Online College Helps People of All Ages

Photo of author

( — March 2, 2016) — By now, the debate about the usefulness of an online education should be well over. It is absolutely useful. That was easy. Unfortunately, the debate does not end there. It has morphed from a simple question of usefulness to a comparison of relative value with a traditional university education. That is a more complicated proposition.

Each type of educational setting has its pros and cons. Everyone is different, and not everyone is well suited for an online university. People who should not consider an online education include the following:

  • Those who require a highly-structured environment
  • The technically illiterate
  • People who require more hands-on instruction

A lot of people fall into these categories. But it should be noted that they will also have trouble with the workforce of the future. That said, an online education can benefit people of all ages, and from every walk of life. Here’s how:

A More Familiar Tool for the Young

Today’s teens spend an unprecedented amount of time on computers, tablets, and smartphones online. They are communicating with one another by typing things into text boxes. They are watching video. And they are looking things up online. They are, in fact, doing all the things they would need to be doing if they were getting an online degree.

It makes sense that they would utilize an educational method that mimics the way in which they do everything else. Doing so might give them a better chance to actually complete their education. At the very least, they might be more inclined to start one.

They can do their core curriculum online instead of at a junior college. Later in life, they may decide to complete, or add to their degree. They might decide to go to nursing schools in PA to take advantage of an accelerated BSN or MSN to push their career to the next level. Having gotten those online credits early in life will put them in a good position for whatever they decide to do next.

A Way out of a Dead-End Job

College is usually a lot easier when you are 18 and free from responsibilities. Once you start working and supporting a family, it becomes a lot harder to change course. If you find yourself stuck in a dead-end situation, online education was made for you.

Working moms are major beneficiaries of online education. In some programs across the country, online university enrollment is as high as 70% female. While going to school online cannot add more hours to a busy day, it can improve the prospects of getting a degree.

The way it does that is by allowing a person with a fixed schedule to work in the extra duties on her own time. A missed class here and there is not the end of the world, as they are generally recorded and can be replayed. Questions can also be asked and answered after the fact. Online education makes career changes possible for people later in life.

A More Accessible Way to Learn

If your vision keeps you from being able to see what is written on a chalk board, you might be completely out of luck in many educational environments. If your hearing keeps you from being able to keep up with what is being said, your educational prospects have been limited, that is, up until the advent of online education.

While not all accessibility issues are addressed by moving from campus to online, many are. Wheelchair accessibility is no longer a problem when the campus is your home. Large print materials are easier to come by when you can manipulate the fonts on the computer, or have materials read aloud by the computer. Older students, or just those with more accessibility issues can complete their degree online, where it might be impossible for them in a classroom setting.

Whether you are just getting started, in the middle of a career, or have specialized needs, online education helps people of all ages from all walks of life.