College Degree Finder

Online Distance Learning DegreeFits Student’s Busy Life

Lance Platt earns his graduate degree in Organizational Management while living abroad.
Interviewer: What prompted you to pursue a degree?
Lance Platt: When I completed my Masters degree in 1996, I really thought I was finished forever with pursuing any higher education. However, in 2005 I was looking for a new challenge and the thought of earning a doctorate degree intrigued me. I researched several doctoral and Ph.D. programs and before I knew it I found myself back in school — virtual school that is.
Interviewer: Please tell me about the degree you are pursuing.
Lance Platt: I am pursuing a PhD with a business emphasis. Usually, when you go beyond earning a Masters degree the emphassis is on psychology or education. I wanted to further my education, but I wanted it to be highly applicable to the business world. After reviewing many campus based programs in my area — none of which provided exactly what I was looking for — I started to seriously consider distance learning programs. I found a degree in Organizational Management with an emphasis in Leadership provided by an accredited university in another state. It has turned out to be one the best education decisions I’ve every made. The program has provided the right balance of real world business application and scholarly research.
Interviewer: So far has distance learning lived up to your expectations?
Lance Platt: Yes, it has. As expected, it has been challenging, yet very rewarding. The challenge has been balancing the work/life aspect participating in a graduate level distance learning program. The rewards have already started to surface in terms of my career development. The program forced me to learn and apply leadership principles that I would not otherwise be learning. It also helped me to learn how to effectively apply time management skills.
Interviewer: Why did you decided to pursue a distance learning degree as opposed to traditional campus based degree?
Lance Platt: My career requires me to travel extensively, ruling out any opportunity to enroll in a traditional campus program. The distance learning environment has allowed me to “attend class” and earn my degree while traveling. The program has also provided some flexibility with the other areas of life.
Interviewer: What are the biggest benefits to earning a degree via a distance-learning program?
Lance Platt: Long before distance learning was available I completed my Masters at a traditional brick-and-mortar campus program. It was a great experience, but I knew after finishing it that I would never have the time or financial resources to return to a classroom environment. Distance learning has provided an opportunity for me to pursue an advanced degree that I would otherwise not have been able to attain.
Interviewer: What where the criteria did you use for choosing a distance learning school?
Lance Platt: My selection criteria included the following:

1) Had to be an accredited and reputable program.
2) The school must have exactly what I wanted — a business oriented PhD degree.
3) Was not a school where I had completed one of my previous degrees.
4) Flexible to meet my needs and easy to work with.
Interviewer: What would you tell other students considering an online or distance learning degree?
Lance Platt: I would tell them that distance learning programs require a high level of self-discipline — they aren’t for everyone. Don’t think that just because the program takes place outside of a traditional classroom setting that it is necessarily self paced or going to be easy. Accredited, reputable distance learning degree programs are well organized, structured and very demanding. I would encourage those who want to pursue distance learning to focus on the end and never quit. Earning an advanced degree requires an “enduring to the end” commitment.

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