Benefits of Online Degrees, According to Students |

Benefits of Online Degrees, According to Students

By Niamh Ollerton

Updated Updated

Online degree programs continue to make education more accessible and versatile for students across the globe.

Benefits include: the variety of courses; lower tuition fees; a more comfortable learning environment; convenience and flexibility; greater ability to concentrate; and the ability to continue in your profession.

The flexibility to adapt study hours around work and personal life was a big draw for Jessica Cooke, Dunnhumby Lead Media Planner - Nestle Client Team Manager on UCL School of Management’s online MBA.

She said: “The quality of teaching has been superb, and the professor’s ability to both communicate complex subjects and facilitate engaging debate through a non-traditional online classroom format has exceeded all of my expectations.”

But why did she choose the program? The business school’s culture was one such factor. She said: “UCL are looking for students passionate about learning, not just looking for three letters at the end of their name.

“My fellow students come from nearly every continent and every industry, so there’s not a traditional or common approach in the cohort’s background. I work in consumer goods in the UK. Learning through debate from colleagues who work in engineering in Australia, government in the US, or even interior design has helped expand my horizons to new industries and cultures.”

Online degrees can feel solitary by nature, but that doesn’t mean networking opportunities aren’t abundantly available.

Jessica said one of the unexpected outcomes from her online MBA is the relationships she built with her cohort. She said: “UCL look for students keen to learn and foster a culture of collaboration so that we rise as a collective rather than compete with each other. Even though we’re often on different continents, we’ve been able to build personal relationships and have leant on each other for support in so many ways.”

Iain Cooper, Global Director of Intellectual Property at Jacobs, chose to pursue SoM’s online MBA rather than a full-time MBA as he wanted to earn his MBA from a global school while working full-time in Saudi Arabia – and the online MBA ticked all the boxes.

As Iain had studied at postgraduate level before, he had some ideas of what to expect. He said: “The flexible yet structured delivery model for the program means I can plan my week in advance in order to balance family, work and study commitments.”

Iain also noted his feeling of connectedness to the university was surprising. He said: “Given the program is delivered almost entirely online, I didn’t expect to feel bonded with my cohort, the faculty and the institution in the way that I do.

“Our entire cohort really feels connected to the university and its history, and as the first UCL MBA cohort we feel honored to be participating in a new chapter of the UCL story.”

Isabelle Malique-Park chose ESCP Business School’s Executive Master’s in International Business for ESCP’s longevity and reputation, and the EMIB because it fit her career plan relating to international economic development.

She said: “The EMIB program enables me to take courses in French and in English (two different tracks), practicing both languages, having access to a wider choice of courses and conducting group work with different people.”

An added bonus for Isabelle is the course is new, and up to date: “Online study was a very exciting proposition, far away from school benches and old memories…”

Kim Oestergaard, Group President & CEO Meneta Group, said the course seminars were a highlight on ESCP’s EMIB, where students can react with fellow students and course professors – giving an international feel to the program and great takeaways.

He said: “[You should] participate in online discussions as much as possible and engage with dedication in group work assignments - studying online and at a distance requires and builds a high level of self-discipline and a self-driven approach.”

Nicoleta Minoiu Enache, also on ESCP’s EMIB said the fresh content impressed her, from strategy, human resources management, to digital marketing – utilizing case studies from recent business situations.

She said: “The online platform runs smoothly, even during the pandemic context. We are among the few lucky ones that could continue studying without any change.”

Continuity and flexibility are traits that online students mention time and again, but at the heart of online education is technology and how that can better shape education.

Nicoleta said: “The technological environment today provides effective ways to share knowledge that go way beyond the traditional written text through videos, blogs, forums. Online education allows an à la carte menu for everyone.”

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