Communications is a competitive field. I always knew I would need to go back and earn a graduate degree but after graduating in 2013, I wanted to give myself a little time off. I had a good reason for waiting; I wanted to make sure I liked working in communications. Luckily, I did. After getting a full year of professional experience under my belt, I began seriously thinking about graduate school. I asked myself the usual questions – will I have time? Can I afford it? Do I want to sit in a classroom again?
I began researching communication graduate programs and schools but I kept holding myself back from applying because of one main reason – I didn’t want to be geographically tied to one area for two years. I didn’t want to give up my dream of moving around the country and put my career on hold. It so happens that at the time I was ready to start applying, I was also looking for a new job (which can feel like a full time job in itself). But I also refused to give up on my academic dreams.
Another reason I was dragging my feet was I couldn’t stand the idea of sitting in a classroom for hours after working all day. With all of those factors in mind, online learning seemed like the natural choice. One day when I was searching for jobs online, I came across Purdue’s advertisement on LinkedIn and the rest is history! The application process was easy to understand and my Purdue University representative was incredibly helpful.
Online learning has been the best possible choice for me. I have been able to set my own schedule and do my homework from the comfort of my own couch. When I was beginning to start my first semester in January, I received an offer for a new job and moved to Illinois – an opportunity I would not have been able to take had I went the traditional in-classroom route of learning.
It was a challenge adjusting to a new career and getting back into school but I’ve been able to find a balance and make this program work for me. With so many universities implementing online learning, not only is it the wave of the future, it’s a way to advance your career on your own time.
Are you ready to dive back into school? Try online learning, you won’t regret it!
Caroline Matis is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.