Day Job Stopping You

There is no doubt that the US economy has somewhat recovered since the 2007 recession. Some analysts may however consider this a double edged sword. According to the Washington Post, the economy has recovered over three million jobs since 2010. The irony here is that a major chunk of that recovery has been in the form of low paying jobs.

According to a Gallup Survey in 2013 where 25 million professionals were polled worldwide, only 13% ‘felt passionate’ about their job. More than 60% felt ‘disengaged’ and less passionate about their work.

If you find yourself a part of that 60%, it may not be entirely your fault, however there may be something you can do about it.

Online Degrees – 80% can’t be wrong

According to a report by Public Agenda from 2013, 80% of employers believe that online degrees provide real opportunities to adult students.  Today, various accredited universities around the world offer online programs. Let’s take a look at some of the options available:

Business Management: The opportunities with this discipline may range from administration to marketing. In some cases, students will need prior knowledge of basic concepts.

Criminal Justice: From solving crimes to the administration of justice, a degree in this discipline is for those who want to make a difference.

Communications: Being an extensive field, communications is used in almost every industry imaginable. From Public Relations to Media, students learn different mediums of communication.

Information Technology: From analysts to programmers, the IT sector is currently making waves. It is also expected to encourage entrepreneurship in future.

Political Science: Understanding political behaviors, the concepts of power and conflict resolution, this discipline will make it simpler to understand why people react the way they do.

When choosing any of the above, you will have two options. Either go for a higher qualification in the area of your existing career, further enhancing your performance or go for a new discipline altogether, if you feel the need to switch to another sector.

What do online students have to say?

Many have been in the situation that you face right now. Let’s see what choices they made, and how things turned out for them:

Dannie McClain, a category manager for Town & Country Linen, "I think gaining my degree from a 'true' college that offers online courses in addition to regular ground courses helps in my employer seeing this as a 'true' degree," she says.

She believes that her online double major in marketing and business, even with no prior traditional college education, has worked pretty well in her favor.

Tom Johansmeyer, who earned his MBA online and is currently working towards a doctorate, may be considered as an ideal example. This is how professionals can get a higher educational qualification without having to quit their jobs. He says an online program was his only way back to school.

"I was working as a management consultant and spending 40 weeks a year on the road," he says. "With that kind of travel schedule, it would have been impossible for me to get to a classroom."

In other words, online education can help if there is a will attached to it.

How can you manage?

Now the biggest question would be, is this all possible? Continuing with your day job and studying at the same time. The answer is yes.  Millions have done this before and have gone through the same conundrum.  What helped them were the benefits online education offers,

  • You will not be bound by your geographical location
  • Minimal travel requirements will save you time and money
  • Students can save money on online education and can also apply for financial aid
  • Make the right connections by meeting industry influencers
  • Get better access to instructors

Multi-tasking may sound like a scary concept, but if you do it intelligently, it can be highly effective and may be rewarding as well. The percentage of students who mastered this art and were employed during their online degree programs is between 86% and 93% (US News). If these people can do it, what’s stopping you?

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