The traditional ways of learning are no longer the only option for getting a degree and building a promising career. Maybe you’re in the military but still want to go to college. Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home parent who loves to be with their children but still wants to advance their education. Or maybe you are disabled and commuting to a campus every day is out of the question. You may also just not be one for the average college lecture hall and prefer to take your education into your own hands.
You don’t have to fit any mold to learn, and there’s no “right” way to improve yourself as an adult. These days, education is accessible to everyone with an internet connection. Below are four ways you can learn online to start building your future.
There are over 32,000 fully online degrees ranging from associates to doctorates. Most of these programs have annual tuition under $25,000, making them far more accessible for students than traditional universities. Many online colleges extend in-state tuition to online students, so it’s possible to pay as little as $5,000 per year for education if you qualify for your state college’s online program.
There are also many flexible online universities for military members that make continuing education possible while you’re actively enlisted. Whether you’re on base or deployed overseas, online military colleges can help you study everything from pre-med to business.
If you aren’t sure whether you want a full degree, but you still want to learn, there are many colleges that offer classes to non-full-time students. You can also utilize websites like Udemy, Udacity, and Lynda to access thousands of courses that cover in-demand skills like programming and database administration.
For those who want to take education into their own hands entirely, being self-taught is easy if you know where to look. The sites mentioned above can be an excellent starting point for defining your primary areas of focus. You should consider your career goals and find subject matter that aligns with them the most, especially if they’re in the tech field.
You can also look for online internships to gain hands-on experience and connect with professionals and mentors on LinkedIn.
Certifications are a great way to demonstrate your skills to employers while being less time-consuming and costly than degree programs. Sites like EdX and Coursera offer accredited certificate programs from leading universities around the world.
No matter what direction you decide to take your education, there is no shortage of opportunities online. The flexibility and diversity make finding your niche and uncovering new passions easier than ever.