Essay Example on A Closer Look At Online Postsecondary Education

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A Closer Look At Online Postsecondary Education A great deal of America's population resides in the working class These jobs require little if any postsecondary education and most workers hold only high school diploma or an undergraduate degree It is commonly known that people who hope to become successful and achieve the American Dream typically need a higher education to do so In the past 30 years online universities have begun offering courses for people who want to enroll as part time students without sacrificing their jobs and make those dreams a reality These programs have flexible hours in an effort to work around busy schedules With these degrees people can have more appealing resumes that help them get the job they want This idea sounds great on paper but how effective is it actually when it comes to helping people transition from the working to middle class Online universities draw people in for many reasons but what primarily draws them in is the hope of success Whether they do it for themselves or for their families a bigger paycheck could help them afford safer housing better clothes nicer meals or a better neighborhood For some people a degree means job security About 60 workers at KeySpan Corporation for example utilize breaks and conference rooms to complete Dowling College s online MBA program Having an MBA or Master of Business Administration degree makes their resumes more appealing when the company is deciding who to promote and who they need to dismiss Solnik Ideally these programs would help people who work for low wages gain an undergraduate or graduate degree and eventually get a higher paying job Unfortunately however online university programs typically require them to make sacrifices that can seem unrealistic

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The University Of Phoenix Online CEO Tony Digiovanni says their online courses cost 20 percent more than their on campus ones According to Digiovanni this is due to the high costs of technology platforms twenty four hour student service and their small class sizes College tuition is expensive on its own and 20 percent is not a small amount to add on top of it Schelin Furthermore online classes require access to the internet which means purchasing either a computer or a pass to a library that has computers Although public library passes are usually free the student will still have to take time out of their day to go there and study In that case they do not receive the luxury of staying at their home or workplace like the men and women at KeySpan do Tuition costs a great deal of money especially for workers who earn lower wages Their paychecks are focused more on food clothing and safe housing In the book Nickel and Dimed a woman named Barbara Ehrenreich sacrifices her comfortable life as a journalist to experience living as a low waged worker first hand She works entry level jobs for around six to seven dollars an hour She grants herself her laptop for writing her car for transportation and an emergency credit card for meals During her experiment she quickly discovers that one full time job is not enough to provide herself with food clothing and safe housing Every person she meets either works two jobs or depends on another working person for housing and income on top of their own employment Her access to the internet was unusual for someone working the waitressing house cleaning and similar jobs she worked She could only afford it after her income as a journalist outside of the experiment Ehrenreich ended each day with sore muscles and a new level of exhaustion she had never before faced She barely made enough money to stay off the streets

There is no possible way she could have been a part time student on top of it all She had very little free time and no extra money A postsecondary education would seem even more unrealistic to someone who was actually a low waged worker and did not have the emergency credit card or laptop Also Barbara had the advantage of only needing to care for herself Many people have children or family to care for too which takes up even more money and time For the employees at KeySpan becoming a part time student meant breaking into a savings account and having less free time For a low wage worker including the people Barbara encountered enrolling meant debt less sleep no housing and an empty stomach Online education seems great when considering a person's future but when they are already living paycheck to paycheck it seems too far out of reach Online degree programs are a wonderful way to gain job security or even a better job However it takes away working hours and comes with a large price tag and a person must already earn enough money to pay for internet access and tuition For people who do not have this luxury going back to school online is improbable since they depend on every cent from every hour that they work and simply cannot spend that much money or lose that much time When it comes to helping people who need it the most online degree programs are not very effective Although they do help people get better jobs it mostly targets people who already have decent incomes

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