A national poll from 2006 disclosed that only 60% of Americans believed that young people should be taught the value of hard work and studying. One writer commenting on this statistic tried to spin it positively, by revealing that the figure was less than 40% among Europeans. But there is one group today where just about 100% would support the knowledge of hard work and study – people who are working for an online college degree.
With the explosion of the "virtual world" of the Internet over the past decade and a half, we have witnessed the construction of a whole parallel world, except instead of brick and mortar and 2-by-4's, the buildings are made of bits , bytes and computer graphics. The grocery store down the street, the movie theater downtown and the bookstore at the mall all have counterparts, as well as competitors, in cyberspace. And now that colleges have made the move, people have a choice of sitting in class for two or four years or studying in a more flexible way, from home, to get an online college degree.
Brave new world, indeed.
Getting a college degree is not an easy thing to do, online or on campus. The research indicates that a person who goes to an online college for a degree is less likely to drop out, gets higher grades and has fewer specialist issues. These were the same finds some 30 years ago when an educational research group studied junior college students. Because they were older, more settled and knew what they wanted to do, junior college students, like today's online students, were more motivated, focused and, extremely, successful in school.
There are economic and practical reasons that getting an online college degree is becoming a more popular option. People who previously could not afford college are finding lower-cost online alternatives. Parents of young children who could not get away even to a nearby campus can now study from home. Workers who had to keep their jobs and support families are scheduling their classes for evenings and weekends.
Online colleges, trade schools and training institutions have actually performed a remarkable public service by making higher education, in the form of an online college degree, available to more people. This in turn increases the talent pool available to American industry and, along with continuing technological advances, raises worker productivity, economic forecasts and, extremely, the gross national product.
An educated populace is required for the survival of any free, prosperous nation. America is fortunately that, even though some 40% of the population no longer respects the value of hard work and study, there are enough people who do to keep us going and growing. Those are the kind of people who work hard, get an online college degree, get back to work – and then make a difference.