Is Online Learning Right for Me?

For many busy professionals, online learning is an ideal route toward career advancement without the drawbacks of on-campus education. With increased flexibility, networking opportunities and support, it’s no surprise that the number of online students has seen steady growth in the past few years.

While online learning can be a great option for some students, the online format isn’t for everyone. Distance learning takes a high level of commitment, some technical experience and certain personal attributes to succeed. Successful online learners come from all kinds of backgrounds and industries, but they share these characteristics:

Inquisitive
Online learners must be curious and eager to learn. Pursuing graduate-level education means you’re ready to build upon your foundation and develop your expertise. Online students must be even more eager because of the time commitment and independence an online program affords.

Self-starter
If you’re able to motivate yourself, online learning might be ideal for you. Traditional, on-campus students have professors and peers to remind them of deadlines. In an online platform, you are solely accountable for your assignments, so a high level of accountability is necessary.

Easily adaptable
From new technology to updated platforms, online programs are constantly evolving. If you can adjust your learning style and are comfortable with change, online learning might be right for you.

Tech-experienced
To pursue an online program, technology expertise is not necessary, but some technology experience is. Online students must be able to operate a computer and navigate online resources, programs and message boards.

To learn more about what it takes to be a successful online student, explore our blog now.

 

Why Should I Study Online?

Worldwide Connections

The modern world is increasingly connected, which means professionals who are able to work with a wide range of clients and peers are needed more than ever. Pursuing an online MPA means collaborating with a variety of professionals with different, sometimes opposing perspectives and developing the skills to do so effectively.

An online platform can do even more than help you better understand and handle new perspectives. It can also expand your network beyond your immediate area. USC’s online MPA has graduates from all 50 states and beyond, which means you can connect with diverse professionals in nearly any sector.

Advanced Flexibility

Balancing professional, personal and academic responsibilities can be difficult. Online coursework allows professionals to learn on their schedule without sacrificing their career and family duties. While you still have deadlines, as an online student you can work on your assignments whenever is most convenient.

Beyond the asynchronous nature of an online program, online learning also increases your academic options. While traditional, on-campus students are restricted to local universities and programs, online students can be more selective about their degree without uprooting their professional and personal life.

Advanced Support

Professionals considering an online education are often concerned about the support available. USC’s online MPA offers multiple levels of support. From 24/7 technical help desks, virtual career centers, online tutoring services and various advisors, including financial, enrollment and academic advisors and a cohort coach, our online MPA students have support from day one to beyond graduation.