After many years of education, the thought of returning to college can seem daunting, and this is why online degrees can be perfect for those that want to extend their knowledge without having to return to the world of lecture halls and crowded corridors. If you are planning to return to your studies online, it is essential that you are doing so for the right reasons and that you have thoroughly thought through your decision to take up the mantel of education once more. To guide you through the process, here is a comprehensive guide to taking an online degree after you have graduated.
Should you take an online degree?
There are many potential pathways that graduates can take once they leave college, and these include applying for internships, looking for graduate jobs, and even taking a gap year where they can travel and gain more experience in their chosen field. However, for some, taking a postgraduate degree seems like the most natural conclusion. Even if you do not believe that learning in a traditional college setting is right for you anymore, this does not mean that you should forego studying another qualification; there are many potential pathways that to available to graduates, and there are many ways to learn.
Online learning can often be the right option for new graduates, and those that have decided to return to education after a short break as online degrees are a flexible option that demands less commitment than attending traditional colleges. Not only can you live and study at home, but they are also often cheaper, ensuring that you can build up your qualifications without worrying about putting even more strain on your bank account. One of the other significant benefits is that you will be able to take these courses while building up the graduate experience that you need to meet the requirements of your dream occupation.
What degree should you choose?
There is no point in taking a postgraduate degree just so that you can stay in education for a few more years or escape the pressures of looking for a graduate position. Rather than taking an online degree for the sake of it, you need to ensure that you are choosing a qualification that has definite benefits for your future career and that you will need to access the job of your dreams.
For instance, the master’s and graduate courses that are most important are often those for positions in the law and healthcare sectors, where specific knowledge and skill requirements are needed to progress up the career ladder. For instance, if you want to look for a career in law enforcement, follow this link to find out more about the prospects that are available at Wilfrid Laurier, who offer combined criminology and policing degrees that can help to lead you directly to a career in the public sector.
You should also decide the type of postgraduate qualification that you are looking for, with there being a range of different degrees that can help to provide you with a variety of career prospects.
- A Master’s degree
- A PhD
- An MBA
- Teacher training
- Postgraduate diplomas
You should also consider taking an online degree with a college that you have previously attended as this can help you to settle in quickly, understand the operations of the college, and can provide you with a discount on fees. Many colleges in the US run both traditional and online courses that can meet the individual needs of all of their students.
How do you apply?
Applying for an online degree is incredibly simple, even more so than the often-complicated application forms of traditional college courses. You have to apply for most post-grad courses over the internet, whether they are of an online nature or not, and you can apply for these courses through the individual university that you are interested in attending.
Your application will include:
- A personal statement
- Evidence of your previous college education
- Your resume
- Your application fees
In addition to filling out your application form, you will also need to ensure that you have obtained the necessary requirements to apply for the course. For instance, it is often paramount that you have already achieved a satisfactory grade in a related degree from an accredited college.
Why should you take a postgraduate degree?
When you are deciding whether a postgraduate degree is right for you, it is also vital that you can pinpoint the reasons why you are choosing to add another qualification to your repertoire. This can help you to find the best online course for you while also ensuring that this course can work towards your aims and goals for the future.
Some of the best reasons for taking an online degree include:
- You need to take an online degree to advance your career prospects. Whether there is a certain position that you are aiming for which has specific requirements, or you have decided to follow a career pathway that focuses on a specialist area, you may need to add to your qualifications to succeed in securing these roles.
- You are looking for a job promotion. Sometimes, education barriers can prevent you from advancing up the career ladder. However, by taking an online degree, you will be able to gain the qualification that is integral to the positions of higher responsibility within your firm, while also allowing you to carry on working within your firm without taking a sabbatical.
- You want a career change. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your graduate degree and are considering looking to secure a job in a different or related field, you may need to take an online degree to transfer and hone your skills ready to start applying for positions in a different job sector.
How can you get support?
The prospect of taking an online degree after you have already completed a BA or equal degree can be incredibly daunting, especially for mature and adult students. If you are concerned about factors such as your finances, you can get support by applying for federal or local government grants, many of which are also applicable for post-grad online degrees. You may be able to get a loan from a bank, which each bank offering different student loan rates, which could support your education. You could also consider working part-time around your studies, which is easy to do with the flexibility of online degrees, or funding the course yourself, which it is possible to do as a graduate by taking a working gap year before you apply for your online degree.
You can also get emotional support and help with the application process by hiring an academic counselor who can discuss with you every part of the process and ensure that you can succeed in your online degree until graduation. You may also be able to access an academic counselor through the institution that you are taking your course with. You will not only be able to get help when your application has been approved, however, and it is easy to contact an admissions advisor who can talk you through the process.
Not only this, but the nature of online courses does not mean that you will be unable to receive help from instructors and lecturers, and many online courses still have one-to-ones over video conferencing software and the ability to contact your lecturers by email to ensure that you are on the right path with your degree.
How can you succeed in post-grad study?
The postgraduate study can be a huge step up from a bachelor’s degree. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that you can succeed.
- You should create a study space or office in your home where you can concentrate on your work without distractions.
- You should also prepare to put extra work in outside of completing the bare minimum of your lectures and seminars. To get the most from your online course, you should utilize networking groups, access online forums, and take opportunities to speak to your tutors to improve your coursework and take advantage of the full range of tools that are offered to online students.
- You should be aware of your deadlines and set reminders on your phone and calendar to help you to stick to them. You should also set a certain period of the day aside from that you can use to do work in.
- You should also make time to speak to others on your course. Not only will you be able to learn from them, but they can help you to build connections that may advance your career in later life.
Taking an online degree after graduation can be an excellent decision for those that want to continue their education without the disruption that college can have on your life. By choosing the right degree and remaining dedicated to your goals, there is no reason why returning to college through an online degree will not be successful for you.