Online Studies to Advance your Career on a Budget

Jan 10

Online Studies to Advance your Career on a Budget

It is normal for people already in the workforce to look for means to improve themselves in order to advance their career. However, not everyone has the money to shell out for a masters degree. One alternative to this study program is by taking online classes. It is a relatively new methodology that even prestigious colleges and universities have been offering as of late. Here are some insights on how to go about these online courses to further your career:

Select an Affordable School with a Good Reputation

The school that you will apply to should be chosen carefully. Factors in considering a school include your budget and the kind of programs that you are interested in. The instructors and professors are also important considerations. It is best to pick a state university so that you can take advantage of the government subsidies. Also keep in mind that the tuition increases every year. Take that into account alongside inflation if you’re keeping a close tabulation of your savings.

Keep a Lookout for Scholarships

Even online programs have scholarships as well. Inquire with your school if there are programs that offer scholarships for working professionals. If you are an educator, then it is most likely that an academician scholarship may be available so long as you meet the requirements. Some universities offer financial assistance programs to deserving applicants by offering discounted tuition rates partially or in full. There are some educational institutions that also subsidize the fees. Commonly dubbed as student assistantship, this form of financial assistance requires the student to render a certain number of hours either per week or per term in exchange of rendered service an the school.

Enlist in a Subject that Fits With Your Schedule

Since online courses have discussions via chat, make sure that the subject that you will choose fits your schedule. If it has a conflict with your job, inform your boss of alternative workarounds like leaving the office early and coming in early the following day. Remember that taking up post-graduate studies involves a lot of sacrifice.

Take Fewer Subjects Per Term

If money is an issue and you cannot afford the entire term, taking fewer subjects can be your solution. That way, you are still making progress in your chosen program instead of opting out for a term. Remember that the faster you finish your course, the easier it will be for you to pay. There is also an increase for each year or term, depending on the school, so finishing while it’s “cheaper” can work better for you financially.

Check With Your Employer for Loans

Some companies offer grants for their employees depending on the job level of the employee. Before enrolling for an online course, set an appointment with your human resources manager and ask whether there are educational benefits available to you. They might also assist you in getting application forms for government and privately funded loans that can also help you financially.

Invest in a Computer and a Stable Internet Connection

An integral part of online studies is technology. Before class starts, take your time to buy a computer with the specifications that you need. If you are taking a class that deals with graphic design, it would be best to choose a computer with a fast processor and RAM. Similarly, those taking film studies will also need a computer with powerful specs. For those whose nature of work requires them to be always on the move, a laptop might be a better option for you. You can find out from the school if there are programs that need to be installed in the computer. From that point, you can check the minimum requirements for the programs before you window shop and canvas prices for a computer.

When buying a computer, keep in mind that specifications can change, and that prices can drop when a new model comes along. So along with the requirements that you obtained from the school, also think of the computer as an investment not just for your studies, but for your personal use as well.

You also need to have a stable Internet connection so that you can participate in online chats without any interruptions. Your attendance in online activities forms part of your grades, and you wouldn’t want to make a bad impression on your teacher and classmates because of your faulty connection. This connection is also needed when submitting assignments online and collaborating on a project via email.

Online study programs are one of the most convenient ways to learn and improve one’s self. Online studies are seemingly easier to accomplish than the regular post-graduate track in the classroom setup, since the student gets to save more time from the commute to and from the school. However, let us not forget that it is no easy feat to juggle studying with work. It all boils down to the effort and dedication that a working student puts in the professional and educational setup, all for the self-improvement and the knowledge that the individual can use to further his career and his life.

Darren Bechard is an independent careers researcher. His current field of research centers on how people can improve their lives during difficult times. For information on alternative payday loans from Wonga.com, visit their website to learn more.