From choosing which course to complete to deciding whether you have what it takes, and also, whether you’ll even enjoy the study experience – there are certain questions you need to ask yourself before enrolling.

To help you answer these questions, understanding the value of a university education is

critical. Regardless of the extra stress the study commitment may add to your existing pressures, the truth is, that the payoff will be worth it.

Let’s discuss.


Which Online Course Should I Choose to Complete?

With a plethora of online courses available to enroll in, sometimes the hardest question to ask yourself is which one you should choose! In the end, though, this decision will depend largely on your interests, as well as your career aspirations.

If you’re wanting to enter politics, for instance, you might consider completing a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy online. Aspiring lawyers, on the other hand, may prefer to study law. For budding medical professionals, a prerequisite for becoming a doctor or a nurse is to complete the required formal qualifications in the field.

In this sense, your professional goals will ultimately inform your choice of degree. However, you must also be genuinely interested in what you’re studying. After all, if you’re not interested, you’re unlikely to remain engaged. Worryingly, you may even end up a university dropout statistic!

Can I Handle My Study Workload Without Burning Out?

As a student, you’ll learn better than anyone the importance of managing your time. Learning effective time management is an essential life skill, but even more so when contending with completing multiple units of study as part of your degree.

To be able to manage your time effectively as a student, you may find what is known as the ‘time blocking’ strategy to be helpful. Time blocking involves dedicating entire chunks of time to certain tasks. Block out several hours to complete one particular assignment, for example. Or, implement a distraction-free hour of power to maximise your productivity.

Many students also find creating visual to-do lists useful. Ticking down a list of completed tasks is, admittedly, exceptionally satisfying, and can give you a little accomplishment-associated dopamine hit. Further to this, the use of a productivity app such as Structured, Asana or Monday can also assist you with staying on track with the tasks on your to-do list.

Of course, you’ll also need to include some downtime in your schedule. Stress reduction techniques can assist immensely in reducing the risk of burnout. Make sure to monitor your mindset, and take a step back when you feel you’re doing too much.


How Will I Juggle My Studies with My Other Commitments?

Often, when people choose to enroll in a course online it’s because they have commitments outside of their studies. These could be professional commitments, or simply, other important items on their personal agenda. Irrespective of what these commitments entail, choosing to add a study workload into the mix can be quite a challenge! Juggling your responsibilities, then, is a skill you need to develop.

For full-time workers, this may mean sacrificing some weekends, especially towards the end of the semester when the majority of your assignment due dates will accumulate. The best way to get through this is to plan. Get yourself familiar with your course outline, set your key dates throughout your study period, and stick to them. It also helps to diarise submission dates or to mark them on a calendar. This will help keep you one step ahead and on the front foot of everything you’ve got going on.

Will I Enjoy Being an Online Student?

This, of course, varies depending on the person. For more introverted individuals, the ease and convenience of studying from the comfort of your own home is highly beneficial. For others, a sense of social isolation can be associated with being a remote student.

In the latter scenario, remote study needs to be complemented by filling up your social cup. Ensure you are spending time doing social activities outside of your hours of study to help combat that feeling of loneliness.


Planning Finances for Online Education

When considering online education, meticulous financial planning is paramount. Begin by evaluating tuition costs, additional fees, and the expense of required textbooks and materials. Investigate available scholarships, grants, or financial aid to alleviate the financial burden. Moreover, contemplate potential part-time work opportunities to support your studies. Creating a detailed budget and exploring cost-saving strategies can ensure a smoother financial journey throughout your online education.

Ensuring Proper Technical Requirements

Before embarking on your online education journey, it is vital to confirm that your technical setup aligns with the program’s requirements. Ensure you possess a reliable computer and a high-speed internet connection to facilitate seamless access to course materials and resources. Familiarize yourself with software or applications necessary for your studies and perform regular system maintenance to prevent technical issues that may disrupt your learning experience. A well-prepared technical environment is a cornerstone of successful online learning.


Understanding Course Format and Structure

Comprehending the format and structure of your chosen online course is essential for effective planning and learning. Determine whether the course follows an asynchronous or synchronous format. Asynchronous courses offer flexibility with self-paced learning, while synchronous courses involve live sessions with set schedules. Additionally, grasp the overall course structure, including the organization of modules, assignments, and assessments. This understanding aids in time management, assignment planning, and ensures you are prepared for the course’s specific requirements and expectations.

Leveraging Academic Support Systems

Online education offers various academic support systems to assist students in their learning journey. Familiarize yourself with available resources such as tutors, academic advisors, and technical support teams. These support systems can provide guidance, address academic concerns, and troubleshoot technical issues promptly. Knowing where to seek help when faced with challenges enhances your overall academic experience. Stay proactive in utilizing these resources to maximize your success in online education and later graduation.


What Options Do I Have Once I Graduate?

Undoubtedly, your career prospects will largely depend on which degree you have chosen to complete. But regardless of which course you have selected, research has shown that completing a tertiary qualification can get you further in your career – irrespective of the industry.

So, if you’re still hesitating about enrolling in an online course, don’t delay! Your career will thank you for it.