I’m a huge fan of online education. Not only does it help working adults with difficult schedules to get the degree they want/need, it enables people with physical disabilities to have the same educational opportunities as everyone else. As someone who has both a tight work schedule and physical limitations on his level of activity, distance learning has been key in helping me to advance in my career.
Just as a bit of background, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Kansas State University in 2003…although I nearly didn’t. Early in 2002, a back injury left me with very limited mobility, unable to attend courses, or even leave the house for most of the spring semester. As I went through physical therapy during the following year, I was able to complete my coursework and exams on a flexible basis with the help a very considerate faculty.
A few years passed, and while I’d mostly healed, I remained limited with how many hours I could be mobile on a given day. I wanted to work towards a masters degree, but my back wasn’t stable enough to allow me to sit through both my engineering job during the day and then graduate classes at night.
Then in 2006, I started to hear about graduate degrees that were offered online. I enrolled as a student, and started taking one course at a time. Throughout the next four years I learned far more than I expected. I was easily able to take my grad research and apply it in my day job.
Now, most of the tools used in our department are based on my coursework! As of December 2010, I graduated with an [url=/online-schools/dakota-state-university-college-of-business-information-systems-graduate/master-of-science-in-information-systems[/url] from Dakota State University Online, and I’d still like to go further. I’m researching two new masters programs and an online doctorate degree to apply for in the spring, and I’m looking forward to see what I can do next.
Distributing coursework online now opens up availability for education that wasn’t easily available even 10 years ago. Being able to self-motivate and schedule your time for study is key, but just like with any on-campus program, if you put in the time, the rewards are worth the effort.