Online programs are more convenient for many students. They offer more flexibility so you can complete courses at your own pace, and they cost less because you don’t need to pay for housing or commute to campus every day. If you’re thinking about pursuing an occupational therapy degree but worry that an online program won’t give you the same experience as a campus one, rest easy. An online OT degree is just as impactful as its in-person counterpart.

In fact, the demand for OTs is growing rapidly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for OT professionals will increase by 17 percent between 2016 and 2026. Whether you prefer an on-campus or online degree program, here are four reasons why you should pursue an OT degree:

Online education is becoming more popular every year. This format of learning offers numerous benefits for busy adults who want to pursue a degree but cannot do so at a traditional campus. An online occupational therapy degree provides the same educational experience as an on-campus program, but it enables students to learn from home.

These programs are typically hybrid, meaning that students have some required class sessions by video conference and other class sessions they can take completely online. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an occupational therapist and you live in an area where there aren’t many job opportunities, you may want to consider getting your degree online. Many people also prefer to get their degree through distance learning because it has so many advantages over attending a traditional campus. Whether you’re just researching your options or you’ve made up your mind about getting an online degree, here are some benefits of this educational format:

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You Can Choose Your Course Schedule

Unlike with a campus program, you don’t have to attend classes at a specific time. This is one of the biggest benefits of online education: with online classes, you can set your schedule. You don’t have to get to campus at a specific time every day, and you don’t have to decide in advance when you need to take your finals. This flexibility is great because it enables you to work around your other commitments. If your employer offers you an online scheduling option, you can also use your course schedule to work around your work hours. There may be some limits to how much flexibility you have with your schedule, though. Some programs are self-paced, meaning that you can take as long as you want to complete the course, as long as you finish by the deadline. Other programs have specific due dates for each class, which can be helpful when you need some structure and discipline in your life.

You’ll Learn From Highly Qualified Instructors

While attending a campus program, you’ll interact with a lot of other students. However, most of those students will be in the same boat as you, just trying to complete their degree. An online program enables you to have one-on-one interaction with a highly qualified instructor. These instructors are professionals in the field of occupational therapy and have earned a PhD or MA in their speciality. Not only do these professionals know how to teach you as an online student, but they can also help direct you to the resources you need to succeed. While attending a campus program, you may have opportunities to meet with your instructor, but you can’t ask them any questions or get any personalized advice on your studies. An online instructor can help you understand difficult concepts and give you the one-on-one attention you need to be successful.

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You’ll Build a Solid Foundation for Your Future

An occupational therapy degree provides you with a solid foundation for your future. You’ll learn about human development and how people interact with the world. You’ll also explore the different types of therapy that OTs perform and any specialities you might want to pursue in your career. You’ll learn about occupational therapy’s history, its role in the modern world and how it can help people with a wide variety of issues. You’ll also learn about health care and how it can impact your career. While attending a campus program, you’ll have a variety of interesting classes and you’ll meet lots of new people. However, you might not have lots of time to think critically and deeply about the subject matter. An online program enables you to spend time truly thinking about what you’re learning and putting it into a larger context.

An Online Degree is Convenient

Online programs can be extremely convenient for a variety of people. If you have an interest in occupational therapy but live in a rural area where there aren’t many job opportunities, a distance education program can provide you with the same curriculum as a campus program. If you have a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to get to and from campus, you can study online. If you don’t want to uproot your family by moving to attend a campus program, online education gives you the same educational experience. In addition to convenience, online programs can also be flexible. If you need to miss a class, you can often go back and watch the recording at your convenience. If you have a specific time that works best for your family, you can choose to take your courses at that time.

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Online Courses Are Typically Affordable

One of the biggest benefits of online education is that most of these programs are fairly affordable. You’ll need to do some research to find the best programs for occupational therapy and the intended cost, but you can find something that works for you. Many reputable schools offer financial aid to cover the cost of your degree. If you’re a good candidate for a grant or scholarship, you can get even more money to offset the cost of education. If you’re interested in attending a traditional campus program, be sure to look into scholarships as well as financial aid. You may find that your degree is much more affordable than you expected.

Conclusion

An online occupational therapy degree provides all of the same benefits as an on-campus program. It provides you with a solid foundation for your future, enables you to build a network with other OTs and provides you with the tools you need to start your career. It also enables you to choose your course schedule, have one-on-one interaction with instructors and choose a flexible program. Online education is convenient and typically affordable as well.

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