Earning a college degree is a dream for millions of high school students across the country. Many students are able to turn this dream into a reality, but unfortunately for some, a college education remains just out of reach. For these students, too many barriers get in the way of achieving that dream, including cost, distance from home, family and work responsibilities, disabilities, and more.
Early proponents of online learning noticed these obstacles and saw opportunities to make college a possibility for more students of all ages. Colleges looking to become more inclusive soon realized that offering online programs allowed them to welcome more students from all backgrounds to their digital and in-person campuses.
To see if an online degree can help you achieve your college and career dreams, here are seven reasons why an online degree program might be a better fit for you than a traditional in-person degree.
Reason # 1: You Need Flexible Program Options.
More colleges and universities are offering online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels than ever before. Today, the profile of a traditional undergraduate student is much different than it was five to 10 years ago. The modern college student has to divide their time between work, family obligations, classes, and coursework, all while allowing themselves the time to rest and reset between responsibilities. In these circumstances, being on campus full-time can be difficult.
Online programs give you the flexibility to attend classes from anywhere and complete assignments on your schedule, while still offering the one-on-one time with faculty and the collaborative experiences with peers you need to get the most out of your education.
At University of Bridgeport, we’ve utilized online learning to make college more accessible to students, no matter where they live, since 1997. That means UB has been offering top-quality online education for 25 years. As the first university to offer an online master’s degree program in the state of Connecticut, we’ve worked diligently to create and refine meaningful online learning experiences for all our students. We’ve designed our online curriculum to provide the same rigor as any traditional on-campus degree program, with built-in flexibility for today’s busy college students.
We offer online degrees in the following areas:
• Business Administration
• Computer Science and Engineering
• Criminal Justice
• Dental Hygiene
• General Studies
• Health Sciences
• Human Services
• Public Health
Reason #2: You Need Something More Convenient.
Going away to college isn’t an option for every student. Not everyone wants to or can afford to pack up their life and move away to college, and commuting isn’t always an option if schools near you don’t have the programs that you need or want to achieve your desired degree and career path. Online degrees allow you to look for career-focused programs that match your interests — no matter where you live.
Whether you take classes from your local coffee shop or from the comfort of your bedroom, University of Bridgeport welcomes online students from all over the globe. In one of our flexible online degree programs, you’ll learn from expert faculty alongside peers from all communities and cultures — giving you a diverse and collaborative learning experience no matter where or when you sit down to take your classes.
Reason # 3: You Need Accessible Learning Options.
For too long, students with learning needs requiring accommodations have gone with their needs unmet or they’ve had to forgo a college education altogether. Online learning has made an education possible for students with disabilities, chronic illnesses, mobility issues, and differing learning styles. Online education has truly leveled the academic playing field.
According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey (ACS), 19% of enrolled undergraduate students and 12% of enrolled graduate students report having a documented disability. Online classes allow you to complete your work at your own pace, and in your own space, which is a necessity for many learners. Physical, visual, and auditory limitations are sometimes better addressed in online learning environments, allowing students with disabilities more equitable access to their education.
Reason # 4: You Need an Affordable College Education.
Earning your degree online from an accredited institution is often the financially smart option if you’re not looking for, or can’t afford, the traditional on-campus college experience. Earning your bachelor’s degree online typically comes with a lower price tag than a traditional on-campus experience simply because it doesn’t come with the same overhead costs. Instead of covering the costs of housing, classrooms, facilities and faculty offices, online programs can pass those savings on to the student through lower online tuition and fees.
Online degree programs also save you on your personal overhead costs. Instead of paying for room and board or transportation if you commute, you’ll save time and money by earning your degree from the comfort — and cost-savings — of your home.
Reason # 5: You’ll Gain Marketable “Soft” Skills.
Your time in college is about more than just academic learning. While earning your degree online, you’ll perfect your skills in time management, conflict resolution, active listening, organization, public speaking, and more while growing your academic skills in your major. Employers are looking for leaders and managers with these important “people skills” to help grow their companies.
Additionally, as more and more organizations rely on remote work and hybrid working models, the ability to stay on task, communicate effectively, and manage projects while working from any environment will continue to grow as an advantage in the workforce of the future. At UB, you’ll work with our faculty and your peers to strengthen your communication and collaboration skills and be ready to transfer those skills directly into your career.
Reason # 6: You’re Looking to Network with People from Diverse Backgrounds.
Joining an online degree program means you’ll have the opportunity to meet peers and faculty from all over the world. Many international students and students from rural communities can join online programs previously unavailable due to their geographic location, offering them the chance to learn from global experts in their fields. In addition, many of our faculty members are active in their own careers and know what current employers are looking for in job candidates. Your professors will help you hone those skills and set yourself apart during the job search. Ultimately, online degree programs allow you to network on a much larger scale than in-person programs, giving you a leg up when it comes to finding a career in your field.
Reason # 7: You Are Looking for a Supportive Community.
Feeling like you are part of a community is an integral part of the college experience – connecting with classmates, making friends, having interesting conversations, and expanding your world. Online programs are just as connected to the college community as a traditional on-campus education, albeit in a more digital fashion. Online programs have evolved to make the communal experience a meaningful part of the curriculum, including interactive components, virtual office hours with professors, and synchronous, live-in-real-time classroom discussions that can help you feel like you and your peers have an active role in your educational experience. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that our digital interactions can be just as meaningful and fulfilling as in-person interactions — your online education is no different.
Your Future Starts with an Online Education at University of Bridgeport
At University of Bridgeport, our faculty use evidence-based strategies to create an online classroom environment that is inclusive, rigorous, and collaborative, giving you a well-rounded educational experience that will help you grow personally and professionally. You’ll have access to all our support services to help you get the most out of your time at UB. When you earn your degree online from University of Bridgeport, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge needed for a secure and rewarding career in any field you choose, and you’ll leave UB with peers and faculty that will be part of your network for the rest of your career.