As both an employee and a student, you have a lot on your mind and a lot of demands on your time. For you, convenience and flexibility are essential components of a college degree program you can actually learn from and complete. After all, you don’t have the option to just blow off work if your employment schedule conflicts with your class schedule. Online college is a popular choice for working students because if offers exactly the features that students who are juggling a job and an education – students like you – need.

The Numbers behind Working Online Students

If you’re considering earning your degree online, you might be surprised to find that the majority of your fellow students are in the same situation you are, going to school while working. In fact, about 60 percent of online students are also full-time employees and another 20 work part-time, according to EdTech magazine. That means four in five online college students are working as well as studying. Some of these students are working to pay for their tuition or even support families during their education. Others are already pursuing their desired career paths, but they need a formal education to advance.

Why Online College Works Well for Working Students

The statistics show that an online education clearly appeals to a number of working students, which might not be as surprising as it initially seems to be. After all, since the beginning of its existence, online college has been considered a good choice for part-time students and for nontraditional students, typically defined as students older than age 25. Many of these students are the same students balancing jobs with their college studies.

Working students can even have an advantage as compared to those focusing solely on academics when it comes to earning online degrees. One of the biggest challenges online students face is the necessity of working independently. For students who are already out in the working world, making the transition from face-to-face classroom instruction to a distance learning model of education is easier, because they are used to working independently in their professions. Students with professional experience in their desired field may also have an edge over their peers if they choose to study in a degree program that is competency-based rather than credit-based, because they can test out of additional lessons and be awarded progress toward their degrees based on the work experience they already have.

Online college degree programs are so appealing to working students, and to students in general, because they provide the flexibility to work independently and learn course material at the times that are most convenient for them. There are no scheduling conflicts to work out and no long, hectic commutes to campus. Students don’t need to change their living situations and can complete coursework from virtually anywhere. For working students who are also balancing family obligations as well as school and work, course flexibility is especially important.