The Online Alternative
posted November 15th, 2012 by Chet Brock
Adult learners going online for education needs
College is a common goal among high school students. But, sometimes life can get in the way causing many people to postpone their collegiate goals. The rising cost of college tuition, a full-time work schedule and other circumstances can keep many high school students from enrolling in a four-year college or university directly after graduation. However, many of these same students eventually consider returning to school later in life to advance their careers through higher education.
Returning to school can be intimidating to adult learners who have been out of the classroom for several years, even decades. Adult learners that express concern about returning to a traditional learning environment constantly turn to online degree programs as a viable education alternative to help them reach new career goals.
Many adult learners are opting to enroll in online degree programs because they are overwhelmed by the prospect of a traditional education.
- College is too expensive: Tuition costs continue to rise, giving many adult learners a reason to put off their education. However, many adult learners qualify for some form of financial aid, making college more affordable whether they enroll online or on-campus. You should also consider college as a long-term investment. Statistics continue to support the value of a college degree in your lifetime earning potential and job security. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that professionals who hold a bachelor’s degree have an almost 6.5 percent lower unemployment rate compared to high school graduates, and earn an average of $1 million more throughout their career.
- I’m too old for the classroom: Many adult learners avoid college because they feel they are too old to return to the classroom. Many fear they won’t fit in in a typical college classroom of 20-somethings, while others feel they are too out-of-practice to go back to school. However, the non-traditional student is quickly becoming the norm at many four-year colleges and universities nationwide. The U.S. Department of Education reports that college students who are 25 years old and above comprise 40 percent of all students enrolled in college. The online platform gives you the ability to earn your degree on your own terms. Most online courses are self-paced, which put you in control of your academic schedule. And, for those adult learners worried about fitting in, online classes give you complete independence and anonymity.
- I don’t have the time to go back to school: Once you get in a routine, it is hard to find the time or make the time to return to the classroom. Work commitments, family, church, friends and your community can often get in the way of earning your degree. Online courses offer you the flexibility to complete course work when your busy schedule allows. You make the time for your course when you have the time.
- I already know all I need to for my career: On-the-job experience is a great way to build a specialized skill set and gain industry knowledge that can’t be taught in a classroom. However, your career could potentially hit a ceiling if you lack a formal education. A college degree gives you added marketability in your field for advancement or promotions, and can also help if you choose to transition your career.
Employers are looking to hire employees with college credentials to help stay competitive in a knowledge-based economy. Working professionals who are not satisfied with their careers and are looking to advance in their field or discover new career opportunities are flocking to the online space to earn a college degree. A recent study conducted by The Learning House, Inc. and the Aslanian Research Group found that the primary motivation of more than 90 percent of online students for returning to school involved their careers.
And, when you choose to continue your education, you are investing in a future that goes beyond monetary investment return. According to the College Board’s “Education Pays 2010” report, college graduates benefit from a variety of positive outcomes, including:
- Fifty-eight percent of college graduates are very satisfied with their jobs (compared to just 50 percent of workers with a high school diploma)
- Individuals with higher levels of education are more likely to be actively involved in their community through voting and volunteering
- Individuals with higher levels of education are more likely to engage in exercise and pursue active lifestyles
- College graduates are less likely to be obese
- Smoking rates are lower among college graduates than other demographics
You are never too old or out of practice to return to school and continue your education. Online education gives you the flexibility to earn your degree on your own terms and the accessibility to build a brighter future through a college degree.
King College has a reputation for academic excellence that goes beyond the classroom. Our online degree programs position graduates for an exceptional career or continued educational opportunities. More than 80 percent of King graduate survey respondents indicated they received admission to their first choice of graduate programs. Make an investment in your future with an online degree from King College.