Choosing an Online Program That Is Right for You

Posted: August 7, 2018 12:00:00 PM CDT

The thought of beginning a college degree program, whether on campus or online, can be slightly intimidating. Whether you’re a first-year student, going back to finish your bachelor’s degree, or thinking about a master’s program, there are many things to consider as you make your decision.

It’s important to assess your situation in each of the following areas:

  • Commitment to Graduation: What are your future plans? What is your desire to be in college? How will you handle obstacles throughout your time in college?

  • Managing Commitments: Work? Family? Extracurricular activities? Time management, task prioritization, and balance are needed as you work through your degree.

  • Finances: How do you plan to pay for your education, now and in the future? This is a crucial piece to consider before your enrollment.

  • Health and Support: How do you plan to manage your physical and emotional health, as well as those around you? Do you have a child or aging parent you may need to consider as you make your decision? Your personal support network (family, friends, groups, and activities) will play a large role in your success in school. It is easy to get overwhelmed without this network in place.

Online degree programs give you a way to achieve your education while balancing work and family life. But with so many program options, how do you find the right fit? The University of Nebraska at Kearney has some tips that can help. 

The first step to finding the right online degree program is to evaluate your unique needs. Are you a working professional who already has a full schedule? Maybe you’re a high school graduate who wants to go to college but needs to work full time to pay for it. Or maybe you’re ready to shift careers or take a step forward in your current one.

The questions below can help you focus on what you want and need from your online program. That way, when it's time to apply, you can be confident you’ve chosen the right degree program—and the right university.

Ask yourself these questions before choosing a degree program:

  • What is my passion?
  • Does this degree suit my future needs?
  • Can I expand on this degree?
  • Will this course or degree make me more employable?
  • What is the job outlook for this profession?
  • What financial or academic resources do I need?

Look for a degree program that aligns with your goals, whether they are career advancement, a salary increase, or a complete career change. Your degree program should also fit your skills, abilities, and interests. Evaluate your strengths and the areas where you need growth, and choose an online degree program that matches up with who you are, what you can do, and what you want to do. Finally, choose a program from a university that will provide the support services and resources you might need as an online student. These could include library services, technology support, writing assistance, career advising, military student services, or other resources that are available to online students.

If you aren’t quite sure of your interests or career goals, UNK can help. Online program coordinators are available in each department to discuss your education plans and ensure you are choosing the correct program of study. They and other professionals at UNK, including those at eCampus, can assist you from the time you are considering the program all the way to your graduation. Choosing your degree program is a big decision, and we can help make that process easier.

Take the first step by viewing the complete list of online programs at UNK. Then contact us to discuss your questions, interests, and how to get started at 308.865.6388 or

By: Stacey Schwarz

Category: General, eCampus

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