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These days, nearly everything is available online, including the opportunity to earn a college degree. When it comes to education, the more ways we can get a good one, the better, so bringing higher learning to a high-tech world only makes sense.

Some people cannot attend classes in person and others just don't want to, so for those who still desire a college education, opting for online is the way to go. It may not be traditional, but in this fast-paced, ever-changing world we live in, before long, online may become the new norm.

If you are not sure if an online education is right for you or you would like to learn some of its benefits, here are some stellar reasons to log on and learn.

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It's Less Expensive Than a Traditional College/University Experience

Boy is college expensive! Even community and state schools cost a fortune. Without financial aid, loans, or scholarships, many people just cannot afford to go. Rather than ditch the idea of getting a degree altogether, folks with financial limitations can seek out more affordable options online.

According to Straighterline, "You can save hundreds of dollars to get your degree when you're learning online. The traditional costs associated with using classroom space and equipment don't apply. As long as you have the right hardware and software to log on and complete course assignments, as well as study the material, there are big savings you realize right away."

There are other practical savings perks too, as Montgomery College notes. "Consider what it would cost you in gas and parking each month if you were driving to campus. Consider the costs of eating out versus eating at home. Consider the costs for child-care, pet care or any other kind of care that you need to provide while you are away from home. Consider the costs of missing work to make classes or not being eligible for a promotion because you can't attend classes to advance your educational level."

There's a Wide Range of Courses to Select From

When you attend a college in person, there are a variety courses to choose from, but there are limitations depending on the size of the school as well as its focus. This puts restraints on what you can study, and in turn, what sort of career you will one day be prepared for.

As per Open Education Database, "No matter what students wish to study, from nursing to neuroscience, they can find online the courses or degree programs they need. They can also earn every academic degree online, all the way from a career certificate to a doctorate."

"Whether it's algebra, English composition or even biology lab work, there's a course you can take online. You can even study humanities, sociology and business administration," Straighterline adds.

You'll Have More Flexibility

With online education, you can learn at your own pace, at any time of day or night, weekdays or weeknights, after work, or when the baby is napping. You can take as much time as you need to earn your degree or speed things up and move on to the next stage in life. Take one course or take a bunch. Online, flexibility is a major perk.

For instance, as per Straighterline, "If you work non-traditional hours, you don't have to lose sleep, arrange for childcare or waste time commuting to physical classrooms."

Open Education Database adds, "Students can study and work when they are at their peak energy, whether that's early morning or late at night. Course material is always accessible online, so there's no need to schedule special trips to a library either. All of this makes online learning a good option for students who need to balance their work and family commitments."

It's a Lesson in Prioritizing and Self-Discipline

Not only does online learning teach you coursework, but it provides an important lifelong lesson in discipline and prioritization. You are fully accountable to show up, do the work, and retain the information. There's no physical classroom where the professor will mark you absent, so it's up to you to show up for yourself.

Learning to manage your schedule and keep on top of things responsibly is not only valuable for college, but in all areas of life. As per Montgomery College, "The motivation to study in an online course comes from you. It's something we call student-centered or active learning. The online student takes responsibility for their course of studies and matures into an individual for whom learning and accomplishment are highly valued. In short, your success depends on you!"

Are you interested in learning online but don't quite know where to start? Consider OnlineSchoolScout, "a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison features." They have released their top five featured schools with online degree programs for 2018. #1 is Ashford University with 70+ online bachelor's degree programs. And if you opt to attend college in person after learning online, you can transfer up to 90 approved credits. Check out OnlineSchoolScout's other top picks and see if one is the right fit for you.

Learning is power, and education can be powered up right at home.

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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