When you’ve been out in the working world, going back to school can be intimidating. Whether you entered the workforce fresh out of high school or you completed your undergraduate education but can’t move up without an advanced degree, it’s been years since you were last a student. The good news is that just as online college is a good choice for nontraditional students and working students, online college is also a convenient way for students to go back to school.

Concerns of Students Going Back to School

If you have been out of school for some time, you probably have a lot of considerations on your mind. You may worry that you won’t be able to succeed or that the skills you will need as a student have gotten rusty in the years since you were last in school. Some students wonder if they will fit in with younger classmates, many of whom lack work and life experience. If you’re juggling a full-time or part-time job or the responsibility of raising a family along with your studies, you might also worry about scheduling conflicts, finding the time to study and complete coursework and the logistics of getting to class every week.

Why You Should Consider Online College

Online college courses address many of the concerns students have when they go back to school, which is exactly what makes them so popular among this group of students. Though online courses are far from easy and present many challenges of their own, you won’t have to worry about pop quizzes or being called on in front of the class and not knowing the answers. Students who do struggle can take advantage of help and tutoring services available through their schools. Your interactions with your classmates will be online and often more relevant to your coursework and your perspectives, so you don’t have to worry about fitting in but might find that you have deeper and more meaningful interactions than you would in a traditional classroom. Because online college courses often provide flexibility in when and where you choose to complete the coursework, you can set your own schedule that balances your studies with your work schedule and family time. However, keep in mind that online courses require as much work or more work than traditional courses. Because students don’t have regular in-person interactions with a professor and fellow students, they may feel isolated and have a harder time keeping up with the workload.

Before going back to school, students should consider the purpose of continuing their studies, the time and financial commitment and whether pursuing a college degree is really better than any alternative ways of improving their skills and credentials, according to U.S. News & World Report. Going back to school online isn’t for everyone. While doing so without having a plan might hinder your success, advancing your education with a plan can greatly improve your career prospects.