As a working professional, committing to part-time study is a significant commitment. Whether you are returning to study or embarking on your study journey for the first-time, choosing the right programme for you is critically important. The following article illustrates three key considerations to ensure you are set up to succeed as an online student.

University selection

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Universities world-wide are repositioning and enhancing their online presence. Now more than ever the abundance of competing University offerings is astonishing. Every University appears to be ‘online’ and offering the best programmes in the market. As a prospective student, one method to consider is the University’s global profile and Faculties rankings. The QS ranking system is a sound way to compare and contrast competing Universities, whereby Universities are scored across six metrics, including Academic reputation, Employer reputation staff/student ratio, citations per faculty, International faculty staff, International student ratio. The University of Auckland is the highest ranked New Zealand University, at 81st with 13 subjects within the top 50 globally.

Programme relevance

As a working professional, the online programme you wish to pursue should align to your career goals. Studying a programme that also interests you and motivates you towards an end goal will pay huge dividends during those time-consuming periods, balancing work and other life commitments. A useful tip is to not only look to the programme title, but more so the course breakdown and descriptors. Reviewing the individual courses within the programme structure will give you a sense of what knowledge and theory you will attain throughout your learning experience. Aim to evaluate the programme’s construct to ensure what you are learning at a course level adds value to your skill-set and employment profile.

Delivery specifics

As referenced as above, most Universities are now ‘online’, however the devil is in the detail. Unfortunately, the term ‘online’ is highly interchangeable and takes on many different meanings in the market. When choosing an online programme, be sure to consider the finer details behind the delivery mode. Fully online, remote or virtually delivered programmes can result in different ways to absorb the course material. Fully online often implies that students can study “anytime, anywhere”, whereas remote or virtual learning often requires students to consume the course material via fixed time live lectures on Zoom. Whatever the format, just ensure the way in which you learn compliments your busy schedule and sets you up for success from the start.