There's a digital revolution happening in tertiary education. Engaging and immersive online learning is becoming more accessible especially for busy, mid-career professionals who are looking to take the next step in their careers.
There are numerous benefits to studying online and it's become extremely attractive to professionals looking to gain new qualifications while they continue to work and maintain their other responsibilities.
Gone are the days when you had to travel to and from campus at set times to get a degree. With online learning, the student is in control of their study time, with the bonus of well-structured and interactive coursework that has been designed specifically to help students understand and retain complex information.
RMIT University has a strong reputation for developing industry-connected programs and now provides access to high-quality online postgraduate degrees.
Shane Duran, Senior Business Partner Procurement with the City of Gold Coast, is studying an online Master of Supply Chain and Logistics Management program with RMIT.
"I wanted to undertake postgraduate studies and looked at a number of options. I concluded that an online course would suit my personal situation better than an on-campus course," Duran says.
"RMIT offered a 100 per cent online Masters degree in the field that I wanted, so I chose that to enhance my professional skills and career development, as well as to challenge myself personally.
"I enjoy learning, so I am finding the course to be very satisfying."
As the father of a teenage son, Duran was faced with the difficulty of balancing further study, a full-time career as well as a busy family and social life.
"It can be challenging to find time to study while balancing family, full-time work and my very active social life.
"However, the course is interesting and enjoyable, so I look forward to it and find that I am not looking for ways to avoid study.
"It helps that the course is 100 per cent online, because I don't have to find additional time to travel to and from university, which would be quite disruptive. It's much easier just to go to my laptop, login to the course or the library and get stuff done."
Duran's Master of Supply Chain and Logistics Management with RMIT is a two-year intensive part-time program, but doesn't feel "remote" or "detached" by studying online.
"No, I don't get that at all. I chose this course because it is 100 per cent online," Duran said.
"I thoroughly enjoy the flexibility that studying online provides and that I don't have to physically attend university at set times.
"Regular webinars are held, which I attend when I can. If I can't attend a webinar, they are posted online so that I can watch them later.
"There are extensive online resources provided. The tutors are skilled and knowledgeable and are readily accessible through email and forums. All of this has made the online experience enjoyable and rewarding."
One of the big motivators for undertaking an online postgraduate degree is that it's now becoming a prerequisite for progression into executive roles. Ironically, many professionals whose careers are being displaced by technology are studying to retrain and reskill for new industries.
The cost of an online degree is also broadly equal to that of a conventional course. The academic content, faculty engagement and rigorous assessment is on-par with on-campus courses.
"I definitely recommend online study to anyone. I have found it particularly helpful for balancing my time," Duran said.
Duran's advice to future students is work through the weekly readings and make sure to complete the exercises, as they help galvanise the learning and identify areas of uncertainty that can be followed up through further research or with the tutor, if necessary.
"With the assignments, understand the requirements, carefully read the rubric and aim to hit the points for high distinction.
"Because of my commitments, I don't have a firm schedule as such, however, I do loosely schedule time each night if I can, as well as on weekends to make sure that I can cover the coursework, exercises and assignments.
"I also try to find time to just chill out occasionally. Doing a Masters degree can be challenging and does take a lot of hard work and commitment, but I am finding it to be very rewarding and fulfilling."
For more information on studying online with RMIT, click here.
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