In today’s modern society where highly skilled labor is more and more in demand, owning a college degree has become the main rule of education rather than its exception. Whereas an average adult holding a high school diploma could easily find a well-paid job twenty-five years ago, that same adult would have a hard time finding a similar position with the changing face of modern corporations.
As a result of this change, people are gradually forced to acquire a higher degree of education if they only wish to be considered for office employment today; should they aspire to reach a management position later on in their career, then surely a college degree is their best asset to obtain that promotion. The problem, however, is that for most people of adult age, and even some of younger age, going to college as a regular student is something out of the realm of their possibilities; some already have a full-time job, they have rent and bills to pay, children to take care of, or an ailing relative to attend to. Whatever the reason is, a regular classroom-oriented education is for them nothing but an impossible dream. That is where distance education becomes the perfect, and sometimes the only answer to their scholarly prayers.
Consequently, it is of no surprise that distance learning is becoming the prime candidate in the quest for higher knowledge among the adult population.
According to a recent study released by the U.S Department of Education, nearly 2.9 million students enrolled in college-level distance education courses in 2000-01, and this is more than double the enrollment of 1997-98. That being said, it is quite obvious to understand why a growing number of the population is opting for this specific solution: distance learning is, of course, convenient; you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to attend classes. You will never find yourself stuck in traffic on the way to your college campus or have to worry about being late or miss an important lecture. Chances are you will save a bundle in gas or public transportation fares. You can conduct your studying whenever you feel like it, at any time of day or night, weekdays or weekends. You are also free to do as little or as much work as you want on any given day. If you’re sick for a week, you will miss nothing in terms of classes, assignments or that crucial advice regarding your mid-term paper. As long as you complete all of your mandatory assignments before the ending of the course, you’re home free.
All in all, distance education is extremely flexible and convenient. It will save you a considerable amount of time, money and concerns, which in themselves are reasons enough to grab the attention of most people. But even more importantly, college from home offers you the incredible possibility of choosing the perfect establishment that will best suit your needs and busy schedule. Since traveling becomes irrelevant, nothing is preventing you from taking a course from a prestigious university in China, Australia or anywhere in the world for that matter. If a college offers that particular course no other places dares to offer, you just apply and don’t have to worry about its location. I am just finishing a distance learning course from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and in a couple of weeks I will be starting an online course from the University of Oxford in England. In my lifetime I probably won’t have many chances to visit Europe and go to England, or even travel across the many provinces of my own country; that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from these places. That is exactly what college from home is offering, the boundless freedom of knowledge, and that is benefit enough for me.