Do you have a job that requires frequent travel? For the many who find themselves flying on a regular basis as part of their work duties, it can seem almost impossible to earn a master's degree. Traditional schools often require regular, in-person attendance, which rules out your prospects for those kinds of programs. The good news is that the digital age has changed everything.
Nowadays, most of the better colleges and universities offer post-graduate master's programs that you can do remotely. All you need is a well-equipped laptop and a master's diploma is within your reach. Still, you'll need to spend time choosing the best school for your particular needs, cover all the expenses, get the right equipment and connections, work with a counselor to fine-tune your travel schedule, and sign up for your first round of classes. Here's a more detailed brief of what to do before attending your first online session.
Choosing a School
There are hundreds of graduate degrees to choose from, in dozens of major subject areas. Whether your needs are focused on education, engineering, accounting, marketing, music, foreign language, or something else, there's something for you. The trick is being able to compare costs, school reputations, length of terms, and faculty qualifications. Be sure to spend plenty of time selecting the institution that most closely meets your academic needs.
Paying the Bills
One of the key benefits of online degrees is that they tend to be must less costly than in-person programs. Still, tuition is not cheap, and you'll need to arrange a financing package before day-one. If you want to have less worry about expenses, consider taking out a student loan through a private lender. It's a smart way to not only cover all the costs up front, but to have time to comparison shop for the most advantageous terms, repayment periods, and rates.
Getting the Right Equipment
In most cases, web-based education requires no special computer equipment. For the most part, if you already own a desktop or laptop computer, you'll be fine. But a few specialty degrees might entail getting a tech upgrade of one kind or another. If so, the expense shouldn't be significant because it usually means adding memory, buying a high-definition webcam, or acquiring minor peripherals.
If you love technology and plan to travel around while you earn your degree, consider a high tech travel destination so that you can experience the most cutting edge innovations while you study. Some of these locations are the epicenter of the tech world, while others have simply made a new for themselves as being part of the rise of tech. Either way you will have a chance to experience modern equipment and processes live and in person if you elect this opportunity.
Working With Counselors
If your day job keeps you in and out of planes on cross-country jaunts, be sure to speak with school counselors about any mandatory attendance sessions. Some courses have once per week group video meetings that might mean you have to set up your laptop and webcam while waiting to board a flight. The point is to let your assigned grad school counselor know your work schedule as far in advance as possible.
Scheduling Coursework and Projects
Online graduate institutions are good about providing detailed schedules before the first semester begins. Study the documents carefully and remember to note any time periods that might present a problem. Planning ahead is the secret, and having an entire semester's day by day schedule is your best insurance against missed classes.