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More and more schools are offering online degree programs. One of the most popular online degrees is a business degree. There are typically no required labs or internships for a business degree, which allows it to translate fairly seamlessly into an online environment. Getting your degree online is a great option for some, and can be an extra challenge for others. Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help you determine if it is a viable option for you.

Do you have the self-discipline to stay caught up in class when you never actually attend class?

Occasionally, you’ll need to attend a lecture or discussion in real time, but more often you are left to your own devices in regards to getting your school work done. Often classes will have weekly reading and homework assignments as well as project work you’ll do with other students. There are also usually online discussion posts in which you will be required to participate. Will you be able to schedule time for yourself to study? It seems like a silly question, but with no set schedule it becomes easy to put off school work until the last minute.

What is your schedule like?

Not having to physically attend a class at the same time each week can help someone with a busy schedule get a degree when they might not have the time to get one in the Traditional way. It’s optimal for those who may already have a full-time job, or who are older students that have already started families. You can do some classwork during a lunch hour, or while the baby naps, or late at night, or on the weekends.

What is your learning style?

Almost all of your learning will take place at a computer. It is likely you’ll never see your teacher or your fellow students face to face. This type of learning environment requires that you be able to grasp complex concepts by reading about them. There is no verbal discussion in most cases. Instead, “discussions” happen online in the form of posts to a discussion topic. You’ll need to be very comfortable expressing your ideas, questions, and knowledge in writing rather than verbally.

Is the Social Aspect of College Important to you?

Many college students take a few online courses during their college career. There is a difference, however, between taking one or two online courses in a year and taking an entire degree online. If you are in an online degree program, there’s a pretty good chance that your fellow classmates are logging in from all over the country. In many cases, there is no way to grab a coffee with a classmate or to go to a college party. Certainly if you are taking an online degree offered by a local college, you’d have more opportunity for this, but for the most part online college is about learning and nothing else. If you are really looking forward to the social aspects of going to college, you may want to consider a more traditional degree program rather than an online one.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to education. Some students will be very successful with online degree programs while others may struggle with that format. In choosing whether or not to take an online degree, asking yourself the above questions may help you determine if an online degree program is right for you.