May 19, 2015
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when young adults finished up high school and then quickly moved in one of two directions. They either enrolled in a four-year college to work toward their degree, or they got a job right out of high school and never looked back. Enter the modern age, where higher education has changed drastically – embracing technology so that more and more students are finding it possible to earn a degree without having to choose between college and a career.
Image Credit: Flickr/Ohio University Libraries
A new infographic published by Brandman University — The Modern Day Classroom: The Landscape of Today’s Education, investigates the changing landscape of the college classroom and how it has leveled the playing field for students all across the country.
Today’s modern college classrooms may be online, on campus, or both, and new technologies like digital textbooks, remote video conferencing, collaborative online file-sharing, and web-based discussion forums make it easier than ever for students to earn a degree on their own terms.
Consider this incredible research compiled by Brandman University and see that the number of online college students currently stands at approximately 2.6 million individuals. 56% of online learners are presently employed full time, while another 16% hold down part time jobs while earning their degree. These nontraditional learners are able to work while taking advantage of the flexible scheduling provided by today’s modern classroom.
Over the years the cost of a college education has skyrocketed, with many contemporary students having to load up on costly student loans just to make ends meet. According to Brandman, a traditional four-year college averages $9,100 to $31,200 per year, while an online degree can cost as little as $5,780 to $22,912 per year. Spread over the course of a four-year degree, the savings are often monumental. As the middle class struggles with a tepid economy and unimpressive job growth, online degree programs offer the potential to for outstanding value combined with the chance for career advancement and better wages.
Despite the cost and commitment of a college education, many students still aspire to earn their degree. Why? College graduates statistically make 70% more than individuals with a high school diploma, and studies have shown that they are happier and healthier than those without a degree. 83% of college graduates polled feel the struggle was well worth the effort.
Online degrees, flexible scheduling, and modern technology all make the path to higher education more straightforward and easier to manage. As a result, we can look for innovative and leading-edge technologies to keep higher education moving forward. As the modern classroom continues to evolve, becoming more inclusive and cost effective, American workers will continue to reappraise their educational goals.
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