Science, engineering and technology careers are something that a lot of people would love to do, whether it is working in a research laboratory, becoming part of the innovative world of software, or even working in robotics.
The Demands of STEM Courses
While these careers have become vastly more interesting to young people in the internet age than they were a couple of generations ago when they were seen as the preserve of the super smart or very nerdy, there is no denying they do take a lot more work on the study side than many of the other options open to those picking their majors. STEM students tend not to be the ones who spend their college years going to every party and joining in on fun extracurricular activities, or the ones with time to spare to work while they’re getting their degrees.
Happily, advances in how online degrees at both bachelor and masters levels are delivered have made it possible for more and more people to fit the demands of studying for STEM careers around their lives, and therefore made it a viable path for a lot more people.
Online Learning in STEM
Some STEM careers have always leant themselves well to online learning, for example courses in software development or testing, and other IT fields that don’t require any special hardware.
However, thanks to faster broadband, the wide use of online streaming and developments in the didactics of how science topics are taught and tested, it is now possible for students to do all kinds of courses mostly online.
Courses That Require In-Depth Practical Demonstrations Can Now Be Done Online
A good example is the NAACLS accredited medical laboratory scientist program offered by colleges including the University of Cincinnati as an online course. This is a course that enables people to work in clinical healthcare as a lab scientist (for example testing samples from patients).
While an online Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Laboratory Science may not have been possible in the early days of online degrees when most learning was delivered via reading and email communication with tutors, courses that have practical as well as theoretical elements are now something students can do effectively from home.
Opening Up STEM to a Wider Audience
The benefits of the improvements in online learning to both the STEM industries and the people who want careers in them are vast.
The ability to study from home opens up these courses to people who can’t or don’t want to relocate for college, as well as making the courses accessible for people with disabilities. It also makes it possible to fit learning around other life commitments, meaning people with children or people who need to work while they study can study flexibly or part time.
It is also cheaper.
As online learning continues to get better and better, many more people may see STEM as a viable direction for them who may not have in the past.