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So you’d like to land a job as a nurse anesthetist. And why not? You put people to sleep before their surgeries and earn a nice salary while doing it, an average of $91,000 a year. It’s a nice gig.
You fire up your laptop and begin hunting for an online college where you can find this degree. You search the usual suspects: the University of Phoenix, Everest University Online, Ashford University and Post University. You don’t find a thing for nurse anesthetist.
This is frustrating. You’ve dreamt of attending an online college as a way to boost your income. You see it as a way to get aheadeven in today’s dismal national economy. But it seems as if you won’t be able to land a high-paying anesthetist job without attending a real brick-and-mortar college.
A nurse anesthetist degree is just one of many that still aren’t offered online. With the huge boom in online universities and colleges – you can’t get through a 30-minute sitcom without an ad for the University of Phoenix popping up – you’d think that every degree imaginable was available at online colleges.
Degrees that Require Real Classroom Time
Several top degrees require you to spend hours sitting in an actual classroom. That might sound depressing to you, especially if you’re a returning student. Such students usually lead especially hectic lives. They’re often juggling an existing career, marriage and children with their dreams of returning to school.
It can lead to long days and sleepless nights. But those returning students who want to land certain degrees will have to put up with the hassles of returning to an actual brick-and-mortar campus.
For instance, students who want to land a lucrative career in the computer engineering field, where average salaries are an impressive $86,000 a year, will have to attend real classes in the presence of real human beings.
Those students who want to land jobs in construction management – a nice average salary of $73,000 – won’t find their degrees online, either. The same for future massage therapists, who earn an average of $62,000 a year; the degrees that lead to this career can’t be found at the University of Phoenixes of the world.
If you want to start a career in one of these more lucrative fields, you’ll have to make a big decision: Do you invest the upfront money and time in attending brick-and-mortar classes, or do you find a different career in which an online degree can lead more quickly, and cheaply, to a job?
It’s a trade-off, as difficult choices inevitably are. You’ll trade in the highest salaries for the chance to enter the working world in a shorter period of time.
If you do make the big jump to pursue a degree that you can’t nab at an online university, make sure that you have plenty of support, especially if you are married with children. You’ll need help from your spouse. You can’t work, take care of the kids full-time, and complete your classes. You’ll burn out, and you’ll do a poor job at all three of these important tasks.
Returning to brick-and-mortar study isn’t an impossible task. Students do it all the time. But it does require a more advanced commitment. If you’re not willing to make it, or if you won’t have enough support to get through the tough times, non-online degrees might not be the right choice for you.