12 Differences Between Online and On-Campus Business Students


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Online students and on-campus students are the same, just studying via different modes of learning, right? WRONG. Preferences, choices and circumstances of online students are quite different from traditional, college-going students. This is especially true for business students too. Let’s have a look at what makes the two different.

1. Twitter and LinkedIn for Networking

Studies have found that business students tend to use more of social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Online business students tend to use these online networking websites even more than on-campus business students because this is their key source of connecting with professionals in their field.

2. Executive Project or International Trip for Summers

To increase interaction for online business students, colleges often arrange an executive project at their place of employment, or give them the option of an international business seminar to meet with company heads, government representatives, etc from around the world. On-campus business students, meanwhile, usually go for an internship or a summer course.

3. Work Responsibilities

If one’s opting for an affordable online business degree, they are usually working simultaneously with their studies. “A higher percentage of online students expected to work during the semester—84% as opposed to 55% for lecture students,” said a study conducted by the North Carolina State University, and North Carolina Central University.

4. Not just Work, but More Work

On average, online students spend about 38 hours per week on jobs, versus around 30 hours for lecture students. So not only are more online business students working while they study, they also spend more hours on the job.

5. Childcare Responsibilities

Besides work, childcare responsibilities also ride high on online business students’ priorities, especially females. Amongst students with childcare responsibilities, more than twice are online students.

6. Age Matters

Because most online business students are returning to studies to update their skills or acquire new ones, they are older than on-campus business students. It is estimated that online students are on average about 5 years older than on-campus students.

7. Rigid Schedules

To manage various responsibilities, online business students have to stick to rigid schedules to balance work, family and studies. Schedules for on-campus students may be relatively relaxed, on the other hand.

8. Differing Preferences

For online business students, flexibility and reduced commuting time are important facets of their studies. On-campus students, meanwhile, prefer elements such as contact with instructors, meeting fellow students, etc. as more important.

9. Commuting Distance

Usually, online programs are preferred by students who would otherwise have longer average commutes to the campus. On-campus business students, in contrast, usually don’t have long commuting distances.

10. More Tech-Savvy

Generally, online business students have more experience with computer work and have greater know-how about software and applications than their on-campus counterparts. That’s why they are comfortable with the distance learning mode.

11. Lifelong Learning

Relative to traditional lecture students, online business students are more likely to be lifelong learning students, opting for not-for-credit continuing education courses, or going for formal qualifications later in life.

12. Self-Motivation, Self-Discipline

To drive themselves to study with a job every day, online business students have to be much more motivated and discipline than the average on-campus student.

Though online and on-campus students may be different, their quality of work is the same. So, which mode of learning would you go for?

Written by

Kelly Gibson is the official spokesperson for onlinedegreetalk.org, where she frequently writes as well. When she’s not busy reading about the latest trends in online education, she loves horse riding and going for the occasional swim. Check out her blog OnlineDegreeTalk.org – which aims to assist you in your journey towards online education.

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