As online education continues to grow in popularity, many students of different backgrounds, ages, and locations are jumping on board. U.S. News spoke with six students who have either recently earned their degree online or who are in the process of doing so.
Each student's experience was different. Some earned master's degrees, and others worked toward bachelor's degrees. Most students sped through their programs in a few years, while one student spent about a decade earning her degree through a mix of on-campus and online courses. Three military veterans saw the value in online education when they returned to the civilian workforce; two moms squeezed online classes in around their kids' schedules; and one woman set out to advance her degree online, as a 20-something, before she started a family.
[See which schools have the Top Online Education Programs.]
Most of the online students who spoke with U.S. News sought the nontraditional route for the flexibility of courses. When pursuing your degree online, there's no need to leave work or family to drive to a specific place at a specific time for class, some said. But some of the online students also stressed that as they took classes from home, they needed to be disciplined, organized, and focused to avoid distractions and manage their time.
These six students earned—or are earning—their degrees online:
- Bridget Baldwin: B.S. in business management from Champlain College
- Bill Chamberlain: M.Ed. in technology education from California University of Pennsylvania
- Dalene Erickson: M.S. in early childhood education from University of North Dakota
- David Gowel: M.S. in management from Harvard University
- Meredith Hart: M.B.A. from Walden University
- Michael Mayle: M.S. in software engineering from Drexel University
Searching for an online program? Get our complete rankings of Top Online Education Programs.