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Getting an Online Degree - Five Tips For Success

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
You want to earn your online degree but you aren't sure where to start. Will you be able to find a balance between your daily life, current employment, and your pursuit of higher education? No matter if you're a first-time student or returning to further your education, it will have a positive impact on your future. You want to find out more but the information online can be overwhelming. You need to narrow the focus. Pinpoint precisely what you're looking for.

What are your goals? How will earning a college degree online help you accomplish your plans? Are you looking to move up in your current career? Are you ready to start fresh with a totally new career? Perhaps your biggest concern is making sure that the convenience and flexibility of getting an online education doesn't affect the quality of that education. You don't want to waste your time on a degree that won't be respected in your chosen career field.

Five Tips For Success

1) Know Your Degree
What will the online degree give you as far as qualifications? Do you have credits that can be transferred? How long will your chosen degree program take you to complete? Two years? Four years? Is your chosen school accredited? What will you have to invest ultimately as far as time and money? Get these answers and more from a college academic advisor.

2) Count the Costs
Many employers offer tuition assistance (TAP) for their staff. Which scholarships, grants, and loans do you qualify for? Higher education is an investment in your future. Complete your FAFSA and you will have access to all kinds of financial aid.
Take advantage of what private and government options are out there to assist you with paying for your education.

3) Keep Your Day Job
In today's economy, you don't want to give up your job to go back to school. Even if you don't particularly like your position or your boss. With the flexibility of online education, you can find a balance to chug through the day-to-day and still pursue your dreams. Give yourself every chance to succeed.

4) Get and Stay Motivated
Whatever your degree choice or industry preference, the most important thing is to visualize you being where you want to be. See yourself getting that degree after all your hard work. Picture what your life will be like once you've accomplished your dream. Know what opportunities are out there in your chosen field. What are the typical conditions, benefits, and salary for the career you want? Do you know anyone already in the field you're interested in? What did it take for them to get there? Pick their brain and get the real scoop on the position or industry you want to enter. If you like what you hear, get moving! Make a follow a plan for you.

5) Manage Your Time
Do not over schedule your time. Be realistic. You want to give yourself the best tools for success. If you have a demanding day job, don't try to take on too many classes initially. The most damaging result of burning out is dropping out. You have to have time to sleep. You should make school a priority but you will still need down-time to watch the big game or go have your nails done. The key is balance.

Each evening, before turning in for the night, write down how you spent your day. Be honest with yourself! Pretending you didn't vegetate in front of the television for two hours isn't going to help you when you have course work to complete and you know your favorite shows are coming on. Know your strengths and recognize your weaknesses so you can fit your pursuit of higher education smoothly into your life. Do the research and get all the answers to your academic future. There is no time to many opportunities await you with a degree in hand!