In a previous article, we’ve talked about why it is a great idea to go back to school now that you’re a mom. There are plenty of alternatives to choose from too, from studying part-time to taking an online course. The latter is actually a good idea, not only because online programs are now more popular, but also because the course will give you the most flexibility.
While the course itself is very manageable, getting started with one can still be challenging. To help you take the first step and start your journey towards getting a degree, we’re going to take a closer look at the things you need to do to get started with an online course.
Pick a Program
One of the biggest tasks to tackle at this point is choosing a program to enroll in. Similar to offline programs, online courses have requirements. Fortunately, you have hundreds of programs to choose from, so choosing one that suits your interests perfectly will not be a problem.
You can start by listing different programs from reputable universities such as George Washington University. Online degrees tend to be more specific, so don’t forget to list the available specializations as well.
Stick with degrees in a field that you like or one that can help you shape a better future. If you love politics, for instance, pursuing an online degree in political science can be very exciting. You can enroll in a graduate program that offers an online political science masters and get started right away.
Understand the Course
Next, you need to understand the course before you enroll. Online programs have different structures. Some programs may require you to attend one offline class, while others can be completed 100% online. There are accelerated programs for professionals too.
Download the complete course curriculum and see if you can complete the course without sacrificing time for your family. A number of programs even have explanations about the skills you will be able to pick up, the weight of the course (i.e. the number of assignments you have to complete), and other details.
Don’t forget to check if the program is accredited and whether it follows high standards of education. Reputable universities have standards they maintain throughout their programs, including the distance learning programs they host.
Review the Costs
One of the reasons why online degrees are so popular today is because they are more affordable than the equivalent offline counterpart. You can save up to 40% on tuition alone by opting for an online program. You also don’t need to relocate or deal with travel expenses when studying online.
That said, it is still necessary to review the costs of completing the course. Don’t stop at tuition and admin fees; get the complete cost structure and make sure the course is well within your budget. Take the time to review financing options and available scholarships too.
Complete these steps and you will have the perfect online course to take. All you have to do next is sign up for the course; you will be able to get started as soon as you’re accepted and a new semester begins.