"When deciding which university to select I was looking for a university with a good reputation that offered a Masters in finance. I also needed flexibility in taking my subjects to allow me to work full-time while studying. I also needed non-compulsory attendance and I wanted a university that had an international presence.
"I first began studying while I was working as a high school teacher. During this time I studied at night (when time permitted) and spent many weekends completing assessments. Once enrolled in the course, I was given the opportunity to be hired as a graduate financial analyst at a big four financial institution working in corporate finance in Sydney. The long commute from Campbelltown to Sydney CBD allowed me to reduce my time studying at home. I studied five to 10 hours per week on the train to and from work and I completed all unfinished work on the weekends. Studying online allowed me to tailor educational opportunities to my life (and not tailor my life to the arbitrary nature of a university schedule).
"I have been able to maintain full-time employment and can choose when I want to study. There was also no commute to and from university and no expensive parking fees. I was still able to be involved in online lectures and, if unable to attend due to other commitments, the lecturer provided a recording for later viewing.
"I feel like this course has adequately prepared me for my change in career. I was able to tailor subjects to my desired career destination, which resulted in a Banking major. The core subjects provided a sound overview of financial markets and real-life case studies, while the electives were an excellent opportunity to develop knowledge in personal interests. The discussion forums made it easy to talk to other students when necessary and to discuss and develop ideas.
"I believe universities that offer online education have a greater understanding of their students' needs. They appreciate that students come from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and locations. The education is on par, if not better than, a conventional university education where classes are attended in person. There is no 8.30am lecture on a Monday morning, and no 7pm tutorial on a Friday night. Students choose when they want to study and can tailor their learning to the times that are most efficient for them.
"I also believe that employers look favourably towards candidates who are able to successfully manage their time between work and tertiary education. The status of 'elite' universities is diminishing and studying online is a highly respected option. Online is the future of university education."