What to expect from Online Studies.

For years now, you have probably seen advertisements for online degrees that offers classes from short term certificate programs to full 4-year college degrees and graduate studies. The year of 2020 forced most of us to get used to online interaction with your peers in some form or another, whether you were working for a company, teaching students, or being a student. These past years have definitively made us all get used to 'online communication'!


Benefits of Short & Vocational Online Courses.

They are short! Some courses are even just 2 -4 weeks! and then you're ready to seek employment. Such courses are, for example, learning bookkeeping with Quickbooks frontend web development with HTML 5 and CSS, or study Social Media Marketing. Many schools allows you to work at your own pace, so the more time you put in to your studies, the faster you will complete your course work.

One of the positive aspects about Short Programs, Vocational and Certificate Degrees is that you don’t have to go through the huge application process that most Universities requires, nor are you required to take the SAT, ACT, or other preparatory tests. These programs are also much, much less expensive than a regular college. In addition, many offers scholarships. Most often these classes meet together online at certain times, but besides those time restrictions, you are free to study whenever you can. Many instructors have their lectures recorded so you can watch them as many times as you like, in contrast to 'in-learning' classes.

Class discussions & group work are often part of the learning process and with great online meeting platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, which we are all used to by now, you work together with your fellow class mates (if required! )

How to prepare for Online Studies. Where do I start ?

Planning and preparing to start a program is like preparering for a journey. You would first asses if you will have time and money to take a long or short trip, you would plan where you want to go, and prepare for that destination. Think of your studies the same way, it's a Journey!


What is your current situation?

Assess your current situation. Are you currently unemployed ? And can commit to full-time studies. Are you a parent, single or married? How many hours do you expect you can devote to your studies then? Are you currently employed, and then have to chose evening/weekend classes for mandatory class-meetings? What is your finacial situation? Asking yourself these questions will help you the initial organization, sit down and make a simple list of any restictions you may have,then work around those. NOTE: 'restictions' doesn't mean 'hindrance', it is just to put your head into a realistic overview and realize that going back to school is more possible than you think !

What are your goals? How fast do you need to reach them?

Most likely, one part of your goals is to make more money so you can have more financial security. Besides that, what are your other goals? For some, it is very important to work with something that is greately satisfying, for others, having a job that gives a very steady economy is enough. Regardless, there are many options. If your goal is to quickly find a nice paying job after your education, then look for a course that has the highest employment demand. For example, the Medical Billing and Coding field is growing rapidily right now, and a basic program takes about 4-6 weeks to complete, the average inital salary starts at about $39,000 and can earn you upto $72,000 anually.

Which Program is best suited for my needs?

Now when you've done a general assesment of your goals, it's time to look at what is best for you, given your current life situation. Can you commit 4 weeks or 4 months? Great short programs are Social Media Marketing, Bookkeeping with Quickbooks, and Frontend Web Design. A recomendation is to chose an inital short program that you can build on, this way you can later on, when you're ready, go back for further education. With bookkeeping you can take further classes in Accounting and Tax Preparation. With Social Media Marketing you can take further classes in Digital Media, Public Relations, and Managment courses. And with Frontend Web Design you can take further web-programming courses starting with Javascript.

What do I need? What equipment?

A computer = laptop, and internet connection. A perfectly workable laptop is a Chromebook, which costs about $220.00. Other laptops with Windows OS, such as ASUS and HP, starts at around $250.00. There are also places that offers great refurbished computers. Plus, some online programs will provide you with a commputer as a loan while you are enrolled. Internet connection, check with your mobile service as they may be able to extend your data transfer to your laptop for a few extra dollars per month!! Otherwise, internet costs about $50 per month. Since restrictions with COVID are now eased up, Public Libraries, Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and many, many other places are open and offers free wifi! If you're apprehensive about using public networks you can get a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that encrypts your data transfer.

Ready to reach your goals? Are you ready to start your new life?

Learning new things is exiting! Still there may be some days that will be harder than others, and to reach a goal requires commitment. Keep a good schedule, but alow for some modifications. By starting with a short program, you will easily acheive your goal! And before you know it, you are done! And who knows, you may begin with one short Certifate Program, and end up with a Ph. D !! You never know what you're capable of, unless you try!