By: Alicia Maudilee Gillum, ASU Online student
Joining an online master’s program offers significant advantages over a traditional, on-campus program. As a working professional looking to advance your career, the convenience of learning right from your laptop allows you to take the course no matter where you go. You can roll out of bed and go to class with ease from the comfort of your home. You can log in during your lunch break at work to catch up on some reading. While traveling, you can study too! As long as you have access to a computer, you can attend class anywhere.
The online master's program through ASU is built to meet the needs of professionals who are working or have a busy schedule. As a working professional, I can attest to how hectic it can be juggling a full agenda. I wake up to hit the gym at 5am, and then run home to head to work. Once my day is over, I take a quick break, and then log in to my classroom right from my own home. The weekends provide me a little more flexibility, allowing me to run to Starbucks to study while I sip on a favorite drink. It’s nice because I can log on no matter where I am. As a matter of fact, I recently took a girls trip to Vegas and was able to study while having fun.
We live in a society today where most people have a two-year to four-year degree. There is a high demand in the job market for applicants with a stronger background, which includes masters’ degrees. A candidate coming in with job experience and a master’s degree under their belt makes him/her more marketable. I have found that many organizations are promoting talent within, rewarding individuals who have not only worked hard, but have also made development goals to advance their education. An employer will notice an employee who is well rounded.
Taking courses online while working shows dedication and determination. You gain self-discipline skills as you force yourself to manage your time and tasks. Those are life skills that go beyond the classroom.
I highly recommend learning the layout of the classroom. ASU’s Blackboard is designed to help students every step of the way. There are many unique features to make your classroom experience easy. Your Blackboard through MY ASU is linked with Google, allowing you to check your emails, manage your calendar and save papers straight to your Drive. No need to drive to the library when there is a virtual one right on your board. There is so much you can do, all with just a click of the mouse. I wish I had spent more time becoming familiar with all the tools before starting my classes. I recommend playing around with all the features!