Attending university is great when you are young – when you need that buffer while you learn to not just gain the professional skills you’ll need, but the life skills as well. After you enter the workforce, however, it becomes impractical. Most don’t want to take years off from their career to go back to school.
Enter, online degrees.
They are the perfect way to gain higher qualifications, make career changes, and in general progress your personal and professional lives.
They can be taken entirely online, and are designed to be completed by working professionals. You often only need to juggle just one course at a time, so you are never overloaded with work and instead can succeed at work and in your education.
Just as there are ways to get the most out of your on-campus education, there are many ways to get even more out of your online education. To do that, and get the most value out of your online degree, you’ll need to follow these seven steps:
1. Work Backwards From Your Dream Job Role
Know the job position you want at the end of your career. This doesn’t have to be set in stone, but it will give you better direction when it comes to gaining the qualifications you’ll need to succeed.
You can “work backward” in a few ways.
- By looking up the resume of someone in that role, to see what jobs they held before they were promoted.
- By researching career guides.
- By asking someone in that role for advice directly, which is also a great networking tactic.
This will help you figure out several things. For one, the routes that are possible. You will also learn, however, the skills and experience that they have under their belts.
2. Know Why You Need a Degree
It’s important to note that there are many different reasons to complete a degree. You can work in an administration already, for example, and still benefit from a BBA online degree. Why? Because a BSc in Business Administration gives you concrete skills in management, communication, marketing, finance, and in both macro and microeconomics. It is designed for those who want to be ready to lead, and want to really stand out on the job market.
3. Enroll – and Be Accepted
Next, you will want to enroll. Really read through and edit your application. Try to go above and beyond. If you are already working then ask your employer for a recommendation letter, or from an old high school teacher if you just graduated from high school and want to work while you study.
4. Prepare Before Your Degree
Online degrees are very different from on-campus degrees. You will want to prepare your schedule beforehand so that you can get the most out of it. Even taking one course at a time can tip your schedule over into burnout levels if you don’t prepare.
Try to adapt before you start your degree. Work to get a consistent eight hours of sleep, and set aside the same time per day to self-study. For now, this can be a hobby, but your goal is to get used to studying after work on a consistent basis.
5. Stay Organized During Your Degree
By working at that same time every day you can stay on top of your degree. To really make the most out of it, however, you are going to want to do two things.
- Create notes in your own words, using your own explanations so you best remember the concepts.
- Revise and catch up on reading during your commute or at other key times throughout the day.
- Make Use of School Resources
If you want the most value out of your education you will need to take full advantage of all the school resources available. These resources are there even if you are an online student. There are student advisors, career help, and more. Just make note of what is available to you, and use them!
Your fellow students are also a great resource. It is very easy to start an online study group, where you can work through problems and just share in your stresses together.
6. Make Your Degree Work for Your Career, From the Start
When people work to complete an online degree, it is typically because they are already working and don’t want to take time off work to study. This gives you so many opportunities – including using your degree to propel your career long before you graduate.
Show your supervisors about your new skills. Try out what you learn in the workplace. It’s great practice and will help you get noticed.