Competitive Advantage

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Competitive Advantage

Delivering Tips, Insights and Resources for Success

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Flexible and convenient: Earn your degree online

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When you go back to complete your college degree, you’ll probably need the convenience and flexibility of online classes. By taking some, or all, of your classes online, you can get the same great education, while still being able to manage the other aspects of your life.

The online degree trend in Mississippi

There are currently 8 public universities and a public medical center in Mississippi that offer online degree programs. And students tend to choose schools closer to home. According to a study conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group, in 2016, 84.2% of online-only students lived in the same state as the school they chose, many living within 50 miles of the campus. Why study online at a local school?

  1. Some degrees require a minimum of on-campus participation

  2. Certain students prefer having the option to take one or more classes on campus

  3. There are more options if you can take classes both online and on-campus

Flexibility you need

Students choose online programs for a wide range of reasons, but flexibility is always the biggest one. In a 2018 study conducted for eCampusOntario, students cited the primary reasons they chose online learning:

    1. Flexibility in when and where they do classwork, enabling them to meet work or other personal responsibilities (96% cited this as a reason)

    2. Greater enrollment options

    3. Allows studying at their own pace

    4. Avoiding the cost and hassles of commuting

    5. Can speed up the time to complete their degree

    6. Some students feel more comfortable participating in online classes than in-person classes   

Other benefits

In addition to all these advantages, there are other, less tangible benefits that online degree programs offer. One is honing your virtual communication skills. When the grand majority of your interaction is done online, you invariably learn to communicate clearly and concisely. Success in online programs requires the ability to provide communication and feedback that is perceived as being in a good “tone.”

Online learning is also proven to enable good knowledge retention. The interactive visual and audio tools used by online classes are very conducive to improving memory – live or videotaped lectures, webinars, infographics, online discussion groups, social media, etc.

Fully online

Some schools offer certain degrees that require no on-campus presence. This is a popular option for adult learners, including people returning to college to complete their degrees. Of all the students earning their degree fully online, over 35% were adult learners.

Mostly online

This is a more common option. You take a majority of your classes online, with a couple being completed on-campus. This is the likely format for degrees that require lab work, internships and live presentations. Plus this provides the opportunity to network.

Research online degree programs

Not all online programs are equal, and not all offer the same degrees, so you’ll need to do some homework. The best place to start is the Mississippi distance learning page. As you look through all your options, consider the following:

  1. Research college websites

  2. Compare multiple programs

  3. Read online reviews/social media posts

  4. Talk to students/graduates

  5. Research faculty reputation/credentials

  6. Contact Complete 2 Compete

Before you enroll online

You may be closer to your degree than you realize! The Complete 2 Compete program helps Mississippi adults identify the clearest pathway to completing their degree. They also provide the support of a C2C coach – who will help guide you through the process of earning your degree and discuss options for online programs with you as well.

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C2C is a state program that helps Mississippi adults who previously attended college earn a degree and create a brighter future.