Online Learning

10 Reasons to Earn an Online Degree in a Troubled Economy

1. Build your resume: In periods of economic downturn, there is a trend of resume-padding via continued education. This trend is based on the fact that additional education and training will separate you from the pool of applicants, or allow you to more easily get a job when the economy finally stabilizes. E-learning is potentially less costly and more convenient to making yourself more marketable.

2. Lower opportunity cost: Some find that the opportunity cost of going to school is less when they are unemployed, as they are not missing any work. In many ways, this outlook makes the troubled economy into an opportunity for growth instead of another obstacle. An online degree is one of the most lucrative options for pursuing continued education during difficult times.

3. Economic feasibility: Students who have made the decision to go back to school during periods of economic duress would likely not want to spend too much money doing so. This is where online learning comes in to play. In some cases, it can be more affordable, and might be one of the only feasible choices for many who are paying for that extra edge over the competition. This is as true for returning students as it is for students pursuing a degree for the first time in times of economic strain.

4. Flexibility: Perhaps you have held a job and were laid off; you might prefer to pursue your degree online so that you can continue your job hunt or stay home with the kids. Perhaps you were not actually laid off, but are worried about the possibility and want to make yourself more of an asset to your company (or to your future employer). An online degree may be your only choice so that you can continue to work during the day.

5. Location: Pursuing a degree online allows you to transcend geographic barriers, so you can take the best class for you no matter how far away the institution is. This is important during a troubled economy, since you want to be sure you are getting to most out of the money you are spending. Additionally, it may be too expensive for students to move to a remote school to pursue their degree in a poor economy.

6. Commute, parking, and gas money: The nightmares of commuting to a busy campus and finding parking are completely eliminated in online learning. In a troubled economy, saving money on gas or expensive parking passes might make all the difference in a tight budget.

7. If you have kids: If you are a parent looking to pursue a degree during a time of economic downturn, the last thing you need in addition to your school bills is a babysitter to pay. Enter online learning. You can work while the kids are at school and still pick them up, or after bedtime.

8. Increased funding for higher education: While the economy may be constricting, the aid attempts made by the government may come in handy. The current stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is setting aside funds to stimulate higher education. That means more aid to students seeking to invest in their career. Pell Grants have also increased, allowing more money for students.

9. Lower cost of materials: Many online schools have e-books instead of traditional books, saving you money on books. While you may need to use your computer and Internet connection to view coursework, "attend" lectures, and submit your work, these are things that most students already use on a daily basis. By using them to get your online degree, you will be getting more value out of them.

10. Confidence: In times of economic unrest, either on a larger scale or in your own personal life, a little extra peace of mind can make a huge difference. If you are looking for a job or are trying to keep your current one, knowing that you are on your way to a degree or taking steps to become more qualified might make you all the more confident.

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