It's a great time to be considering going to college. With so many choices in what to study and how to learn, savvy students can find the environment that’s right for them. For some students going to school at a physical campus makes sense, but what can students do if traditional college might not be the right fit? Fortunately, the options for online college continue to grow. But, what kind of person will do well in online courses? The short answer is anyone!
There was a time when the average online student was a 25- to 29-year-old married woman with at least one child. But, the face of online students is changing, proving that online college is a good fit for all kinds of people. A report called Online College Students, produced by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research regularly surveys the demographics, motivations and other characteristics of online students and provides some interesting information about who is enrolling in online college.
More and more students need to hold jobs while going back to school. A study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce says that nearly 14 million – that’s 8% of all people who work – have a job while they pursue some form of higher education or training. Among online students, 70% of undergraduates work full-time or part-time while in school, according to the Online College Students report. The pairing makes sense. After all, the flexibility of online college makes it easier to schedule schoolwork around a job instead of the other way around.
For most undergraduate online students, enrolling in an online program is not their first time in college. The Learning House and Aslanian Market Research survey found four out of five college students are looking to transfer some college credit. Among students who didn’t finish a previous program family and finances were the top reasons provided. Online college can make sense, especially when a student has to balance family responsibilities with educational goals or when finding an affordable program is essential.
Initially, most colleges and universities built online courses with working adults in mind. But, the average age of online students has been decreasing. Between the two most recent Online College Student reports the average age dropped from 31 to 29. Also, nearly half of all students (44%) now fall between the ages of 18 and 24. It seems higher numbers of younger people realize that online college provides the kind of speed to career they are seeking.
Earning a certificate as a way to gain professional skills and add qualifications to a resume is increasingly popular. Nearly one out of five students surveyed by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research said they were pursuing a certificate. Given that three-quarters of all online students are motivated to go back to school by career-related goals, it's logical that some of them would consider earning an online certificate.
So, who can enroll in online college? In the end, digital courses are right for all types of people. What matters most is that person's life, commitment and determination to reach their educational goals!
If you’ve taken any prescription medications, you’ve no doubt interacted with a pharmacy technician. These professionals are most recognizable as the folks at your local drug store – handing you a prescription bag and ringing up your purchase on the cash register.
Retail pharmacies aren’t the only places pharm techs work, though. Pharmacy technicians work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to mail-order prescription facilities. And their job tasks can vary greatly depending on where they work.
About half of all pharm techs work in drug stores, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In a retail environment, pharmacy technicians work under the direction of the registered pharmacist to handle a number of important tasks, including:
Most pharmacy technicians employed in a retail setting work full time, sometimes in shifts that include nights and weekends. The median pharmacy technician salary in retail drug stores is about $30,000 per year, and demand for pharm techs is expected to grow rapidly as the Baby Boomer population continues to age.
Some pharm techs don’t want to interact with the public as much as required in a drug store setting. If that sounds like you, then you may be interested to know that hospitals employ many pharmacy technicians “behind the scenes” to prepare medications for patients. Like their retail peers, hospital-based pharm techs also work under the supervision of a registered pharmacist, but they may perform more complex tasks, including:
Working in a hospital is tops for pharmacy technician pay: the median salary for these professionals comes in at nearly $37,000 per year.
Many people receive their medications through the mail these days, and while it’s true that big machines count and package those pills, the prescriptions still must be processed by someone who has passed a pharmacy technician exam.
In a mail-order pharmacy, a pharm tech might:
Pharmacy technician hourly pay in a mail-order facility might run as high as $15.50, for a median annual salary of about $31,000.
Pharm techs work in other settings, too, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, where they may package and dispense medications to patients.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a pharmacy technician, our Admission Advisors can put you on the path to enter this this fast-growing field. Learn more about the online pharmacy technician program at Ashworth College. Call 1-800-957-5412 or request free information today!
In our GO AFTER IT blog series, you'll meet fellow students and grads who committed themselves to chasing their dreams and proving it pays to GO AHEAD toward better opportunities -- no matter the obstacles to be overcome.
When Dan Brennanhusen* attained his role as the new director of safety and security for a major school district, his qualifications included nearly two decades of law enforcement and corporate security experience. He had also earned his Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Ashworth College and is a strong believer in the power of education to achieve success.
“I believe higher education is a leveraging tool to seek higher positions,” says Brennanhusen, “and with higher positions you typically are better compensated.”
While Brennanhusen was rewarded with better compensation, he feels that his Ashworth College program provided him with something much more valuable than the promise of higher pay. Even after working as a professional in law enforcement for so many years, he learned new concepts and techniques from the books and lessons in the Master of Criminal Justice Degree Program. He also discovered the practicality of his education, since he is using what he learned every day in his new job.
“I found the program to be contemporary and directly applicable to my profession. The core principles and components of my studies positively impact my career daily,” he says.
The quality of the program was unquestionably relevant to Brennanhusen’s career, but there were other benefits of an Ashworth College education that drew him into attending in the first place.
“Because I had a really busy work and family life, including two kids, I had to find a flexible program. I had been promoted to new assignments and divisions so life was as busy as it could possibly be. Ashworth College offered the accreditation and flexibility I needed to attain my objectives. The cost was also a plus.”
One might ask why a successful criminal justice professional who was already promoted would want to continue their education. According to Brennanhusen, the answer was twofold: career advancement and personal growth. At the time, he was a police sergeant and wanted to become a member of his department’s executive leadership team by working his way up to chief. After being promoted to commander, Brennanhusen realized that he would need a master’s degree to be considered for the next step up. And he knew that a higher-level degree would help him in his role for future promotions.
Says Brennanhusen, “Hiring someone always comes with some risks. I view degrees and higher education as an important piece of the puzzle. Having ‘missing pieces’ may cause a potential employer to find someone who has a more complete puzzle.”
As Brennanhusen completed his educational “puzzle,” he took his time. Aside from his competing priorities of earning a living and caring for a busy family, he says he didn’t want to merely pass assignments – he wanted to get good grades, do well and truly learn. He even paused his studies for a while so he could regroup and refocus.
Congratulations to Brennanhusen on completing his master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and the opportunities it has afforded him. If you’re interested in this field, or other fields of study, we recommend you contact an Admissions Advisor at 1-800-957-5412 who will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.
* At the request of the student in the interest of job privacy and security, a pseudonym is being used; otherwise, all quotes and information in this blog are actual and verifiable.
What’s your dream career? Working in the booming healthcare field? Criminal justice? Owning your own business?
All too often, people’s dreams get derailed because they think they can’t get the education they need to turn their vision into reality. The Ashworth College graduates in these videos will tell you otherwise. Hear their inspiring stories, and then talk to an admissions advisor today so you can stop dreaming and start pursuing your ideal career!
Wouldn’t you love to star in your own graduation video, dressed in a gown and mortarboard like these students? We would certainly love to see you walk the stage at our live commencement event to receive the certificate, diploma, or degree you earned at Ashworth College.
Learn more about the many flexible, afforedable programs available to help you start turning your dream career into a reality: Talk to an admissions advisor today!