Picture it: You’re sitting in a cavernous lecture hall at 8 a.m. on a Tuesday with 60 other people, paging through a $125 textbook, not certain you understand what the professor just said but too intimidated to raise your hand. You’ve quit your job and borrowed thousands of dollars to be able to be here.
Now picture this: You’re earning your Master’s in Engineering in your living room, on your own schedule, accessing free or inexpensive online class materials, and jotting down your questions to email to the professor when you finish the session. You still have your day job, you’re not in debt and the fridge is 10 feet away.
Engineers have analytical minds. Which scenario seems better to you? The benefits of online classes are clear. By studying online, you can:
1. Keep Your Day Job
You don’t have to quit your current job to get your Master’s in Engineering online—you can take classes after your regular workday. Or before. Or on weekends.
Which leads us to…
2. Maintain a Flexible Schedule
Schedule your life how you want it. Classes on Saturday mornings? OK. Study at 2 a.m. on a Thursday, because you’re an extreme night owl? Great. Getting a degree online lets you do you.
3. Learn at Your Own Pace and Get Personal Attention
While most online classes follow a set schedule for when coursework is due each week, you can usually watch or read through your class session whenever you like. Many classes are recorded, so rewind and rewatch explanations as much as you want! Pause lectures and chat with other students in an online forum, or email the professor with questions. Your chances to get one-on-one learning support are greatly improved with online classes, and you can ask course questions you might be too intimidated to ask in a group setting.
4. Save on Tuition by Studying Online
A brick-and-mortar college or university has staff to pay as well as land and buildings to maintain. Students attending these higher education spaces have to commute to classes (often held at hours not compatible with working a regular job), buy multiple books each semester, live near or on campus, and possibly eat on site, in addition to covering tuition costs. Students taking online courses pay tuition for the degree. Period. They can continue working, minimize or avoid debt, forget about commuting to school, and live anywhere. (And make sandwiches at home whenever they like.)
5. Learn From Top Engineers You May Not Live Near
Earning your Master’s in Engineering degree online allows you to learn from top engineers in your field of study or attend schools that may be far away. Live wherever you want and get your degree!
6. Network With Other Engineers From Around the World
You can be located anywhere, and so can your classmates! Form lasting friendships and gain valuable networking contacts with engineering students all over the world—which can come in handy when you’re looking for an engineering job...in Tokyo.