Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Online Education Has Its Pros and Cons

DEAR HARRIETTE: I want to go back to get my master's degree, and I am debating whether to physically go to a campus or to take classes online. I am hesitant about the online classes because I feel it would be much easier to procrastinate. However, it would give me more flexibility with other obligations I need to take care of. What are your views on achieving degrees online? -- Back to School

DEAR BACK TO SCHOOL: Obviously there are pros and cons about traditional education and online offerings. You should make a list of your goals, objectives, strengths and weaknesses. Then match your list to the pluses and minuses of each style of education.

What I can tell you from people who have received online degrees is that they have said they do have to actively be responsible and manage deadlines. But the same can be true for those going to campus. In grad school, your professors are rarely going to monitor your progress to ensure that you get everything done. There is a lot of time in both instances when you have to be proactive in order to complete your work.

If you decide to give online education a chance, get yourself organized by creating daily lists of responsibilities, and check them off as you go. Build in leisure time so that you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself of downtime, which you will probably take anyway. Monitor your actions and see how you do. It really is up to you to decide you will be successful and take the steps to make it so.